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GISD Back to School Information (Updated August 10th, 2020)

Hello, BEAR students and parents! The first day of school is Wednesday, August 12th, for both on-campus and remote-learning students. We look forward to our hallways and classrooms being filled once again with the sounds of happy, successful students. This announcement contains important back to school information, so please read on. As always, we greatly appreciate your support and patience as we navigate uncharted territory to be at our best for our students. GO BEARS!


FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL - Please visit our individual campus websites and/or facebook pages for specific back to school information and instructions.



MASKS AND FACE COVERINGS - Based on the governor’s executive order, students, teachers, and school employees must wear a mask, face covering, or face shield throughout the school day and on the school bus, except during certain athletic, extracurricular, or physical activities. The following exceptions apply:


  • Students at Gladewater Primary School do NOT have to wear a mask as the governor’s order does not include children below the age of 10. All GPS students must wear a mask or face covering when riding a bus.
  • Weldon Elementary students will wear a mask, face covering, or face shield when in the hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including in classrooms to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. All Weldon students must wear a mask or face covering when riding a bus.


TRAFFIC - Traffic before and after school can be a challenge in the first few days of the school year. Please be patient and observe all campus procedures for dropping off and picking up students. Safety is our first priority. Traffic patterns usually settle into a normal, efficient routine by the 2nd week of school.


DAILY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS - In addition to masks and face coverings, all GISD schools will observe the following guidelines and precautions:


  • Regular school hours will be observed each day - 8:00-3:35.
  • The GISD COVID-19 Health Protocol will be followed daily. The COVID-19 Protocol is located on the GISD website under “News and Announcements”.
  • Class sizes will depend on the number of students actually learning on-campus. 
  • Social distancing will be practiced to the greatest extent possible in all areas of the school building without disrupting the educational experience. This includes the spacing of desks/seats when possible.
  • For truancy reporting purposes, COVID-related absences will be excused by the school with a note or call from the parent. The GISD doctor’s note requirement is waived until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.
  • School attendance is still mandatory. Students must attend school on 90% of school days in order to receive credit for the course or grade level. This state law remains in effect. Students who miss numerous days for illness or quarantine purposes will be transitioned to remote instruction.  
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and bus, and throughout each school building. Students and staff will sanitize their hands upon entering the classroom or bus. Students will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently during the school day.
  • Staff will limit the use of shared supplies when possible and have access to disinfectant wipes to sanitize high-touch and working surfaces, as well as shared objects.
  • Classrooms, buses, and high-touch areas will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • Strict limitations on visitors to GISD schools will be observed.
  • UIL activities will be held with specific restrictions as announced by the UIL. 



CONNECTIVITY - GISD has ordered chromebooks and internet hotspots to assist our remote learning students who have limited connectivity and/or access. Families who have indicated in our connectivity survey that they need a device will be contacted when these have been delivered to GISD and are available for checkout. In the meantime GISD is issuing laptops to families with remote learners who do not have a reliable device. 





Who may participate in UIL and/or extra-curricular activities?  Only students who receive on campus instruction will be allowed to participate in UIL and extra-curricular activities.


What happens if the school shuts down?  If there is a campus shut down, all students will be moved to virtual learning.


If a student is quarantined at home due to COVID exposure, will the student be counted absent?  Students participating in on-campus learning who have to be quarantined at home due to exposure to COVID or testing positive for COVID will be switched to remote learning for the duration of the quarantine and allowed to return when the quarantine period has expired. Any student who tests positive for COVID must have a doctor’s release in order to return to on-campus learning. These students will not be required to wait until the announced dates for transition from remote to on-campus.


What about drinking water?  Water fountains will not be used.  Students should bring their own water.  There will be a supply of drinking water on each campus.


How will campuses/buses be sanitized?  Campuses will be deeply cleaned and sanitized frequently each day.  Teachers and students will work to keep individual work areas sanitized during the day.  Hand sanitizer stations have been added to each classroom and in prominent areas of the building. Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized frequently during the day.


Buses will be sanitized and wiped down at the end of each run.  Hand sanitizing stations have also been installed on all buses.


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