Preparing for Your Arrival
Whether you are a new boarding student at GFS or coming back for another great semester, find all of the info you need to prepare for your arrival here!
Trying to figure out what to bring with you and what to buy once you get to Garrison Forest can be overwhelming. Here's a handy reference to make moving in a lot more fun!
You should bring:
- Sleep: regular twin sheets, pillow(s), mattress cover, two blankets
- Organize: hangers for your closet
- Shower: bath towels, bathroom caddy, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, body wash
- Laundry: detergent, laundry bag/basket
- Gear: umbrella or rain gear, swimming suit, and snow gear (it DOES snow in Maryland), slippers
You MAY bring:
- Sleep: comforter or bedspread, sleeping bag, throw pillows, rug, alarm clock
- Organize: shoe rack, shelf, organizers to hang over closet door for cosmetics, desk organizers, drawer organizer, storage tote, adhesive hooks
- Life Style: floor lamp, desk lamp, a fan, posters or other wall decorations, valence curtains (and tension rods), calendar, bulletin board, bean bags & lounge chair, your favorite movies (well labeled), mementos, picture frames, a plant, room fragrance, etc.
- Electronics: music system, camera, computer*, cell phone, batteries, small cube refrigerator, extension cords, surge suppresser
- Shower: weight scale, hair dryer and other hair appliances
- Laundry: iron (each residence hall has one, though)
- Eat: reusable food containers, plates, bowls, cups/mugs, eating utensils, water bottle, bag clips
You may NOT bring:
- Television, VCR/DVD player
- Hardwired telephone
- Electric blanket
- Hot pots, toaster oven, microwave, heat coil or other electrical cooking appliances
- Candles or incense
We suggest you to buy here instead of bringing from home:
- Sanitary supplies
- Laundry supplies
- Bathroom caddy
- Binders that are not three-ring, notebooks
- Bedding supplies
We suggest you bring (if you have a preference):
- Sundress for Convocation (an opening-of-the-year school event)
- Pens with 0.38mm or thinner refill
- Travel adaptors
- Hair accessories and hair ties
Garrison Forest offers comfortable, fully wired rooms. View our Residence Halls to find out what is already inside of your new room.
Guardianship Form and FAQ
The primary purpose of a boarding student guardian is to serve as an emergency point of contact within the continental United States in the case of an emergency where the student must leave campus. A parent or legal guardian of the student appoints a boarding student guardian to act on their behalf, ensuring that the student will have a safe place to stay temporarily if needed. In addition, boarding student guardians are encouraged to check in regularly with the student, providing any needed support. (Note: students over the age of 18 still require a boarding student guardian.)
Note that an educational consultant is not a child’s legal guardian in the sense of "parent or guardian."
Forms are due on August 1, 2020; students who do not have a completed form by Orientation will not be able to stay on campus.
FAQ About International Boarding Student Guardians
Why does GFS require guardians for international boarding students?
Requiring a guardian for every boarding student whose home address is not in the continental United States is a way to ensure all students have someone with whom they can reside in the case of an emergency where they need to leave campus. It is a safeguard for students, to ensure they know where they will be going and with whom they will be staying if they need to leave campus; for families, who may not be able to easily travel to the US to pick up their child; and for the school, so that we are aware of your wishes for caring for your student in the case of an emergency.
What are the requirements for guardians?
Boarding Student Guardians must be able to:
- Provide an immediate point of contact for parents, students, and school when needed.
- Be able to provide transportation and/or housing within a 24 hour period of time.
- Attend a virtual guardianship orientation to meet the Office of Residential Life.
- Inform the School in writing about all details of suitable arrangements made prior to the student leaving school for a weekend or for a longer holiday period (ex, Thanksgiving break, Winter break, Spring break). The School must know the exact details of a student’s accommodation and methods of transportation.
- Act with delegated parental authority in the case of an emergency, crisis, or medical issue as well as other matters where delegation has been agreed by parents.
