Greenwich Catholic School to Come Back Stronger in Post COVID-19 World

Greenwich Catholic School is looking forward to safely reopening their doors once the State of Connecticut lifts the school closure mandate.

Greenwich Catholic School has continued to strengthen its Distance Learning Program and other curriculum-based initiatives throughout the closure. The school was also able to complete planned renovations and upgrades to its facilities ahead of schedule.

Recently, Greenwich Catholic School has seen an increase in applications for the 2020-21 school year, with many prospective families inquiring about class size limits and the school’s Distance Learning Program.

As an Academy, GCS is able to determine class sizes in order to create an optimal learning environment. Class sizes are purposefully kept lower than local public school districts to ensure differentiated learning and individualized attention, and the student-teacher ratio is 13:1 for Grades K-8, and 6:1 for PreK programs.

“As parents navigate the unknown, many are considering a change, and they recognize the value of investing in their child’s education, safety and well-being.” said GCS Principal, Patrice Kopas.

Greenwich Catholic School has been closed to students since Friday, March 13. Currently, students are engaged in a combination of virtual classes, video demonstrations, and hands-on project work.

“We are fortunate to be a close community with an extremely dedicated team who reached out to each of our families individually to ask about their distance learning experience. With valuable feedback from parents and students, we were able to create a robust, sustainable Distance Learning Program focused on student progress, ” said Kopas. “These are uncharted waters for all of us, but we always work as a team and continually rise to any occasion together. With the support of our Board, Administration and families, our faculty’s transition to distance learning was immediate. We will continue to improve our offerings to students to ensure their success throughout the closure and beyond.”

“GCS has reinvested significant capital into our people, academic program, facilities, and the health and wellness of our students,” said Mario Gaztambide, Chair of the Board of Directors. “Our commitment to the health and wellness of our community is integrated across all aspects of the school’s Strategic Plan, which will serve us well in the post COVID-19 world.”

The 38-acre campus has large classrooms and common areas that can safely accommodate students within current social-distancing restrictions. Expansive outdoor fields and play areas used for recess, Physical Education classes and Athletics can be modified to comply with new guidelines.

In an effort to combat the spread of common illnesses like flu and strep throat, which can significantly impact absentee rates among students and teachers, the school purchased multiple Clorox Total 360 Systems in 2019 to enhance existing cleaning protocols.

The machines are used on a regular basis in conjunction with daily cleaning to effectively provide large-scale disinfecting throughout campus, including in the classrooms, restrooms, locker rooms, gymnasium and on the indoor pool deck.

The school credits the use of the new machines as one contributing factor in a drop in the absentee rate during cold and flu season, as compared to prior years.

“Our Facilities Team recognized a need for these machines over a year ago, well before the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said Gaztambide. “With continued use, we are able to provide a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors throughout the year.”

When students return to GCS, they will find multiple upgrades throughout campus, many of which were completed ahead of schedule. Capital improvements include updates and renovations to the main entrance, cafeteria, and the gymnasium.

If school closures are extended by the state of Connecticut, the school will continue using their Distance Learning Program until the mandate is lifted.