Welcome Back to the 2022-2023 school year
Dear Gifft Hill School Families:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to Gifft Hill School, a place where we honor the history and heritage of our community and celebrate who we are individually, and who we can be together. Ms. McGuire, Ms. Rachael and I have been working hard this summer to prepare for an exceptional school year full of learning experiences that will help your children become the innovators, designers, and doers our world needs.
As we prepare to begin another school year I would like to extend a heartfelt invitation to you, the original cheerleaders/fans/enforcers/cat-herders, to partner with us in making your child’s education as meaningful as possible. We are committed to building and maintaining a diverse community that encourages respectful discourse and the sharing of each individual’s unique experiences and perspectives for the greater good of all. Your engagement is encouraged and your voice is valued.
Included with this letter is a variety of information to help you prepare for a smooth start on September 6. You can find digital copies of the school supply lists, summer reading assignments, school calendar, and school physical forms that were mailed earlier this summer on our website under the “MY GHS” tab. If you need another hard copy, we are happy to help. Our offices are open M-F 9:00-3:00. If you haven’t updated your contact information and your child’s medical and dietary alerts in TADS, please take a few moments to do that now so we can have all the information we need to provide for your child.
I look forward to seeing you at our Back to School Open House Friday, September 2. Feel free to drop by anytime between 8:30-10:30 a.m. to check out your classrooms, meet your teachers, and deck yourself out in GHS logowear. Masks are now optional on our campuses. Please feel free to wear them or not as you feel most comfortable. As always, I’m here to help if you have any questions!
Head of School
Quick Back to School Links
Bus service is provided courtesy of the USVI Department of Education and follows the public school calendar. This means parents should plan to transport their children on days when the public school is closed. Families living along the routes listed below should plan to wait with their children along the road during the first week of school as the drivers fine tune their routes and timing.
Tentative Bus Routes/Times:
Location Pick Up Drop Off
Salt Pond 7:00 a.m. 3:45 p.m.
Calabash 7:05 a.m. 3:40 p.m.
Coral Bay Triangle 7:10 a.m. 3:35 p.m.
Cruz Bay Battery 7:50 a.m. 3:20 p.m.
Pick Up and Drop Off
In order to accommodate traffic, our morning arrival window is from 8:00-8:15 a.m. Parents/guardians should follow the prescribed traffic flow (uphill for Lower Campus and staying left around the circle for Upper Campus) and pull over into the “kiss and ride” lane. Due to limited parking, we ask that no one park in the school lot during the drop-off window unless they have an appointment.
The afternoon pick up window is from 3:00-3:15 p.m. Please continue to follow the prescribed traffic flow (uphill for Lower Campus and staying left around the circle for Upper Campus) and pull over into the “kiss and ride” lane to collect your child. Due to limited parking, we ask that no one park in the school lot during the drop-off window unless they have an appointment.
Gifft Hill School has a dress code designed to help students keep their focus on learning by minimizing distractions within the educational environment. Students must wear the school uniform Monday through Friday on the Upper Campus unless a dress-down day has been specifically approved by the school leadership team. For the Lower Campus, the dress-down day is every Friday and school uniforms are to be worn Monday through Thursday. The GHS uniform consists of a collared, solid color polo shirt embroidered with the school’s seal in white or hunter green thread, on the left side of the shirt. If a student or parent chooses not to purchase uniform shirts provided through the school office, he/she is responsible for ensuring that the shirts meet the above requirements and that the overall appearance of the shirt meets a professional standard of workmanship. As of the 2022-2023 school year, students in the Early Learning Center (ELC) may wear a solid colored t-shirt with the Gifft Hill School logo instead of a collared shirt as they adjust to the school routine. The bottom half of the uniform consists of khaki (tan in color, regardless of style) or black pants, shorts, and skirts. Uniform bottoms should meet a professional standard for length and fit, similar to what is appropriate for the workplace or a religious occasion. Clothing should be free from rips, tears, or holes and worn such that undergarments are not visible. Students who are not in uniform will be given the opportunity to contact a parent to bring them the appropriate clothing or select a shirt/shorts from the clean, recycled uniform bin. If they refuse these options, they will be referred to the office for non-compliance with the dress code policy. The school staff and administration are the ultimate authority on whether clothing meets the above standards. In addition to the above uniform standards, the following applies:
Hats, caps, hair picks, and sunglasses are not to be worn inside the building.
Headphones and other electronic devices may not be visible or in use during instructional hours. If an educational activity requires the use of headphones, the teacher will monitor their use and remind students to remove them prior to transitioning out of his/her classroom.
Socks and sneakers must be worn during Physical Education unless the instructor specifies otherwise. Socks and sneakers or other closed-toe shoes must be worn in the kitchen and gardens during all classes or catering/cleaning activities.
Outerwear, such as sweatshirts, must be a solid color and must display the Gifft Hill School logo. No other logos may be visible. Hoods may not be worn covering the head within the school grounds and during school hours.