Geneva School of Boerne continues to track news and information about the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, nationally and in the Boerne/San Antonio area. Our first priority is to do everything we can on campus to follow health and safety guidelines for our students, faculty, staff and school community. Our goal is to provide timely updates in regard to this evolving situation and give helpful resources. We will update this site as information becomes available.

We reopened our campus on Tuesday, September 8 with On-Campus Instruction. Fully Remote Instruction also began on September 8 for those families who chose that option. We continue to monitor local, state and national requirements and regulations regarding COVID-19 as we implement best practices to protect our students, faculty and staff. Click here to see the Fall 2020 Reopening Plan.

Please review the FAQs below for the most current information we have for our Geneva community. Please check ParentSquare for specific information pertaining to the school calendar, class schedules, events, practices and student requirements. Let’s stay connected through Geneva’s social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. May you know the peace that is only found in Jesus Christ as we navigate these uncertain times together. Blessings on you and your family.

Can parents come to campus?

Parents are asked to refrain from coming to campus during the school day except for drop-off and pick-up times. It is our preference for parents to minimize student doctor/dentist appointments during the school day and ask that parents try to schedule appointments for their students at the beginning or near the end of the day in order to lesson traffic and disruption on campus during this time. Thank you.

What do I do if my child has COVID-19 symptoms?

Please keep you child at home and contact the Geneva School nurse through the Daily Health Screening Tool in ParentSquare.

Is it necessary to screen my student at home each morning even though the first teacher of the day screens her?

Yes. All students, faculty and staff must complete and submit the Daily Health Screening in ParentSquare prior to coming to campus. In addition, the student’s first teacher of the day will take each student’s temperature before entering the classroom.

Letters from Administration

September 4, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

As we have worked to prepare the Geneva campus and community for the school year, I have reflected quite a bit on Geneva’s move to Cascade Caverns Road in 2004. This summer has in many ways reminded me of that summer as I referenced in an earlier communication. So, as I gathered my thoughts for this message to the school community, I thought I’d share our family’s first day of school picture that year. (Pictured: Carol, Kinder and Davis, 2nd Grade) While it was an exciting summer for Geneva, it was also filled with a lot of physical preparation and thought about processes and procedures.

There were some things that we were able to manage with the resources we had, but many others were squarely outside of our control. Four days before this picture was taken, the Friday before Labor Day, we didn’t have any power to our campus. That meant, as most of us (parent volunteers, board members, teachers) left campus on Friday, we did so with the understanding that there was a good possibility that school would start on Tuesday without lights or air conditioning. While it certainly wasn’t ideal or what anyone wanted, we were still so thankful we had a school and it was starting on Tuesday.

I share this not as a “good old days” kind of story, but instead one of great hope. We were hopeful for an incredible school year despite less than ideal circumstances. We believed then, as we believe now that our Geneva education is a treasure that makes those kinds of challenges and inconveniences pale. After a summer full of navigating so many things that are outside of our control, we are also thankful now in 2020 to be starting school on Tuesday.

Starting our School Day Together
One of our beloved daily experiences on campus is our Faculty/Staff Morning Devotion time. Many of you may not know that all employees are (in most years) invited to gather in the Lyceum every morning at 7:40am. We circle up, share prayer requests, sing a hymn together and then listen to the reading of scripture and a devotional shared by a member of the Admin Team. We pray together and then we head out into our day on campus. Because we are not able to gather in this way right now, we have changed things up a little bit. We are hosting our Faculty Devotions as a podcast on Spotify and are inviting all of you to join us each morning. Below, you will find a link to the devotional podcast as well as to a playlist of our favorite hymns. We encourage you to join us each morning for this time as you get ready at home or as you drive to school. While we cannot start our school year together with an assembly in the Lyceum or MPB, we can align our hearts, minds and voices together through this format. I am excited to think about this community beginning each day together in this way. There is unity in the Body of Christ.

Thank you for your partnership in the mission of this school. I am grateful for the opportunity to journey together in the 2020-2021 school year.

Gratefully,
Amy Metzger
Interim Head of School

GSB Morning Devotional

GSB Morning Devotional Hymns

July 31, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

As you consider the information the headmasters sent out yesterday specific to Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric schools, we have also created the attached Fall 2020 Reopening Plan – Phase 1 document so you can make an informed decision about choosing On-Campus Instruction or Remote Instruction.

This document was created to help you process what reopening our campus will look like with all the information we have to date. We want you to have as much information as possible to make the decision about returning to school in the fall.

Remember that we need every family to complete the form sent in the ParentSquare post on July 17 titled “Campus Re-Opening Task Force Update #4” indicating your official choice of On-Campus Instruction or Remote Instruction for the first quarter. The deadline to complete this form is Tuesday, August 4.   

Gratefully,
Amy Metzger

Fall 2020 Reopening Plan – Phase I 

July 17, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the survey we sent earlier this week. It was so good to hear from you and get a little insight into your hopes and plans for the year.

In 2004, when Geneva School of Boerne moved from the campus of St. John Lutheran Church to 113 Cascade Caverns Road, everything on the “outside” was different. We didn’t have a historic chapel for assemblies. We didn’t have a Shepherd House for a lunch room. We didn’t have a sanctuary for parents to meet in or a gymnasium for P.E. No, lunch would be in a classroom. Assemblies happened outside. P.E class was in a field.

But, in the midst of all that was different, it was still Geneva.

How we did things looked a little different, but we remained true to who we were. In our gratitude for how God had provided for us and our sincere belief that the season of “different” would be temporary we continued do and be those things that were part of our mission and core.

I share that with you because that is what I believe about this next school year. In the midst of things that will be temporarily different, we will still be Geneva. This week, I met with the faculty of each school: Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric and we talked about this very thing. I have already begun to receive messages and ideas from them about creative ways to bring the distinctives and joy of Geneva to this next school year. Because, that’s who we are. We are Geneva.

Attached to this post you will find an overview for the start of the school year. Our plan is to start school on Tuesday, September 8 with On-Campus Instruction for Grammar School and Logic School and an On-Campus/Remote Blend for Rhetoric School. Fully Remote Instruction will begin on Tuesday, September 8 for those who choose that option.

While the attached document is long and full of information, I know that many of you will have additional questions. On Monday, you will receive an invitation to join me on a Zoom call, scheduled for next Thursday, July 23 at 7pm. With that invitation, you will be given instructions about submitting any questions you may have.   

Also within this post is a form that we need every family to complete indicating your official choice of On-Campus Instruction or Remote Instruction for the first quarter. The deadline to complete this form is Tuesday, August 4.

Thank you to so many who have reached out with encouragement and for all of you who have been praying over this school. It is a great privilege to be a part of the kingdom work at Geneva.

Gratefully,
Amy Metzger

We know that many of you have questions about extracurricular activities such as athletics. Today, we received an update from TAPPS regarding fall sports.  Please see Geneva social media accounts for a brief overview.  You will receive more information early next week after the district meeting on Monday.

July 8, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

In our last task force update, I communicated that we would let you know any new information as soon as possible. I wanted to honor that statement and let you know that late yesterday, we received official guidelines from the state regarding the fall semester. We are so encouraged by the fact that the guidelines are very much in line with the planning we have done thus far. The task force has already been hard at work today adding detail to our “layers” and to our plans for classroom and extracurricular programming.

Next week, you will receive another update and an invitation to our first Zoom Town Hall scheduled for Thursday, July 23. You will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance. I look forward to the chance to provide more information and answer your questions as we move toward the 2020-2021 school year.

Gratefully,
Amy Metzger

July 3, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

Please read the following important information regarding summer activity on the Geneva campus.

In light of Governor Abbott’s Executive Order (July 2, 2020) and given the significant increase in active cases in the greater San Antonio and Kendall County area, the school will follow CDC guidance by requiring that face coverings (cloth face covering, surgical mask, etc.) be worn by all individuals (faculty, staff and visitors) in the following areas:

  1. Inside school buildings except when alone in a private office or classroom
  2. Outdoor spaces where six feet of physical distancing is difficult to reliably maintain

MASK-WEARING BEST PRACTICES:

  • Make sure your mask covers both your nose and mouth.
  • Take care when putting on and taking off your mask, washing hands after both.
  • Wash your cloth masks frequently.
  • Masks are not a substitute for social distancing six feet from others.
  • When you cannot wear a mask—such as when eating or drinking—maintain social distancing.
  • We will keep you updated on any changes to these guidelines. Thank you so much for your cooperation.

