Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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Reimagined FAQ


These are frequently asked questions we've received since announcing our GIPS Reimagined plan for opening school this fall. If you have other questions not listed, please submit them via Let's Talk.

General topics

If we decide one route of learning, can we switch later?

Application for Virtual closes on July 20 at 7 a.m.. Parent must apply for Virtual School by that time. We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester). We will work with parents on a case-by-case basis to support any students who are struggling.

Can my student do half-day in school and half-day virtual?

No. There will not be partial or hybrid models for students.

Will students be allowed to bring backpacks to school?

Yes, backpacks will be allowed.

Will lockers be allowed?

Yes, protocols for social distancing and cleaning will need to be followed.

What will the screening process look like with temperature checks?

This will be done once daily by staff with a digital, touchless thermometer. The time will be arranged by the teacher to not impact learning. Complete screening details are found on page 25 of the plan.

Will parents be notified if there is a positive case the a child's classroom or school?

The CDHD will notify parents when they determine a student has been in close contact with someone with a high-risk COVID-19. The district will not make mass communication to a classroom or school. The CDHD has a protocol they follow for communication.

When will parents find out about transfer requests?

Within 24 hours, each parent will be notified with a thank you email. The text of the email is shared with principals. Starting July 17, decisions will be made within 2 days, dependent on the nature of the request.

When will kindergarten transfer students find out if their request is granted?

Two weeks before school starts is in district policy.

Under the GIPS Reimagined plan will elementary school students be able to play on the playground for recess? Also will they have to wear their mask for recess and PE?

At this time, we will recommend students wear the face coverings when they are in close proximity of other students, even on the playground and during PE. Our PE teachers will be working through activities to keep this in mind.

When school opens, will playground equipment and grounds be open to the public again? If we bring our own basketball, can we use the school's hoops?

Not at the current time.

What will happen with electives like choir at middle and high school?

We are in the planning stages of how to support choir and band. The research suggests singing and playing instruments has a high impact on community spread of COVID-19. It is tough to sing and wear a mask, so we are planning schedules to support participation and social distancing.

When is the first day of school? Will transition grades still get a day or two to themselves? Will incoming kindergartners start early?

The first day of school for kindergarten, grade 6 and grade 9 is August 12. All students, Pre-K-12, will be in school August 13. Calendars are updated here.

How will elementary students know what room to go to on the first day of school?

Campus principals will be sharing the plans for the first day with parents prior to the start of school.

Will parents be able to walk young children into the school the first day?

Parents will not be able to take their children into the building, but principals are working on plans to help students and parents feel welcome and comfortable.

Will K-1 teachers have amplifying devices to help with voice, volume and clarity?

We are investigating and considering options.

In Reimagined, can my student bring lunch from home?

Yes.

Will food be provided for students in Virtual School?

Yes. Details will be announced when we know how many students and what schools they come from.

Will there be tornado, fire and active shooter drills this year?

We are waiting on guidance on this topic. They are still required but we are in discussions with NDE.

Will PTA or any fundraisers be allowed, such as selling cards, items from catalogs, dine out nights, activity nights, etc? 

We are encouraging virtual fundraising. No door to door sales will be allowed. Donors Choose is a new option for school PTAs to use.

Face Coverings

Are masks required or recommended?

Required.

Is the use of the mask in the school building mandatory or are you going to let the parents choose? This is very uncomfortable for adults, how much more for children. There have been clinical studies done about the damage to the oxygen that enters the lungs due to the use of the mask and you should investigate this more for the well-being of the students. Contamination comes in the air, being outside or inside your house is the same air that we breathe.

Face coverings will be required by all students and adults in our buildings. We have worked with the Central District Health Department and area medical officials to make this requirement. We will continue to monitor the latest research and science as we consult with these officials.

What if a vaccine is in place by the end of the year will the school reconsider the mask requirement?

We will continue to get guidance from the CDHD on face covering requirements.

If Hall County goes into Phase 4 before start of school will masks still be required?

This will be a decision guided by community spread, the CDHD, area physicians, GIPS and research available at the time.

Daycares aren't requiring masks, why is the district?

We are making decisions based on what is best for GIPS. We can not speak for other organizations.

If students are socially distanced, can they take their masks off? Can't they take their masks off while sitting at their desks?

No. Students are required to wear face coverings at all times. Face coverings may only be removed for meals or at the request of a staff member.

Can students opt out of using masks all day?

No.

Would it be possible to show an example of the face covering the district will be providing? And maybe some examples of approved face coverings? Will the school allow masks that look like scarves that go over the face?

We will send out more information on acceptable face coverings. It should cover the mouth and nose and be comfortable enough for a student to wear for long stretches of time while communicating and breathing freely.

 

If my student needs a district supplied mask, when will it be distributed?

At the door, or even earlier, the first day students are on campus for a regular onsite school day.

With only one given to each student, what will charge be for each one after that?

Building teams will work with families to acquire masks. We have not made a decision at this point on charging for additional face coverings or the process.

Are the kids supposed to only wear the facemask that the school provides or can they wear some from home that we bought?

Yes. We will provide one mask to students, but we encourage parents to supply and clean their own masks.

What will happen if there are no more masks at schools and student doesn't have one?

The community has been great about supplying masks. It will take all of us to keep all of us in a face covering. We will find a solution.

What are the procedures for staff if a student refuses to wear a mask or doesn't keep it on?

All students are required to wear a face covering. We will handle the situation just like any other classroom management issue.

What accommodations will be made for deaf and hard of hearing students?

We are acquiring masks and face shields with a clear panel for lip reading for specific teachers and interpreters who work with these students.

How will masks work for preschoolers, where it may be more difficult?

Preschool will take extra precautions, and screen students daily until wearing face coverings becomes routine.

"Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by building principal." Does this mean there will be students in the classroom without masks on?

No.

Is it healthy to be wearing the same mask everyday, all day without it being cleaned?

The expectation is that masks be cleaned daily. We will continue to provide guidance on mask wearing and cleaning expectations. Here is information on how to clean a face covering from the CDC.

Will someone be monitoring the cleanliness of students masks?

Staff will monitor and work to support families in providing a clean mask. Here is information on how to clean a face covering from the CDC.

What happens if a child's mask gets wet? We will provide temporary replacements as needed. What will recess and PE look like? Do students have to wear masks for outside recess?

Yes. Students will wear the face coverings when they are in close proximity of other students, even on the playground and during PE. Our PE teachers will be working through activities to keep this in mind.

If provided a doctor's note and note from his psychologist, could a student be excused from the mask requirement but still attend school onsite?

No. We will work with all parents to find solutions for students.

