GRACE News

August 25, 2020 | Amazing GRACE

WANT TO BE A GRACE BUSINESS PARTNER?

GRACE appreciates the support of local businesses who have partner with us and contribute to the success of many of our special events. We encourage the GRACE family to choose our business partners when you have a need for their products/services. Additionally, we encourage you to consult the GRACE Business Directory, a listing of companies owned by members of the GRACE community.

If you are interested in becoming a business partner with GRACE, please see below or refer to the Business Partner Information Sheet to see what is included at each level. For more information, contact Eric Bradley at EBradley@GRACEChristian.net.

To sign up as a business partner, complete the Business Partner Commitment Form.

SEPTEMBER VIRTUAL LEARNING SIGN-UP

If you are interested in having your children register for off-site learning for the month of September, please follow this link and complete the registration form. By doing so, you are registering your child to remain in off-site learning beginning Monday, August 31, through Friday, October 2. Registration must be completed by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26.

PLEASE NOTE: The annual ERB standardized testing for grades 2 through 8 will take place the week of September 28 through October 2. Any student wishing to take the ERB will have to be on campus to do so. If you want your child to participate in off-site learning for the month but come on to campus to participate in the ERB testing, please contact Academic Dean Julia Taylor (jtaylor@gracechristian.net). This must be done by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 26.

GO… PLAY… SAVE!

Don’t forget about our PTF GoPlaySave fundraiser! Our goal is to raise $11,000! Money raised funds our care team that supports our families during times of joy or times of bereavement, and blesses our teachers and staff throughout the year. Visit the GRACE storefront here to purchase a mobile or paper book for yourself and/or gift to friends and family. GoPlaySave will help you support PTF while saving money throughout the year! Many people make their money back several times over with all of the great buy-one, get-one free savings to restaurants, savings to retail and services, as well as fun places! With over $10,000 in local savings and 365 merchants, you are sure to enjoy saving money while exploring the Triangle with your friends and family! PTF earns 50% profit of all sales. Click here to see how to set up a custom link to share and track your sales. Here is a video that shows more about going mobile that shows more about going mobile and redeeming coupons from your smartphone.

SCHOOL PICTURES

School picture day will be held Friday, September 4th through Lifetouch. You can pre-order pictures using the event ID: EVTNSTGCB. We will be taking photos of virtual students on campuses from 11:30-12:30 pm. They can come in just for those times as they will be reserved (unless we are running long). Otherwise, virtual students may take their school pictures during re-take day on October 13th.

LOWER CAMPUS CARPOOL

Please remember: Students should remain in their cars until the front doors open in carpool each morning at 7:40 a.m. (on the lower campus) and no student can be signed out on the lower campus after 2:40 p.m. After that point, the student will have to be picked up in carpool. Also – if a family has multiple cars picking up in the afternoons, please use the carpool tag we provided for one car, and you can request for additional green cardstock carpool cards (or use ones you had from last year) as back-up. Just make sure you record your designated carpool number on the green cardstock card under your last name and display it on your dashboard.

Additional updates:
1. We will be adding a couple of extra drop-off stations in the mornings to try and expedite the arrival process.  
2. In order to keep the carpool line moving as quickly as possible, it is extremely helpful if your children can be masked up and ready to hop out of the car when you pull up to your cone for drop off.  Our staff members are happy to help the younger children as much as they can, but it helps a lot if they can be waiting with their masks on and all of their other belongings in hand when the staff member opens the door for them.  
3. We need to be good neighbors to the Hope community, and they have some preschool families who happen to be dropping children off during our arrival window each morning.  Therefore, we need to keep our traffic to one lane in the back of the parking lot during arrival each morning.  This will allow these parents to drive around to Hope’s rear parking lot once they reach this part of our carpool loop.  Our afternoon dismissal time does NOT overlap with Hope’s, so we can continue to use a double line in the rear lot in the afternoons. 
4. If, at any point, your child is not at his/her assigned cone when you pull up during dismissal, you will be sent to our “holding” zone in the staff parking area.  If you are asked to pull to “holding,” please be sure to make a right turn into this parking lot and drive all the way to the back to make a U-turn before returning to the front of that lot to wait for your child.  This allows room for any additional cars that may need to pull to holding at the same time; and, it places your car in a much safer position for both you and your child.  

REMINDERS

School Lunches: We are excited to continue our Hot Lunch program with the first lunches being served on September 1st. The ordering period for September will open on Thursday, August 20th, and will close on Tuesday, August 25th. An email will be sent to all families when hot lunch ordering is open and a reminder email before it closes. Remember: we will not allow outside deliveries for lunch this year.

