COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

This page will be updated as information is sent out to the school community.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Upper School Remote Learning Update

Dear Upper School Parents,

Wow! What an unprecedented and abnormal fourth quarter we have had this school year. Thank you so much for your patience and the work you have done at home to help make this fourth quarter happen.

As we prepare to finish out the school year remotely, we have made some decisions about the final weeks of school regarding exams and schedules. Here is information you will want to know.

7th–12th Grade Exams

  • We will NOT have formal exams in any of the classes this semester as in the past.
  • In the closing weeks, teachers will give their final classroom assessments, projects, or recitations.
  • Those students taking AP classes will have an abbreviated AP exam per the national schedule which is indicated on the TGS calendar.

Official Last Day of School

  • The seniors’ last day of school will be Thursday, May 14.
  • The last day for grades 7th–11th will be Friday, May 22.
  • All classes will meet through May 22, except the arts electives.
  • Arts elective classes will end on Thursday, May 14.

Our goal is to hold baccalaureate and graduation ceremonies live. We will communicate that information when we are able to finalize it.

Again, thank you to the teachers, students, parents, administration, and support staff who have helped to make this final quarter of school happen. We so look forward to seeing everyone’s smiling faces really soon.

Lower School Remote Learning Questions and Answers

Q: Why do we not have live teaching on Wednesday for the weeks of April 27 and May 4?
A: At the recommendation of ISM and FCIS, two organizations that offer research-based recommendations to educational institutions such as ours, we are giving our teachers a full day to be able to meet together via Zoom, plan for the following week, and prepare educational resources such as videos, links to websites that complement a lesson, and repurpose the worksheets/assignments that go along with our curriculum to meet our current pace and online format. All of this takes time, and in order to ensure that we continue to improve upon our remote learning lessons (which we are striving to do), we need to allow for that in our teachers’ schedules. Students will still have assignments for that day to complete and will receive feedback on that work, and they can always reach out to meet with their teacher if they need assistance. Even though we are not teaching live, we are still available!

Q: Will we still do closing ceremonies? What will the end of the year be like?
A: Closing ceremonies have always been our way to end the year as a community. Because we can’t be together in our lower school building, our kindergarten through fifth grade teachers will do individual closing ceremonies with each student via Zoom, May 18 through May 21. A link to a signup for each teacher will go out on May 11. Once you sign up for a time, the teacher will send you a Zoom invitation; you are then welcome to “invite others” too if you have grandparents or other family members who would love to join that individual closing ceremony. It will be a special time to reflect on the God-given gifts of the individual child, their year and contributions to the class, and the teacher’s hopes and prayers for the child going forward. We will also send home items (awards and keepsakes) that parents will be able to give to the students during their closing ceremony that will be special to the occasion. We want this to be a meaningful and beautiful time.

Sixth grade usually has a ceremony to mark the end of their time in the grammar school, and this year it will be presented through a prerecorded video that the sixth graders will be able to watch with their families. Details will be forthcoming about when and how to access that video. Sixth graders will also have the opportunity to meet virtually with their teacher individually sometime between May 18 and May 21 to be able to wrap the year up together!

K4 teachers will be meeting virtually with each student individually from May 18 through May 21 to do their normal end-of-the-year assessments. In addition, families will be sent a video that they can view together on Friday, May 22, which will include an explanation for the gifts given by the teachers to each of the students.

