Back to school 2017-2018


Welcome back for the 2017-2018 school year!

This page is filled with resources to get you prepared for the year. We hope you are ready to rise to the occasion and help our students thrive!

School starts:

  • First day for grades K-5, 6 and 9 is Thursday, August 17 (Early dismissal: 2 p.m. K-5; 2:15 p.m. 6,9).
  • First day with all students, grades K-12, is Friday, August 18 (Early dismissal: 2 p.m. K-5; 2:15 p.m. 6-12).
  • Preschool starts on Wednesday, August 23.

School supply lists

These items are recommended for purchase by parents/guardians. These supplies are not a requirement to attend school. Schools can provide individual classroom "wish lists" if patrons would like to donate supplies. 

Registration information

All students - new and returning - need to be registered for school. Grand Island Public Schools moved to complete online registration for the 2017-2018 school year. If you haven't registered or do not have a Parent Portal account to do so, please contact your school. 

Transportation information

GIPS provides bus transportation for middle schools and Grand Island Senior High. These schedules are updated every school year. We will also have bus routes for Jefferson Elementary.  

Calendar/school hours information

GIPS has changed our school day hours for the 2017-2018 school year. We will now have a staggered start for elementary and secondary. We have also extended the learning day for elementary to 3:30 p.m. These changes are the result of parent feedback, district consultant input and curriculum needs. Our new schedule allows for each elementary teacher to have an uninterrupted 50 minutes of planning time every day.  

Another benefit of the new schedule is the calendar now allows for more built-in snow days. The district can absorb three student days lost to weather. If more than three days are lost to weather, makeup days will be added to the end of the school calendar in May. 

All schools open their doors by no later than 7:30 a.m.

New this year

Some other changes for the 2017-2018 school year involving elementary schools:

Kindergarten Discovery

Grand Island Public Schools kindergarten teachers have set up an exciting and fun system for assigning new students to classrooms at the beginning of the year. For the first four days of school, children will rotate through all the kindergarten classrooms and be mixed in large and small groups with a variety of new classmates. Through observing and assessing students in the school setting for these four days, teachers will have enough information to make informed decisions on class assignments. During the Kindergarten Discovery, teachers will come to know the whole child, not just their academic strengths, but their personalities and character. 

Because of the new procedure, kindergarten students will not have school on Wednesday, August 23. That evening, each elementary school will host a Kindergarten Open House where students and parents learn which classroom they will attend.

Ask your building principal any questions you have about kindergarten or Kindergarten Discovery. 

Howard Elementary

Howard Elementary has returned to the traditional calendar. Now all GIPS schools are on the same calendar.

Jefferson Elementary

Jefferson Elementary will be in a different location for the next two school years while the new Jefferson is built where the old building was located. The temporary home of Jefferson is the old Starr Elementary at 315 Wyandotte Street. Busing will be available for Jefferson students to the temporary location. We ask that everyone stay clear of the construction area at the old location for safety reasons.

Starr and Stolley Park elementary schools

The new Starr Elementary on Adams Street is complete. The new Stolley Park Elementary is under construction where the school has been for more than a century. While the new school is being built for the next two school years, all Stolley Park students will become Starr Elementary students at the new Starr school. 

Special events

There are a number of exciting events taking place this fall we want you to be aware of as we get ready for school.

Solar eclipse

On Monday, August 21, Grand Island will be a part of the solar eclipse. Our students will each receive special viewing glasses so they can all take part in this historic, once-in-a-lifetime event. The glasses were provided by a grant from the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation. All students must have a signed permission slip to take part in the viewing. If you have not signed your child's permission slip, please talk with your school secretary.

Parent University Fall Expo

On Saturday, October 21, Parent University is hosting a free event with vendors, businesses and agencies all centered around wellness, learning and fun. All parents and students are encouraged to attend this exciting event at Starr Elementary, 1800 Adams Street, from 9 a.m. to noon. There will be prizes!

Other helpful resources