Social Media: Make sure you are following GRACE on Facebook and Instagram. We love sharing updates on fun things happening on campus!

COVID Protocols: Remember to regularly check our “Together Again” packet for information related to our operating procedures. Campus-specific information for Lower Campus can be found here and Upper Campus can be found here.

NEW STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Meet Mrs. Kaitlyn Strawser, 4th grade teacher! 


“I moved from Lynchburg, Virginia to Raleigh this summer. I have a husband named Clark, and we have been married for 3 years. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6. I am excited to be part of the GRACE community because I am looking forward to being a part of a Christian school environment again!” 

COMING UP

COMMUNITY PRAYER
Thursdays and Fridays

We are inviting families to join us for a virtual weekly lunchtime prayer meeting hosted by Director of Christian Life, Mr. Whelpley. The prayer times will take place every Thursday at noon. Parents can join the prayer time using the following info each week:

Community Prayer Link/Call Details:
Meeting ID: meet.google.com/uje-hhxy-sri
Phone Numbers: ‪+1 321-529-9147‬
PIN: ‪934 553 124#‬

Additionally, every Friday from 1 – 2 p.m., GRACE parents will hold a virtual prayer group through Zoom. This prayer time is led by GRACE mothers Kelly Malacinski and Lorie Ritterskamp. All GRACE parents and grandparents are welcome to join:

GRACE Parents Zoom Call Details:
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/463476563
Meeting ID: 463 476 563

We hope to be a school community that continually pours out God’s promises over our students.

UPPER CAMPUS | LAST DAY FOR DROPPING/ADDING CLASSES
August 28th
Upper campus students have 10 school days to finalize their schedules. Last day of Drop / Add will be Friday, August 28th. 

SCHOOL SNAPSHOT

Thanks to Annual Fund giving, this summer we were able to upgrade our Lower Campus playground – now complete with a ninja course, gaga ball pit and new shade canopies.

We trust our Lower Campus students will waste no time breaking in the new equipment!

August 18, 2020 | Amazing GRACE

WELCOME BACK, EAGLES!

We are so grateful for last week’s staggered entry back to school. We hope your students felt safe, happy and prepared for a wonderful 2020-2021 school year. Traditionally, at each Parent Orientation Night, Head of School Mr. Bradley leads our families in praying over the students using our Vision Statement as a model. Unfortunately, the virtual Parent Orientation Night format does not lend itself to an effective way of conducting the prayer. We encourage all our families to pray this prayer over their children, their classmates, and all of the students at GRACE throughout the year.

Lord, I pray (student’s name) will be grounded in God’s Word and challenged to achieve academic excellence as (he/she) prepares to use (his/her) gifts and abilities effectively to follow God’s plan for (his/her) life. Amen.

We are also inviting families to join us for a virtual weekly lunchtime prayer meeting hosted by Director of Christian Life, Mr. Whelpley. The prayer times will take place every Thursday at noon. Parents can join the prayer time using the following info each week:

Community Prayer Link/Call Details:
Meeting ID: meet.google.com/uje-hhxy-sri
Phone Numbers: ‪+1 321-529-9147‬
PIN: ‪934 553 124#‬

Additionally, every Friday from 1 – 2 p.m., GRACE parents will hold a virtual prayer group through Zoom. This prayer time is led by GRACE mothers Kelly Malacinski and Lorie Ritterskamp. All GRACE parents and grandparents are welcome to join:

GRACE Parents Zoom Call Details:
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/463476563
Meeting ID: 463 476 563

We hope to be a school community that continually pours out God’s promises over our students.

SAVE THE DATES: COFFEE WITH THE PRINCIPALS 

Are you an Upper Campus parent with questions about grade level, upper campus or college planning? Upper Campus Principal, Mandy Gill, and Director of College Counseling, Cathy Cole, will be available for discussion and questions. These meetings will be held virtually. You can find the Google Hangout link by clicking the event date on the school calendar and selecting “copy to my calendar.”