On Friday, May 22, each kindergarten through sixth grade class will gather for one last time on Zoom to celebrate the year! Here are the times for each grade level (we have staggered them so that parents can sit in on the Zoom celebrations as well):

  • Kindergarten (9:00–9:25)
  • First Grade (9:30–9:55)
  • Second Grade (10:00–10:25)
  • Third Grade (10:30–10:55)
  • Fourth Grade (11:00–11:25)
  • Fifth Grade (12:30–12:55)
  • Sixth Grade (1:00–1:25)

Q: How will we return textbooks and library books to the school? How will we get our child’s personal items that were left behind in the classroom?
A: On Friday, May 15, some members of our faculty and staff will be set up around the lower school parking lot. As parents, you will receive curbside service! You can drive up (as if you were going through carpool) to your child’s grade level table (if you have multiple grammar school children, then you will make a few stops at their grade level tables), and you can hand any textbooks or library books through the window to return. Then, just like curbside delivery at your favorite restaurant, our faculty and staff will place all personal items and end-of-year items for your child into the trunk of your car or hand it through the window. This is when your child’s scrapbook and other items for their closing ceremony will be given out, so please read the instructions from your child’s teachers that will be forthcoming so that you don’t accidentally hand out any items that are meant to be a surprise to your child. We are asking that all of our families remain inside of their cars and allow us to serve you in this way.

Q: Will my child still receive a report card during remote learning?
A: Yes, your child will receive a report card in June and it will be sent to you via email.

For first through sixth grade, the report cards will look a bit different for Q4. We will indicate your child’s proficiency in the Art of Mathematics and Art of Language by giving them a P for “Proficient,” M for “Making Progress,” or an N for “Needs Improvement.” Because you are actively engaged with uploading your children’s work and seeing their work come through, you are already very familiar with how they are doing, so these report cards will not be a surprise. At the recommendation of ISM and FCIS, grading for remote learning is focused on your child’s completion of assignments, growth in understanding, and their ability to receive feedback from their teachers and correct/revise their work. For Love of Story and LAMPS areas, you will see a narrative that tells the story of what the students have learned and the types of activities that they have participated in remotely.

The report card format for K4 and kindergarten students will be the typical format and will not be different for Q4.

We know that many parents like to keep records of their children’s report cards at home, so at the time that Q4 report cards are emailed to first through sixth grade families, we will also email the Q3 report cards (which contain grades for Q1, Q2, and Q3) so that you have the opportunity to print all of the grades for the year at one time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dear Parents,

As you may have heard over the weekend, Governor Ron DeSantis and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran recommended that all Florida public and private K–12 schools continue distance learning and keep school campuses closed through the remainder of the 2019–2020 academic year.

As you can imagine, we have a mixture of emotions regarding this decision. We know we need to do everything we can to stem this pandemic, but at the same time we are extremely sad that we can’t get back to school. We miss the students, we miss the camaraderie, and we miss doing life together in our dear TGS community.

This is definitely a reason to cry out to God for strength each day and to ask him to give us hope and joy in the midst of the trial. But we know that ours is a faithful God and we can rest in the knowledge that he is still with us during this challenging season. Scripture tells us to rejoice in our suffering! I, for one, am learning new lessons about endurance and am trusting God that he will use this for his glory.

Until a vaccination is available for the virus, maybe we need to heed the long ago advice from Reader’s Digest magazine: Laughter, the Best Medicine. The times are sobering, but our hearts must also be made glad. To that end, I am proposing that the full creative resources of staff, students, and parents alike be unleashed. We have all seen some exceptionally funny videos that have gone viral over the last month, and I think we might have the wherewithal to create some of our own. Other videos and pictures have been variously stirring, compelling, and heartwarming. If we must live in this fractured community for a while longer, then let’s strengthen the bonds of our affection for each other in ways that new technology makes available.

Some of the enlivening prospects include these: I met with Coach Harger and Dr. Vande Brake, and together with the track coaches, we are going to sponsor virtual track meets. We still plan to do Spirit Week in both the upper and lower school; I am working on a Geneva’s Funniest Home Videos night; the morning announcements will now be sent to parents each day and will include not only the upper school video devotional but also a video (most days) of someone or something from within the student community that merits our viewing. The school has a treasure trove of photographs from every aspect and dimension of our life together. Watch for these, and especially those of our graduating seniors as they are daily posted on our various social media platforms. But we will not forget our younger students. “Kids Say (and Do) the Darndest Things,” and we have some great quotes and pictures collected by teachers and their aides to prove it.