I pray that you are able to have a restful weekend, celebrating safely with your family.

Gratefully,
Amy Metzger

June 26, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

Our Re-Opening Task Force has been hard at work planning for the start of school. Please take a moment to watch this video and read the attached documents for the most up-to-date information.

Blessings,
Amy Metzger

2020-2021 GSB Re-Opening Road Map

Re-Opening FAQs

June 1, 2020 Update

Geneva’s plan is to resume school on campus on September 8, 2020. We continue to monitor local, state and national requirements and regulations regarding COVID-19 and make preparations to implement yet-to-be-determined best practices to protect our students, faculty and staff.

“We know that safety will demand flexibility and we are doing the hard work of trying to anticipate every likely scenario. A school-wide task force consisting of key stakeholders from administration, facilities, food service, communications, human resources, the business office, on-campus security team, as well as our school nurse has been formed to continue to monitor public policy, explore various scenarios, and anticipate potential needs,” Board of Trustees Chair Debbie Ledoux said.

Grammar School Updates

April 3, 2020 – Week 2 Update from The Eaglet’s Nest

Dear Parents,

We made it another week! Did you let some things go? I hope so. Thank you for all the encouraging emails and comments to the teachers and me. We also thank you for feedback. We want to get better at this remote learning opportunity; therefore, your input is invaluable.

Plan for weeks 4-6 (April 13-May 1):

Friday, April 10:

  • Teachers will have packets ready at 8:00 a.m. You will find a Ziploc bag with your student’s name outside the classroom. Please keep your children in the car and adhere to the social distancing guidelines when picking up/dropping off packets.
  • Please return student work outside the classroom door in a labeled Ziploc bag. Please return completed and incomplete work. We need to assess how the children are doing. We are working as a school to establish grading criteria. In the meantime, make sure your student is doing their best work in line with Geneva expectations.

Important Zoom Information:
For the safety of our students and teachers we will be using passwords for each class. Please refer to the Weekly Overview for meeting IDs and passwords. We have disabled the screen share, sharing files and chat features which prevents “Trolls” and “ZoomBombing.” We have enabled the “Waiting Room” feature which allows the teacher to control who joins the meeting. Please make sure your device shows your family name.  If a device has a name a teacher does not recognize they will not be admitted to the meeting.

May your homes be filled with love, joy and peace during this trying time. Please send pictures and emails with the creative things you are doing to enhance your student’s education. I miss you all!

With Love,
Jessica Gombert
Grammar School Headmaster

 

March 27, 2020 – Week 1 Update from The Eaglet’s Nest

Dear Parents,

By the grace of God, we have made it through our first week of remote learning. Your input has been helpful and your encouragement invaluable. We are tweaking some things and learning everyday how to be remote teachers. We understand that you are adjusting as well. This new way of school is going to take some adjustment with much grace extended to one another. Please do as much as you are able and let your teacher know if you are unable to complete some of the assignments. They desire to help.

Zoom Meetings
Zoom meetings are now mandatory. We believe them to be valuable teaching times. Every Grammar School student should attend the Zoom “class” on Tuesdays and Thursdays. To accommodate schedules, we are allowing you to choose to show up to the entire (no popping in and out to avoid distraction) morning session or afternoon session. The content in the morning and afternoon sessions is the same.  (Feel free to have your student attend both sessions each day if this is helpful). This is for lesson reinforcement and time for Q&A. The students also enjoy seeing one another. Remember to have your student ready to participate just as if they were sitting in their classroom at Geneva. Please print the attached Zoom schedule. (All three teachers in 4th and 5th grades will present 20 minutes each in the one hour Zoom meetings-refer to Zoom schedule).

ParentSquare
ParentSquare lesson plans and videos will now be sent out on Sunday evenings at 8:00 p.m. We hope this will help you have time to plan for the week. Make sure you print off the Weekly Overview document that will be attached to the post. Meeting ID numbers will be on each grade level Weekly Overview for your convenience.

Specialist Newsletters and Videos
Specialists have sent some lovely and fun optional activities for your student. They are meant for enrichment and enjoyment. If this is too much for you currently, refer to them when you are able. They are wonderful! Latin and Science are the only Specialist classes that receive grades (Completion grade). 

Please watch this video: Week 1-Let It Go!

As always, I am here for you.

With Hope,
Jessica Gombert
Grammar School Headmaster

 

March 20, 2020 Update

Dear Grammar School Parents,

These are uncertain times, but we serve a certain and unchanging God. The teachers and I have been diligently working to develop a virtual plan for the Grammar School. Our goal is to provide as much continued learning for the students as possible.

Here is the plan:

Gathering Books and Materials
Materials needed for a three-week learning period (books, worksheets, etc.) will be available on Monday, March 23rd. You may pick up student material bags from outside of each classroom door at your convenience starting at 8:30 a.m. (Every student will have their own bag labeled by name at their homeroom door). Please be reminded that students may not get out of the car at Geneva. Parents should quickly gather the labeled bag(s) and return to cars without socializing. We are taking social distancing and isolation seriously.

Ongoing Communication
Teachers will send a detailed message in ParentSquare each week to guide you through the weekly schedule. This will be our primary means for giving you information and will replace our use of lesson plans in RenWeb. With the change to virtual learning, we will hold off on placing grades in the RenWeb gradebook until a later time. You are welcome to email the teachers at any time to set up calls and additional communication. Classroom teachers will set up Zoom parent meetings every Monday to help you navigate the week.

Three-Tiered Approach to Remote Learning

  • The students will be provided paper/pencil activities. Packets have been prepared for a three-week period and are in the material bags to be picked up. If necessary, we will prepare another three-week packet in the future.
  • Short instruction videos to introduce concepts and lessons will be sent using a YouTube link. Video lessons will be posted on Mondays (attached to the ParentSquare lesson plans)On Tuesdays and Thursdays Specialists will send videos for the students.  They are working on wonderful ideas to engage students in Music, Art, P.E., Motor Lab, Library and Science.
  • Scheduled Zoom video conferencing will be available for teachers to spend time with students, parents and to engage in activities. You will receive a Zoom schedule from the teacher.  We are working to provide multiple Zoom sessions per teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays to accommodate family schedules.  Teachers may schedule other Zoom times to read or have a special activity on other days which will be optional.  Please download the Zoom application to your home computer and other devices. https://zoom.us/

Assessment
Teachers will check daily work during Zoom meetings.  On Fridays, teachers may send a video to walk your student through assessments if one was assigned for the week. Assessments may be scanned in and emailed to the teacher when assigned.  We are not sure how virtual assessment will work at this time.  More details regarding assessments will be communicated soon.

Read, Read, Read
One of the greatest ways to continue your child’s education is to keep them reading.   My hope is that you will have them read at least 1-2 hours a day.  A reading challenge will be in the packets.

Helpful hints
The virtual learning will not require as much time as a regular school day.  Here are some ways to make your day more productive.

  • Set aside 2-3 hours a day to do the work sent by the teachers.
  • Have your student get dressed and behave as a student focused and ready to work.
  • Have a dedicated schedule and space in your home to have school.
  • Fill in time with reading, art activities, journal writing, games and creativity.
  • Turn off screens when not using them for productive activities.

I am aware you did not sign up for this home virtual learning but am confident that you are equipped for the challenge.  Please know we will be with you every step of the way.  Please continue to pray for us to have wisdom and discernment regarding what is best for your student.

Please know that I am here for you. Please email or call me at any time. I have attached a video message. Please take a moment to watch Mrs. Gombert’s Video

May God grant you peace and comfort during these trying times.

Blessings,

Jessica Gombert
Grammar School Headmaster

Logic School Updates

April 3, 2020 Update – LOGICALLY SPEAKING

Dear Parents and Students,

You made it through Week 2 of distance learning! Well done. I want to pause and thank each one of you (students, parents, and teachers) for your ongoing diligence, patience, encouragement, and prayers as we continue to navigate learning together in new online platforms.

As we prepare to enter our third week of distance learning we continue to refine things within the various platforms. My primary area of prayer, however, is centered upon the heart and well-being of our students. Questions arise such as, “How are you doing? How are you holding up?”

We are receiving and hearing quite positive feedback in terms of overall spirits, structure, workload, balance, etc. I realize, however, that each person (or home) may be experiencing ‘quarantine life’ in very different ways.