Why is it that the football team is allowed to have physical contact with players with no mask required? Now you say our children have to wear a mask when school resumes. Why is it ok for them to have physical contact, but a non-athlete must wear a mask? If you are healthy you don't need a mask. The infected person needs a mask, but shouldn't be in public in the first place. I'm very concerned about this issue. ELearning will not cut it for some of the subjects my son wants to take.

We all need to wear a face covering. If we are healthy, the mask adds another layer to prevent getting the virus. So far, the medical community has supported outside athletic contact without a mask - key word is outside. When groups of people are inclosed in a setting, such as a classroom with 23 people breathing, talking and coughing, the virus spreads faster. At this point, face coverings are imperative in schools.

Will masks be required for outside sports?

This is monitored by the Nebraska Activities Association, CDHD and GIPS staff. Face coverings and social distancing are the best prevention and will be the expectation when possible.

One of our main concerns is how are you going to be able to make sure students keep masks on all day AND is that healthy for them to even do? They will be breathing their own carbon dioxide in all day. That doesn't seem super safe.

Teachers will work with students to help them learn to wear masks all day. We continue to monitor the latest research and work with medical officials.

Having to wear a mask all day is going to be tricky. Will they get scheduled breaks or how does that work?

Teachers will monitor students all day long to see if a safe break is needed.

Virtual School and eLearning

Will the number of students allowed to do Virtual School be limited?

No. We ask parents to request Virtual School by July 17 so we can plan accordingly. We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester).

How can a parent apply for Virtual if they don't have computer access and/or can't read or write well? 

Please call 308-385-5900 work ext. 1185 (Jonathan). Por favor llame al 308-385-5900 trabajo ext. 1245 (Nery) y ella te ayudará en español.

"Others will be served through a combination of onsite and online." Which groups would this be for, IEP for reading and Math? Specials?

Some students may need some form of online classes, whether onsite or online, depending on the placement of our teachers. We will know more about which teachers this will impact after we analyze the data from the Virtual School requests.

If we opt for Virtual School this year will my students be allowed to register at the elementary school we are registered at now?

Students will remain enrolled in the school they are registered and enrolled in.

If we chose eLearning but it's not efficient, can we later choose to enroll him in on-site school or vice versa?

We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester). We will work with parents on a case-by-case basis to support any students who are struggling.

I have a son with Autism. I am worried about the masks. Can I send him to school and see how it goes and if then try something different?

We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester). We will work with parents on a case-by-case basis to support any students who are struggling. It's worth reaching out to the principal and having a conversation about your concerns to come up with a plan you can all agree will be best for him.

If we are in Virtual School is it possible that my student will have a teacher from another school?

Yes, that is possible. The students and teachers requesting virtual school may not be guaranteed to be from the same building. Also, it is possible students from multiple schools have the same virtual teacher in a class.

Will kindergartners be assigned a Chromebook to be able to use Google Classroom?

Yes. All students will have a Chromebook this year.

Will there be pick up dates for parents to get students textbooks? Will monthly pickup dates happen to get papers etc. for students so it is not only computer work?

Once a child has been approved for the Virtual School, all instructions and timelines will be provided. Books will be provided prior to the start of classes. Teacher-specific materials will vary by grade level/class.

How will grading and accountability be handled?

Students will be held accountable to grading expectations as if they are on campus.

Will there be a consistent schedule and Zoom meetings?

Yes, students will have a schedule in the Virtual School.

What if a student does not have support at home during the GIPS Remote Model?

There will be teachers and administrators assigned to to the Virtual School. It will be important to work with the team to identify what supports might be available for assistance.

What is a student does not have support at home in the Virtual School?

There will be teachers and administrators assigned to to the Virtual School. It will be important to work with the team to identify what supports might be available to assist.

Did grades drop in March after the buildings closed?

We implemented a No Harm grading policy during school closure in the spring. Student grades should not have dropped below the grade a student had March 6.

If our child does the virtual school, can they still participate in sports and activities?

If it is safe for the student and/or family to allow the student to participate, they are permitted to join in school sports and activities.

Will there be standardized testing in the virtual and on-site option?

The Nebraska Department of Education will not allow remote testing. As a result, we will explore times for virtual students take MAP tests onsite in a safe environment. The same may be true for ACT/PreACT, but NDE has not released that information yet.

Will high school students have access to ACT and Pre-SAT?

Yes. We are currently in the process of scheduling dates for last year's 11th grade students to take the ACT and 10th grade students to take Pre-ACT. Current 11th grade students are scheduled to take the statewide ACT in April 2021.

Will parents be able to request testing for IEP for reading?

Student reading will be assessed and the data will be analyzed by teachers to determine if additional supports are needed to address learning gaps. Parents may request a meeting to discuss individual questions and concerns about their child's progress.

Activities

Will there be after school activities?

GIPS student activities, athletics, before and after school clubs, organizations and groups will follow all guidelines as identified by the model the district is working under. Page 31 of the GIPS Reimagined plan outlines activity limitations and expecations under each model.

Will contact sports be allowed?

At this time, yes.

Will middle school Virtual School students be allowed to participate in activities, sports, clubs, etc?

We are discussing middle school activities and will make decision based on lessons learned from GISH activities and NSAA guidelines.

When will decision about fall middle school sports be made?

We are discussing middle school activities and will make decision based on lessons learned from GISH activities and NSAA guidelines.

If there are sports, will they be participating in outside of town competitions? If yes can we opt for our students to ride with parents there and back?

At this time we are planning on activities and may need to ask parents to transport their own child when possible to decrease the number of students on a bus.

Can high school students leave for scheduled activities, like Youth Leadership Tomorrow?

We will continue to monitor the situation. We will work with partners to find solutions, virtual when possible.

Will there be any field trips this year? If yes, and we choose Virtual School, can students participate?

At this time, no field trips are scheduled for this year.

NEW QUESTIONS 

Here are new questions or similar questions asked for clarification from the July 13 Facebook Live town hall.

General topics

What will the community Covid19 infection rate need to be before schools are shut down again?

There is not a specific rate that we can use. Instead the district will work with Central District Health Department to determine the best approach.

So if I send my daughter now, and the COVID-19 spikes again in Grand Island like many other states, what happens then?

If we open with Reimagined as planned and need to switch to Select or Remote, all parents will be notified and provided with the appropriate information for all students.

Can they start going to school in person and change to Virtual after the first term if they find it isn't going well?

Yes.

I have a child in high school and a child in grade school. I think virtual learning would work best for one, but not the other. Is that ok? Or do we have to choose one for both?

Decisions are to be made by the student. Each individual student can have their own plan.

As we get closer to the start of school, based on GI COVID-19 rates (i.e. mid-August), how can parents change their mind since the decision has to be made this week?

We need numbers this week to identify staff needed to support virtual learning. We can take a look at addressing those who decide later do to increased risk for COVID-19.

Will parents be allowed to walk kindergarten students into their classroom on the first day?