The Fine and Performing Arts have lifted the spirits of people and cultures throughout history. Our students and faculty routinely create beauty that enhances our lives and graces our hallways. Much of it is in a form that we can send to you; please look for it and anticipate how it shows forth the artistry of our God, whose Son is called in Scripture our Beautiful Savior.

Other ideas I am pursuing involve some faculty forums discussing recent movies, books, and topics. Lisa Hines is working with her drama students on a virtual play. Other faculty members are also considering how their gifts and abilities can be energized toward these same ends.

The following verse has been my model for ministry in the churches I have served and also at Geneva. While I cannot say it to you in person as easily now, please read it as though we were together. “So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us” (I Thessalonians 2:8).

We all miss you very much,

Saturday, April 4, 2020

School Closures Extended

The Governor has extended the closure of all schools, public and private, through April 30, 2020.

The Executive Order includes education to the children of Florida as an essential service, but we are maintaining the following guidelines:

  • Distance learning is to continue throughout the length of this order.
  • School employees should work remotely from home as much as possible.
  • Other essential school workers who may be on campus include technical and informational staff, staff supporting remote learning, media staff, maintenance staff, and workers essential to maintaining the school. (All must observe CDC Guidelines.)
  • Workers 65 years and older need to work from home in compliance with the Executive Order.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Update on the Remote Learning Plan For Week 2 (March 30–April 3)

Dear Geneva Families,

The Geneva buildings are not open for students, but the work of the Geneva community has been evident throughout this first week of remote learning. Education has occurred in remarkable and sometimes unscripted ways, and relationships with each other have strengthened and grown. We delight in hearing of teachers working with parents, parents working with children, and students helping each other. As I have read the emails, seen posts on social media, and heard from numerous families, I think the week was an overall success. We clearly demonstrated that we are a “community of faith and learning,” and this week’s success comes from the entire community. Families, your encouragement, patience, grace, suggestions, and joyful attitudes have made an incredible difference. Teachers and staff, your determination, imagination, flexibility, and servant attitudes have given this remote learning life. Thank you to all of you!

Even though this time looks and feels quite different from what any of us ever anticipated, we are genuinely encouraged and excited for what the future holds for Geneva and her students. We have experienced grace in new ways, we have had more opportunities to love our neighbors, we have shown resilience and technical proficiency, and the longings of our hearts have been for the restoration of “communal” learning. We are confident that God is at work in all of these circumstances and will bring good out of this for the school and families. The administration has “met” numerous times to evaluate and plan for the future, and we realize that you have important questions that we are unable to answer right now. As soon as we understand more about the timeline for the school to return to normal, we will be sure to answer questions.

It is an honor and joy to serve your family. Even though we miss seeing your children (and you), we love seeing your pictures, hearing your stories, and assisting with this chapter of your child(ren)’s education. Soon, we will be able to exchange handshakes and hugs. Until then, know that we are praying with and for all of you. If there is anything that we can do to help, please reach out.

Robert F. Ingram


There are no changes for K4. The K4 teachers will continue with their videos and lessons for the students.

Dear K–6th Grade Parents,

Thank you for being such a gracious community this week as we embarked on an educational endeavor that required all of us to do things differently.

We have been listening to quite a bit of feedback from parents and teachers, and we have noted a need to make a few updates to our remote learning plan to enhance everyone’s experience.

How the lower grammar school grades do things will look a bit different than in the upper grammar school grades.

