Family support during COVID-19

The Family and Community Engagement (FACE) department has gathered some resources to support our families during the extended school closure.

Virtual Parent University

Join our Family & Community Engagement department each month this summer for parent workshops on topics to support families during the school closure. The events will be offered in English on Tuesdays and in Spanish on Thursday at 7 p.m. on the following dates:

  • June 9 (English)
  • June 11 (Spanish)
  • July 28 (English)
  • July 30 (Spanish)

Meetings will be held online through Facebook live on the Family & Community Engagement Facebook page. All GISD families and community members are welcome to participate. If you do not have a Facebook account, we will also post the videos to our department YouTube channel

We look forward to having meaningful discussion with you. #GISDSupport4All


View ways to engage with learning.



Setting up routines during our closure is important. Check out these sample schedules for ideas.

Sample schedule and ideas from Metro Nashville Public Schools 
Sample Schedules and Ideas from the Nebraska Department of Education

Online safety

Common Sense Media shows ways to monitor what your kids watch and how much to watch, as well as dealing with cyberbullying and online privacy. Also, check out these guides and reviews for movies, games, books and other resources: 

Common Sense Media
Digital Citizenship Guidelines for Families 
Digital Citizenship Family Engagement Resources 
Parents' Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls


Communication tools

Translation apps for communicating
Online learning support

GISD uses many apps and websites to support learning. Your student can access them online through Ready Hub. Talk to your child's teacher to see which apps they recommend while eLearning at home.

Public libraries

Public libraries can be a great resource for online learning. Visit the Garland Library System and get a temporary digital library card to access online resources if you don't already have a library card.

Find online tutorials for many of the library resources and popular social media apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Parents and students can continue their learning while staying at home. Some resources require a library card to access.

Websites and Apps


View ways to connect to the district and community resources.

Connect with GISD Family & Community Engagement

The Family and Community Engagement Department offers several ways to reach out and connect with families during the closure. We invite you to stay connected through social media.

Follow us on Facebook @gisdengagement. Like us, share us, and join us for our weekly chat. 

  • Every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in English.
  • Every Thursday at 7 p.m. in Spanish.

Can't attend our weekly chat? Subscribe to the Garland ISD FACE Department YouTube channel and view our recorded chats.

The FACE Department is also on Twitter. Follow us @gisdengagement.

Contact information

Email us at 

District resources

Follow GISD (@GISDnews) to receive the latest updates and see the good things happening across the district. 



View ways to encourage others and be encouraged.

Happiness Calendar

Greater Good Magazine: A healthy dose of ideas for taking care of ourselves and families.

Focus on children’s well-being

How stress affects children

Not all children and teens respond to stress in the same way. Some common changes to watch for include

  • Excessive crying or irritation in younger children

  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (for example, toileting accidents or bedwetting)

  • Excessive worry or sadness

  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits

  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors in teens

  • Poor school performance or avoiding school

  • Difficulty with attention and concentration

  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past

  • Unexplained headaches or body pain

  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

(Taken from Mental Health and Coping during COVID-19 - CDC) 

How to support children's healthy mental and emotional development


  • Togetherness - Spend time doing activities together. Play outside, go for a walk, do a puzzle, read a book. Try to keep TV and devices off so children have a chance to talk about what's on their mind.

  • Listening to your child

  • How to talk about COVID-19

The Basics of Self-Care for Children

  • Sleep
    • Adequate sleep helps children pay attention, learn more, show more control their behavior and emotions, and stay healthy.
    • Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time to help children get back on track.
    • Create a bedtime routine (or go back to your Pre- COVID-19 bedtime routine) to help them fall asleep.
    • View the sleep guidelines for children from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Physical Activity

    • 60 minutes or more a day of moderate to vigorous activity.

      • Children don't have to do all 60 minutes at once.

      • Go outside

        • Running, jumping, climbing, bike riding, swinging, etc.

    • GoNoodle for when you can't get outside.

    • Zumba in the living room.

Action for Healthy Kids has great ideas for Healthy Activities to Do at Home.

