Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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GIPS closing due to COVID-19

We have made the decision to close Grand Island Public Schools starting Monday, March 16. We will communicate with the community frequently. The reality is this may be a several-week closure.

We have said from the beginning, this is a fluid situation, and events in the past 48 hours have encouraged us to take action to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across our communities. Because schools have dense populations, closing can prevent students from spreading the virus to others in their families and the community.

GIPS has been in constant communication with local and state education, health and medical organizations. We have also been collaborating with the other Grand Island schools as well as Kearney Public School and Hastings Public Schools.

We know closing schools raises a host of questions, worries and fears from many. This is understandable and we, too, are processing this situation. However, we have been planning for this and we have a pandemic plan in place we are using to guide us.

Safety is our top priority. This move will help keep not only our students and staff safer, it will help keep our community safer as we mitigate the spread of the virus.

This closure is for everything at school: all student activities, athletics, fine arts, clubs and meetings are canceled until further notice.

We do, however, feel an obligation to continue providing services - both educational and non-educational - to those who depend on us everyday. This will require our staff to continue working and we are currently processing how that will look.

Many of our students rely on GIPS for meals. Food insecurity is a reality for us. District and community organizations are working to address this need. We will give much more information on solutions for feeding students in the next 24 hours. I know our community, working hand-in-hand with us, will ensure our students are taken care of during this closure.

We are working on the rollout of an online learning system. This will take flexibility from our staff and our students, and the support of our parents, families and the community. We will continue to provide developmental instruction to our students during this formative time of their growth.

It will look different and will be a learning experience for all of us. I trust our students, staff, families and community to come through and solve problems together because that’s what Grand Island does.

All of this will require open lines of communication. We must rely on families to receive and return timely communication throughout this experience. Communication is vital to our strength. At this time, all normal GIPS communication channels will remain in place, though we will likely roll out new means of delivery to students. Please pay close attention to communication from the district and your student’s school.

We promise to do what we can to keep you informed. We promise to do what we can to continue to educate, feed and support our students. We promise to be as open as we can with our decision-making process, even as things are moving incredibly rapidly.

This decision, to close our schools, came to us today. We continued to learn more over the weekend. As we said, this is a fluid situation. We will continue to show flexibility.

As I said earlier, you have more questions - more than I have answered or could have answered in this message. We will continue to provide accurate information directly from the district and answer your questions. Please continue to utilize the GIPS Let’s Talk service, and watch for messages from the district on our website, in your email, on social media and via the news.

To continue to keep our kids safe, keep their needs met and keep them learning during this crucial time of development, we know we are asking you to be partners with us like never before.

We will be stronger together. We live in a community that believes in community. I believe our community, our partners, our families, our neighbors, our schools - all of us will be even better together through these tough times.

Grand Island: Better and stronger together!

Media Inquiries
Joshua Planos, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 ex. 201127