For those of you who do not have time or a need to read through the specific details, we wanted to provide a list of bullet points to summarize the changes occurring on Monday:

  • Assignments will be categorized into 3 tiers. Tier 1 contains essential assignments, and they will have a live teaching time via Zoom each day except for Wednesday during a 5-day school week. During 4-day school weeks, the live teaching will be offered every day. A schedule is provided in the link below, and teachings will be recorded if students are unable to participate during the scheduled time. If your child cannot participate in the live lesson, please email your teacher to let them know that they are working on assignments so that they can be marked “present” for the day.
  • GRADES 3–6 ONLY: Instead of daily emails and several email exchanges, each teacher will have a Google Classroom where they will post all assignments and instructions and links to instructional videos. Student work will be submitted through Google Classroom, and feedback will also be provided to parents and students within Google Classroom. You will soon receive login credentials from the school, and teachers will send instructions on how to log in to their specific classroom.
  • We are attempting to dramatically reduce the need to print items at home. Because of that, assignments may look a little different than they usually do. We may also ask students to do work on notebook paper. That will also reduce the amount of paper that you have to scan or take pictures of to return to the teacher.
  • Because of the live teaching opportunities where students will be able to ask questions virtually, we will reduce the amount of individual teacher/student check-ins to one time per week with additional opportunities as needed/requested.
  • We will have a lower school LAMPS schedule, listed in the link below, so that all students across the lower school are working on the same LAMPS each day.
  • To protect everyone’s family time now that we have had to combine work with home, we are asking that parent and teacher texts take place between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm for the grammar school. Emails can still be sent outside of those hours, but replies can be expected during the 8 am–3 pm time period.

Heidi Heinsch
Director of Early Childhood (K4–2nd Grade)

Keira Raesly
Director of the Grammar School (3rd–6th Grade)


Dear Upper School Parents and Students,

Thank you for your enthusiasm and graciousness as we rolled out the remote learning plan. We have all been pleased with the work that the teachers and staff are doing and for your understanding as we worked through a lot of new ways to educate.

Arts Electives Begin for 7th & 8th Graders: As originally communicated, arts electives for 7th and 8th graders will begin the second week of remote learning. These classes are all set to begin this coming week, March 30–April 3. Here is the new schedule with these classes included. Students should expect communication through Google Classroom or an email from the teachers with a link and/or directions for the class. For drama, see lesson plans in RenWeb/FACTS.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions about these schedules, and we’ll work together to get it all figured out.

Peter Vande Brake
Director of the Upper School

Friday, March 20, 2020

Update on the Remote Learning Plan

Dear Geneva Community,

Even during this time of uncertainty, we are blessed to be a community guided by the wisdom of Scripture and Christ’s love. We encourage everyone to continue to pray for our community, our state, our nation, and the world as people work diligently to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

As we prepare to enact the remote learning plan starting Monday morning, I wanted to share a few thoughts in the hopes that they would prove encouraging to all of us as we embark on a new journey together to educate students from a distance. I often say that I desire that Geneva would be a realm of grace, that we extend and receive grace one to another as we also pursue excellence. I want to emphasize that, most especially now, we strive to love our neighbor as ourselves and pour ourselves out for the needs of others.

  • Living Intentionally. This time, while admittedly hard, also presents potential opportunities for some good things: we can spend more time together as family, we can be aware and more thoughtful of others around us and of ways to serve them even from a distance, and we can take a bit longer than normal to reflect on the many blessings that God has provided. I encourage you to take this time to be creative with your talents, to seek joy, to delight in both play and work, to discover books often set aside due to lack of time, to seek ways of supporting local businesses from home, to spend time playing outside, and to look for the gifts that our children are developing.
  • Keeping It Delightful. God delights in us and we are designed to delight in Him and in life: good food, good friends, good reads, and good work. Stressful times can squelch delight. However, one educator, Charlotte Mason, would tell us that “studies serve for delight.” To whatever extent we are helping our child/ren with their academics at home, it will be important that we try to do it with delight. As we together learn a new concept, meet a new character in a book, expand our horizons, and interact with one another in new ways through technology, delight and knowledge can grow.
  • Living Non Nobis/Pursuing with Diligence. Abigail Adams is quoted as saying, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” At a time like this, it may be tempting to think that filling our days with effortless entertainment like television or video games would be easier than trying to continue academic pursuits. And yet we know that these will not actually satisfy our child’s mind or body. Let us try, however imperfectly, to assist our children in their studies at home and ask for help whenever needed. The teachers and staff and administrators are eager to help.
  • Living with Minimal Anxiety and Worry. They say that children are mirrors of their parents. They watch us; they take their emotional cues from our behavior. When we encounter difficult times like this that interrupt our normal life and are able to walk through them with peace and confidence, then our children learn to approach life with an assurance that God is in control. However, when we fret, they imitate. The only way to live with an assurance and confidence during days like this is to remember that although we are not in control of much, God is most certainly on His throne.
  • LINK to Upper School Remote Learning Plan Details 3.20.2020
  • LINK to Lower School Remote Learning Plan Details 3.20.2020

