Returning to Learning Q&As
*For additional questions you would like answered, please email email@example.com
Questions and answers will be continually updated as the situation changes and we make more informed decisions.
I was planning to send my 3rd grader to in person learning. I'm a little unsure of what is happening the first 4 weeks of the year when everyone is online. Will students need their own device? Will they need to work all or part of normal school hours? Will after school care still be an option when school begins again on campus? ADDED JULY 29
You will need a device to work from home. The district is working to provide devices to those who need them. Please call your school if you are in need of a device. The remote learning will not require you to be online for the entire school day, but attendance will be recorded. There will be some scheduled live instruction and other assignments that can be done at any hour around your schedule.
Will remote learning still offer the ability to obtain high school credit for algebra and science courses while in 8th grade? ADDED JULY 29
The same core-curriculum courses will be offered remotely as they would be if on-site.
It was mentioned that kids will be distributed among campuses for onsite learning dependent on class size. Will my child’s spot at the home school of choice be available when we decide to switch back to on-site learning?ADDED JULY 29
We do have contingency plans for alternate sites if that become a necessity, but as it is today, your child will go to the home campus if you choose on-site.
The CDC stated the threshold for schools opening is 5%, but GCHD says 7%? ADDED JULY 28
This was a statement from Dr. Sharma at UTMB. We have been utilizing the advice and guidance of our local health authorities.
How long do cases need to be below this threshold to open to in-class? ADDED JULY 28
We will take guidance from GCHD - they have repeatedly said two weeks of maintenance or reduction. Although we have the ability to make our own decisions, using the local health authority to guide decisions will be incorporated into our plan.
If cases start rising above 7%, how long before school's go back to full remote? Is it a weekly average? ADDED JULY 28
We have not yet made a call on this. Looking for guidance from GCHD. We will be in close contact with GCHD to make case-by-case determinations.
Is there a plan to phase Ball High into a full 5 day/ week schedule? ADDED JULY 28
Not at this time especially during the first semester. As we learn more, plans may alter in the future to best serve the students.
There are seniors asking (I know, it's super early, but I'm sharing this anyways) how will this year be special for them? They saw everything done last year and those students were in classes until March. ADDED JULY 28
This will be a Ball HS set of decisions and every effort will be made to create a memorable time for our C/O 2021 Seniors .
How will Seniors with early release schedules fit within the hybrid schedule? ADDED JULY 28
Ball High and the on-site team will work on this. Detailed plans about Ball’s blended learning will be communicated from the high school.
Is the hybrid schedule a normal school day, or from 8-1 (as stated in earlier drafts of RTL from the Task Force)? ADDED JULY 28
The latest iteration is a full day.
Is there a different list of school supplies for students choosing remote learning? ADDED JULY 28
There is standard list for elementary and middle schools for GISD, and SAIL will mimic those lists. HS has course specific requirements per class/teacher.
What if students can't afford school supplies or uniforms, but need to be in-class? ADDED JULY 28
We have always supported families under these circumstances - it should be no different this year. We have amazing counselors and social workers and administrators who can support all families who need assistance.
Many, many special ed families are asking how their children fit into RTL, they have "heard nothing". I see teachers reaching out to try and answer and give comfort to parents. ADDED JULY 28
SpEd staff is working on a plan to engage parents beginning with the transition weeks. The plan is under development. The SpEd Department has developed a plan and will share it. They will be making calls directly to families to work plans. SAIL will offer accommodations and modifications with the support of the campus SpEd staff. We ask for patience and grace and that you trust that hours and hours are going into the plans for our/your students.
True homeschooling time requirements are much less than GISD stated, how is GISD justifying the extra time over what homeschool states? ADDED JULY 28
Well, we are a complete package that includes curriculum, teachers, support services, even meals at no cost to the parent. Our SAIL team is working on the hours commitment. Our program is determined by the state requirements. SAIL will offer 2 formats for completing assignments and obtaining attendance, one includes synchronous support with teachers and the other allows for following the lessons assignments/plans and turn in before midnight.
When do Ball High students make their schedules? Will there be welding? ADDED JULY 28
High school students should have already done a course selection. Schedules are usually not available until the week before school and final schedules not until the morning of the first day. Yes-there will be welding. However, if your student has not done scheduling with a Ball counselor yet, there are no longer any available slots for welding as we are completely full. If your student is anticipating being enrolled in the introductory course, that will follow GISD protocols. If your students is a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year dual credit welder, those students will follow Galveston College, in person/in the shop protocols.
Under the SAIL program, would my daughter still be able to be part of the Tornettes? ADDED JULY 28
They can still participate in Tornettes! All team members will be required to attend practices, we do not provide transportation as they are outside of regular school hours.
I just completed New Student Online Enrollment for my (Pre-K, Kinder, or new) student. I can’t access the Commitment for Online Learning in Skyward because it says I have no access in Student/Family Skyward (or your student isn’t listed with my existing students). What do I do? ADDED JULY 28
Our Skyward system just completed “rollover”. This means the Family Access staff will begin processing the enrollments, beginning the week of August 3. This basically moves the newly enrolled over from the New Student Enrollment system into the Student/Family Access system. Once your enrollment has been processed, you should be able to login to Family Access, see your new student listed and complete the SAIL commitment form.
This fall my son will be enrolled in the SAIL program for remote learning. Normally, I would be signing him up for bus transportation to school. Since he's going to be remote he won't need transportation for the foreseeable future. Wondering if I should still sign up for transportation, in anticipation of everyone returning to in-person learning sometime in the future? Or will there be an opportunity to sign up in the future when that time comes? ADDED JULY 28
Transportation recommends waiting until your student starts face-to-face instruction on campus before filling out the transportation request. The bus transportation request form will be available year round in Skyward under online forms. The information from Skyward is imported nightly and students are routed within 24 hours of the time we receive the information. We look forward to meeting the needs of our students and families when we resume on campus instruction.
Monday 7/27 they can start registering for SAIL, but I don’t understand the 2-3 days arrangement at Ball right now enough to explain to parents and kids asking me so they can decide.ADDED JULY 28
The schedule at the beginning of school for SAIL and on-site will be very similar.Once on-site actually is on-site/in-person, students will be alpha split to attend half their classes on one day and half their classes the other day (ie A-K students go Monday 1/3/5/7 and Tuesday 2/4/6/8 depending on the week (odd date=odd periods, even date=even periods)). The remaining three days will be virtual.
And up to what date can they choose SAIL if they automatically go to Ball face to face when registered?ADDED JULY 28
August 9 is the deadline to "opt-in"/register for SAIL. This is done so by completing the “Commitment for Remote Learning” form in Skyward Family Access.