Sept 3, 8:15 – 9:15 a.m. – 7th Grade Parents
Sept 8, 8:15 – 9:15 a.m. – 8th Grade Parents
Sept 10, 8:15 – 9:15 a.m. – 9th Grade Parents
Sept 15, 8:15 – 9:15 a.m. – 10th Grade Parents
Sept 17, 8:15 – 9:15 a.m.  – 11th and 12th Grade Parents

Are you a Lower Campus parent who wants to learn more about what this year looks like for your student? Dr. Lynnae Morris will hold virtual coffees with the principal on the following dates:

Sept 3, 9:15  – 10:15 a.m. – 2nd Grade Parents
Sept 8, 9:15  – 10:15 a.m. – TK Parents
Sept 10, 9:15  – 10:15 a.m. – 3rd Grade Parents
Sept 15, 9:15  – 10:15 a.m. – Kindergarten Parents
Sept 17, 9:15  – 10:15 a.m. – 4th Grade Parents
Sept 22, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. – 1st Grade Parents
Sept 24, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. – 5th Grade Parents
Sept 29, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. – 6th Grade Parents

Links to the virtual coffees for Lower Campus families will be sent out by grade-level teachers in the coming weeks.

LOWER CAMPUS CARPOOL

Please remember: students should remain in their cars until the front doors open in carpool each morning at 7:40 a.m. (on the lower campus) and no student can be signed out on the lower campus after 2:40 p.m. After that point, the student will have to be picked up in carpool. Also – if a family has multiple cars picking up in the afternoons, please use the carpool tag we provided for one car, and you can request for additional green cardstock carpool cards (or use ones you had from last year) as back-up. Just make sure you record your designated carpool number on the green cardstock card under your last name and display it on your dashboard.

AFTER-SCHOOL SHUTTLE INFO

For students participating in GRACE athletics, the following information relates to our after-school shuttle transportation:

  • You must wear a cloth face covering before boarding, for the duration of the trip, and when exiting the bus.
  • Use hand sanitizer when boarding.
  • Windows will be down on the bus.
  • NO eating or drinking on the bus. 
  • Only ONE student per bench seat.
  • Students will need to wait and load the bus immediately before departure; students should not sit on the bus while waiting for departure.
  • Students should LOAD back to front and EXIT front to back so no one is walking past each other on the bus.
  • High touch areas will be wiped down and disinfected prior to loading the next set of students.

AFFINITY PROGRAMS 

Want an easy way to give back to GRACE? Several of the stores and sites you regularly frequent offer ways to give back to our school…

Amazon – smile.amazon.com: AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers. Select GREATER RALEIGH AREA CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, INC. to designate GRACE as your charitable organization.

Harris Teeter – Together in Education: Harris Teeter’s Together In Education program gives schools a chance to earn funds when you link your VIC card and shop Harris Teeter brands. There are NO LIMITS to how much a school can earn. Link your VIC card to GRACE by selecting 2768 GRACE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL RALEIGH on the Harris Teeter Together in Education Webpage. Click here to link your VIC card today. (Must be re-linked every year!)

Lowes Foods: With Cart to Class, Lowes Foods designated schools will be rewarded based on the amount of Lowes Foods Private Label items you purchase. Select GRACE from the eligible school list on the Lowe’s Back 2 Schools website.

Publix Partners: Through Publix Partners, all purchases made at Publix will help earn money for our school. For every $37,500 spent cumulatively by GRACE families, Publix will award GRACE $250. Pick up a Publix Partner bar code card at either campus reception desk and scan it at check out.

Box Tops for Education: Each box top is worth 10¢ for our school! Look for the pink Box Tops on hundreds of products, clip, and submit to either campus office. No registration or linking is required, although you can earn bonus box tops by joining on the Box Tops website. Search for 27606 (swipe left to see the full list of schools) and select GRACE.

Shutterfly: Our Shutterfly Storefront is a great way for parents, teachers and staff to earn money for GRACE –without the time commitment of a traditional fundraiser.  You need to simply use this unique URL to shop, and GRACE Christian School receives 8% commission on every order–without doing a thing. It’s that easy.

REMINDERS

School Lunches: We are excited to continue our Hot Lunch program with the first lunches being served on September 1st. The ordering period for September will open on Thursday, August 20th, and will close on Tuesday, August 25th. An email will be sent to all families when hot lunch ordering is open and a reminder email before it closes. Remember: we will not allow outside deliveries for lunch this year.

Social Media: Make sure you are following GRACE on Facebook and Instagram. We love sharing updates on fun things happening on campus!

COVID Protocols: Remember to regularly check our “Together Again” packet for information related to our operating procedures. Campus-specific information for Lower Campus can be found here and Upper Campus can be found here.

GO… PLAY… SAVE!

