Getting Back to School Safely

Message from Principal Cynthia Escribano:

Greetings Gerena Families,

First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we, as a nation and community, responded to the unexpected invasion of COVID-19 in March of 2020.  I am very proud of the way Gerena Community School students, parents, and staff members handled the demands we were faced with to protect everyone as we continued to educate our students during the most unusual of circumstances. As you know, there are plans to reopen on April 5th, 2021. While we are in the business of educating, our first priority is the safety of our students and our employees. Be assured, we have been working diligently on our Gerena Community School Reentry Plans. Administrators and department leaders have been planning for increased safety procedures that can be taken at our school. Please note the following changes:

  1. Building Entry – Parents must make an appointment to enter the building.  Please email us at to schedule an appointment to enter the building. Parents will not be allowed in the building without an appointment. 

  2. Arrival-  To ensure social distancing, we have made significant changes to our arrival procedures.

  3. North Parking Lot - All students that are dropped off by a vehicle must use the North Parking Lot entrance, this is the smaller parking lot.  This will be a drop and go system.  Parents will enter the parking lot, drive up to the curb where students will be dropped off.  Staff members will be present at 8:15 AM to supervise students being dropped off.   Parents cannot park in this lot because it will cause traffic on Birnie Avenue.

  4. Main Street and Plainfield – Students who enter the tunnel through Main Street or Plainfield will maintain social distancing and wear their mask as they walk through.  The tunnel has appropriate signage that students can follow to maintain a distance of 6 feet.

  5. Buses – The Main Parking Lot will be used for bus drop off only.  Staff members will be present to ensure that students maintain social distancing as they exit the bus and enter the building.

  6. Late Arrival- Any student arriving after 8:50 AM will be considered late.  If you are  dropping your child off by vehicle late, you may enter the Main Parking Lot.  This is the only time that families can use this entrance to drop off students.  A staff member will be stationed by the main entrance to mark students tardy.   If your child walks to school and uses the Main Street or Plainfield doors, they may walk through the tunnel, go up to the doors by the auditorium where a staff member will be present to mark the tardy.

  7. Dismissal- All students that are being picked up by a vehicle must use the North Parking Lot entrance, this is the smaller parking lot.  Walkers will be dismissed via Main Street and Plainfield.

  8. Kindergarten – Kindergarten walkers will be dismissed in the cafeteria.  Car pick-up for kindergarten will be located in North Parking Lot.

  9. Early Dismissal –  If you need to dismiss your child early, please send an email to  If you are not able to email, please send a Class Dojo message to your child’s teacher and they will communicate the information to the main office.  

  10. Social Distancing All students and staff member will engage in social distancing.  We have marked the hallways, stairwells, tunnel, classrooms and outside areas with appropriate signage that students can follow. All students and staff members are expected to follow the social distancing guidelines.

  11. Uniforms- Students are encouraged to wear a uniform to school but it is not mandatory.  All students must come to school dressed appropriately

  12. Technology – All students will need to bring their laptops charged to school daily.  Students will also need to bring their chargers to school daily.

  13. Parent-Teacher Conferences, IEP Meetings, and STAT- All meetings will continue to take place via ZOOM.  When these meetings are scheduled with parents, staff members will provide parents with the Zoom link to attend the meeting.

  14. Masks- Students in PreK-5th grade are required and expected to wear a mask while in school.  We will have mask breaks during the school day.

  15. Water Bottles – Students will need a  reusable water bottle.  Students will have opportunities during the school day to fill their bottles using a touchless water bubbler.

  16. Health- If your child is not feeling well please do not send them to school.  If you send your child to school with a COVID-19 Symptom, your child will be evaluated by our school nurse and will be sent home. 

I encourage our parents to frequently visit our webpage and follow our Class Dojo page for up to date and accurate information. Our priority is to keep everyone safe as we begin with in-person learning.  I am confident that by working together we will keep students and staff safe.  I am always available should you have any questions.


Cynthia Escribano

Keeping Kids Safe Power Point for Families - ENGLISH from Springfield Public Schools on Vimeo.

Keeping Kids Safe Presentation for Families - ESPANOL from Springfield Public Schools on Vimeo.

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