No. Parents will not be allowed in the building, however the principals and our awesome Kindergarten teachers are working on ways to help the parents and students feel welcome and comfortable.

Since the parent can't come in on the first day, is there a way to know what a school day will look like for kindergarten?

The Kindergarten Ready site does provide information about the kindergarten experience. With the pandemic, new protocols for handwashing and masks will be different, Teachers will also be sending out prior to school starting with information to explain the first day that is specific to their campus.

If our children that we send to school have to quarantine or test positive, will they be allowed to join the Virtual School?

If your student needs to quarantine he/she will receive assignments from their regular classroom teacher and will not need to move to Virtual School.

If a child in eLearning or Virtual School has a doctor’s appointment or is ill, how do you report that?

Absence will be reported and recorded the same as onsite: parents will need to call in absence. We will identify a point of contact.

Is GIPS going to educate parents on when to keep their child home? For instance, I could see some parents sending their child even if a household member has tested positive.

Parents will have instructions on screening their students, but staff will also have protocols. We want to be partners in this process.

Do they do contact tracing in school if someone tests positive?

The school does not do contact tracing. The school district will work with the Central District Health Department if there is a positive case.

If a child in my kids classroom tested positive are we notified?

The building team, to include the Central District Health Department, will work to verify a positive test, symptoms and quarantine requirements to be shared with parents of students who came in contact with the student who tested positive.

Are you going to test everyone before they are able to start school?

No.

If someone in home tests positive will all students in that household need to quarantine and stay home for 2 weeks even if they’re asymptomatic?

The building team, including the Central District Health Department, will work to verify positive test, symptoms and quarantine requirements. If the student tests positive or is presumed positive they may return when they meet the following criteria: fever free for 3 days without a fever reducing medication; respiratory symptoms have improved for 3 days; 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

If you have three children in school but one comes down sick, will all three be sent home to quarantine or just the one child?

The building team, including the Central District Health Department, will work to verify positive test, symptoms and quarantine requirements. If the student tests positive or is presumed positive they may return when they meet the following criteria: fever free for 3 days without a fever reducing medication; respiratory symptoms have improved for 3 days; 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

So anyone with a fever will be sent home?

Students are sent home when they have a fever above 100.

Has there been any guidance from the CNHD regarding COVID testing for students who have been sent home with a fever? In previous school years, if students had a fever they'd be sent home. They'd be allowed to return upon being fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Will the school system follow these same guidelines, or is there an expectation for a clean COVID-19 test?

New protocol is "fever free for 72 hours without fever reducing medicine." Not all fever is related to COVID, so nurses will monitor for other symptoms as well.

For those who live in single parent households and a parent becomes sick, who will be the point of contact if children can’t get to and from school or the parent is hospitalized?

CDC strongly advises that single parents create a back up plan for a person to support children when a parent is sick/hospitalized. GIPS will work with the caregiver to support the student with academics and social emotional support.

Will the temperature be kept in the mid to low 60s in the classrooms? As a nurse, I've worked in the OR and one of the things that makes wearing a mask tolerable is a lower temperature. If the classrooms are kept in the 70s, the teachers are going to have a bunch of sleepy kids who have a difficult time learning. When you wear a mask you rebreathe some CO2 which will cause grogginess.

GIPS tries to maintain a 71 degree set point, plus or minus 2 degrees. Our HVAC equipment varies per building. Most building systems are not capable of maintaining that cool of a temperature, plus that low of a temperature is uncomfortable for most occupants and would register under poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Will there be access to free breakfast and lunches during the year if you choose to do Virtual School?

Yes there will be access to lunches. If a family qualifies for free/reduced that will continue.

How will e-learning students receive school lunches?

Nutrition Services will distribute meals similar to the way we've done since March although some pick-up sites may be different.

How will social distancing work for students who need the bus system?

We are doubling up on routes with staggered times to allow for one student to a seat, along with special cleaning protocols and a para on the bus.

FACE COVERINGS

If children don’t keep their masks on, will they be sent home?

Staff will use proactive strategies to support students wearing mask. If the student cannot wear a mask, the best option may be Virtual School.

My daughter has asthma. Can she get a doctor's note not to wear a mask in gym or will Virtual be her only option?

Virtual will be her option.

What do I do if my child has sensory issues and can't stand wearing a mask or having anything touching their face and online learning is not an option?

Virtual Learning is the option if a mask cannot be worn.

How will the school verify that homemade masks are 3-ply?

We will have more information about masks and we recommend 3-ply, but other masks are acceptable as long as they cover the mouth and nose.

Can we donate masks to our child’s class like we would tissues and other supplies?

Yes. We are currently working on how to organize donated supplies.

Can they wear face shields instead?

After receiving the latest information regarding face shields, we have altered our plan. We had previously said parents could choose to send students in shields rather than masks. However, the best recommendation from the CDC is to only use these sparingly. We will have an approval process for when face shields are allowed in place of cloth face coverings that fit over the nose and mouth. These requests will go through the principal before the start of the school year. Reasons to use shield will include:

  • Stated in IEP
  • Medical documentation
  • ADA
  • 504 plan

Why are students getting one mask when GIPS is receiving 100,000?

The district does not have all the masks in yet, some are backordered. Each student will receive at least one mask, possibly more.

What about parents that don’t want their child in school if they are having to wearing mask and feel uncomfortable with that? Also what if we are unable to do home schooling due to work and having younger children that need our attention as well?

We are proud that we are able to offer two options to families. Each family needs to decide what is best. Children do need to wear masks while at school.

Kids who do virtual school are they missing out on any education?

No. The Continuity of Learning will be the same for all students, onsite and virtual. The work will look different but the same standards will be followed.

Will eLearning be graded the same and have the same number and similar assignments as on campus students? Will it be easy for students who do eLearning to transition back into the classroom?

Continuity of learning is the goal. Grading practices are the same in eLearning as it will be on campus. Students will be learning the same standards and have the same outcomes to achieve at the end of the year.

Will kids doing Virtual School have one designated teacher or will there be several?

Elementary students will have one designated Virtual teacher. Middle School and HS will have assigned teachers based on their schedules.

Will we get something that is going to tell us about Virtual School from the kids' school?

Yes, once Virtual School teachers are assigned, a communication will go out to parents about the start of the school year.

In elementary if you switch from Virtual School to campus will the curriculum be where they left off?

The intention is for pacing to be on-track with on campus instruction.

For incoming Kindergartners, are they supplied with a device to connect with their class?

Yes, Kindergarten students will receive a device.

If a high school student has a weight class as a block are they supposed to come to school for that block time?

In the Virtual School, students will only be allowed on campus for before or afterschool activities. They will not be allowed in buildings during the school day.

Will there be a way to get some extra one on one time with their teacher if your child is struggling with something over virtual learning?