Although we remain committed to academics, please know that the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical components are of great importance or concern to us during these unusual times. To this end, please share feedback with me (and/or my faculty) in terms of how things are going in your homes, how can we be of assistance or help, etc.

In this newsletter you will find updates and helpful links or docs on a variety of topics including how to upload documents, how to help students navigate organization issues, calendar info/dates, etc. Have a blessed weekend. Grace and peace,
Mr. Jones
Logic School Headmaster

 

March 27, 2020 Update – LOGICALLY SPEAKING

Dear Logic School Parents (and Students),

Congratulations! You made it through your first week of virtual learning at Geneva. You all did a great job! It was fun to see so many of your smiling faces on Zoom. I, and the teachers, really miss you all.

Embedded in this post you will find helpful information, including an updated Weekly Zoom Meeting Schedule. After you read this entire letter (and complete any assignments due today), please be sure to get off your screens for a while. Go relax and enjoy your weekend. Build a puzzle, play a game, read a book for pleasure, watch a movie, play in the backyard, exercise, etc.

We appreciate your heartfelt prayers and encouragement. It has lifted our spirits during these unique times. Know that I will continue to pray for each one of the students and your homes as we move forward. We appreciate your consistency in this area as well. Please let me or my staff know how we can best assist you during this season of online learning.

In Him,
Mr. Jones
Logic School Headmaster


Purpose of Weekly Zoom Meetings Versus the LMS
Because everything is so new, it may be good to pause and remind ourselves as to the intended purpose of the weekly Zoom meetings. In summary, they are designed to offer weekly connections for each class or subject via face-to-face interaction. There will be some Q&A and limited instruction as teachers review questions (in Math or Physics, for example). There may be the occasional discussion, but it will not be in-depth along the lines of the Socratic Method we often employ in-person during our classes.

The scheduled Zoom meetings are not designed to be the medium for the delivery of primary instruction. This is done on the LMS in the form of posted assignments, readings, some pre-recorded video lessons/lectures, links to other helpful information, etc. Students will need to watch pre-recorded videos, follow-up on assignments, meet due dates, etc. as they learn to self-pace. It is not as easy as simply showing up at the appointed Zoom time to be filled with knowledge. Questions and directions will be posted to the class dashboards and the Chat Wall will be the primary mode of communication. I do not anticipate that each and every scheduled Zoom meeting will last the full 30-minutes.       

Revised LS Weekly Zoom Schedule
Per former communications, we wanted to stay the course and not make any major changes to the initial or posted Zoom Schedule this week. With that said, we have determined that we need to make a few changes which will begin on Monday (March 30) and guide us through our season of distance learning. Attached you will find an updated LS Weekly Zoom Schedule. Be sure to review this and consider creating your own weekly calendar if/as needed (if you have not already done so).

To allow for restroom breaks and given the nature of technology (finding Meeting ID numbers, logging-in and out of Zoom, etc.) we have added a 10-minute break or virtual passing period between all Zoom meetings. In doing so, most of the formerly scheduled meeting times have shifted. Please note that teachers will post Zoom Meeting ID and password info on their LMS under the Assignments/Units section or on their Calendar (not necessarily on the Chat Wall, as they are quickly filling-up with questions or clarifications over the course of a given day or week).

You may notice that the LMS does not allow for the scheduling of items or appointments on the Class Calendar unless they are at the top or bottom of the hour (:00 or :30, if you will). As such, teachers may need to schedule their class at the top or bottom of the hour closest to, and prior to, the actual scheduled meeting time. (For example, a 9:40 am scheduled Zoom meeting may be reflected as 9:30 am on the calendar. When you click on the Calendar or Assignment associated to the scheduled Zoom meeting, it will show the info correctly under the notes: 9:40 am to 10:10 am with the appropriate Meeting ID number, password, etc).

We have added one additional scheduled Zoom meeting for Language Arts (all grades and sections) on Monday mornings. Per my notes above, these will be informational times outlining the week (not primary instruction) and should be fairly brief. Language Arts, Math, and Physics are the only classes with multiple scheduled Zoom times embedded in the overall weekly schedule for LS. These classes would normally meet 5 times per week and have been given the greatest priority, if you will, in our modified approach from a scheduling standpoint.

You will also notice that we have switched the day of the week for Science (7th) and Latin (8th) to allow more flexibility and availability for these teachers (they will no longer have multiple grades all on the same day for their Zoom schedule and will be more accessible as a result).

Optional Zooms for Devotional Groups
To offer continued fellowship with our multi-grade level Devotional groups (at least virtually), we have added an optional Zoom meeting once per week for your student. These will be hosted on Friday mornings from 10:00 am to 10:30 am by your child’s primary Devo Leader (in cases where there are 2 teachers or coaches). Information for Devos (including Zoom Meeting ID’s and passwords) will be found on the LMS under the class or section entitled, ‘Homeroom.’ We would love for students to join these regular Friday Devos, but we are making them optional at this time given the complexity of online learning for many students or homes.

LS Zoom Procedures for Students
Attached you will also find a document entitled, ‘LS Zoom Procedures for Students.’ (Check ParentSquare post for this schedule) Students did a nice job logging-in and out this week of their scheduled Zoom meetings. To help provide consistency with overall LS expectations in this area, you and your student will need to review the attached document before attempting to Zoom on Monday. If you have any questions, please let me (or your teachers) know.

The scheduled Zoom meeting times are ‘classes’ and are of great importance. As a result, they will continue to count as significant class participation grades during our season of online learning. As such, it is imperative that students are present and on time when logging-in to each class, and that each class operates with minimal or no disruptions. To this end, please let us know if you are experiencing any ongoing technical difficulties or limitations in your home with any of the online or digital platforms. Please be sure to email your child’s teacher if he/she were to miss a scheduled Zoom time due to technological issues so they are aware.

Similarly, if you or your student are ever in doubt about how to do something related to Zoom, or are unsure as to procedures for a Zoom class meeting, please just ask a member of faculty or staff. The best guiding or framing question for a student to ask if they are ever in doubt or unsure about Zoom etiquette is, “Would I normally do this (insert behavior) in a regular classroom?” If the answer is ‘no’ then they probably should not do it in a Zoom class. Teachers will help to redirect if/as needed. Note: if your student struggles with his or her behavior during a scheduled Zoom meeting, the teacher will be in contact with your home. Grace and peace to you all. 

 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 Update

Dear Logic School Parents (and Students),

Good morning. I hope everything is well as we continue with this new season of Distance Learning in Logic School. Thank you for your heartfelt prayers, patience, and encouragement as we journey together. With His grace, I am confident that we can and will flourish as a community during these times!

As you continue to navigate plans for the week, here are some quick updates or reminders:

LMS and Zoom Updates
Thank you for your patience with the LMS. We realize that there may have been some delays yesterday morning as it was loading on many home computers or other devices. It seems to be working better now after the initial wave of traffic. Hopefully it will be solid today and as we move forward. Please know that RenWeb/FACTS is also diligently working to expand their overall capabilities in order to keep up with traffic and demand, which should be a great benefit to GSB (and other schools nationally).

Students will log-in to their assigned Zoom classes using a Meeting ID number (a 9-digit code) and a password (an actual ‘word’ – not a series of numbers) which are posted on the respective class walls or dashboards specific to each teacher or subject.

After today, the teachers will embed their Zoom Meetings on their Assignment Calendars as well. To minimize excessive emails there will NOT be a Zoom meeting link sent to you (or your student) for every Zoom period or class. For security purposes, please do NOT share the Zoom meeting info with anyone outside of Geneva (or your child’s section).

Seventh Grade parents, you will notice a slight change to the Zoom Schedule for Wednesdays with Mrs. Rockwell. This will be reflected on her class dashboard and your times will be exactly one hour later (10:30, 11:00 and 11:30). She was inadvertently ‘double-booked’ on her Zoom meetings with 6th and 7th graders at the same time. Although she is an amazing teacher, I am not sure that she could actually pull this off (unless she has recently cloned herself). Hmmm?

Note: We are going to monitor the Zoom meetings this week and make adjustments if/as needed. The intent is/was for Zoom meetings to be around 20-25 minutes in length, hence the 30-minute assigned times to allow for a slight buffer. The teachers will end the Zoom meetings a couple of minutes early. There is no need for students to frantically worry about logging-out in order to make your next class (similar to a passing period or physically switching classes on the Boardwalk). If you find the need to use the restroom between classes, then please do so. When you are finished just log in to your next Zoom class. It will be okay.