Also, can I ask why Special Pops does not mention ELs or ELIA accommodations or LPAC? It had 504 and Special Education both, but nothing about EL students? ADDED JULY 28
All our students in 'special populations' will receive accommodations. We will make sure the verbiage better reflects that.
pg 2: We are starting remote, but offering the first 4 weeks as a transition period? Isn't this remote time to offer the safest solution for both students and staff? Who will be teaching those students? How are these students determined? How long will these groups of students be at school? If we are remote learning, are there teachers willing to work during that time in the building? ADDED JULY 22
The transition given to the ISDs by TEA/State is to work out protocols and concerns. Along with distribution of technology, we will be setting a calendar to transition PK/K to campuses, 5th to MS and 9th to HS. Special Education services will begin. All of this will be on a a reduced time/day schedule. Teachers by this time will be assigned to either SAIL or GISD On-Site. All staff will work with their supervisors to have some time on campus and some time from their homes to complete work beginning on their report date of Aug 10 and continuing through the transition period until Sept 18.. Of course we will address those with significant health issues that can complete the required workload from home. We will also need to be mindful of teachers that care for their children during this time...this is why the supervisors will have discretion over when the staff will report to the building. Regarding willingness of teachers....this is a decision to balance risk; it is impossible to eliminate risk. We will work to ensure that health and safety protocols are learned and followed.
pg 4: Under On-site Learning, the bullet on Social Distancing it states when possible. I don't want this to mislead staff to not utilize best practices all the time. ADDED JULY 22
We have updated this. The guideline will be < 15 per class. However, some courses especially at the HS may have more than 15, with appropriate distancing and face coverings. I do not want mislead the community by giving a hard number that we cannot maintain or that would cause unnecessary oversight. Once again, the AAP article speaking of the agreement with 3 ft distancing was brought up by Dr. Richardson, head of pediatrics at UTMB.
pg 4: Bullet Point on Face Masks Required, but then later in the document it states when developmentally appropriate. Is that exception made via a note from the Dr? Who decides? What if a student won't wear a mask (but it is developmentally appropriate for them)? Also, how would one wear a handkerchief? I'm envisioning it the same as a bandana, but bandanas are not allowed? ADDED JULY 22
Developmentally appropriate will be determined in coordination with program directors and physician input. We have students who have breathing and feeding tube support; it is not appropriate for them to wear a mask. The overall guidance is that everyone on campus will wear a face covering and if they do not bring one, it will be provided. Students that will not maintain the face covering will be addressed by campus administration. Working with the parents, the offer to retrain the behavior will be made first and then if the behavior does not change, we will help them move to a fully remote instructional environment. The bandana issue is not necessarily one of effectiveness, although they have been shown to be less effective than a woven cloth or hospital grade mask. The bandana (red/blue/black) have long been identified with gang affiliation.
pg 5: Staggered arrival/ dismissal times- will these times work upward for families that pick up from multiple campuses (elm, middle, high) ADDED JULY 22
We will practice tolerance regarding "tardies" as we identify what staggered times might look like. Initially staggered arrivals and dismissals will address buses vs car riders.
pg 6: Students/ Families screened weekly- symptoms change daily and suddenly appear, weekly screens may not catch those that are sick. ADDED JULY 22
The weekly screen will be a phone call that is explicit and documented. We will still have observation and nurse services everyday. Individual classrooms will have thermometers and a list of symptoms.
pg 6: Parents must ensure that they do not send their child to school... it goes on to say "instead should opt"; perhaps it should say "instead must opt". Otherwise it isn't clear that parents don't have to keep their kids home in that bullet point. ADDED JULY 22
Thanks for the suggestion. Now written: Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and instead will receive remote instruction until the conditions for re-entry* are met.
pg 7: no more than 15 students per classroom, will students be evenly spread across all campuses? If not, what is the plan if one campus has more students choosing in-class and classrooms would have to hold more than 15? How socially distant are desks with 15 students in a classroom? ADDED JULY 22
In a standard elementary classroom 700ft2, 36 ft2 provides for 19 individuals. Given that there are some shelving and counters in most classrooms, we have identified that an acceptable number is 15 students. Middle School and High School may have flexibility as we see how many students are returning to GISD On-Site. Ball HS is being considered for a hybrid plan that will significantly reduce number of students on any day...we are working on details of this announcement.
pg 7: The bullet point about Employees of school systems seems more like an item on an employee contract? Is it telling employees to act according in and out of school?ADDED JULY 22
This bullet is letting them know that they must fulfill the elements of their job. They cannot simply object, not show up and receive a pay check.
pg 8: Close Contact- after my conversation with you, I realize that I didn't understand this section the way you explained it to me. ADDED JULY 22
Are you more clear now after the Board Meeting? or more confused?
pg 10: 10% capacity of facility- is this capacity adjusted to the new class ratios of 15 students/ class? What if a campus has less students than the max of 15/ class, is the capacity adjusted?ADDED JULY 22
This language is directly from CDC guidelines and all Galveston County schools are using this language. We have discussed this to mean 10% of the occupancy of that day/week/period of time. Ex: Ball HS has capacity for 2575. We expect by using hybrid that there will be 500 students and 60 teachers. We would base the 10% off of 560, not 2575.
pg 11: Will SAIL teachers be working on a campus, or from their home? ADDED JULY 22Both. We will have expectation for them to report to the Scott campus on a regular basis. Individual considerations and social distance considerations will be addressed. The campus will have equipment for teachers to best deliver instruction (cameras, interactive white boards, collaborative support)
pg 11: Parent/ student communication with SAIL Teacher- is there a required time frame that the teacher will respond to the parent?ADDED JULY 22
The SAIL administrators (Julia Ramirez and Michelle Hammonds) are creating the expectations for SAIL staff that align with GISD policy/regulations. Short answer: yes
pg 11: Under SAIL, will there be a chart of how long each grade level should be working remotely/ day or week? ADDED JULY 22
Yes - the minutes reflect a combo of synchronous and independent time completing work for each day:
PK=160 minutes (synch/asynch)
K-4=370 minutes (synch/asynch)
5-8=375 minutes (synch/asynch)
9-12=430 minutes (synch/asynch)
The idea is that students will follow a bell schedule and will log into class with their teacher at the start of every period. Synchronous time will vary dependent upon the lesson. Synchronous lessons will be recorded and posted to Canvas for students to watch any time if needed. Students will either stay on longer for additional support (think small group interventions), or will move to asynchronous learning to complete assignments. Attendance will be collected when they log into their live lesson or if they submit an assignment by 11:59pm for each class that day.
pg 12: Grades- in the spring there was a big lag from some teachers taking Canvas grades and inputting them into skyward. Parents would see skyward and think their child was failing, but in Canvas everything was turned it. ADDED JULY 22
Administrator oversight will be important to gain parent trust in the system. Canvas will sync with Skyward to avoid a lag, but understand that Skyward is the official gradebook. It is possible that not all grades come from Canvas so Skyward should be the gradebook that is looked to for official grades.Will there be videos to help demonstrate new bus/ classroom procedures/ canvas for parents and students?ADDED JULY 22
Yes - we are working on these; we will also have training courses for parents/students.How are electives going to roll out during remote learning, Art, Band, Robotics? ADDED JULY 22The HS proposal (yet to be finalized) will allow for synchronous instruction for both On -Site and Remote. The four weeks of transition will allow for teachers to have an expanded leadership role in the best way to deliver instruction.After it is determined which teachers are teaching remotely for the entire year, if a teacher doesn't meet that qualification is there a safe let-out of their contract this year (without penalty) if they decide to not return to the classroom this year? ADDED JULY 22We are working with our attorney to exercise flexibility during this unique time. We are not interested in sanctioning a certification if the only reason for leaving the job is COVID or beyond the control of that employee.If there is extra wood left over from these construction projects, is there a possibility to build some pergolas or benches to help promote outdoor learning? I'm not looking to add extra costs to our budget. ADDED JULY 22We are not building things other than Parker gym...there is no leftover product. Not sure who would do the work...we might engage our HS woodshop class as they get up and going. Outdoor learning is, however, approved!