- Communicate with the Director of Residential Life on a regular basis regarding the welfare of the student when the student is with them.
They must also be:
- Over 25 years old.
- Able to get to the Garrison Forest School campus within 24 hours in the case of an emergency.
- Willing and able to provide temporary housing for this student in the case of an emergency.
The boarding student guardian may be:
- a professional educational guardian employed by the parent
- another family member who meets the requirements
- a friend of the family who meets the requirements
What if I can’t find a suitable guardian for my child?
A guardian is required. If you’re having trouble finding someone, please reach out to the Director of Residential Life for guidance.
What information about my child is released to the guardian by the school?
Necessary health and wellness information, per permission between the School and the parent, will be released to the guardian.
How will I know if my child needs to be picked up by her guardian?
The School will be in touch with the parent prior to reaching out to the guardian to arrange pick-up. If parents do not respond to the School within 24 hours, the School will reach out to the guardians without parent conversation.
What interactions will the guardian have with my child?
While the school requires a guardian for students who do not live in the United States, the relationship between the students and families and the guardian is up to them to define. Some families simply select someone who can provide a safe and reliable place to stay should their daughter need to leave campus in case of an emergency, while other families forge more substantial relationships with their guardian.
What if I need to change my child’s guardian in the middle of the school year?
This is not a problem. We will need to go through the same process as when you selected your initial guardian. Please communicate with the Office of Residential Life and we can accommodate a change.
What if a boarding student needs to be picked up but the guardian cannot get to campus?
The guardian should be in touch with the parents of the student as well as the Office of Residential Life to create a plan.
How often should guardians expect communications from the school or interactions with the student they are the guardian for?
We will communicate with the guardian on all major school communications as well as necessary information as it pertains to the student.
What will it entail for guardians if their student needs to be picked up?
The guardian will be in communication with the Office of Residential Life to arrange a plan for picking up the student from campus. The School will work with them on arrangements for transportation, timing and directions.
Health Insurance for International Students in Light of Covid-19
The safety and well-being of your student is of primary importance to us. In that spirit, below please find valuable information concerning the student health insurance plan coverage as it relates to COVID-19. Please note this is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the benefits/exclusions in the plan. Please refer to the plan summary and brochure/certificate of coverage for additional details.
IS THE COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) COVERED?
- Yes. This is covered under the plan and treated as “any other sickness” – no separate limits, co-pays, etc. This will help ensure that your student has access to care and the insurance will help offset any expenses incurred.
- Symptomatic – Yes. If your student is displaying symptoms, the testing will be covered. The testing needs to be ordered by a physician (or appropriately licensed health care professional) and administered by a qualified provider.
- Asymptomatic/Screening – A specific determination is still under review. At this point, we need to plan with you to cover these costs outside of the student insurance policy.
WHERE IS MY STUDENT COVERED?
- Your student does not need to be at school to be covered – Your student’s coverage is in force and covered expenses are eligible for reimbursement anywhere in the world.
- This includes the student’s home country (thru 12/31/20)
As you know, the situation is constantly evolving. Below please find links provided by United Healthcare Student Resources (guidelines, FAQ’s, etc.) These links are updated on a frequent basis in order to address changing dynamics and questions as they arise.
https://www.uhcsr.com/news-main: “Welcome page”
https://www.uhcprovider.com/en/resource-library/news/Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19.html: detailed information (for providers) concerning testing, treatment, coding and reimbursement.
The Garrison Forest Business Office provides students with a safe place to keep their money. Families who wish to use this service must make an allowance deposit for the first three months allowance (at a minimum) before the start of school for student’s personal expenses.
The allowance account permission form allows each family to indicate an amount of money each student can withdraw over a one month period. Personal choice plays a large part in the amount a student needs to set aside for additional expenses. Some classes and athletic programs require additional fees for materials, as do field trips and so forth. The Business Office also cashes personal checks for students.
The Business Office is located on the 2nd floor of Manor House and is open Wednesday and Friday.