Communications 
The LMS will be your primary home or source for classroom communications. Although your LS student was required to create an email account in order to access the LMS, teachers are NOT emailing LS students for communication purposes. In fact, LS teachers have been asked to NOT correspond with your student directly in this manner (or via text messages). This is for overall consistency in LS, and so the teachers remain above reproach professionally (even in this season of distance/online learning) in terms of one-on-one student interactions, communications, etc.

Ideally, LS students will ask questions with their respective teachers on the class chat wall/boards. This can be done as a group and/or individually. This will be the primary student method of follow-up in LS as we move forward, along with the aforementioned Zoom class meetings throughout the week for Q&A.

If you (or your student) need to email the teacher (outside of the class chat/dashboard) please be sure to do so using your parent/family email associated with your RenWeb account. Teachers will remain readily accessible during the normal school day via email for parents and students. If you need to set a time or ask additional questions outside of the LMS chat or Zoom meetings, please email the appropriate teacher as needed. Note: due to recent announcements nationally and locally in San Antonio/Boerne, the vast majority of our teachers (and even some staff) will likely be working remotely from their homes over the next 2-weeks. Everyone will still be available to assist you if/as needed.

Third Quarter Grades
With all of the busyness you may or may not have noticed that Third Quarter Report Cards were posted on RenWeb last Friday. As we were originally set to return from Spring Break last Monday, LS teachers have given students the option to complete missing or outstanding assignments for the third quarter (due to illness or absence – not something from January you forgot to turn in) this week. In essence, students may make-up missing work or choose to leave the grade/assignment blank (they will not earn a zero). Teachers have been reaching out to students and families who may be impacted in this manner. Please be sure to follow-up with the appropriate teacher(s) if you have any questions and for the completion of such assignments if/as desired.

Note: Third quarter grades cannot be amended or changed after this Friday, March 27. Mrs. Champion will be sending Academic Probation letters (emails) on behalf of my office early next week based on the final quarterly grades. Admittedly, I am not quite sure what this means at present in light of our seasonal move to virtual learning? I just know that we need to do it for overall record-keeping. Please be aware and also be sure contact me or my office if you have any questions regarding third quarter grades.

Summary  
On behalf of the LS faculty and staff, I want to thank you again for your ongoing support and encouragement during these unique times. Please know that I, along with the teachers, are praying for you and your children daily. We would appreciate your continued prayers as well. I/we can already see evidence of God’s presence in so many areas of life.

On Friday, I will look to send another greeting with any updates in the form of a Logically Speaking. In the interim, please let me or my office know how we can best assist you moving forward. Have fun today in your first Zoom meetings. I may stop-by to say, ‘hello’ to some of you. I promise I will not be in my bathrobe and slippers, although I will have coffee. Be encouraged and stay joyful!

In Him,

Mr. Jones

 

March 20, 2020 Update – LOGICALLY SPEAKING

Dear Logic School Parents (and Students),

Greetings. I hope this letter finds you well and that you are safe during these uncertain times. I want to extend my heartfelt prayers as we collectively remain grounded in our faith, steady in our resolve, and place all hope in Christ.

As you are aware Geneva has been developing plans for distance learning. I, along with the faculty and staff, have been working diligently to move Logic School to an online platform.

Here is the plan:

Gathering Books and Materials 

Students will need to collect their school materials and textbooks from their lockers. You may begin this afternoon and/or throughout the weekend. The campus will be physically open during daylight hours over the weekend. Students will notice that we have placed new literature books and some materials for the fourth quarter in each locker.

Students are encouraged to practice and maintain social distancing while they are on campus. If your family finds themselves in a situation where, due to quarantine or travel restrictions, you are unable to physically collect your child’s materials, please contact me or my office directly and we will assist you.

Approach to Distance Learning and LMS

We will be utilizing a variety of methods and platforms in order to facilitate distance learning for your student through their online or digital classroom found on the Learning Management System (LMS),  which is tied to the FACTS/RenWeb Student Information System (SIS) employed at Geneva. Please see Amy Metzger’s ParentSquare post from yesterday for more information on how to access this and to log-in via student email address.

Materials and content will be found on the LMS dashboard and will be delivered through a variety of formats including pre-recorded video lessons or lectures, posted weekly readings and assignments, and follow-up assessments or interaction. It will look slightly different for each class based on subject matter needs. Assessments, for example, will include a combination of quizzes/tests, weekly video conferences (via Zoom), and even a chat feature on the student’s LMS homepage.

Typical Week and Overall Flow  

The intent is for your student to plan for their week by logging-in to the LMS on Monday morning. There they will find their dashboard complete with classes, assignments, videos, links, etc. along with a calendar and due dates for the week. The LMS student dashboard is their online home base, for lack of better words.

On Mondays they will watch some of their pre-recorded videos, in addition to beginning readings and other classroom assignments in preparation for scheduled classroom Zoom video conferences later in the week. This will also help them as they prepare to meet various due dates for assignments/quizzes throughout the week.

There will be an embedded rhythm and flow to the week. However, it will be incumbent upon each student to develop his or her own schedule for studying and the completion of assignments outside of the assigned or scheduled Zoom conferences for consistency during the week.

Please know that we are starting slowly and have embraced a ‘Less is More’ approach at this time. Course content has been scaled-back in all subjects to help with overall accessibility for your student and so that it will be manageable within a normal school day (considerably less time, actually).

All subjects are being taught with a modified approach. Greater emphasis has been placed on some subjects (Math, Science, and Latin) due to instructional needs, delivery, and support. Some partial credit courses are not being taught this quarter (Grammar, Logic, and Dialectic) to help with overall scheduling and balance.

Fine Arts and Athletics will be providing modified lessons or recommended enrichment activities for students (which may be greatly beneficial as outlets during these times). Look for more information from those teachers and/or coaches sometime next week.

Zoom and Conferencing  

Classroom Zoom conferences will occur by grade-level section primarily during the morning hours on Tuesdays through Thursdays. Students will have 1-2 video conferences per week based on subject matter needs (Math and Science will have 2, for example). Eighth grade Physics is the lone class with a regularly scheduled Monday Zoom meeting (note: they will NOT be meeting on Monday, March 23). There are no scheduled Zoom meetings on Fridays.

These live class video conferences are designed to provide interaction between teachers and students. Zoom affords teachers and students the opportunity to check-in, see one another, ask and answer questions, go over the plan for the week, the upcoming week, etc. Aside from classroom support and Q&A, I think it will provide consistency and a viable outlet or venue for social interaction, teacher and student morale, etc.

Please find the Logic School Zoom Schedule for Q4 attached.

Please see Brad Ryden’s correspondence from Wednesday as well if you would like more information on Zoom. Here is a one-minute video link on how to join a Zoom meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

Student Expectations 

This new format is going to be both fun and, at times, challenging. You will need to learn to self-pace as you work in this new distance learning format. This is a great opportunity for you to develop new skills and to accept individual responsibility (which, by the way, is still the third part of our Honor Code). Plus, by demonstrating increased maturity, this will help to make life a lot easier around the house for you, mom, and dad in the coming weeks. I promise.

You will need to develop a normal schedule in your home (complete with typical daily routines: a wake-up time, making your bed, brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, etc.). You will also need a quiet, dedicated workspace. See mom and dad for more on routines.

You need to look neat and presentable whenever you log into a Zoom chat or conference. Dress/attire for these conferences will be Geneva Spirit Wear/Jeaneva Friday.

If you are unable to log-in to a Zoom or happen to miss a scheduled time, for whatever reason, you will need to contact your teacher to let them know. The Zoom times are part of your class participation in your courses. Plus, the Zoom conferences are going to be both helpful and fun.

If you have any questions, please contact your teacher via the LMS. They are here to help you.

Ongoing Communications 

LS Core teachers will post communications (basic greetings, class instructions, etc.) on their dashboard or class home page within the LMS for students each week. They are available throughout the week to assist you and your student. The best way to reach them will be by email. They are going to try to be available or accessible for the most part (that is to say, when they are not helping another student, pre-recording lessons, Zooming with a class, etc.) between the hours of 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily.

They will hold formal ‘Office Hours’ on Fridays from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. No Zoom classes are scheduled on Fridays to help support this.

I will send a scaled-down Logically Speaking equivalent each Friday throughout the duration of our distance learning this spring with helpful information, updates, links, etc. I may even post a few videos as check-ins or for encouragement as we move forward.

