2020-2021 Planning

Grymes is committed to operating on our beautiful campus during the full 2020-2021 academic year as long as it is safe for our students and faculty and there are no statewide restrictions preventing schools from opening their campuses.

At the heart of the Grymes mission are people. Our school is a loving, supportive community of teachers, students, and parents whose relationships provide the foundation for all aspects of our programs. Those relationships are best fostered through daily personal interactions, and we know that student academic and social growth is optimized through in-person engagement with teachers and peers.

At the same time, we recognize the critical importance of maintaining a safe campus environment for all members of our community. To this end, new policies and protocols that promote health and safety will be implemented.

Given the uncertainty of the future, we are developing a robust off-campus plan in order to be prepared for any disruption to the school year. Our remote learning and hybrid learning models are designed to keep students on track with their learning and to maintain community connections even when apart. With their unmatched commitment and creativity, our teachers have a proven record of advancing the Grymes mission whether we are on or off campus.

Task forces

Under a Crisis Planning Team, three task forces are currently developing the Grymes campus reopening plan: Health and Safety, Academic Planning, and Financial Considerations. Over the summer, using recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health, and other state and federal resources, each task force will continue to develop policies and procedures for the upcoming school year.


We will continue to update parents on a regular basis throughout the summer.


Our health and safety preparedness planning will be built on prevention, detection, and response. Exposure to the virus will be minimized through faculty training, education about the virus and good hygiene, and physical distancing. Monitoring the regional situation and screening all visitors to campus will help ensure that we identify potential risks. Established protocols and communication with local health officials and our school community will guide our efforts to respond appropriately to situations we might encounter.

Health screening and monitoring

All students and teachers will undergo daily temperature checks.

Student temperatures will be checked before boarding buses at the end of the day.

All visitors will be screened, and there will be restrictions on access to the building.

A visitor log will be maintained.

Students and faculty who are ill or have symptoms will be required to stay home.


Handwashing and hand sanitizing will be practiced frequently, including before and after eating.

Posters will help to remind students to wash hands and follow basic rules of hygiene.

Adequate supplies and back-up personal protective equipment will be maintained.

Physical distancing and spaces

Desks will spread out in classrooms.

Students will be spaced on buses.

Travel through the school building will be reduced.

Limits will be placed on the size of gatherings.

Opening windows to increase circulation will be encouraged.

Face coverings

Face coverings will be expected when physical distancing cannot be maintained, e.g., when arriving to      and leaving school, but not necessarily in class.

Cleaning and disinfecting

Desks, tables, and other surfaces will be cleaned periodically throughout the day.

The cleaning staff will more thoroughly clean the entire campus on a daily basis.

Buses will be cleaned after each route.


Teachers will be trained in prevention and detection techniques in addition to response protocols.

Students will receive instruction on good hygiene and other preventative measures.


Families play a crucial role in helping us maintain a safe campus. First and foremost, parents should keep their child(ren) at home if they are sick, show any symptoms, or have been in contact with a COVID-19 case. This summer we are updating our handbooks to include more information on how families can do their part to minimize transmission and prevent any future outbreak. With the help of state and federal guidelines, we must all work together for the well-being of our students, teachers, parents, and all community members.


Academic continuity

A top priority is to maintain academic support and continuity for every student regardless of the circumstances. We aim to resume on-campus learning for our entire student body, but we are also developing plans for remote learning and a hybrid model if forced to move off campus by the virus or an executive order.


Safety protocols

Seating in classrooms will be spread out.

Travel to multiple classrooms will be reduced.

Mixing of groups and sharing of supplies will be discouraged and limited.

Programmatic changes

Recess and other outdoor activities will be modified as needed.

PE classes will be split to reduce mixing of classes.

Schedules are likely to be adjusted.

Assemblies in the gym are unlikely to be held.

Grymes traditions, such as Partner Days, Class Plays, and Declamations, may have to be celebrated in creative ways.

Teachers will take advantage of our beautiful campus by conducting classes outside when possible.

Remote learning


Grymes students will continue to be nurtured and challenged to grow in knowledge, skills, and good habits.

The Grymes pillars — honor, kindness, respect and responsibility — will continue to serve as ideals to strive for in all situations.

Teachers will provide appropriate levels of accountability in an effort to help students grow in independence and self-discipline.


A daily schedule will be used to ensure structure, predictability, accountability, engagement, and class cohesion.

The remote learning schedule will not attempt to replicate our on-campus schedule, but it will provide 3-4 age-appropriate lessons/class meetings each day to ensure effective content delivery and peer interaction.

Students will receive regular instruction from both core subject and specials teachers as well as regular connections with classmates.

Hybrid model

An educational model that combines on-campus and remote learning will be used if circumstances or a state requirement limits our campus capacity.

Sports and co-curricular programs

Athletics will likely be limited to practices, skill-building drills, and conditioning activities that allow for physical distancing.

Co-curricular programs will be available to the fullest extent possible.


Tuition assistance budget

This year the tuition assistance budget has been increased in recognition of the financial hardships caused by the virus and shutdown.

Tuition assistance will continue to be made available through an online application process with SSS.

Commitment to families

Grymes is committed to working with families that are experiencing particularly difficult circumstances.

“Grymes went above and beyond to create meaningful lessons, engage students, and nurture classroom bonds during the unexpected time of remote learning. We continue to be grateful for the support the GMS community provided for families…The care, thoughtfulness, and creativity the Grymes community showed during this challenging time is a testament to strength and dedication of the faculty and staff. We are proud to be Grizzlies!”
~The Sydnor Family