How do you know when it is safe for students or staff to return after having COVID-19? ADDED JULY 20
Guidelines on this are included in this video from Dr. Phil Keiser, Galveston County Health Authority and Professor of Infectious Disease, UTMB: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5l--dR1ZzI
What will be done to bus transportation to make it safer? ADDED JULY 20
Some of our safety practices provided by the TEA are as follows:
- Buses should vent their roof hatches to ensure constant fresh airflow
- Students should be separated but no capacity limit has been given
- The handrails, seats, and frequently touched serfaces will be cleaned and sanitized after every trip
- Drivers are required to wear a mask while driving
We are also adding the following:
- Buses are fogged with disinfectant after each run
- Students are seated 1 per seat
- A seating chart is kept to track where the students are seated in the event a student becomes ill.
I am wondering about special education classrooms where the students touch everything...and each other...and the teachers...how are we going to distance in that situation? ADDED JULY 20
We are working with guidance from expert educational and medical professionals to provide safe services to these students in an environment that is safe for the teachers and staff. Explicit guidelines will be established.
Any information on electives at the high school level? Ceramics, band, art? How does it work when kids are in triple block welding at GC? ADDED JULY 20
Campus leaders will be addressing the unique needs of fine arts, athletics and CTE. It could look different at each campus with the goal to provide quality instruction for each student’s schedule.
What is the “SAIL program” and where can I find published information from our district about the program? ADDED JULY 20
SAIL (Students Accessing Innovative Learning) is our remote learning option and will be introduced at the July 23 announcement of the GISD Returning to Learning plans.
If teachers are being surveyed this week about our choice for remote or on site teaching, why haven’t we been provided with any information regarding the remote learning environment? ADDED JULY 20
We continue to work on the environment. The survey of staff is to determine health conditions that may impact assignments. Asking staff of their preference is important to the context of meeting the needs of teachers as well as students.
We have been provided a 5 page document about on site learning only, but we have not received any information from the district about the characteristics of remote teaching. Therefore, we do not know what to expect if we have to make the choice to teach remotely. ADDED JULY 20
We are in the process creating the remote environment, as we have additional information it will be shared. It is our current thinking that staff with compromised health concerns will be assigned to the remote setting that will have presence both in the district and at the home of the staff member. GISD staff were introduced to remote instruction in the Spring of 2020. We will continue to inform staff as the program is developed.
If a teacher lives with someone that is at a high risk (type 1 diabetic, cancer patient, etc) will they be given the chance to teach online (if they have the paperwork)? ADDED JULY 20
Teachers will work with administrators and a self-check questionnaire to assess health risks of themselves and those they live with as a factor of teaching remotely.
Will teachers that teach remotely have a pay cut? ADDED JULY 20
Teacher pay will remain the same.
Are there going to be half teaching virtually and half teaching in person since the split vote from the survey?ADDED JULY 20
Teachers will either teach remotely for the SAIL program or teach in-person. If in-person students and staff are, for time periods, learning remotely, those teachers will teach remotely during that time.
Will we even out class sizes across schools? Will Austin have the same class sizes as collegiate and central? If one has more learning virtually will kids be shifted to keep the class sizes smaller everywhere? ADDED JULY 20
Once we have data from families as they choose between remote and on-site we will address equity.
Will parents be allowed to see a preview of the plan for format of online learning before the final choice is due? Eg. will materials be given to students, like textbooks, online or hard copy. Will teachers be expected to lecture in either recorded video or live video? Will assignments be graded in a timely fashion - within 2-3 days of being turned in, so that parents can monitor progress. What sort of check-ins can parents expect? ADDED JULY 20
We are in the process of developing our Fully Remote structure. We have identified two administrators to support the design and manage SAIL (Students Accessing Innovative Learning). As we identify staff and curate resources, parents will receive communication to answer questions and concerns.
The curriculum meeting presentation mentioned grades 5-12 choosing remote learning may have to enroll at AIM. If that happens, will seniors graduate from AIM and not BHS- meaning lower class sizes for both and a skewing of the top 6 and 10 percents used by Texas universities? Does the AIM model differ from traditional classroom - is it predominantly machine led and only teacher monitored? Or is every teacher at AIM certified in the instructional areas they monitor progress for? ADDED JULY 20
The early discussion to utilize AIM campus identification will not be needed.
Will all AP and dual credit courses be available both remotely and in person? ADDED JULY 20
Yes they will.
Some masks and face covers make it very, very difficult to identify the person while they are wearing it. When parents come to the school will the office ask the adult to temporarily remove the mask so the staff can make sure the license/ID matches the adult? Will there be a standard of size for masks/coverings for students so we can identify them easier? ADDED JULY 20
Face coverings, like all clothing, must not present a distraction to the the educational process. Checking in adults, which will be rare so that we can maintain social distancing on campuses, may include additional questions to confirm identity.
What are the plans for school arrivals? Will more entrances be open and if so how does that impact other safety issues? If children are expected to enter through one entrance and wait outside, how will it be handled when it rains/Thunderstorms? Ball High floods easily so waiting outside doesn’t seem realistic. ADDED JULY 20
We will continue to work through best practices. To effectively answer this question, we will need the support of Ball HS staff to vision the issues and problem solve from the ground up.
Are all teachers using Canvas for ALL assignments so that if we have to all go to virtual learning it will be an easy transition? ADDED JULY 20
Teachers are expected to use Canvas as their online learning platform district-wide but not ALL assignments may be in Canvas necessarily.
Regarding the model of the students remaining in the same class, how does this pertain to high schoolers where they may be at different levels for different subjects? Example: Some students might take 1 dual credit class, some might take 2 dual credit and others might take 5 dual credit classes. ADDED JULY 20
High school students will not be in one class all day once we determine a safe time to introduce on-site instruction. Healthy practices will be expected (masking, distancing, staggered times in hallways, etc). Some courses may be remote only and can be access on or off campus.
How will GT and/or dual language be handled virtually vs. in person? Will qualified teachers be available for each option? ADDED JULY 20
Lessons will be designed and vetted by qualified teachers of record. There may be times when remote delivery of instruction is facilitated by another staff member.