I am here to help you and your family as well. I can be reached via email and through my office number. I plan to hold normal office hours daily at school unless something were to change, in which case, I will still be available remotely or virtually.  I will be joining some of the scheduled Zoom video conferences with teachers and students as well (my version of walking around the Boardwalk virtually).

I am thankful for such a wonderful community here at Geneva. I am confident that we can thrive during this new season of distance learning. May God bless you and fill you with peace during these trying times.

In Him,

Mr. Jones
Logic School Headmaster

Logic School Weekly Zoom Schedule

Rhetoric School Updates

APRIL 3, 2020 Update – THE BALD EAGLE

This week, I reprint below the text from an email I received from our tenth-grade humanities instructor, Mr. Poole. He is, as you know, and expert on Tolkien and Lewis and the rest of the Inklings. As such, he shared some thoughts with me regarding an essay in which C.S. Lewis argues for continuing scholarly pursuits even as World War II rages. Enjoy and be encouraged.

As I was re-reading “Learning in War-Time,” some of Lewis’ thoughts seemed more relevant than ever before. If anyone is wondering, “Why bother about a classical education during a pandemic?” here are some things to consider:

The coronavirus may be new to us, but it has not created any new human conditions  It has only aggravated, and thereby revealed, our permanent human condition so that we can no longer ignore it.  Although we’ve been teaching and attending classes, writing essays, and eating Chick-fil-a, eternity has been (and is at this very moment), waiting behind the curtain. If we had postponed our classical studies until our physical safety and health were guaranteed, we never would have started.

The pursuit of intellectual activities, and the quest to find and create beauty, are fundamental parts of our human nature. This is true, especially in times of crisis. As Lewis points out, “Humans propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities; they conduct metaphysical arguments in death row prison cells.”  The people Lewis fought beside in the first world war wanted poetry, love letters, and stories of home. They wanted philosophical argument and religious debate even as the bombs fell around them.

If we put our artistic and intellectual lives on hold during a time of crisis, we will replace our rich cultural and spiritual lives with poorer ones. We will still read books, watch shows on Netflix, and listen to our playlists, but they will likely be of one type: designed as consumable entertainment.

Or as Lewis says, “If we don’t focus on good books, we will read bad ones…. If we don’t go on thinking rationally, we will think irrationally.”

Our vocations—whether we are students, or professionals—don’t cease just because worldly tensions escalate. One way or another, we will go on buying and selling, digging and planting, studying and writing.  When we do it excellently, we glorify God.  Lewis points out that “happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”

Thanks, Mr. Poole (and Mr. Lewis). [“Learning in War-Time” is one of several C.S. Lewis essays compiled in the book The Weight of Glory.]

As studies continue, so do announcements…

G.K. CHESTERTON AWARD FINALISTS
Congratulations go out these seniors who were announced this week as this year’s GKC finalists for outstanding senior thesis:

Jake Allen (Lewis), Will Bower (Sayers), Jack Cupit (Chaucer), Anson Eggerss (Sayers), Catarina Flores (Chaucer), Gracyn Freiling (Chaucer), Jayne Goodman (Lewis), David Grote (Chaucer), Braden Hall (Lewis), Gillian Loflin (Sayers), Corley Petrie (Milton), Charlotte Walker (Sayers)

What are senior thesis presentations going to look like this year? We are weighing various plans, but suffice to say that seniors will be presenting their theses. The seniors are still hard at work, and they will not miss this Geneva milestone…or capstone…or millstone…Flintstone…pick a stone…

ASSEMBLY TIMES
Just another reminder that you can experience assembly times whenever you wish by visiting the “Assembly” badge/tab on your LMS. Video messages from yours truly and words of encouragement from fellow students. Watch for a new video to be posted sometime on Monday.

HOUSE POINT TOTALS THIS WEEK
You can still earn points for your house (and cost points), depending on your online behavior and presence. Here are the totals so far for quarter four:

Sayers              600

Lewis                580

Chaucer           430

Milton               430

HOUSE OF THE QUARTER HOMEWORK PASS

Students in the House of the Quarter still get a homework pass even though we are in this weird online campus thing. That means that students in Lewis can tell their teacher that they are using their homework pass for an assignment. [That teacher emails me that you have used your pass. Word to the wise: I shouldn’t hear from two teachers.] As a reminder of the nature of the pass, here is the wording on the old-fashioned print ones that you used to [gasp!] actually hand to a teacher:

This pass may be submitted to any teacher in place of one standard homework assignment. [Major assignments, essays, and projects are not eligible.] Note: This is one pass for only one assignment in only one class in only one quarter. Use it wisely. Expires: May 15, 2020

THE RETURN OF FREE DRESS DAYS
Many have longed for the return of free dress days, so we are declaring every day a free dress day until further notice. You’re welcome.

AIM STUDENT (BUDDY) OF THE WEEK
Our AIM Buddy of the Week is junior Cade Barone (Sayers). Mrs. Short, a kindergarten mom, said that “Cade consistently uploads AIM buddy videos. He reads a book to the kids, instills great values in them with poignant messages, and he films outside to remind the kids to get out in nature and move. I not only appreciate Cade’s videos for my kindergartener, but for myself as well. Go Cade!”

GRAHAM-MY AWARD
Sorry we’re a bit late in awarding our latest Graham-my. Mr. Graham is pleased to announce a double recipient (that means two people). For their outstanding work on campus during Spirit Week (remember that?), seniors Macy Kate Flora (Chaucer) and Corley Petrie (Milton) the coveted Graham-my…and the same cool homework pass that Lewis house earned.

GENEVA QUARTERLY MAGAZINE
If and when you come by the campus to retrieve textbooks and such, be sure to come by the office and pick up a copy of quarter three’s GQ Magazine! Or, if you are not tired of looking at stuff online, you can see it here: https://issuu.com/genevaquarterly/docs/issuethree78015gsb2020 You can also pick up your winter awards when you come by (if you ordered any…not just because you think you deserve an award).

COUNSELOR’S CORNER: AP EXAMS
Never fear…2020 AP Exams will still take place in May! Today, the College Board officially posted the new dates and process for 2020 AP Exams. Here’s what you need to know now (click on the links):

Revised 2020 AP Exam Dates (specific content requirements for each test listed below the exam schedule)

All exams will take place online via computer, tablet or phone, will last for 45 minutes, and will consist exclusively of free response questions (no multiple choice)

Live, free online courses are available to supplement your class time and especially to help you prepare for tests you signed up for individually

–Your AP teachers will provide information on how to best prepare for the modified testing in your AP classes!

SPIRIT DAYS THIS WEEK
In addition to JEANeva Friday (which I am again enjoying at the office today):
Wednesday, April 8: Wear the top-half of your dress uniform for your Zoom class times!…Earn points for your house and show your spirit! [Sort of a reverse spirit dress day]

Blessings on your home, and…Talons Up!

Mr. Shelton
Rhetoric School Headmaster

 

MARCH 27, 2020 Update – THE BALD EAGLE

“Keep big things big, and little things little…and don’t confuse the two.”

This is one of the many mantras we rehearse as a rhetoric school faculty and it seems that in our current situation, this is more important now than ever. Balanced and godly perspective can often be the first casualty of changing circumstances, but ironically, it is the presence of changing circumstances that demands such perspective. It is my prayer, as we continue in this new venture for however long we must, that your home is a place where big things are kept big and little things are kept little, and there is no confusion.

To help with that, know that all of the announcements are big…

FACULTY SHOUT-OUT
And by that, I mean me giving the faculty a shout-out. I wish to effusively praise our faculty for the speed and professionalism they exhibited in getting our new “campus” up and running. I knew that when I told them what we had to do, they would do it with quality and aplomb. What a privilege to work with such people (though I don’t get to see them much right now…), and it’s only going to get better!

ASSEMBLY ON MONDAY
We can’t actually gather, and we can’t Zoom 250 people, but we can add “RS Assembly” on your LMS dashboard. From there, you can watch and re-watch and re-watch a weekly video from me, remind yourself of the Honor Code, and read messages from your student senate Chaplains. Look for it to go active sometime on Monday and then every week after that until we can have a real assembly again.

SOME GOOD NEWS
What with the ransomware attack and the virus and the departure of Mr. Ryden and Mrs. Ryden and Mr. Tye, perhaps you will be pleased to learn that Mr. Southwick and his family are returning to Geneva! You’ll learn more later about his future teaching roles in rhetoric school, but for now, just feel the glow of the good news. [No, this is not a joke.]