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Robert F. Ingram
(on behalf of the administrative team)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Geneva School COVID-19 Update (3-18-2020)

Dear TGS Community,

We, like many of you, are spending time monitoring news outlets and advice from various government agencies. Please be assured that we are seeking advice from other schools and sources as we thoughtfully consider the wisest course of action for the entire school: students, parents, and faculty. Even though we are an independent school, the policy issued from the Department of Education states that all private and public schools will close through April 15 in an effort to contain the spread of this virus.

We are all praying for God’s direction and care for our community and the rest of the world. As we contemplate the current realities, it is reassuring to remember Psalm 91:1–3, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’”

We are working to finalize additional details for the remote learning plan that will begin on Monday, March 23, so please watch your email for an update with details. We intend to continue academic coursework this year, recognizing that we will all likely need to be flexible and adjust our plans as circumstances dictate.

Until Monday, we hope that you and your family are enjoying your spring break. While it may not be the spring break any of us wanted, we hope you are discovering wonderful ways to make the most of the week. In the meantime, we continue to monitor the daily information and governmental guidelines/requirements and will update you if and when circumstances change.

For The Geneva School administration,
Robert F. Ingram

Monday, March 16, 2020

Postponing The Geneva School’s Come Sail Away Auction Gala 2020

Dear Geneva Community,

We are living in unprecedented times for our generation due to COVID-19 and we continue to learn more about it each day. Last night, the CDC recommended canceling all events with 50 or more guests and we will certainly heed their wisdom.

Anyone who has sailed knows there are factors, like wind and rain, outside of a Captain’s control that adjust a ship’s course and possibly her timing. We happen to have encountered such a factor. The “Come Sail Away” Geneva Auction Gala 2020 will be postponed.

Please bear with us as we look at calendars and timing but we do plan to hold the event at a later date. Stay tuned as we chart this course.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience, understanding, and prayer as we all navigate these uncharted waters.

Katie Deatherage
(on behalf of the whole auction team)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Remote Learning Plan to Begin Week of March 23

Dear Geneva Families,

We are prayerfully committed to the ongoing health and safety of our school family and our community. As you have seen in the news, the issues concerning the spread of the COVID-19 virus change rapidly and Geneva is monitoring the various government agencies involved in the situation. As we carefully review guidance from federal, state, and local officials we want to ensure that your family is supported and prepared for possible scenarios that may arise as a result of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Geneva School will follow the Florida Department of Education’s recommendation to close for an additional week as a precaution. As of March 23, the school will implement the remote learning plan.

We want to assure you that our board, administration, and teachers are prepared to offer resources to help your student(s) continue to learn remotely. Schools around the nation are developing plans and procedures to maintain instruction and we have done the same with research and collaboration.