Is the district going to hire more nurses or health aides? Nurses already are overwhelmed in the clinics. ADDED JULY 20
Yes, there is a recommendation for additional support in the campus clinic.
Will the district purchase touchless soap dispensers, faucets, and driers? ADDED JULY 20
We will not re-fit all areas. Learning how to manage in the current environment will be expliciting taught to students and staff.
My concern is that staff goes back two weeks before the students. That means the classrooms will have to be disinfected every day until the students start. During those two weeks, Staff will be going in and out of each other’s classrooms to set up, staff development, itinerant staff going from campus to campus, etc. Wouldn’t it make more sense for staff to start one week before the students? ADDED JULY 20
Staff preparation may be virtual and in-person. Expectations and instructions in how to limit contact with others will be in place. Contractual obligations (187 days for teachers) will need to be considered and typically support 10 days prior to student arrival.
“How” will we completely enforce social distancing everywhere?ADDED JULY 20
There can be no such guarantee...only a promise that we will continue to work to address appropriate behaviors to support health and safety across our schools.
Protocol says we will take temperature checks daily, However, it has been mentioned that younger kids don’t show symptoms. So what will happen when we temperature check asymptomatic children and they show no symptoms? Did we just let them into the school without truly knowing if they have it? ADDED JULY 20
At this time we have not determined that daily temperature checks for students is a best practice. Our efforts will need to be employed for best results and not merely quantity.
Have outdoor classrooms been considered? ADDED JULY 20
We will encourage and plan for students to have access to the outdoors. Health and safety in heat and humidity will also need to be considered. There are no plans to construct fully outdoor classrooms.
How will recess be handled? What if students will not keep a mask on? ADDED JULY 20
Campuses will work on procedures and protocols for recess and outdoor activities. We will continue to work with the students to be consistent with masking.
Is GISD currently working with the Galveston County Health Department/Health Authority in formulating its plans for returning to school during a pandemic and in light of the current local surge in cases? (For instance, are you taking into account not just the number of cases but the rate of growth and the rate of infections per 100,000 population in determining what's safe?) ADDED JULY 20
Yes, we have weekly meeting with health professionals.
I saw news coverage yesterday that indicated there is currently a 3-week "grace period" during which ISD's can offer online learning before resuming face-to-face learning. In yesterday's coverage, Gov. Abbott indicated that the grace period might be extended, given the rampant spread of COVID in Texas right now. It was the first I'd heard of this 3-week window. Are you aware of this and could this possibly allow GISD some flexibility in returning to face-to-face instruction if spread isn't under control by Aug. 24? ADDED JULY 20
As of July 17 this information has changed. We continue to stay abreast of changing guidance, guidelines and grace from the state and the TEA. Currently there is a four week window for fully virtual, with a board vote to extend to 8 weeks. There are specific criteria to utilize this instructional consideration.
I've also seen coverage of other districts (El Paso, Alief, Fort Bend as examples) announcing they'll be online only at the beginning of the year. How are they able to do that? ADDED JULY 20
Guidelines and guidance from the state and TEA continue to change. Local health authorities now have explicit authority to impact the school start date and fully remote learning options.
How will Dual Credit courses with Galveston College be handled with regard to face-to-face vs. online learning? Will these students get instructions for how to set preferences for both Ball High and GC? ADDED JULY 20
GISD and GC are working together to best serve students. Information will be provided to students that are enrolled in DC courses.
If several students are feeling ill from different teachers and are sent to the nurse, will they all be put in the same "isolation room". Does Ball High have an area big enough for this? ADDED JULY 20
We are identifying space to serve students experiencing ill health while on campus. Nursing staff and support from local health officials will determine the best placement and use of isolation rooms.
Who will monitor restrooms to assure that students are social distancing, washing hands, etc? What happens when, say, 10 teachers send students out at the same time to the same bathroom? ADDED JULY 20
Administrators will address this at each campus because the configuration of buildings is unique.
What happens if students refuse to social distance? ADDED JULY 20
We will utilize the opportunity to re-teach appropriate expectations and behaviors. Students that are unwilling to follow directions will be considered for disciplinary or alternate actions that may include fully remote instruction.
If a classroom can't accommodate seating for the 6 ft social distancing, the document says to have more hand washing but what happens with sneezing/coughing? Students are told to sneeze/cough into a kleenex. Will the district provide the Kleenex? ADDED JULY 20
The district will continue to purchase PPE for staff and students including tissue for personal use.
Food deliveries will not be accepted. What happens with students that sneak this in through all the different access points? ADDED JULY 20
Students are able to bring their own food, it is the delivery that is prohibited.
Teachers will be expected to clean the room. When will we have time? It should be done before each new group of students. ADDED JULY 20
Campus administrators will work with staff to best meet the unique needs of the campus. We will all be asked to contribute in new and different ways during the pandemic.
If 3 or more people in an area are confirmed to be infected (say a classroom) and one of those people is the teacher, Who will be teaching the class remotely? ADDED JULY 20
A quarantine does not necessarily suggest illness. Remote instruction may be indicated. If students are in a classroom, a monitor or facilitator will be assigned to the room.
What options will be available for those students receiving special services like speech and dyslexia? My daughter was diagnosed but not able to receive services during remote learning last year because she was newly diagnosed. ADDED JULY 20
We will be working with families and staff to set up the best method for meeting each student’s instructional needs.
What if parents of special service students choose to be virtual learning? Accommodations for IEP’s? ADDED JULY 20
We will be working with families and staff to set up the best method for meeting each student’s instructional needs.
Also, will GISD be able to support gifted and talented virtual/remote learning? ADDED JULY 20
We intend to meet each student’s instructional needs.
I’m considering either a hybrid or virtual learning 2020-2021 school year but I work 7a-3p. How is attendance going to be accounted for when most learning would be done in the evening? Will classes/instructions be recorded? ADDED JULY 20
In order to claim attendance, we will need to show evidence of learning in one of three daily engagement measures: interaction with the LMS (Canvas), contact with the instructor, or submission of work.
When and where will we publish supply lists? What resources do we have for families who cannot afford to buy materials for their students? ADDED JULY 16
School supply list will be posted on https://www.gisd.org/Page/9235. Campus counselors and administrators can assist families in need of assistance with supplies or uniforms.
At the middle and High School level will water fountains be turned off so kids can’t use them? ADDED JULY 16
The mouth delivery system will be off for all campuses. We are looking for bottle fill options.
Again at the high school level will we have monitors in the restrooms enforcing proper hand washing? ADDED JULY 16
We will provide instructions, demonstrations and reminders.
I have sinks in my lab and have planned to have kids wash hands upon entry but that will require way more soap and towels than I am currently allotted. ADDED JULY 16
We will work with campuses and departments to provide additional supplies for hygeine and safety protocols.