RACCOON UPDATE
Due to the lack of leftover lunches and snacks (due to the lack of students), it pains me to report that our boardwalk raccoons are getting thinner every day. They don’t even bother opening lockers anymore. Sad, vacant expressions now meet me in the morning…they don’t even scurry away. [This is sort of a joke.]

HOUSE POINT TOTALS THIS WEEK
You can still earn points for your house (and cost points), depending on your online behavior and presence. Here are the totals after the first week of this new thing:

Sayers              200

Lewis               190

Chaucer           110

Milton               90

HOUSE OF THE QUARTER
Once again, Lewis House killed it with the end-of-quarter points, taking five of the six categories, and thus propelling them to a convincing win to earn House of the Quarter for quarter three. They took Highest Cumulative GPA, Highest Percentage of Faculty Commendations, Most Cumulative Service Hours, Highest Percentage of Extracurricular Participation, and Fewest Absences. Milton took Fewest Tardies. So what sorts of rewards now come with this accolade? We’ll let you know.

HOUSE QUIDDITCH UPDATE
Lewis House still hasn’t won a game. [This is both a joke and not a joke.]

HOUSE INDUCTION
One of the casualties of our current circumstances is that house induction is probably not happening on April 17. But only the date is the casualty. We will have house induction. Should we be able to have large gatherings by then, we will combine house induction day with field day on May 21 (may even do a mini-quidditch tournament, too). If gatherings are still not permissible by that date, induction will be the first day of the back-to-school retreat next year.

JUNIOR/SENIOR PROM
Unless the news changes, looks like we won’t be promenading on April 25 and at this moment I cannot tell you anything with certainty about re-scheduling. We will let you know. Big things big and little things little.

AIM BUDDIES
Obviously, we can’t meet every Wednesday with our AIM classes, but you AIM Buddies are welcome to send letters and emails to your classes. It’s a good way to keep community going.

GENEVA QUARTERLY MAGAZINE AND INSTAGRAM
If and when you come by the campus to retrieve textbooks and such, be sure to pick up a copy of quarter three’s GQ Magazine! You can also keep up by following the GQ Instagram for Rhetoric School story content. The magazine staff is working on a lineup of posts and will also be announcing the senior thesis student of the week each week.

DATABASES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
Now that everything is online, don’t forget about our Geneva Library Database. Just click the link below (under Need More Geneva?).

COUNSELOR’S CORNER
Distance Learners! Did you know that Geneva School of Boerne now offers Distance College Advising? I can meet with individuals or families (especially for juniors who have not met with me yet) by phone or Zoom. Email me (Mrs. Ward) any time to ask me questions, get my feedback (resumes, essays, etc.) or schedule a meeting!

SUPER FAN OF THE WEEK
Our super fans this week are you, the Geneva students and families, for your outpouring of love and support for the faculty and staff, and for your can-do attitude and your resolve to make the most of what’s happening. This week has demonstrated what true Geneva spirit is all about. Speaking of spirit…

SPIRIT DAYS THIS WEEK
In addition to JEANeva Friday (which I am enjoying at the office today):

Tuesday, March 31: Camo Spirit Dress day for your Zoom sessions all day…wear your camo and show your spirit!

Thanks again for making this a remarkable community.

Blessings on your home, and…Talons Up!

Mr. Shelton
Rhetoric School Headmaster

 

March 20, 2020 Update – THE BALD EAGLE

Something tells me that you might have a few questions. However, before I get into how we are going forward “doing school,” I encourage us to heed the words of God as recorded by the prophet Isaiah:

“Do not fear for I am with you.

Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you.

Surely I will uphold you by my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

No comment on my part this week. Just rest in God’s word.

Now to lots and lots of information on your screen…kinda like online learning…[announcements are all the way at the end]…

INTRODUCTION TO REMOTE LEARNING

WHAT THIS IS NOT
This is not an all-day live feed from the campus by which students go through the normal school day schedule remotely.

WHAT THIS IS
This resembles what many colleges and schools are now doing: a combination of synchronous learning (live classroom time) with asynchronous learning (video lectures or lessons, online discussion boards, self-paced reading and assignments, exercises, etc.).

LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (LMS)
This is your new campus, and all of your classes are in this campus. By clicking on your classes, you are visiting your classrooms. Your teachers and all of your work and assignments and links to materials are in the classrooms. This is where you manage your learning (that’s why it’s called what it is). [Mrs. Metzger has posted on ParentSquare a helpful guide for accessing your LMS through RenWeb/SIS.]

ASYNCHRONOUS LEARNING
This is fancy way of designating all of the things you will now do that do not involve live interaction with your teacher (called asynchronous because you, your classmates, and your teachers are not doing these with each other or at the same time). This includes tasks like watching (and perhaps re-watching!) prerecorded lectures, completing reading assignments, posting comments on your reading, doing problems and exercises, etc. Basically, almost everything now is what we traditionally call “homework.”

SYNCHRONOUS LEARNING
This is the fancy term for when you and your classmates and your teacher can get together online. Synchronous times are limited and provided according to the schedule below (a PDF of that schedule is also attached). In general, full credit courses have two synchronous times per week, and half credit courses have one. Teachers may do what they wish with these synchronous times and they need not necessarily do anything with the time or use the entire time. The schedule means that these are the designated times when you should be available if the teacher so instructs you. The teacher may wish to hold class (via Zoom teleconferencing), have a timed assignment like a test or quiz, offer tutoring via teleconferencing, etc. The point is that you should have no GSB course schedule conflicts at those times. [See Mr. Ryden’s post concerning Zoom and relevant links for how to do this.]

SYNCHRONOUS TIME SCHEDULE
Below is the new rhetoric school “schedule.” Again, this does not mean that all classes listed are meeting online at those times; rather, these are the designated conflict-free times for your classes. Some classes will require the use of every minute; others may hardly “meet” at all—every class will be different. Check your LMS for what your teacher is doing with those times.

[Some classes have no pre-scheduled synchronous times—the teacher will inform you if any need to be scheduled. If a class is not listed in the schedule and is also not available in the LMS, that class is suspended until further notice.]

[The number is the grade level and the letter is the section (i.e. 10B is grade 10, section B). Note that some sections are combined. If you don’t know what section you are in for various classes, check your LMS. Also note that this is not a copy of our normal schedule.]

THE LOOK AND FEEL OF A TYPICAL WEEK
Of course, nothing is “typical” right now, but this is what we hope your week looks like from an educational perspective. Monday should be your planning day. You should be able visit all of your LMS “classes” and see what’s coming and plan accordingly and start watching lessons or reading or doing your work. Tuesday thru Thursday are the scheduled synchronous times and you might have “classes” those days, but you will still have lots of time to do your asynchronous work. Friday can be a time when you debrief with teachers or get further questions answered or turn in materials. Like I said, this is “typical,” but some of you will adapt well and even work way ahead; some of you will still wait until that last minute. Some of you will not be hesitant to seek out your teachers for help; some of you will have to be coaxed to seek help. In other words, no change from normal school.

INTERACTION WITH YOUR TEACHERS
Your teachers basically have the same school days: 8:30-3:30 Monday thru Thursday, and 8:30-noon on Friday. Their “office hours” are Mondays 8:30-3:30 and Fridays 8:30-noon, but your teachers are available for you throughout the week. You can request Zoom time (great phrase), email, post on the class wall, or use this thing called a “phone.”

MATERIALS FOR CLASS
Many of you have already visited campus to pick up materials you may have left in your lockers. If you haven’t yet, the campus will be open all weekend. Respect the social distancing protocols and don’t assemble—just pick you your materials and skedaddle. If you can’t make it this weekend, come by when you can. For classes in which there are books which have yet to be given to the students, you will be informed when you can by the LR office to pick them up (same skedaddle rules apply).

GRADES AND ATTENDANCE
You will still earn grades, but due to the nature of this new way of doing school, some of the gradebook categories in your classes may not have grades in them, or as many grades in them. Your teachers will inform you of how grading will work in their classes. Attendance is not taken in the traditional sense. Instead, your grade will reflect your interaction and engagement. Your parents will be notified if your LMS habits indicate a lack of seriousness.

