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COVID-19: Gillen Brewer's Response

The First Day of Remote Learning

Our Reopening Plan

Ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff while providing a Gillen Brewer education remains at the heart of all decision making. Reopening our building prioritizes our students returning to in-person learning and social interaction as fully and safely as possible. Gillen Brewer has analyzed many scenarios and has taken into consideration the Federal and State Guidelines, Department of Health requirements, the school’s physical building and surrounding area, staff and parent surveys and feedback, and the needs of the students we serve.  

Upon significant consideration, GBS has decided that a hybrid model with students alternating weeks of in-person and at-home learning, best meets the needs of our community.

Meanwhile, we remain prepared to pivot to the full time At-Home Learning Program within one day's notice as needed. Our teachers and therapists have developed a high degree of proficiency with our remote platform, and as a result are able to offer individualized and dynamic schedules to meet the needs of each student.

The Community Pledge 


Arrival and Dismissal Procedures



  • The fall session began September 14th with two weeks of remote learning. During this time, staff are virtually introducing students to their teachers, therapists, and classmates, routines are being reviewed, and videos and social stories created. Staff are preparing those joining the Hybrid Model for what school will look like when they return.

  • Special attention, sensitivity and consideration will be given to students who are not returning to in-person learning.  We will also balance the excitement of returning to in-person learning with an understanding of the reality that we may need to continue with remote learning if it is not yet safe to return.  Ensuring all students feel included is a priority of our planning. 

  • Hybrid Learning Cohorts will alternate one week in the building with one week of the AHLP, beginning September 29th and October 5th, respectively.

  • Families who start with the full time AHLP will have the opportunity on October 27th to change to Hybrid Learning. 


Gillen Brewer held a Town Hall Meeting on July 20, 2020. Watch the recording below. 


Town Hall Recording


Travel Policy

New York State mandates a quarantine period of fourteen days after returning from certain states that are on the Governor’s Travel Advisory List, which is updated every Tuesday. Those who fail to follow the 14-day quarantine mandate could be fined or summoned to a hearing. 

In addition, based on recent guidance from the CDC and from New York State, all students and staff are prohibited from returning to school for 14 days following international travel. 

Health and Safety

Social-Emotional Well Being


The COVID-19 Task Force

Gillen Brewer has created a COVID-19 Task Force, led by COO Mike Hewson, to analyze all of the factors that need to be considered for our staff and students to return to our building. The COVID-19 Task Force consults with various experts and professionals in their relevant areas collecting data that focuses on several areas including legal, medical, business, building, environment, transportation, and sanitization to ensure that when we reopen, we will have in place the necessary facility modifications and PPE. We are creating a reopening manual with a clear plan that ensures the safety and health of our families and staff and takes into consideration our neighbors. In addition, we meet with the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees on a weekly basis to discuss all aspects of this crisis and make decisions accordingly. We are committed to reopening our building as soon as it is safe to do so and our first priority is the safety of our community. 

Task Force and Working Groups