Is GISD putting us into the highest risk situation? ADDED JULY 16
Parents will have a choice between fully remote and on-site modified instruction. Teachers and staff are completing a self-assessment and working with administrators to put them in the best possible situation to meet their needs, and the needs of their students. Remaining at home is indeed the safest option.
Will there still be ACE and TorKids after school programming for families who choose on site learning this year? If so, when/where should applications be filled out and submitted? ADDED JULY 16
ACE and TOR will have onsite after school activities as long as there is some face to face learning. Finalized plans will follow the District's announcement on 7/23. TOR Kids (K-2) space will be extremely limited. Registration information will be available toward the end of July.
I am worried about students lying about symptoms: false positives -- just don't want to be at school, so they lie, or false negatives -- lie because they want to be at school instead of home. ADDED JULY 16
Thank you for your input, we too have this concern and will all work to promote honesty in the interest of our school community.
How many absences will be too many for students to not get credit for the class? ADDED JULY 16
Students will be held to the 90% rule. Remote learning that is documented through one of the three engagement measures will count at in-attendance.
How long is lunchtime going to be extended in order to accommodate social distancing? Due to that extension, will we lose instructional minutes to the year? Will the school day/year be longer? ADDED JULY 16
There is a proposal to add 10 additional minutes to each day. Attendance minutes in Texas include the lunch period.
Will students have to wear your uniforms? What happens if they can’t afford it? ADDED JULY 16
We expect students to adhere to the dress code. Campus principals and counselors can refer students and families to a variety of resources.
It was stated that campuses must have 10% of its occupancy in order to close? For my campus, that means we have to have around 15 with it to go virtual. I think that is way too many kids or adults and will likely not happen and we will just go in circles infecting each other. ADDED JULY 16
Our guidelines continue to develop.
Will groups be sent home if they are exposed to a positive? ADDED JULY 16
Each case will be reviewed relative to the definition of Close Contact, as well as guidance from health professionals.
Will there be temperature checks before students enter the bus? If not, the nurse should be present at the school entrance to take temperatures. If a CV19 positive student enters the building, she/he will expose many other students and staff even before they reach their classrooms. Teachers should not be the ones responsible for temperature checks. ADDED JULY 16
The Texas Education Agency suggests that regularly performing a forehead temperature check of otherwise asymptomatic students in school is not recommended, but the practice is also not prohibited by this guidance. We continue to evaluate the guidance of the TEA with the needs of our community.
What happens if parents/guardians do not complete the weekly screening questionnaire, will their child be allowed to attend school? ADDED JULY 16
There are many ways to complete this requirement. It is a requirement to attend school that week.
Will personal water bottles be added to the school supply list this year? ADDED JULY 16
This is in discussion. We are also working with organizations that may want to provide individual water bottles.
As a STEM Lab teacher next year, a lot of the materials used such as legos, robots, etc. will need to be sanitized. Will the district provide and replenish the cleaning supplies and will I have time built into my day to adequately sanitize the materials? ADDED JULY 16
District will provide cleaning supplies. All of our schedules will be impacted with the opportunity and responsibility to sanitize.
My concern is if I, the teacher, gets sick with Covid-19 and I have to quarantine, does that come out of my sick days? I am especially curious about this for two reasons, the first one being I am saving those days for maternity leave for when I plan on having a baby. Also I am asthmatic, meaning I am high risk. If I catch Covid-19 I am unsure of how long it will take me to get over it. I am hoping there is some sort of plan in place to cover teachers who are contracting the virus at school so they can quarantine safely without using their days. If not, I fear there will be many teachers who will come to work sick and refuse to be tested because they don’t want to lose pay or days. ADDED JULY 16
Each staff will participate in a self evaluation of health conditions that may indicate fully remote work conditions. The FFCRA provides protection for employees, to a point. Use of sick and personal days will not be waived, but there are several new considerations for employees with extenuating circumstances.
This does not address teachers getting sick and what will happen if we are exposed or COVID positive? I know we get 10 days. What happens after that if we are still sick? How will we get paid? Who will sub? ADDED JULY 16
There are some additional FFCRA considerations for employees that experience extenuating circumstances. Health insurance options are provided as a condition of employment. We are working to secure additional substitutes.
If children present symptoms, are they required to get tested for COVID prior to return? Are they required to get a negative test prior to returning to campus as not to infect others? How will we handle this considering it’s taken 5-7 days in some cases to get results? A lot of people could be infected in that time. ADDED JULY 16
Re-Entry/Returning to School:
For any individual who is either a) lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
o If diagnosed with COVID-19 the individual may return to school when all three of the following are met:
- At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications)
- Improvement in symptoms (cough, shortness of breath); and
- At least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared
o If you have symptoms that could be COVID-19 and not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three steps of criteria listed above.
o If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 related and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis; or b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID at an approved COVID-19 testing location.
Why is the district planning a convocation? Will it be virtual? In-person convocation seems risky, and does not seem essential. ADDED JULY 16
There is no final decision as of now.
I realize forehead thermometers cost more, but the benefits may outweigh the cost. ADDED JULY 16
The district is taking guidance from the Texas Education Agency and multiple health organizations that discourage daily temperature checks of students. There is a very small correlation between temperature and COVID-19 in children. A final decision on temperature checks is pending.
Will the district be providing teachers/staff with the face shields and masks or will we be required to obtain our own? What is the age group for students to wear a mask? ADDED JULY 16
The district will provide PPE such as masks, shields and gloves. Employees will not be prohibited from using their own. All individuals will be masked, as developmentally appropriate on a case by case basis.
Will the district be providing teachers/staff with the face shields and masks or will we be required to obtain our own? What is the age group for students to wear a mask? ADDED JULY 15
The district will provide PPE such as masks, shields and gloves. Employees will not be prohibited from using their own. All individuals will be masked, as developmentally appropriate on a case by case basis.
If I decide to participate in remote learning for the first 2 grading periods, am I locked into remote learning for the rest of the year? Is there a cut off to when we can decide to switch? ADDED JULY 14
Each grading period will have a two week window to announce continuation or change.
What if the remote option is not engaging enough for my child and I switch to an outside program for the rest of the year. Do I lose my schools of choice spot? ADDED JULY 14
Yes, if you remove or withdraw your child from the array of Galveston ISD choices, you will be asked to reapply in the Schools’ of Choice system.
Has there been any talk about pushing the start date back a few weeks to see if Covid cases come down? ADDED JULY 14
Yes. Our task force and admin team continue to look at various options and possible scenarios.
Also wondering about high school friday night football games...I have a son in the band...will we have to use more buses to transport the band to away games? ADDED JULY 14
We continue to follow UIL guidelines for both athletics and fine arts. The guidance is evolving.
How will social distancing be maintained in a normal sized classroom (not a lab classroom)? ADDED JULY 14
We have assessed the size of individual classrooms and are working with our learning stations (desks) for maximum distancing. Students will be faced the same direction. Masking and face shields will be required.