Yes, Virtual School teachers will have office hours to assist students and parents.

How will eLearning look for a kindergartner using Google classroom, since they aren't used to using it? What programs/ apps will be used for them?

Kindergarten students and parents will have a common platform to access lessons. Teachers will post videos and engage with students in live sessions for instruction. Origo math, Amplify reading and Amplify Science will be apps that students will be able to use to support learning. Teachers will onboard parents and students to these resources before school starts.

Wondering if you know what supplies will be required for eLearning, and if we will be getting books and/or workbooks from the schools?

A material distribution plan will be developed and communicated to parents once we have assigned teachers.

If your child is in the regular classroom for the start of the year and the schools are shut down again, will they be in the same class with the same teacher with eLearning?

Yes, in most cases. However, if we are in the Select model, this may depend on the students that are on campus. In that case, parents will be notified.

Will second grade eLearning be on a blocked schedule?

The elementary schedule will include blocks of time for core subjects. This schedule will look similar to what is in the Reimagine document.

Do kids have to show up to every zoom meeting for the whole time?

Yes, unless approved or an alternative plan has been developed with the teacher.

Will they be required to log in to live zoom meetings at specific times every day? How flexible will the schedule be?

Attendance during live meetings is expected and attendance will be taken. It will be important to communicate with the teacher and/or establish a plan if the student is going to miss.

For eLearning do we need to start it promptly at 8 am? Or can we do it based on our schedules?

The start of the day may depend on the grade level. Students will have a schedule and be expected to participate in live sessions throughout the day.

Will they set up zoom session times at least one time a week for kids just to socialize with other kids their age if choosing Virtual School? That seemed to be one of the problems my children had was missing the socialization.

Having time to socialize is important for our students. We will work with teachers to embed time in the schedule for this to occur.

Will we need to be online during the assignment time or just during the times where there is actually a class taking place?

The classroom teacher/schedule will identify when students need to be online. Students may be asked to complete assignments on Google Docs or access instructional resources on line to support and complete work.

Will they try to keep kids from each school together as much as possible? Like if 8 kids were signed up from the same school and same grade would they try to keep them in the same virtual classroom or would it be a complete mix of schools in the same grade?

Yes, we will try to keep students from like schools together as much as possible.

If you have more than one child doing Virtual School for elementary, will the zoom sessions be at the same time as other grades? Will you be able to watch later if you cannot make the zoom session for some reason?

It is best if students can join the live sessions, however, we are asking teachers to record the sessions to support student learning and review later if needed.

Will preschool have the same as Kindergarten for "open house"?

There is no preschool Virtual School. On-campus preschool information about open house will come from the the campus. If questions contact Amy Richards.

Have they decided on how preschool classroom numbers will look like? Or how the schedule will look for preschool? How will it look for play-based learning?

Numbers will look the same with classrooms having limited furniture so that student can spread out. This is spelled out a little better in the Reimagined plan, on page 35.

Will elementary school still dismiss at 2 on Wednesdays? The sample virtual schedule shows class until 2:30.

On-campus elementary will dismiss at 2 p.m. The Virtual School schedule may be slightly different.

Since there is not a Virtual preschool option, could a student start mid-year in the program?

The student can be added to the waiting list.

For 6th graders doing Virtual School, will they start a day early like their onsite counterparts?

The Virtual schedule will be very similar to the onsite schedule.

I’m taking this as Virtual School is pretty much a new school. My child at Newell will be taught by the same teacher/room as a student from Dodge?

Yes, your child may be in a class with students from other schools.

Can you elaborate a little more on how the MAP testing will take place for Virtual School?

We are currently engaged in conversations with the Nebraska Department of Education regarding MAP Testing and NSCAS testing in the virtual environment. We will align our process with their guidance.

How are they going to do maps testing in the fall since there was no testing last spring?

The MAPS testing will occur onsite in the Fall. We are still getting guidance on how to administer with students in the Virtual School.

When are last year’s juniors taking the ACT?

Oct. 6.

Will all special education services be delivered virtually as well? For example, speech minutes or other support minutes?

Yes. If the parent chooses the Virtual School for the student to attend, all services identified on the IEP will be provided in that setting. We may need to reconvene IEP teams to update Individual Education Plans to reflect the most current setting.

Can you describe what special education will look like with eLearning?

Special education services in the virtual setting will vary based on each student's Individual Education Plan.

If a 6th grader going into a new school opts into Virtual School on IEP and needs support for a subject (or additional occupational therapy), will that take place during the blocks/schedule? Or as a separate class?

The IEP team will coordinate services and supports with the classroom teachers similar to how they schedule when on campus.

Can you also comment on Virtual learning when enrolled at the Indra House?

Safety procedures and protocols are the same for all locations. Students and families attending GISH or Indra House have the choice to attend on site or Virtual School. Although GISH and Indra House are located next to each other, they are separate and different locations serving different student groups. Schedules and transportation schedules may vary between GISH and Indra House. All student services will vary based on students' Individual Education Plans.

If a student is special needs and is on an IEP, can they go to school and do eLearning? Maybe 2 or 3 days in school and 2 or 3 days at home?

Parents have the choice to select which setting is most appropriate for the family at this time. Special education services in either setting will vary based on each student's Individual Education Plan.

What are you doing with special needs that won’t wear a face mask?

If the student is attending on site the student will be required to wear facial coverings. Students with special education needs will be supported by staff and IEP team members to establish routines and practice the skill of wearing a facial covering.

Will there be DLP teachers for Virtual School?

Yes, if we have students choosing to attend in the virtual setting who require specially designed instruction from a DLP instructor, we will have DLP instructor(s) assigned to the virtual setting.

If we decide to take my son to school and he doesn't do well with the mask or we as a group along with his IEP team decide it's best to do Virtual School, we are allowed to switch before the the time that was mentioned for elementary students?

Yes, the team can make the decision about what might be best for the student.

ACTIVITIES

If a student is in sports, are they required to be at school or can the still do Virtual School AND play sports?

Students can still take part in activities in the Virtual School. However, students will only be allowed on campus for before or afterschool activities. They will not be allowed in buildings during the school day.

Will there be virtual options for the clubs?

We are encouraging virtual options for clubs and activities whenever possible.

Any updates on fall sports specifically for middle school level athletes?

We are waiting on NSAA for additional guidance.

Will after school clubs, such as Good News Club (hosted by outside volunteers), still be able to take place in the schools, after school? Or morning exercise ahead of school? And if so, will e-learning students be able to show up to those clubs?

To limit the the number of non-staff in buildings, we will only host activities lead by GIPS staff and GIPS extended learning opportunities.

I know field trips at this time are not planned, does that include out of town competitions for band/music/sports?

We are waiting on guidance from NSAA.