We do not want to lose the academic momentum we have generated this year and yet we recognize and want to be sensitive to the challenges that each family may be working through with having children at home for an extended time due to this school closure. Our goal is to strike a balance and we appreciate your help in managing your student’s efforts to learn at home during a highly unusual situation. Please know that we are available to help work through this process with the students and parents in every way that we are able. Please see below for the lower school and upper school remote learning plan

Even as we must consider the current situation carefully and apply as much wisdom as we are able, it is more important that we remember that our peace, safety, and hope come from our relationship with Christ and not our circumstances. As a community of faith, committed to historic Christianity, we know that God is sovereign. He still reigns and rules our world in the midst of this crisis. As such, we can rest in the promises of God for his children. We also recognize that we live in a fallen world so we want to be wise as we walk through these days. Take heart! Be safe. Trust God and his beneficent providence for us.

We will send regular communication to keep our families informed and updated. Communication will come through the website, email, text, and social media.

Please enjoy your spring break as you have the opportunities to visit with friends and family. We will continue to pray for safety and wisdom for our community, state, and world during this time.

Bob Ingram

Lower School

On Friday, March 13, students brought home their instructional materials (workbooks, textbooks, literature, etc.). You are welcome to leave these in student backpacks if they are not needed for homework; this will help ensure that the materials all remain in a place easy to access when needed during the school closure. Please be a good steward of the materials and remember that these are the materials that are used daily in the classroom. We would also ask that families enjoy your spring break; relaxing, recharging, and rejuvenating will be keys for the students to finish the year well, regardless of any impending changes.  

Remote learning for our lower school students may differ depending on the grade level, but the basic plan is:

  • Teachers will use email to share daily lesson plans with families. These will be very detailed and will serve as an instructional guide for you to follow at home with your children.
  • Materials that have not already been sent home with students will be sent via email to families on an as-needed basis.
  • The instructional focus will be prioritized for families primarily on the art of math, the art of language, and LAMPS. We strongly encourage you and your student to complete the lesson plan assignments. You will receive an email daily with detailed lesson plans. If you are looking for additional resources or learning direction, please contact your teacher. If you are experiencing a challenge as you work through the lesson plan, please reach out to your teacher.
  • Teachers will be available for support between the hours of 8:00 and 3:00 through either phone, FaceTime, or email. We want to make sure that every family has a means of communication that works well for them.
  • The teachers will be checking the student’s completed work and will provide feedback so that the student can continue to review and master important concepts.
  • We cannot overemphasize the value and benefit of reading, either reading to a younger student or independent reading. If you need suggestions for titles, please reach out to your teacher.
  • If you find that your student left something that is necessary to have at home, please email Katie Deatherage ([email protected]) or Sarah Cloke ([email protected])

Keira Raesly and Heidi Heinsch will be available to support any family in need of academic assistance to the best of their ability. The best way to reach either one is by email ([email protected] or [email protected]). We are committed to making this process as smooth as possible for our students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Upper School

Remote learning for our dialectic and rhetoric school students may differ depending on the grade level but here is the basic plan we will follow:

  • Teachers will use FACTS/RenWeb, email, and Google classroom to share daily lesson plans with students and parents. These will be more detailed than they are currently as they will serve as an instructional guide for students to follow.
  • Materials that have not already been sent home with students will be sent either through email, Google classroom, or uploaded to FACTS so that families are able to easily access them.
  • Teachers will be available between 8:00 and 3:00 Monday-Friday utilizing Google Hangouts for live interaction. Teachers may use other platforms if necessary to maintain regular communication with students.
  • Many of the curricular resources we use are digital and web-based and we will work with families to ensure you have all of the websites, usernames, and passwords you need to help your child from home. If you need support with these, please email Jill Kong ([email protected]) for assistance.
  • Teachers will continue to assess learning in a variety of ways. This may require you to send in scanned copies or photos of work samples to be graded but we will work with students to make this as easy as possible.
  • If there are other technical issues with FACTS/RenWeb, Google Classroom, or another application, please contact David Petrak ([email protected]) for assistance.
  • We cannot overemphasize the value and benefit of reading. If you need suggestions for titles, please reach out to your teacher.
  • If you find that your student left something that is necessary to have at home, please email Katie Deatherage ([email protected]) or Sarah Cloke ([email protected])

Scott Thigpen will be available for scheduling a digital meeting or phone call for college counseling between 8:00 and 4:00.  
Isabel O’Driscoll will be available for scheduling a digital meeting or phone call for support between 8:00 and 4:00.