If we are providing virtual learning on campus, what is the point of being in the building and exposing ourselves to the virus? ADDED JULY 14
The State of Texas requires us to offer on-site face to face instruction five days per week for families requesting such a setting.
Who will be policing water fountains? ADDED JULY 14
Water fountains will be taped off for use by mouth and each campus will determine the best way to monitor them.
Who will be providing sanitation supplies? ADDED JULY 14
The District will be providing sanitation supplies.
Will teachers be provided with ENOUGH supplies? ADDED JULY 14
It is our sincere intention to provide all needed supplies. Availability will be an ongoing concern.
How will you manage classes (like PLTW) that require the use of computers when we are not a 1 to 1 campus? ADDED JULY 14
We are fortunate to have an exceptional partnership with the Moody Foundation. A gracious gift of $1.9 million dollars will provide the 1:1 platform for the 2020-21 school year. GISD will develop a succession plan for continuation of 1:1 technology beyond 2020-2021.
Who is in charge of disinfecting laptops/chromebooks between each use? ADDED JULY 14
We are all responsible to follow sanitary practices for devices.
Are we going to have more time between classes to properly sanitize? If we do, who will be in the hallway with the students making sure they're maintaining social distancing? ADDED JULY 14
Class change procedures will be decided per campus by the administration team.
Are we getting better insurance to help us pay for the costs of the disease that we will all surely get from placing 2,500 people in a building without opening windows? ADDED JULY 14
We continue to be insured with TRS Active Care.
If social distancing is not possible, do the teachers receive legal coverage if a parent decided to sue because their child or family member became ill, or died, as a result of our small classrooms/large student population? ADDED JULY 14
The Texas Education Code grants broad immunity to professional employees. Personal teacher liability insurance continues to be available to teachers and staff.
If a child comes to school without a mask, will you turn them away? ADDED JULY 14
A mask will be provided for students that do not arrive with one.
Will teachers still receive their mandated lunch breaks if students are eating in their classrooms? ADDED JULY 14
Yes, teachers will receive their lunch break.
What will be the consequences for students that refuse to comply with mask wearing, sanitation and/or social distancing and put other students in deadly situations? This is a worse offense than fighting… ADDED JULY 14
This is first a teaching moment. Like other disciplinary concerns, the parents will be involved in working for the desired outcome: consistently wearing a mask. Families that disagree with the masking component may choose the fully remote choice of instruction.
What are the options for TEACHERS that are immune compromised or live with someone who is immune compromised? Can we also participate in virtual learning? ADDED JULY 14
Teachers and staff will utilize a self-assessment tool and work with administrators to determine who is eligible for accommodations and teaching remote learning.
Will teachers be provided workers compensation should they contract the virus at work and need hospitalization, procedures, or have any lifelong or life altering effect from the virus? ADDED JULY 14
The answer is complicated. Generally, workers compensation does not cover routine community-spread illnesses like a cold or the flu because they usually cannot be directly tied to the workplace. Texas has taken no action to date, so the current answer is no.
If my own child is exposed at one school, will I have to also quarantine (since I teach at another school)? ADDED JULY 13
Close contact with a lab-confirmed individual, as defined in our guidance will require self-quarantine. If you did not have direct contact with the lab-confirmed individual, you may not have to quarantine. We will use our contacts and resources at UTMB and the Galveston County Health District to inform the next best step for each inquiry.
If I have more than one child, I could spend more time quarantining, than teaching if there are outbreaks in multiple schools. Can remote learning handle teachers moving back and forth from remote to in-class teaching? ADDED JULY 13
We are creating our on-site instruction to also support intermittent remote learning experiences. We do not yet know our system’s capacity for back and forth, however we are designing to the best of our current knowledge.
Administration is making plans, but teachers have to implement them. Was there ever a conversation with just teachers to include how all of this would work in a classroom? ADDED JULY 13
Along with teachers on the initial task force, the guidelines for on-site instruction re-entry plan are currently in front of all GISD teachers and staff for review, suggestions and input.
How will my classroom work if I can’t hug and comfort upset students? ADDED JULY 13
Love and care can come in many different ways. We trust you will find a way.
If a student comes late to school and misses breakfast… will there be an option for that student to have a snack? ADDED JULY 13
Our child nutrition plan does not have an option to do so. GISD principals have always found a way to support students in need, we don’t think 2020-2021 will be any different in that regard.
What considerations have been made for our more at risk populations- racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19-19? We have families in our district that will not get tested because they are illegal. There could be mass guilt from students that are tested positive and they “make their teacher or peers sick”, if someone died that student could really be upset. ADDED JULY 13
We are engaging several partners to address the social and emotional pressures of our time. SEL staff, counselors, Teen Health Center and others are working alongside GISD in preparation for the 2020-2021 school year.
What if my classroom only has tables, will the district provide Plexiglas to help separate students? ADDED JULY 13
Principals and the District are reviewing needs and funding resources, including desk/table separation units.
Will the district continue to provide hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes throughout the year? Many parents lost their jobs and can’t afford to help stock a classroom with wipes and spray, let alone if a parent can even find it. ADDED JULY 13
GISD continues to purchase and provide necessary supplies. Bleach based products are not approved for use by students. We will work to maintain supplies of appropriate products.
My classroom is small, even with desks 3 ft apart, you can’t fit more than about 15 students. Students are going to need hugs, love and support from their teachers, but this all sounds so cold. ADDED JULY 13
We too are concerned that school will look and feel different. GISD will work to support the health, physical and emotional needs of each student and staff member.
How many cases of COVID-19 before a classroom will switch over to remote learning? ADDED JULY 13
GISD and the other Galveston County school districts are working together to develop a response protocol. Additionally, guidance from state leaders continues to evolve/change with additional data. We will post the protocols upon adoption.
Will a mock video be made for parents to see how returning to school will look? ADDED JULY 13
Yes, we are planning on making a video to show how we envision the return to school will look with safety measures in place.
What if my child’s classroom is shut down and they have to go to remote learning, but they are too young to be home all day while I teach? ADDED JULY 13
There is employee protection for parents who must remain at home when their child's school is closed. See Department of Labor FFCRA https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
I feel like my choice is either to teach in class or GISD is asking me to resign. ADDED JULY 13
We understand that each case and individual will face decision points. We are working to meet accommodations for staff with documented health restrictions. Communicating your needs and concerns with your supervisor is the first step.
Is it really safe to return to school, even with smaller class sizes? Cases are on the rise everywhere. Why not start out hybrid or even remote and then build up to in person in the classroom? ADDED JULY 13
It is dangerous to start when the trend is up in cases in our area. The State of Texas requires that each District provide on-site instruction 5-days per week for families that need this option. We will do our best to accommodate the guidance from the state and stand for the health of our students and staff.
“Schools of Choice” – if a student chooses to “go virtual” for one or more grading periods, does that student retain their place in their current school, or must they reapply after “going virtual” and then choosing to go back to in-school learning? ADDED JULY 13
We will retain the seat/space announced in the schools of choice application process. We are working to understand if one campus has a large percentage of fully remote students, how the remaining students might temporarily attend another campus, while following the health guidelines.
