Even as we are moved deeply by the strength and resilience of the GDS community, each day brings an equal awareness that many members of our community are facing immediate hardships and loss due to the impact of COVID-19. Some are being forced to question whether they will have the financial resources necessary for their children to continue to be a part of GDS. In consequence, we expect the need for financial aid to increase significantly —for existing recipients, as well as those requiring support for the first time. As an institution committed to equity and inclusion, with a deep belief that we are enriched and strengthened by each and every member of this community, we are compelled to respond and support our community through this crisis.
In order to meet this additional need, the Board of Trustees established the One GDS Community Crisis Fund in April. It is designed to support our families who have suffered economically as a result of COVID-19 by providing additional financial aid resources. Since its launch, the GDS community has risen to the challenge by donating nearly $1 million in support of this critical effort.
Additionally, a portion of the funds raised for the One GDS Community Crisis Fund have been set aside for use at the Head of School’s discretion, to allow for maximum flexibility in addressing other needs that may arise for faculty, staff, and other members of the community as a result of this pandemic.
Finally, the One GDS Community Crisis Fund allows us to provide equitable access to upgraded and expanded technology to ensure all of our students, faculty, and staff have the tools they need to stay connected and work successfully and efficiently in this new environment. The fund also supports increased funding for professional development as our school’s faculty avidly seek to master the challenges of teaching remotely and develop curriculum and programming best suited for distance learning.
After launching the fund with 100% trustee participation, we invited full community support of this critical effort to allow members of the GDS community to do what we do best—lean into our mission and come together to support each other as One GDS. We are so grateful to every member of the GDS family who made a gift in support of holding our community together during this extraordinary time.
If you have questions about the fund, please contact Lindsey Jacobson, associate director of development, at LJacobson@gds.org or 202-295-1061. If your family is facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, we encourage you to reach out to Barbara Eghan, GDS’s director of enrollment management and financial aid, at BEghan@gds.org or 202-274-3212.