Peter Vande Brake and Mike Beates will be available to support any family in need of assistance. The best way to reach Mike Beates is by email ([email protected]) or Peter Vande Brake by email or text ([email protected] or 616-481-9251). We are committed to making this process as smooth as possible for our students, parents, faculty, and staff.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

School Trip Update

Dear Parents of 5th, 6th and 8th grade,

After taking under advisement the counsel of the federal government, the medical community, our accrediting agency, and discussing it with our board, administrators, and faculty trip leaders, this morning we decided to cancel the upcoming class trips. Two of the cities, Boston and Washington DC, are world cities with populations coming and going from locations around the world. Thankfully the coronavirus has not yet attained the level of infection that it has in other places around the world and in a few American cities. We trust it will never become the threat to our people that it has become in some destinations. But because these are all young children and they will be a thousand and more miles from home, it was determined that prudence ought to prevail.

By making the decision today we were able to recoup a number of non-refundable deposits for hotels, meals, and some other incidentals. Tomorrow would have been too late to recoup some of them. We do not yet know the full impact of what will be refundable and what will not.

We have discussed the possibility of the 8th grade going to Boston in their 10th grade year when there is no trip normally scheduled. The timing in the 10th grade would still be in alignment with the curriculum, and in fact would give the students several more years of academic study to understand and appreciate all the more the experience of Boston’s history, museums, and cultural expressions. It may not be as possible for the 5th and 6th grade classes to “make-up” their missed class trips.

Thank you for understanding our need to make this decision at this time. Delaying the decision to cancel beyond Spring Break would have had more negative financial impact for the school and families. In addition, delaying such a decision for two weeks (one way or the other) would perhaps still have been made with competing pros and cons as to what ought to be done.

As we have more exact financial information pertaining to each class we will communicate with you at the grade level. We regret that the virus has caused such disruption at every level and we are aware of how very disappointing this news will be to our students. We trust that you will be able to help your students understand the counsel and rationale that went into our decision.


Robert F. Ingram, for the Board and Administration

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Lower School Coronavirus Update

Dear Lower School Parents,

Exercising an abundance of caution, in the very highly unlikely event that the school would be closed on March 23 (the first day back from the break) we are discussing potential ways for the students to continue to learn. At this point, we are brainstorming how this might happen in certain subjects. At the very least, we want each student to continue reading, playing creatively, enjoying time outside, and reviewing concepts that have already been taught. Please be looking for additional communication about materials that we will be sending home with your students to facilitate learning at home. At the present time, however, we see no reason that we would not be returning to school on that day.

Even as we take counsel from the public school system for closings due to hurricanes, so we will remain alert to what information they have and what decisions they make. This does not mean that we will automatically follow their lead (we don’t necessarily follow their lead on all hurricane related decisions) but they are a good barometer of what is happening in the greater Orlando area. Our accrediting agency, the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) also keeps us well informed of what is being proposed and what they advise. We communicate with our sister FCIS schools such as Lake Highland and Trinity Prep to also assist us in making decisions of this magnitude.

I trust and pray that we never need to make use of such resources due to the coronavirus or on account of hurricanes. Unfortunately provision needs to be made even if the situation never comes to pass.

Given that no one of us is an infallible prophet of what is to come with this coronavirus, we are leading in such a fashion that if the worst occurs and the school must be closed at some time, we will have prepared as best we could. Thank you for your understanding and patience. We will continue to communicate with you should the situation change. But allow me to say again, we plan to be returning to school as normal on Monday, March 23, 2020.