This week kicks off the PTF GoPlaySave fundraiser! Our goal is to raise $11,000! Money raised funds our care team that supports our families during times of joy or times of bereavement, and blesses our teachers and staff throughout the year. Visit the GRACE storefront here to purchase a mobile or paper book for yourself and/or gift to friends and family. GoPlaySave will help you support PTF while saving money throughout the year! Many people make their money back several times over with all of the great buy-one, get-one free savings to restaurants, savings to retail and services, as well as fun places! With over $10,000 in local savings and 365 merchants, you are sure to enjoy saving money while exploring the Triangle with your friends and family! PTF earns 50% profit of all sales. Click here to see how to set up a custom link to share and track your sales. Here is a video that shows more about going mobile that shows more about going mobile and redeeming coupons from your smartphone.

NEW STAFF SPOTLIGHT

Meet Mrs. Amy Stevens, middle school social studies teacher! 

“Hi! I’m Amy Stevens and I just moved to the Raleigh area in June. My family and I moved from Blacksburg, VA (GO HOKIES) where I taught high school for 17 years. I have two sons, one in college in Mississippi and one who is now an 8th grader at GRACE! We are so excited to be part of GRACE and we are looking forward to a great school year. My favorite Scripture verse is Nahum 1:7 – “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” I’m so excited to get to know my students, their families and all of those that make GRACE such a great place to be.”

COMING UP

UPPER CAMPUS | LAST DAY FOR DROPPING/ADDING CLASSES
August 28th
Upper campus students have 10 school days to finalize their schedules. Last day of Drop / Add will be Friday, August 28th. 

SCHOOL SNAPSHOT
We know this has been a different start to the school year, and we’re so sad we haven’t been able to walk all our families through our doors to welcome you! We promise to regular share pictures of the fun things taking place at GRACE. 

Take a look at students last week learning the new protocols our administration put in place to keep our staff and students safe!

Upper Campus Reopening Plan

GRACE families,

This summer has been one to remember! So many details, so many questions, so many decisions! It has been a privilege to work alongside this team and see how much each one cares for the safety and well-being of our students and families. We have worked with singleness of heart and mind towards the goal of having our students back on campus in a safe learning environment. For more details on how we’re doing this, please refer to the Together Again Reopening Plan. We are so looking forward to hearing the students and teachers in the halls again! Thank you for trusting us with your students and partnering with us in their education.

Blessings,

Mandy Gill, Upper Campus Principal

Here are some of the details you need to know: 

Safety

  • As part of the GRACE Parent Health Agreement document, which is included in the Parent Forms below, each student or parent will need to attest to good health when coming on campus each day.
  • Every person who enters the building will have their temperature checked using the Body Thermo Machines. Any student with a temperature above 100.0 will not be allowed to remain at school. A second reading will be taken after five minutes to confirm the initial reading. 
  • Face coverings everyday – Wear a mask!
  • Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing. 
  • When moving throughout the buildings, please remain on the right side of the hallway and follow the arrows. Additionally, please space 6 feet apart.
  • Every classroom has a designated entrance and exit. 
  • To minimize the risk of exposure, we will begin the school year by limiting access to our buildings to students, teachers, and essential personnel.

Lunches

  • Grades will be staggered in the lunchroom. One grade will sit in the Student Center while the other will eat outside in the new extension of the dining area of the Upper Campus Student Center or up in the Chapel depending on the weather. 
  • Touchless water fountains and faucets are being installed throughout the campus for students to refill their water bottles. Please bring your own water bottle every day. 
  • We will not allow any food delivery services, such as GrubHub, DoorDash, or pizza deliveries, during the school day. Please note that this is not only a COVID-19-related health concern, but also a necessary security step to further protect our campus. 

Assemblies and Events

  • There will be no all-school assemblies until further notice. 
  • Chapels will be conducted with smaller groups of students during their Bible periods on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. 
  • We have created a new “Community Building” period  on Thursday during period 7 for Middle School and period 8 for High School. During this time period, students will meet in peer groups to participate in teacher-led activities focused on emotional support and guidance, devotions, team-building exercises, and additional relevant topics, such as college counseling. 
  • All field trips have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Parent meetings will take place virtually or after school hours.

Classroom Environment

  • As much as possible, students will be grouped by grade level and will be kept in cohort groups.
  • As much as possible, teachers will move rather than students. 
  • When students have to move, they will clean their area at the end of each period to prepare for the next student. In classrooms where desks can’t be physically separated, we are installing plexiglass dividers on desks to reduce contact between students.