How will sick leave be handled if a teacher gets COVID-19 from school? If a teacher doesn’t have coverage, or limited coverage, will workman’s comp be used after the 2 week paid sick time? Is it unpaid time off? (Understanding that quarantining could happen several times during the year.) ADDED JULY 13
See Department of Labor FFCRA https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave In addition to 80 hours of full paid leave under certain quarantine situations, there are partially funded options under specific circumstances. If multiple quarantines are indicated, we will work with the labor law and attorney guidance to inform the employee. We have yet to put the new laws into place and do not have a functional answer at this time.
How understanding is administration/ principals going to be if I/ the teacher keep having to quarantine because of repeated exposures at school? Will they reprimand me for being out too much? ADDED JULY 13
A performance reprimand is just that, for poor performance. Each individual case of sick/personal time will be addressed to the merits of the situation.
If a group/class is assessed during tracing and found to be a high-risk group, who will pay for the testing and retesting? What if free testing is no longer offered? ADDED JULY 13
Testing continues to evolve and if needed, we will work with agencies to assist teachers and students to get testing required according to guidelines.
What if the bus driver is out for 2 weeks- are there going to be bus subs to help get my child to school? ADDED JULY 13
We are working on a variety of contingency plans. Providing private transportation to school is the safest option.
What if the school nurse has to be home for 2 weeks and schools now have to have a fever/ COVID room and a nurse’s office? ADDED JULY 13
We are working on a variety of contingency plans. There is a pending request for additional nurse support at each campus.
How are bathroom breaks for students going to be managed when most bathrooms only have 2 stalls/ urinals? ADDED JULY 13
Bathroom proceedures will be a campus decision due to various configurations and schedules.
Will grief counseling be offered if a teacher dies from COVID, students might feel responsible if they were diagnosed? ADDED JULY 13
Yes, we have trained grief counselors available through ESC4.
If staff isn't working in the buildings right now due to risks from COVID, how can the district ask teachers to return (when the staff themselves aren't willing to take that risk right now)? ADDED JULY 13
Staff have been working all summer in a variety of configurations. We introduced on site instruction with our summer programs on July 7, 2020. We will use the summer programs to inform our decisions for fall 2020. During the high incident of infection it is best to stay home and follow distancing/masking protocols. The state of Texas requires that we provide face to face instruction for families that request instruction 5 days/week.
Homeschooling seems like a better choice than remote learning. Last spring did not work for us. How will remote learning this fall be more beneficial to my child than homeschooling? ADDED JULY 13
Homeschooling is every Texas parent’s right. The GISD fully remote option will have an array of resources, designed by teams of trained professionals, using the TEKS to ensure the full curriculum is provided. We too learned from our emergency closure and have spent the summer months designing instruction that is stronger and more engaging.
Will teachers have accommodations if a 504 student is opting for remote learning? ADDED JULY 13
Yes, we will continue to follow federal law to protect 504 accommodations.
Will remote learners have free breakfast and lunch available to them? ADDED JULY 13
Yes, similar to our curbside pickup during the spring building closures and summer program.
Will there be tutorials and better resources to walk parents through the online programs? ADDED JULY 13
Yes, we are working on a parent support program.
Will Canvas and Skyward be linked better so teachers' grades in Canvas will show in skyward right away? This was a double step and many teachers were not punctual in putting grades in skyward. ADDED JULY 13
We have been working on a smooth integration of our District resources so that parents and students can best access grades and information. Skyward will remain the official gradebook. Not all grades may come from graded Canvas assignments, also, Skyward gradebook will reflect grade weights (daily grades, major grades, homework grades) where Canvas grades may not. Canvas Grades is a great place to check if Canvas assignments are being completed successfully, Skyward gradebook will show grades for all course work and a correct calculation for the grading period.
If there are more teachers opting for remote teaching than what is needed, and more teachers are needed for classroom assignments, how will administration decide who gets which choice? ADDED JULY 13
Our staff will participate in a self-assessment regarding their health accommodations, abilities to deliver remote instruction and preference. Principals will help to determine the best assignment for each grading period.
Is there a cap on class sizes for the in-class option? ADDED JULY 13
Each classroom has been assessed for size. There is no one-size fits all. Physical distancing guidelines will inform decisions.
Will employees have to be asymptomatic to go to work? Or are some symptoms acceptable? ADDED JULY 10
Employees should be asymptomatic to attend work. No symptoms are excluded, if an employee is not well, they must stay home until they meet the re-entry requirements determined by the district.
If a teacher tests positive how does their sick leave work? ADDED JULY 10
GISD is a covered employer under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and will adhere to its guidelines. Information about FFCRA can be found at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employee-paid-leave
Where will the pool of substitute teachers come from when teachers are out sick? ADDED JULY 10
This is yet to be fully determined. Workforce shortages may well determine intermittent closures. The board is currently reviewing the possibility of having full time substitutes to have at each campus. The board is also reviewing substitute compensation.
Will teachers be able to choose between teaching on-site and remote teaching? ADDED JULY 10
Teachers will be able to submit their preference but there is no guarantee that they will get their preference. There will be a screening process to determine who might need accommodations to teach remotely.
Will additional compensation be paid to create a version of curriculum that is optimized for current CDC guidelines such as no shared materials, and no collaborative, small group projects? ADDED JULY 10
Evidence of learning will take on a new standard as we manage and transition together to methods that best support the health and safety of students and staff. Additional compensation is not being considered at this time.
Will school district employees get hazard pay? Will staff be compensated for additional cleaning duties inherent in meeting CDC guidelines for the campus? ADDED JULY 10
There is no hazard pay at this time. Additional compensation could exist if the district closes and essential employees are called in during that time.
Will PPE be provided? ADDED JULY 10
We will have some PPE to provide for teachers and students.
What types of cleaning protocols will be implemented and how often in order to reduce possible infections? Will extra custodial staff be hired to clean/spray/wipe down the building? ADDED JULY 10
Approved disinfecting wipes will be used daily at all locations. The custodial staff has hospital grade disinfectants for daily cleaning and Germblast is a new partner we will be utilizing https://www.germblast.com/. The plan is to hire additional custodial staff for each campus.
Will parents have a choice of whether to have their child wear a mask or not? How will this be handled to ensure the safety of our staff members and other students? ADDED JULY 10
Per TEA schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of face covering for anyone 10 and older in a public facility. In addition to the executive order, GISD may require the use of masks or face shields for adults or students for whom it is developmentally appropriate and will announce our specific guidelines and procedures prior to the start of school.
Is there a plan to reduce class sizes to limit contact and better achieve proper social distancing? ADDED JULY 10
With less than half of all parents expressing interest in sending their students back to on-site instruction, the class sizes will naturally be reduced allowing for proper social distancing. If more students return than we expect, alternative student configurations will be discussed to address the social distancing guidelines.