HELPS AND HINTS (AS WE KNOW THEM SO FAR)

FOR STUDENTS

  • Remember that you are still in school. Designate a place and specific times during the day (not the evenings) for your work. Maintain your planner and free yourself of distractions.
  • Unless you are assigned a group project, do your own work. Resist the temptation to rely on others.
  • More than ever, remember that you have signed an Honor Code and pledged to your classmates that you will not insult your school or them by cheating. The temptations to cheat are likely going to ramp up, so hold yourself and others accountable. Know that your teachers are proceeding from a position of trust in you.
  • Due to the nature of this type of schooling, many of your assignment will be “due by” a certain date and time. Also because of the nature of this type of schooling, many of those “due by” dates will be near the end of the week. The teachers will try to mix things up, but if you are lazy, you will be scrambling at the end of every week to complete your assignments. So, spread your work out during the week. No whining if things pile up because you are going to have lots of time to complete your work.
  • Exercise your intellectual muscle by actually reading beyond your required reading. If you need reading suggestions, I am more than happy to provide them.

FOR PARENTS

  • Perhaps your most important task as parents is to help with time management. Help them get into a rhythm, but expect your students to have more free time. It’s the nature of the animal.
  • Resist the temptation to “go to school” with your student. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take an active interest in their education, but just as you wouldn’t follow them around the campus and sit with them in class, don’t make a habit of doing it in this remote-learning environment.
  • As a family, do your best to respect the teachers’ work hours. Online activity makes us all tend to operate as though everyone should be available at all times. [For instance: I usually don’t even look at a computer or phone on the weekends.]

FOR ALL OF US

  • Be patient and gracious and treat each other the way you want to be treated. This is new to all of us and we are all learning how to do school this way.
  • Be patient and gracious and treat each other the way you want to be treated. This is new to all of us and we are all learning how to do school this way.
  • Avoid redundancy.

FINALLY
So I guess that you could say that the first day of school is Monday. You may be able to see some of your LMS classes now, and some will not be loaded and viewable until Monday. However, starting next week, the guideline is to have plans for the next week loaded by the Thursday before. [Interesting note: RenWeb/SIS and their LMS platforms are experiencing really slow load times and lots of glitches. It’s almost like they are slammed or something.]

Blessings on your home, and…Talons Up!

Mr. Shelton
Rhetoric School Headmaster

Rhetoric School Schedule

April 17, 2020 Update — Campus to Remain Closed for 2019-2020

Dear Geneva Community:

Governor Greg Abbott announced today that all Texas schools, including private schools, must remain closed for the rest of this school year. This announcement means that our current campus closure, set by the school’s Board of Trustees to end on May 4 and scheduled for review next week, will continue through the end of our school year. Our last day of the school year is still set for May 22. This announcement also means that our virtual approach to learning will continue for the rest of the school year.

Such an announcement, while not unexpected, is nevertheless disappointing and creates many questions about events that were planned for May as well as this summer. Some events such as our capstone program, the Senior Thesis, have already been adjusted. Other events and activities will be adjusted or postponed now that we know our campus will remain closed. Please look for information about these adjustments or postponements in the coming weeks.

I believe I speak for many in saying that I had hoped, albeit with reservations, for the chance to be back on campus with students, teachers and parents before the school year ends. I know the decision to keep schools closed is a wise one, founded on reason and concern for safety. And yet, I think we can agree that an important part of our children’s education is to have direct contact with their classmates and teachers. They, like us, are embodied beings created by God for relationship.

I pray that as we practice physical distancing in the weeks ahead, we can find new ways (or improve upon those ways already established) to live as embodied people who love and care for one another.

Brad Ryden
Head of School

April 16, 2020 Update

Dear Geneva Community,

This update includes a reminder about the school’s new Bridge Tuition Program, information about changes we have made to our use of Zoom and a note about spring event refunds.

The update you may be wanting the most – an announcement on if or when the school campus will reopen this school year – will have to wait until next week. It is my understanding that Governor Greg Abbott will announce tomorrow his plan for reopening Texas schools and businesses. Following Gov. Abbott’s announcement, Geneva’s Board of Trustees will discuss the matter, likely early next week.

Bridge Tuition Program

This week, Amy Metzger announced the creation of a new financial assistance program designed to help Geneva families who are facing financial difficulties related to the pandemic. This program will replace the school’s annual fundraiser called the Benefit, canceled due to the campus closure. This summer’s campus improvements, to be funded from Benefit proceeds, will either be put on hold or scaled back. You can learn more about the Bridge Tuition Program HERE.

Zoom Safety

There are many stories in the news about security issues with Zoom video conference calls. With assistance from tech savvy teachers and parents in our community, we have made adjustments over the last few weeks in order to provide a more safe environment for our students during this period of remote learning. We have required the following from our faculty:

  • Change their login passwords to ones that are “strong and unique” based on reports that some Zoom accounts with weak passwords have been hacked.
  • Disable the “automatically record meeting” feature on all Zoom calls based on reports that some recordings have also been hacked.
  • Enable the “waiting room” feature on all calls to ensure that only Geneva students are allowed on each call.
  • Enable the “generate automatically” meeting ID and password features in order to provide a more secure meeting environment. These meeting IDs and passwords must never be shared with anyone outside the school.

Parents are welcome to change the on-screen name for your child. If you do so, please let your child’s teacher know so that they are sure to admit your child to the meeting from the “waiting room.”

Obviously, our having to take these steps in order to secure these meetings is concerning. We are aware of the many issues with Zoom. We are choosing to stay with it for now as it is the best option for us – it is easy to use (for teachers and students) and allows our teachers to see the faces of all of their students. We will continue to explore other options and let you know if a change in how we do video conferencing is in order.

Spring Events Refunds

Lastly, I want to let you know that we are working on refunds to those who have paid for lunches, spring sport fees and field trip fees. We are currently determining our financial obligations for the portions of those items that were fulfilled before Spring Break. We are also waiting for a decision regarding the potential reopening of our campus. We will reach out to you with more information as soon as we have it.

Sincerely,

Brad Ryden
Head of School

Bridge Tuition Program

Dear Geneva Family,

Every year since the school started, we have hosted an evening(s) that we affectionately refer to as “The Benefit.” This annual event has been a significant means by which our Geneva community has provided financial support for the mission of the school, typically for additional programming and facility improvement. The Benefit’s blessing extends beyond finances in that it is an opportunity for our students and faculty to showcase the beauty that they experience each day in the classrooms.

Our Benefit events, set for May 1-2 have been canceled for obvious reasons. We have decided to put any improvement projects on hold for now and are redirecting our Benefit fundraising effort. The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant needs in our community, our country and across the globe. We know that many of us at Geneva are in a position to help. In lieu of giving to any school improvement project, we encourage you to give to an area of need resulting from this pandemic. This is a unique opportunity for the body of Christ to lean in.

A Geneva Opportunity
As you prayerfully consider how and where you would give, we know that many of you may desire to assist families within the Geneva community. To this end, we have created an opportunity for you to give to what we are calling our Bridge Fund. We know that there are families within the Geneva community who may find themselves in a position of needing short term tuition assistance as a result of the pandemic. As you consider your giving during this challenging time, we want to offer you the opportunity to contribute to this fund. You may do so online at the link below (also found on our website). Please put “Bridge Fund” in the comments. You may also mail checks to our campus at 113 Cascade Caverns Road  Boerne, Texas 78015 with “Bridge Fund” in the memo. If you are interested in more information regarding the Bridge Fund and how to apply for assistance, please click here.

You may donate here to the Bridge Fund

The Grand Finale
For those who have attended a Geneva Benefit, you know that the evening ends with a “grand finale” song. This year’s song for the Logic and Rhetoric Benefit was to be Andrew Peterson’s “Is He Worthy?” If you shut your eyes, you can picture our students singing this at full volume. You will be blessed.

Gratefully,
Amy Metzger

March 31 Update — Virtual Learning Extended Until May 4

Dear Geneva School Community,

Geneva’s Board of Trustees convened yesterday afternoon by conference call in order to discuss whether to extend the campus closing beyond the current period, set to end on April 13. The Board was unanimous in its decision to extend the closing and accompanying remote learning until May 4.

On the call, we discussed whether to follow the current Boerne ISD closing period that will end after April 24. Doing so would have extended our closing by two weeks. The Board elected instead to keep our campus closed until May 4. This adds three more weeks to our campus closure while also creating a potential three weeks of instruction on campus before the end of the school year. As we did with yesterday’s decision, we will review the need to keep the campus closed for the final three weeks of the school year as we approach the end of April.