 

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Reimagined FAQ


These are frequently asked questions we've received since announcing our GIPS Reimagined plan for opening school this fall. If you have other questions not listed, please submit them via Let's Talk.

General topics

If we decide one route of learning, can we switch later?

Application for Virtual closes on July 20 at 7 a.m.. Parent must apply for Virtual School by that time. We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester). We will work with parents on a case-by-case basis to support any students who are struggling.

Can my student do half-day in school and half-day virtual?

No. There will not be partial or hybrid models for students.

Will students be allowed to bring backpacks to school?

Yes, backpacks will be allowed.

Will lockers be allowed?

Yes, protocols for social distancing and cleaning will need to be followed.

What will the screening process look like with temperature checks?

This will be done once daily by staff with a digital, touchless thermometer. The time will be arranged by the teacher to not impact learning. Complete screening details are found on page 25 of the plan.

Will parents be notified if there is a positive case the a child's classroom or school?

The CDHD will notify parents when they determine a student has been in close contact with someone with a high-risk COVID-19. The district will not make mass communication to a classroom or school. The CDHD has a protocol they follow for communication.

When will parents find out about transfer requests?

Within 24 hours, each parent will be notified with a thank you email. The text of the email is shared with principals. Starting July 17, decisions will be made within 2 days, dependent on the nature of the request.

When will kindergarten transfer students find out if their request is granted?

Two weeks before school starts is in district policy.

Under the GIPS Reimagined plan will elementary school students be able to play on the playground for recess? Also will they have to wear their mask for recess and PE?

At this time, we will recommend students wear the face coverings when they are in close proximity of other students, even on the playground and during PE. Our PE teachers will be working through activities to keep this in mind.

When school opens, will playground equipment and grounds be open to the public again? If we bring our own basketball, can we use the school's hoops?

Not at the current time.

What will happen with electives like choir at middle and high school?

We are in the planning stages of how to support choir and band. The research suggests singing and playing instruments has a high impact on community spread of COVID-19. It is tough to sing and wear a mask, so we are planning schedules to support participation and social distancing.

When is the first day of school? Will transition grades still get a day or two to themselves? Will incoming kindergartners start early?

The first day of school for kindergarten, grade 6 and grade 9 is August 12. All students, Pre-K-12, will be in school August 13. Calendars are updated here.

How will elementary students know what room to go to on the first day of school?

Campus principals will be sharing the plans for the first day with parents prior to the start of school.

Will parents be able to walk young children into the school the first day?

Parents will not be able to take their children into the building, but principals are working on plans to help students and parents feel welcome and comfortable.

Will K-1 teachers have amplifying devices to help with voice, volume and clarity?

We are investigating and considering options.

In Reimagined, can my student bring lunch from home?

Yes.

Will food be provided for students in Virtual School?

Yes. Details will be announced when we know how many students and what schools they come from.

Will there be tornado, fire and active shooter drills this year?

We are waiting on guidance on this topic. They are still required but we are in discussions with NDE.

Will PTA or any fundraisers be allowed, such as selling cards, items from catalogs, dine out nights, activity nights, etc? 

We are encouraging virtual fundraising. No door to door sales will be allowed. Donors Choose is a new option for school PTAs to use.

Face Coverings

Are masks required or recommended?

Required.

Is the use of the mask in the school building mandatory or are you going to let the parents choose? This is very uncomfortable for adults, how much more for children. There have been clinical studies done about the damage to the oxygen that enters the lungs due to the use of the mask and you should investigate this more for the well-being of the students. Contamination comes in the air, being outside or inside your house is the same air that we breathe.

Face coverings will be required by all students and adults in our buildings. We have worked with the Central District Health Department and area medical officials to make this requirement. We will continue to monitor the latest research and science as we consult with these officials.

What if a vaccine is in place by the end of the year will the school reconsider the mask requirement?

We will continue to get guidance from the CDHD on face covering requirements.

If Hall County goes into Phase 4 before start of school will masks still be required?

This will be a decision guided by community spread, the CDHD, area physicians, GIPS and research available at the time.

Daycares aren't requiring masks, why is the district?

We are making decisions based on what is best for GIPS. We can not speak for other organizations.

If students are socially distanced, can they take their masks off? Can't they take their masks off while sitting at their desks?

No. Students are required to wear face coverings at all times. Face coverings may only be removed for meals or at the request of a staff member.

Can students opt out of using masks all day?

No.

Would it be possible to show an example of the face covering the district will be providing? And maybe some examples of approved face coverings? Will the school allow masks that look like scarves that go over the face?

We will send out more information on acceptable face coverings. It should cover the mouth and nose and be comfortable enough for a student to wear for long stretches of time while communicating and breathing freely.

 

If my student needs a district supplied mask, when will it be distributed?

At the door, or even earlier, the first day students are on campus for a regular onsite school day.

With only one given to each student, what will charge be for each one after that?

Building teams will work with families to acquire masks. We have not made a decision at this point on charging for additional face coverings or the process.

Are the kids supposed to only wear the facemask that the school provides or can they wear some from home that we bought?

Yes. We will provide one mask to students, but we encourage parents to supply and clean their own masks.

What will happen if there are no more masks at schools and student doesn't have one?

The community has been great about supplying masks. It will take all of us to keep all of us in a face covering. We will find a solution.

What are the procedures for staff if a student refuses to wear a mask or doesn't keep it on?

All students are required to wear a face covering. We will handle the situation just like any other classroom management issue.

What accommodations will be made for deaf and hard of hearing students?

We are acquiring masks and face shields with a clear panel for lip reading for specific teachers and interpreters who work with these students.

How will masks work for preschoolers, where it may be more difficult?

Preschool will take extra precautions, and screen students daily until wearing face coverings becomes routine.

"Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis by building principal." Does this mean there will be students in the classroom without masks on?

No.

Is it healthy to be wearing the same mask everyday, all day without it being cleaned?

The expectation is that masks be cleaned daily. We will continue to provide guidance on mask wearing and cleaning expectations. Here is information on how to clean a face covering from the CDC.

Will someone be monitoring the cleanliness of students masks?

Staff will monitor and work to support families in providing a clean mask. Here is information on how to clean a face covering from the CDC.

What happens if a child's mask gets wet? We will provide temporary replacements as needed. What will recess and PE look like? Do students have to wear masks for outside recess?

Yes. Students will wear the face coverings when they are in close proximity of other students, even on the playground and during PE. Our PE teachers will be working through activities to keep this in mind.

If provided a doctor's note and note from his psychologist, could a student be excused from the mask requirement but still attend school onsite?

No. We will work with all parents to find solutions for students.

Why is it that the football team is allowed to have physical contact with players with no mask required? Now you say our children have to wear a mask when school resumes. Why is it ok for them to have physical contact, but a non-athlete must wear a mask? If you are healthy you don't need a mask. The infected person needs a mask, but shouldn't be in public in the first place. I'm very concerned about this issue. ELearning will not cut it for some of the subjects my son wants to take.