Will there be subs for teachers that have to miss class or will those students be given a remote class? ADDED JULY 10
Yes, we will depend on subs. Students could be switched to a remote class in the event of a grade level teacher shortage or partial/full closure of a campus.
Will afterschool programs have strict protocols (PPE and social distancing)? ADDED JULY 10
All programs will adhere to the same health and hygiene practices that are in place during the school day.
What will happen if several teachers are out for one grade level at a school? ADDED JULY 10
If that many teachers and subs have been exhausted for one grade level it would be likely that the campus would have too many positive COVID-19-19 cases to remain open for on-site instruction. If still open with no one to teach a grade level, discussions would take place to consider remote learning for those students while still allowing them to come on-site to log in and continue studies online with a remote teacher. The GISD on-site model provides for intermittent closures where instruction will be delivered remotely for a short period of time.
In the midst of a pandemic, teachers are going to be in a classroom with up to 20 students every day? ADDED JULY 10
There will not be 20 students in a regular sized classroom. Class sizes will be limited and 6ft social distancing will take place when possible.
During COVID-19 in NYC, 28 paras died, 30 teachers, 2 administrators, no one from central office and no one from the school board died of COVID-19. What makes admin think that the same won’t happen in GISD? ADDED JULY 10
It has not been established that GISD admin thinks the same won’t happen. Administration has not and will not express an opinion about potential death rates among employees. If the state and TEA require school districts to offer on-site instruction then this question would need to be directed toward those decision makers. School districts are not necessarily voluntarily choosing to offer on-site instruction.
What happened to the original hybrid plan? ADDED JULY 10
Since the TEA requires public schools to offer five days of on-site instruction per week, the original hybrid plan would disqualify us from receiving funding since remote learning would be the only option for two or three days per week.
If cases and spread remain the same, will school begin with a regular schedule? ADDED JULY 10
We did add ten minutes to each day to enable us to use the time as make-up days due to potential closure(s). Other than that, the schedule will be regular.
How are teachers to create the controlled environment with kids? They already can’t sit in their seats? ADDED JULY 10
If summer school is an indication, the small class size and social distancing measures have been extremely successful in creating a controlled environment. Adjustments will be discussed if control becomes impossible to maintain. Working with parents, teachers and administrators will underscore unacceptable student behaviors are a health concern. A student sent home for a parent/guardian to address unacceptable behaviors will have a remote component of instruction.
Will parents have to sign an agreement with the school on school/ classroom expectations? If a student violates the contract they are bumped to remote learning? ADDED JULY 10
There will be no contracts to require remote learning. Intermittent remote learning may be used to address unacceptable behaviors.
Schools are a hub for a virus. What companies are forcing workers to offices when they can work online? ADDED JULY 10
Please understand that school districts must offer the on-site option in order to get state funding. It may not be the voluntary choice for each district.
Will there be live teaching in remote learning, not just someone’s voice or links to outside sources, but a GISD teacher? ADDED JULY 10
We will have both synchronous teaching (on-line together) and asynchronous (independent) teaching and learning. The asynchronous/ independent model will serve the most students and families in their time to access the content and participate in the learning process.
What is the first day for students for the 2020-2021 school year?
The first day of school is August 24, 2020. This has not changed from the original approved calendar.
What are some key definitions?
- On-Site: Learning that occurs at school, sometimes referred to as face-to-face.
- Remote: Learning that occurs at home or another site away from school. Remote learning may occur online and may include both asynchronous and synchronous learning models.
- Hybrid: Students attend school based on-site and remote learning through a combination of asynchronous and synchronous online teaching and learning methods.
- Synchronous Online Learning (grades 3 and up): Two-way, real-time/live, virtual instruction between teachers and students when students are not on campus. Synchronous instruction is provided through a computer or other electronic device or over the phone.
- Asynchronous Online Learning: Instruction that does not require having the instructor and student engaged at the same time. In this method, students learn from instruction that is not necessarily being delivered in-person or in real time. This type of instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, such as prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own.
What is an LMS?
An LMS (Learning Management System) is an online platform that provides for the administration, documentation, tracking and delivery of educational courses. Galveston ISD uses Canvas as their LMS.
How will you help fill any gaps my student has from the 2019-2020 school year?
Students will be assessed to determine individual strengths and deficits. These assessments will determine if students need additional support.
How will the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) needs of our students be addresses?
Teachers are trained to recognize students who show signs of needing additional support. Galveston ISD employs mental health professionals that can talk to students and families having difficulty transitioning back into school given the unfamiliarity of a different school environment.
Will face coverings be required?
Currently, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommends all individuals 10 years old and over wear face coverings. All GISD students, as developmentally appropriate, will be encouraged to wear face coverings while on campus.
Will students in elementary still have classes like PE and other specials?
Yes, students will continue to participate in specials. In some cases, the teacher may present the lesson in the students’ classroom or online to reduce the amount of student group movement and cleaning required during the day.
Will my elementary student have recess?
Yes, elementary students will have recess time with restrictions that limit the number of students they come in contact with.
Will CDC social distancing guidelines be observed?
Social distancing will be observed as much as possible, but at times students will be closer than the CDC recommended 6ft. apart. Social distancing floor stickers will be placed at all schools in high traffic areas and where lines form and some hallways will be designated as 'one-way' to prevent passing and close contact. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained, such as class change times, etc., students will be strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.
Based on CDC guidelines will we still have open house, assemblies, programs, etc.?
At this time, large events will occur in a virtual setting. Small in-person gatherings must comply with the most current CDC guidelines.
Will students be able to participate in extracurricular activities?
Yes, we anticipate sports and fine arts activities in the fall with possible modifications as required by CDC and UIL.
If students come to school sick, what will happen?
A student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19-19 or who has a elevated temperature may be asked to stay home for 72 hours and up to 14 days depending on a diagnosis. If a positive COVID-19-19 test is reported, the district has a protocol in place to contact trace students and staff and potentially close the campus or a portion of the campus for quarantine situations.
Due to CDC guidelines, will classrooms be arranged differently?
Yes, classrooms will be arranged to provide more space between students along with additional measures. We will make every effort to provide distance but not limit students’ ability to interact and communicate with others in their classroom.
What happens if schools are prevented from having on-site instruction again?
Remote learning will take place if schools are prevented from having on-site instruction. This plan includes the use of Canvas for grades PreK-12 to receive instruction and submit assignments. Teachers will utilize either Google Meets or Microsoft Teams within Canvas to deliver live lessons. Students will learn how to use Canvas by practicing throughout the week while at school.
Does GISD have a remote/online option for my student?
GISD will offer a K-12 completely remote/online educational program for students who do not feel comfortable returning to on-site instruction. The remote option will soon be provided to parents as a choice prior to the first day of school. Please note that students enrolled in the remote learning program will not be able switch to on-site learning until after at least one grading period (9 weeks in elementary and middle/6 weeks for high school).