The campus closure affects many school events. We were already set to miss Flowering of the Cross on Maundy Thursday. In its place, we will send a video of a Flowering from years past along with a brief message. With the extension, we will now miss other scheduled events such as ERB Testing (canceled), Prom (postponed), Benefit (canceled), NHS Induction (postponed), House Induction (postponed) and Fifth Grade Advancement (postponed). If needed, some of these events can be postponed until the start of the new school year in the fall. Doing so would be bittersweet, though, as we would be without our current seniors. Please pray for the Class of ’20 as they contemplate the conclusion of their Geneva School education under such extraordinary circumstances.

We know that extending the closing for another three weeks (and possibly longer) creates burdens as you juggle business and daily responsibilities with the new and unexpected need of assisting your child with remote learning. I know I speak for the faculty in saying that this is not what we want either and we are here to help you. Please let us know how we can better assist you in these unusual and difficult times.

Finally, as we shelter in our homes the coming weeks, I hope this will move us toward a more lasting and secure shelter:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  (Psalm 91:1-2)

Sincerely,

Brad Ryden, Head of School

March 19 Update — Virtual Learning Classes to begin March 23

Dear Geneva Community,

As indicated in the community message this past weekend, the school’s Board of Trustees met yesterday to decide whether we need to close the Geneva campus longer than this week. After assessing recent information from the CDC, considering state and national guidelines and praying for wisdom, the Board was united in its decision to keep the Geneva campus closed to students and families until at least April 13, the Monday after Easter. While there is no indication that the virus is within our school community, the Board reached this decision out of concern for the safety and well-being of our community – students, parents, teachers and extended family.

In anticipation of this decision, the school’s administrative team, faculty and I have been preparing for making the shift to virtual learning. This coming Monday (March 23), we will begin instructing students using a combination of traditional and digital resources.

Virtual learning will look different across the three schools – Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. The headmasters of each will email you on Friday with information about what this will look like for you and your student. In general, Geneva’s virtual learning will incorporate the following:

  • Classroom materials we have been using this year (literature titles, textbooks, worksheets, etc.). We will announce days for parents to pick up materials from Logic and Rhetoric School lockers. Grammar School staff will load bags with student’s materials to pick up outside the classrooms. We will encourage parents to exercise social distancing while on campus. Look for information in the headmaster’s emails about the pickup days.
  • A central Learning Management System (LMS) that is tied into our FACTS/RenWeb Student Information System (SIS). The LMS will serve as a central location for Logic and Rhetoric School students to get their assignments, videos of lectures from their teacher, quizzes, links to resources and much more. Grammar School will use ParentSquare for posting assignments and videos. Information about how to login to the LMS will be sent tomorrow.
  • Regular Zoom meetings between teachers and their students and teacher office hours for parents and students who need help. The Zoom meetings will allow the teachers to check in with their students, answer their questions and go over the plan for the week. A schedule for each grade level will be posted this week and show you when the Zoom meetings and office hours will occur. Click here to watch a one-minute video on how to join a Zoom meeting.
  • Please note that the LMS and Zoom are accessible on PCs as well as mobile devices. We know that many families have more than one child in the school, so we chose platforms that work on multiple devices.
  • We are creating a page on our website that will serve as a repository for these messages as well as more information to come. We will also have a link to a school email account for those parents who need IT help with the LMS, Zoom or other platforms.

The headmasters and faculty have been working through details this week related to creating video lectures, posting assignments on the LMS as well as the purpose and frequency of the Zoom meetings.

We have emphasized with our faculty (and it is worth repeating here) the fact that we are entering new territory and as such, we should proceed carefully and with purpose. If the first part of next week feels as though the program is going a little too slow for you, please know that we would rather miss the mark by doing too little than too much at launch. Please bear with us as we begin this new mode of educating our students.

The Board and I are staying current on health conditions in our area as well as announcements made at the state and national level. We will reassess the situation in a few weeks and let you know before Easter if the campus is able to reopen as we hope on April 13.

Sincerely,

Brad Ryden, Head of School

P.S. – Over the last few days, I have had several people mention the comfort they are getting from Psalm 91. I have heard it mentioned enough that I know I should share it with you. I hope this will be a source of comfort to you as it is to many others.

 

Psalm 91 – My Refuge and My Fortress

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

March 13 Update — No classes March 16-20

Dear Geneva Community,

In yesterday’s update, I indicated that we planned to suspend all school activity on Monday but that classes would resume Tuesday with the qualifier that “we may need to reconsider this plan” given the continual flow of information and changing landscape.

After a day of email and text exchanges with the school’s administrative team and Board of Trustees, we reached an agreement this afternoon that we will suspend all school activity for the entirety of next week in order to give the administrative team and faculty more time to develop a plan in the event a longer school closing is necessary or mandated by government officials.

Our closing next week is in line with Boerne ISD’s closing as well as the closings of most schools in San Antonio.  It is also in line with the Texas Association of Private and Parochial School’s decision to suspend all competitions until after Easter.

The Board of Trustees will convene next week after we have had time to form a plan to provide the school with contingencies, including online learning options.  Please look for an update around the middle of the week.

Thank you for your patience as we seek to make wise and informed decisions for the sake of your children.

Sincerely,

Brad Ryden, Head of School

March 12 Update — No classes Monday, March 16

Dear Geneva School Community,

All school activity for Monday, March 16 has been canceled. This includes all classes, meetings, athletic practices, etc. We are canceling activity in order to allow school employees to meet and work through important details. At present, we plan to resume classes on Tuesday.  However, please know that with the continual flow of information and changing guidelines, we may need to reconsider this plan.  If we do so, we will let you know as soon as a decision is made.

I know that canceling classes creates a burden for many in our school community. Some of you are single parents and others are working couples who must find childcare. If this is the case for you, I encourage you to turn to families in our community for help and support.  You and I are blessed to be a part of such a caring community, and it is during a time like this that it becomes most apparent.

We are canceling classes on Monday so school employees and I can discuss and plan around the following.

  • All school families with residing members who have traveled overseas during the break or domestically to areas where the CDC has imposed mitigation strategies (Santa Clara, CA; Seattle, WA; New Rochelle, NY) are being asked to keep their students home the next two weeks. These students may not attend classes or participate in any school activity. The faculty will provide lessons and assignments to those who are kept home. Starting Tuesday, the teachers will be in communication with you about the assignments.   No penalty will be imposed for late assignments during this period. Please use discretion and good judgment here and have the best interest of the school community in mind. If in doubt, it is better to err on the side of student safety.
  • School employees who have traveled overseas will be placed on paid leave for two weeks. Those who traveled domestically will be reviewed as related to their travel destinations. At this point, we don’t expect the number needing to be placed on leave to be more than a handful.   We have begun seeking substitutes for those who will be placed on leave.
  • We will address classroom and campus wide cleaning protocols, especially relying on faculty to keep their high-touch surfaces regularly cleaned. We are providing each classroom with a spray bottle and a cleaning solution and asking faculty to spray between classes or during periods of break when students are not present. We will also have faculty remind students of the need to wash their hands and send students to the nurse who report or appear ill.
  • We will have faculty work in teams in order to begin planning for the possibility of moving instruction online this spring. We have begun assessing our technology needs in order to hold online classes.
  • We will discuss our options for student trips (fourth grade trip to Sea World, fifth grade trip to Space Center Houston, and all TAPPS related activity this spring) as well as assemblies and other community gatherings and events. The yearbook/journalism trip planned for New York City next week was called off after Columbia University canceled the conference the students and faculty were to attend.  EF Tours, the company with which we partner on the eighth-grade trip to D.C., has elected to cancel all North America tours for the next thirty days.

If your Geneva student tests positive for the new coronavirus (COVID-19), we ask that you immediately notify school nurse Brittany Styles. She will share that information with the local Health Department who will then guide the school in how to communicate the matter to the school community and in identifying additional steps the school should take to ensure the safety of our community. Remember that no one should come to school if not feeling well or experiencing a fever.

Also, please note that the loss of one day of instruction will not require extending our school year or taking back future holidays (only the Monday after Easter would be considered). Should there be a need to cancel additional days, then we will reconsider the need to extend the school year or take back the holiday.

On Monday, the school employees and I will take time to pray for our school community, especially those who will not be joining us the next two weeks. Also, please join us in praying for wisdom and patience as we seek to fulfill our mission during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Brad Ryden, Head of School

COVID-19 Resources

Teaching Kids and Teens the Basics of COVID-19