We all need to wear a face covering. If we are healthy, the mask adds another layer to prevent getting the virus. So far, the medical community has supported outside athletic contact without a mask - key word is outside. When groups of people are inclosed in a setting, such as a classroom with 23 people breathing, talking and coughing, the virus spreads faster. At this point, face coverings are imperative in schools.

Will masks be required for outside sports?

This is monitored by the Nebraska Activities Association, CDHD and GIPS staff. Face coverings and social distancing are the best prevention and will be the expectation when possible.

One of our main concerns is how are you going to be able to make sure students keep masks on all day AND is that healthy for them to even do? They will be breathing their own carbon dioxide in all day. That doesn't seem super safe.

Teachers will work with students to help them learn to wear masks all day. We continue to monitor the latest research and work with medical officials.

Having to wear a mask all day is going to be tricky. Will they get scheduled breaks or how does that work?

Teachers will monitor students all day long to see if a safe break is needed.

Virtual School and eLearning

Will the number of students allowed to do Virtual School be limited?

No. We ask parents to request Virtual School by July 17 so we can plan accordingly. We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester).

How can a parent apply for Virtual if they don't have computer access and/or can't read or write well? 

Please call 308-385-5900 work ext. 1185 (Jonathan). Por favor llame al 308-385-5900 trabajo ext. 1245 (Nery) y ella te ayudará en español.

"Others will be served through a combination of onsite and online." Which groups would this be for, IEP for reading and Math? Specials?

Some students may need some form of online classes, whether onsite or online, depending on the placement of our teachers. We will know more about which teachers this will impact after we analyze the data from the Virtual School requests.

If we opt for Virtual School this year will my students be allowed to register at the elementary school we are registered at now?

Students will remain enrolled in the school they are registered and enrolled in.

If we chose eLearning but it's not efficient, can we later choose to enroll him in on-site school or vice versa?

We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester). We will work with parents on a case-by-case basis to support any students who are struggling.

I have a son with Autism. I am worried about the masks. Can I send him to school and see how it goes and if then try something different?

We are asking parents to commit to the first term (K-8 trimester; 9-12 semester). We will work with parents on a case-by-case basis to support any students who are struggling. It's worth reaching out to the principal and having a conversation about your concerns to come up with a plan you can all agree will be best for him.

If we are in Virtual School is it possible that my student will have a teacher from another school?

Yes, that is possible. The students and teachers requesting virtual school may not be guaranteed to be from the same building. Also, it is possible students from multiple schools have the same virtual teacher in a class.

Will kindergartners be assigned a Chromebook to be able to use Google Classroom?

Yes. All students will have a Chromebook this year.

Will there be pick up dates for parents to get students textbooks? Will monthly pickup dates happen to get papers etc. for students so it is not only computer work?

Once a child has been approved for the Virtual School, all instructions and timelines will be provided. Books will be provided prior to the start of classes. Teacher-specific materials will vary by grade level/class.

How will grading and accountability be handled?

Students will be held accountable to grading expectations as if they are on campus.

Will there be a consistent schedule and Zoom meetings?

Yes, students will have a schedule in the Virtual School.

What if a student does not have support at home during the GIPS Remote Model?

There will be teachers and administrators assigned to to the Virtual School. It will be important to work with the team to identify what supports might be available for assistance.

What is a student does not have support at home in the Virtual School?

There will be teachers and administrators assigned to to the Virtual School. It will be important to work with the team to identify what supports might be available to assist.

Did grades drop in March after the buildings closed?

We implemented a No Harm grading policy during school closure in the spring. Student grades should not have dropped below the grade a student had March 6.

If our child does the virtual school, can they still participate in sports and activities?

If it is safe for the student and/or family to allow the student to participate, they are permitted to join in school sports and activities.

Will there be standardized testing in the virtual and on-site option?

The Nebraska Department of Education will not allow remote testing. As a result, we will explore times for virtual students take MAP tests onsite in a safe environment. The same may be true for ACT/PreACT, but NDE has not released that information yet.

Will high school students have access to ACT and Pre-SAT?

Yes. We are currently in the process of scheduling dates for last year's 11th grade students to take the ACT and 10th grade students to take Pre-ACT. Current 11th grade students are scheduled to take the statewide ACT in April 2021.

Will parents be able to request testing for IEP for reading?

Student reading will be assessed and the data will be analyzed by teachers to determine if additional supports are needed to address learning gaps. Parents may request a meeting to discuss individual questions and concerns about their child's progress.

Activities

Will there be after school activities?

GIPS student activities, athletics, before and after school clubs, organizations and groups will follow all guidelines as identified by the model the district is working under. Page 31 of the GIPS Reimagined plan outlines activity limitations and expecations under each model.

Will contact sports be allowed?

At this time, yes.

Will middle school Virtual School students be allowed to participate in activities, sports, clubs, etc?

We are discussing middle school activities and will make decision based on lessons learned from GISH activities and NSAA guidelines.

When will decision about fall middle school sports be made?

We are discussing middle school activities and will make decision based on lessons learned from GISH activities and NSAA guidelines.

If there are sports, will they be participating in outside of town competitions? If yes can we opt for our students to ride with parents there and back?

At this time we are planning on activities and may need to ask parents to transport their own child when possible to decrease the number of students on a bus.

Can high school students leave for scheduled activities, like Youth Leadership Tomorrow?

We will continue to monitor the situation. We will work with partners to find solutions, virtual when possible.

Will there be any field trips this year? If yes, and we choose Virtual School, can students participate?

At this time, no field trips are scheduled for this year.

NEW QUESTIONS 

Here are new questions or similar questions asked for clarification from the July 13 Facebook Live town hall.

General topics

What will the community Covid19 infection rate need to be before schools are shut down again?

There is not a specific rate that we can use. Instead the district will work with Central District Health Department to determine the best approach.

So if I send my daughter now, and the COVID-19 spikes again in Grand Island like many other states, what happens then?

If we open with Reimagined as planned and need to switch to Select or Remote, all parents will be notified and provided with the appropriate information for all students.

Can they start going to school in person and change to Virtual after the first term if they find it isn't going well?

Yes.

I have a child in high school and a child in grade school. I think virtual learning would work best for one, but not the other. Is that ok? Or do we have to choose one for both?

Decisions are to be made by the student. Each individual student can have their own plan.

As we get closer to the start of school, based on GI COVID-19 rates (i.e. mid-August), how can parents change their mind since the decision has to be made this week?

We need numbers this week to identify staff needed to support virtual learning. We can take a look at addressing those who decide later do to increased risk for COVID-19.

Will parents be allowed to walk kindergarten students into their classroom on the first day?