Off-Campus Learning Environment

  • Any student may opt for virtual learning. Students may opt out as needed but may only opt back into in-person instruction at the end of each month.
  • GRACE will provide an off-campus learning environment for students who 1) are considered – or live with someone who is considered – “high risk” for COVID-19: 2) are dealing with an illness, or; 3) are not comfortable returning to campus.
  • Technology will be in place for teachers to provide synchronous instruction for these students. Each classroom will be equipped with a Swivl device to enable teachers to provide synchronous instruction for students who are not on campus. Students in grades 5-12 will be able to observe and participate in class during live instruction via Google Hangout as they did previously in VLE and classes will be recorded for students who are unable to participate during live instruction due to extenuating circumstances. 
  • Teachers are working on content-specific strategies for assessment. 
  • Students participating in lab-based classes may be asked to come to campus after school hours.

Return to Campus and Computer Hand-Out Schedule

All students and parents will need to sign the GRACE Devices Acceptable Use Policy Agreement before they will receive their devices. Please carefully read all sections of the policy. Parents and students must agree to all sections of the policy before GRACE devices will be issued to the student. After you submit this form, you will receive a copy of the completed Acceptable Use Policy Agreement at the email address entered within the form.A separate form must be completed for each student.  

Schedule for the First Three Days

These days will be focused on: distribution of devices, training on protocols throughout the school, training on what off-site learning will look like and course overviewsFor those new students, along with those whom have selected to begin the year in off-site learning, you can pick up their devices, textbooks, and necessary supplies on Tuesday, 8/11, from 8:00 to 10 a.m.

Back to School Trainings and Meetings

  • New students are asked to participate in a Google Hangout for computer training on Tuesday, 8/11 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • There with be a virtual parent meeting for new students and 7th grade parents on 8/11 beginning at 3 p.m. 
  • For new parents with technology questions, we will hold a virtual meeting on 8/11 at 4 p.m.

Links to these meetings will be provided in the coming days.

Zero Period, Before and Aftercare 

Zero period students will enter the building near the science rooms and will have their temperatures checked by their zero period teachers. Students who arrive from 7:30 am will be allowed in the building but must go directly to their first period class after having their temperature checked. Aftercare begins on Monday 8/17 on both campuses.

Transportation Between Campuses

No transportation of other students – students should walk between campuses with supervision. 

Carpool

For carpool instructions, please refer to the carpool map linked here.

Driving onto Campus Between 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

All visitors and late arrivals, including student drivers, who arrive on campus between 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. are required to park in front of the Upper Campus building and enter through the main entrance. All drivers will enter campus as they normally would – at the entrance closest to the cafeteria, but will be required to make an immediate left and park in front of the building. This provides greater safety by limiting traffic through our campus and funneling everyone through the main entrance. Students who attempt to bypass the traffic barriers that will be in place between 8:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. will lose their driving privilege.  

Modified Schedules

  • We will operate on an eight-period schedule on Monday, Thursday and Friday and a four-period schedule on Tuesday (odd periods) and Wednesday (even periods.) Electives will be on a two week rotation. One week electives will meet on Monday and Friday and the next week they will have a double period on either Tuesday (Middle School) or Wednesday (High School). See UC Bell Schedules
  • As we work through the differences in assessments and grading in the virtual environment, we have also made the adjustment of removing summative quarter grades but will allow the grades to run all the way to the end of the semester. This will allow teachers to spread due dates more evenly through the semester. Grades will still be accessible at any time and families will get the Sunday updates. 

Late Work Changes

Any major assignment turned in late will receive a 10% deduction in grade before the teacher actually grades the assignment. Homework assignments must be handed in on the day they are due. If a homework assignment is checked in class, it may not be handed in late and the student will receive a zero for the assignment (two of homework grades will be dropped per semester). More details can be found here: GRACE Christian School – Parent/Student Handbook – 2020-2021.
School Supplies and Summer Reading

It is important for students to get the supplies listed for their classes. Unfortunately students may not share supplies this year. Don’t forget to complete summer reading and all AP summer work before coming back on campus. 

Dress Code

Check the handbook for minor updates including graphics for t-shirts and masks. More details can be found here: GRACE Christian School – Parent/Student Handbook – 2020-2021.

Parent and Student Forms

Before heading back to campus, we ask for all parents to complete the Upper Campus Parent Forms. These forms must be filled out by a parent for each student on the upper campus. Additionally, all our upper campus students are required to complete the Upper Campus Student Forms. For students that may need to receive regular medical attention while on campus, we request you fill out the Request for Medical Attention Form. For students with allergies who may need to receive treatment while on campus, please download our Allergy Action Plan. It will need to be signed by a healthcare provider and submitted in paper copy to our school nurse, Natalie Morreale. 

Parent Orientation

Parent orientation will be held virtually on Monday, August 17th. More information to follow.