Robert F. Ingram

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Precautions if School is Closed Due to the Coronavirus (Upper School)

Dear Upper School Students and Parents,

Exercising an abundance of caution, we are advising 7th–12th grade students to take all of their textbooks home with them over Spring Break due to the coronavirus. In the very highly unlikely event that the school would be closed on March 23 (the first day back from break) we want each student to be able to continue his or her studies at home via the internet and online teaching. At the present time, however, we see no reason that we would not be returning to school on that day.

Even as we take counsel from the public school system for closings due to hurricanes, so we will remain alert to what information they have and what decisions they make. This does not mean that we will automatically follow their lead (we don’t necessarily follow their lead on all hurricane related decisions) but they are a good barometer of what is happening in the greater Orlando area. Our accrediting agency, the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) also keeps us well informed of what is being proposed and what they advise. We communicate with our sister FCIS schools such as Lake Highland and Trinity Prep to also assist us in making decisions of this magnitude.

Dr. Vande Brake and I are exploring some online options should at some time in the indefinite future we need to make use of them. RenWeb will prove to be a known and valuable tool, but there are others available to us that allow for real-time simultaneous connectivity to the faculty and classmates in a teaching environment. I trust and pray that we never need to make use of such resources due to the coronavirus or on account of hurricanes. Unfortunately, provision needs to be made even if the situation never comes to pass.

Given that no one of us is an infallible prophet of what is to come with this coronavirus, we are leading in such a fashion that if the worst occurs and the school must be closed at some time, we will have prepared as best we could. Thank you for your understanding and patience. We will continue to communicate with you should the situation change. But allow me to say again, we plan to return to school as normal on Monday, March 23, 2020.


Robert F. Ingram

Friday, March 6, 2020

Message from Headmaster Bob Ingram Regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus

Dear Parents,

We are all aware of the coronavirus and we have all been taking precautions to prevent the spread of this illness in our homes, businesses, and schools. I receive almost daily bulletins from the state of Florida, the Florida Council of Independent Schools, (our accrediting agency), and from the federal government. We have already begun to make changes in our school culture, nightly cleaning procedures, and classroom disinfectants. It is a daily conversational topic of concern for our administration and staff, and I want to assure you that we are doing those responsible things that are being recommended by state and national health services.

Consistent with advice from CDC, our nurses are advising students with flu-like symptoms to stay home. They should make a doctor’s appointment and also contact the local health department at the same time. Individuals can be tested at any hospital and may well be sent there by the doctor. Medical personnel will prescribe treatment that must be followed before students may return to school.
In conjunction with our school nurses, Lou Jones and Aly Alwinson, we have implemented some additional protocols to help prevent the spread of illnesses at The Geneva School.

While the coronavirus is all over the news, we are focused on the general prevention of all illnesses and recognize that the flu has been particularly impactful this year. We also tend to see stomach viruses affecting students in the April and May months.

Hand washing has always been a part of our healthy school culture, but we are asking the students to wash hands or use hand sanitizer more frequently. Extra dispensers are available on both campuses. The students are also receiving friendly verbal reminders to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose, and mouth.

We are disinfecting items in the classrooms daily in addition to our cleaning crew disinfecting door handles, toilets, sinks, door latches, and light switches nightly.

We love our students and want to come alongside them in maintaining their health and keep them having great days here at school.

As for our 5th, 6th, and 8th grade field trips to Williamsburg, Washington, D.C., and Boston that are scheduled for April and May, we are currently planning to proceed with those but will take any travel advisories that come from our government into consideration if they are issued.

Please reach out by phone or email if you have any questions.

Helpful information can be found at the following websites:

For The Geneva School administration,
Robert F. Ingram

The Geneva School
The Geneva School

Nothing from May 29, 2020 to June 3, 2020.

Nothing from May 29, 2020 to June 3, 2020.

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