No. Parents will not be allowed in the building, however the principals and our awesome Kindergarten teachers are working on ways to help the parents and students feel welcome and comfortable.

Since the parent can't come in on the first day, is there a way to know what a school day will look like for kindergarten?

The Kindergarten Ready site does provide information about the kindergarten experience. With the pandemic, new protocols for handwashing and masks will be different, Teachers will also be sending out prior to school starting with information to explain the first day that is specific to their campus.

If our children that we send to school have to quarantine or test positive, will they be allowed to join the Virtual School?

If your student needs to quarantine he/she will receive assignments from their regular classroom teacher and will not need to move to Virtual School.

If a child in eLearning or Virtual School has a doctor’s appointment or is ill, how do you report that?

Absence will be reported and recorded the same as onsite: parents will need to call in absence. We will identify a point of contact.

Is GIPS going to educate parents on when to keep their child home? For instance, I could see some parents sending their child even if a household member has tested positive.

Parents will have instructions on screening their students, but staff will also have protocols. We want to be partners in this process.

Do they do contact tracing in school if someone tests positive?

The school does not do contact tracing. The school district will work with the Central District Health Department if there is a positive case.

If a child in my kids classroom tested positive are we notified?

The building team, to include the Central District Health Department, will work to verify a positive test, symptoms and quarantine requirements to be shared with parents of students who came in contact with the student who tested positive.

Are you going to test everyone before they are able to start school?

No.

If someone in home tests positive will all students in that household need to quarantine and stay home for 2 weeks even if they’re asymptomatic?

The building team, including the Central District Health Department, will work to verify positive test, symptoms and quarantine requirements. If the student tests positive or is presumed positive they may return when they meet the following criteria: fever free for 3 days without a fever reducing medication; respiratory symptoms have improved for 3 days; 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

If you have three children in school but one comes down sick, will all three be sent home to quarantine or just the one child?

The building team, including the Central District Health Department, will work to verify positive test, symptoms and quarantine requirements. If the student tests positive or is presumed positive they may return when they meet the following criteria: fever free for 3 days without a fever reducing medication; respiratory symptoms have improved for 3 days; 10 days since symptoms first appeared.

So anyone with a fever will be sent home?

Students are sent home when they have a fever above 100.

Has there been any guidance from the CNHD regarding COVID testing for students who have been sent home with a fever? In previous school years, if students had a fever they'd be sent home. They'd be allowed to return upon being fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Will the school system follow these same guidelines, or is there an expectation for a clean COVID-19 test?

New protocol is "fever free for 72 hours without fever reducing medicine." Not all fever is related to COVID, so nurses will monitor for other symptoms as well.

For those who live in single parent households and a parent becomes sick, who will be the point of contact if children can’t get to and from school or the parent is hospitalized?

CDC strongly advises that single parents create a back up plan for a person to support children when a parent is sick/hospitalized. GIPS will work with the caregiver to support the student with academics and social emotional support.

Will the temperature be kept in the mid to low 60s in the classrooms? As a nurse, I've worked in the OR and one of the things that makes wearing a mask tolerable is a lower temperature. If the classrooms are kept in the 70s, the teachers are going to have a bunch of sleepy kids who have a difficult time learning. When you wear a mask you rebreathe some CO2 which will cause grogginess.

GIPS tries to maintain a 71 degree set point, plus or minus 2 degrees. Our HVAC equipment varies per building. Most building systems are not capable of maintaining that cool of a temperature, plus that low of a temperature is uncomfortable for most occupants and would register under poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

Will there be access to free breakfast and lunches during the year if you choose to do Virtual School?

Yes there will be access to lunches. If a family qualifies for free/reduced that will continue.

How will e-learning students receive school lunches?

Nutrition Services will distribute meals similar to the way we've done since March although some pick-up sites may be different.

How will social distancing work for students who need the bus system?

We are doubling up on routes with staggered times to allow for one student to a seat, along with special cleaning protocols and a para on the bus.

FACE COVERINGS

If children don’t keep their masks on, will they be sent home?

Staff will use proactive strategies to support students wearing mask. If the student cannot wear a mask, the best option may be Virtual School.

My daughter has asthma. Can she get a doctor's note not to wear a mask in gym or will Virtual be her only option?

Virtual will be her option.

What do I do if my child has sensory issues and can't stand wearing a mask or having anything touching their face and online learning is not an option?

Virtual Learning is the option if a mask cannot be worn.

How will the school verify that homemade masks are 3-ply?

We will have more information about masks and we recommend 3-ply, but other masks are acceptable as long as they cover the mouth and nose.

Can we donate masks to our child’s class like we would tissues and other supplies?

Yes. We are currently working on how to organize donated supplies.

Can they wear face shields instead?

After receiving the latest information regarding face shields, we have altered our plan. We had previously said parents could choose to send students in shields rather than masks. However, the best recommendation from the CDC is to only use these sparingly. We will have an approval process for when face shields are allowed in place of cloth face coverings that fit over the nose and mouth. These requests will go through the principal before the start of the school year. Reasons to use shield will include:

  • Stated in IEP
  • Medical documentation
  • ADA
  • 504 plan

Why are students getting one mask when GIPS is receiving 100,000?

The district does not have all the masks in yet, some are backordered. Each student will receive at least one mask, possibly more.

What about parents that don’t want their child in school if they are having to wearing mask and feel uncomfortable with that? Also what if we are unable to do home schooling due to work and having younger children that need our attention as well?

We are proud that we are able to offer two options to families. Each family needs to decide what is best. Children do need to wear masks while at school.

Kids who do virtual school are they missing out on any education?

No. The Continuity of Learning will be the same for all students, onsite and virtual. The work will look different but the same standards will be followed.

Will eLearning be graded the same and have the same number and similar assignments as on campus students? Will it be easy for students who do eLearning to transition back into the classroom?

Continuity of learning is the goal. Grading practices are the same in eLearning as it will be on campus. Students will be learning the same standards and have the same outcomes to achieve at the end of the year.

Will kids doing Virtual School have one designated teacher or will there be several?

Elementary students will have one designated Virtual teacher. Middle School and HS will have assigned teachers based on their schedules.

Will we get something that is going to tell us about Virtual School from the kids' school?

Yes, once Virtual School teachers are assigned, a communication will go out to parents about the start of the school year.

In elementary if you switch from Virtual School to campus will the curriculum be where they left off?

The intention is for pacing to be on-track with on campus instruction.

For incoming Kindergartners, are they supplied with a device to connect with their class?

Yes, Kindergarten students will receive a device.

If a high school student has a weight class as a block are they supposed to come to school for that block time?

In the Virtual School, students will only be allowed on campus for before or afterschool activities. They will not be allowed in buildings during the school day.

Will there be a way to get some extra one on one time with their teacher if your child is struggling with something over virtual learning?

Yes, Virtual School teachers will have office hours to assist students and parents.

How will eLearning look for a kindergartner using Google classroom, since they aren't used to using it? What programs/ apps will be used for them?

Kindergarten students and parents will have a common platform to access lessons. Teachers will post videos and engage with students in live sessions for instruction. Origo math, Amplify reading and Amplify Science will be apps that students will be able to use to support learning. Teachers will onboard parents and students to these resources before school starts.

Wondering if you know what supplies will be required for eLearning, and if we will be getting books and/or workbooks from the schools?

A material distribution plan will be developed and communicated to parents once we have assigned teachers.

If your child is in the regular classroom for the start of the year and the schools are shut down again, will they be in the same class with the same teacher with eLearning?

Yes, in most cases. However, if we are in the Select model, this may depend on the students that are on campus. In that case, parents will be notified.

Will second grade eLearning be on a blocked schedule?

The elementary schedule will include blocks of time for core subjects. This schedule will look similar to what is in the Reimagine document.

Do kids have to show up to every zoom meeting for the whole time?

Yes, unless approved or an alternative plan has been developed with the teacher.

Will they be required to log in to live zoom meetings at specific times every day? How flexible will the schedule be?

Attendance during live meetings is expected and attendance will be taken. It will be important to communicate with the teacher and/or establish a plan if the student is going to miss.

For eLearning do we need to start it promptly at 8 am? Or can we do it based on our schedules?

The start of the day may depend on the grade level. Students will have a schedule and be expected to participate in live sessions throughout the day.

Will they set up zoom session times at least one time a week for kids just to socialize with other kids their age if choosing Virtual School? That seemed to be one of the problems my children had was missing the socialization.

Having time to socialize is important for our students. We will work with teachers to embed time in the schedule for this to occur.

Will we need to be online during the assignment time or just during the times where there is actually a class taking place?

The classroom teacher/schedule will identify when students need to be online. Students may be asked to complete assignments on Google Docs or access instructional resources on line to support and complete work.

Will they try to keep kids from each school together as much as possible? Like if 8 kids were signed up from the same school and same grade would they try to keep them in the same virtual classroom or would it be a complete mix of schools in the same grade?

Yes, we will try to keep students from like schools together as much as possible.

If you have more than one child doing Virtual School for elementary, will the zoom sessions be at the same time as other grades? Will you be able to watch later if you cannot make the zoom session for some reason?

It is best if students can join the live sessions, however, we are asking teachers to record the sessions to support student learning and review later if needed.

Will preschool have the same as Kindergarten for "open house"?

There is no preschool Virtual School. On-campus preschool information about open house will come from the the campus. If questions contact Amy Richards.

Have they decided on how preschool classroom numbers will look like? Or how the schedule will look for preschool? How will it look for play-based learning?

Numbers will look the same with classrooms having limited furniture so that student can spread out. This is spelled out a little better in the Reimagined plan, on page 35.

Will elementary school still dismiss at 2 on Wednesdays? The sample virtual schedule shows class until 2:30.

On-campus elementary will dismiss at 2 p.m. The Virtual School schedule may be slightly different.

Since there is not a Virtual preschool option, could a student start mid-year in the program?

The student can be added to the waiting list.

For 6th graders doing Virtual School, will they start a day early like their onsite counterparts?

The Virtual schedule will be very similar to the onsite schedule.

I’m taking this as Virtual School is pretty much a new school. My child at Newell will be taught by the same teacher/room as a student from Dodge?

Yes, your child may be in a class with students from other schools.

Can you elaborate a little more on how the MAP testing will take place for Virtual School?

We are currently engaged in conversations with the Nebraska Department of Education regarding MAP Testing and NSCAS testing in the virtual environment. We will align our process with their guidance.

How are they going to do maps testing in the fall since there was no testing last spring?

The MAPS testing will occur onsite in the Fall. We are still getting guidance on how to administer with students in the Virtual School.

When are last year’s juniors taking the ACT?

Oct. 6.

Will all special education services be delivered virtually as well? For example, speech minutes or other support minutes?

Yes. If the parent chooses the Virtual School for the student to attend, all services identified on the IEP will be provided in that setting. We may need to reconvene IEP teams to update Individual Education Plans to reflect the most current setting.

Can you describe what special education will look like with eLearning?

Special education services in the virtual setting will vary based on each student's Individual Education Plan.

If a 6th grader going into a new school opts into Virtual School on IEP and needs support for a subject (or additional occupational therapy), will that take place during the blocks/schedule? Or as a separate class?

The IEP team will coordinate services and supports with the classroom teachers similar to how they schedule when on campus.

Can you also comment on Virtual learning when enrolled at the Indra House?

Safety procedures and protocols are the same for all locations. Students and families attending GISH or Indra House have the choice to attend on site or Virtual School. Although GISH and Indra House are located next to each other, they are separate and different locations serving different student groups. Schedules and transportation schedules may vary between GISH and Indra House. All student services will vary based on students' Individual Education Plans.

If a student is special needs and is on an IEP, can they go to school and do eLearning? Maybe 2 or 3 days in school and 2 or 3 days at home?

Parents have the choice to select which setting is most appropriate for the family at this time. Special education services in either setting will vary based on each student's Individual Education Plan.

What are you doing with special needs that won’t wear a face mask?

If the student is attending on site the student will be required to wear facial coverings. Students with special education needs will be supported by staff and IEP team members to establish routines and practice the skill of wearing a facial covering.

Will there be DLP teachers for Virtual School?

Yes, if we have students choosing to attend in the virtual setting who require specially designed instruction from a DLP instructor, we will have DLP instructor(s) assigned to the virtual setting.

If we decide to take my son to school and he doesn't do well with the mask or we as a group along with his IEP team decide it's best to do Virtual School, we are allowed to switch before the the time that was mentioned for elementary students?

Yes, the team can make the decision about what might be best for the student.

ACTIVITIES

If a student is in sports, are they required to be at school or can the still do Virtual School AND play sports?

Students can still take part in activities in the Virtual School. However, students will only be allowed on campus for before or afterschool activities. They will not be allowed in buildings during the school day.

Will there be virtual options for the clubs?

We are encouraging virtual options for clubs and activities whenever possible.

Any updates on fall sports specifically for middle school level athletes?

We are waiting on NSAA for additional guidance.

Will after school clubs, such as Good News Club (hosted by outside volunteers), still be able to take place in the schools, after school? Or morning exercise ahead of school? And if so, will e-learning students be able to show up to those clubs?

To limit the the number of non-staff in buildings, we will only host activities lead by GIPS staff and GIPS extended learning opportunities.

I know field trips at this time are not planned, does that include out of town competitions for band/music/sports?

We are waiting on guidance from NSAA.

 

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Jennifer Worthington, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1124
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