  • Healthy food 

Help for when you need it

Connect and care for Neighbors
The Art of Being a Neighbor During Social Distancing

Here are some ideas from The Art of Neighboring:

  • Reach out to your neighbors.
    • Email
    • Phone
    • Leave a note (Wash your hands and spray the note with disinfectant before delivering it.)
  • Ask how they are doing.
    • How are you and your family doing?
    • How has your job been impacted?
    • Have you noticed something good that has come out of this crisis?
    • Is there anything you need or that I could help you with?
    • Do you need anything from the store?
    • Since relationships are a two-way street, be open to asking for help and sharing how you are doing as well.
  • Caring for older and at-risk neighbors
    • Reach out to these neighbors specifically by phone or email.
    • If you don't have their contact info, knock on the door, move back 6-10 feet, and introduce yourself.
    • Offer to help them run errands or get anything they need.
    • Wash your hands before and after delivering an item.
    • Wipe everything down with disinfectant that your deliver to their front door.
    • Set a reminder to check in with them on a regular basis.
    • Ask them if they need help with learning any technology that will help them connect with their families or others.
  • Being a good neighbor means keeping our neighbors safe. CDC guidelines:
    • Wash your hands with soap often and avoid touching your face.
    • Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.
    • Avoid having people outside your immediate family into your home.
    • Limit touches to hard surfaces that others may have touched and wipe down surfaces when in doubt.
    • If you are not feeling healthy, self-quarantine and avoid contact with others.

NextDoor Help Map

Ideas for staying connected to family and friends
Ideas for virtual summer fun

Take time to explore and play this summer without leaving your home!  Families are invited to share pictures of your virtual family summer fun and include the #GISDsummerfun in your post.   


Community resources

GISD staff have reached out to area organizations for details about available or changed services during this ongoing situation. See below for details. 


Aunt Bertha's Social Care Network

Search for free or reduced cost services like medical care, food, job training, and more by zip code. Please see the the Social Care Network website to enter your zip code and connect to services in your area.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For up to date information about the COVID-19 outbreak, please check the CDC website.

The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Here are instructions on how to make a no-sew mask.

Emergency information with Smart911

When you register for Smart911, you can share lifesaving information about your household with supported 9-1-1 centers and receive targeted emergency alerts. 
Register for Smart911

Frontline Childcare

On this site you will find information on child care options for Texas' frontline workers fighting to stop the spread of COVID-19. This website is an initiative of Governor Greg Abbott in coordination with multiple agencies. If you are a frontline worker needing assistance with childcare visit the portal at for more information.

Quest Care

Open 9:00 am- 3:00 pm for medical services on a first come, first serve .
Services are free and no documentation required.
9780 LBJ Freeway Ste 124, Dallas, Texas 469-317-0028
910 Parker Ln Ste 102, Plano, Tx 972-972-8930

North Texas Food Bank

The North Texas Food Bank Feeding Network of Partner Agencies is their largest and most robust method of getting food to families in need. Please see the North Texas Food Bank website for agency locations and hours of operation. They are working to continuously update this list with the latest information, though please call the agency location before arrival.

United Way

United Way has a COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund. They will help with bills, rent and food. Call 1-866-211-9966 and provide your zip code to be given a list of local agencies to provide assistance.


Catholic Charities

Call 214-389-1340 for an interview. They provide food and support with air/heat.

Good Samaritans

They are practicing social distrancing and if a person is coughing or sneezing, then they ask they wear a mask.

Hope Clinic

Call for appointment 972-485-9292. They are open for medical-emotional health needs.

Northplace Church Garland

Monday through Friday from 11:00 am-2:00 pm at 2761 Oakland Avenue, Garland.

Parkland COPC

Medical services.
Open M-Th 7:30 and am-6:00 pm; Sat 8:00 am-5:00 pm 
Call 214-266-0700.

RCCG Bread of Life Parish

Open once a month for food. 
Call for hours 214-552-5613.

Salvation Army

Will be operating as usual this week.

Saturn Road Church

Open Wednesday and Thursday for food closet and clothing.


Hope in Hand Food Pantry operated by First Christian Church, Rowlett

7301 Miller Rd. Rowlett,TX 75088
Office phone:  972-475-3559

Hours as of 3/17/20:

  • M-W-Sat—10 a.m. to noon
  • Tuesday Evenings – 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday evenings will be added when needed

 GISD area families are our client base. We have waived the registration process.  Our new DRIVE THRU process is as follows:

  1. Pull up under the covered porch
  2. Know on the door and show your ID through the glass.  The volunteers will take a picture of it so we can keep up with families helped
  3. Tell them how many family members you have in your household
  4. Get back in your car
  5. AFTER the volunteers put the groceries on the porch, then you may get out and place them in your car

We appreciate you adhering to these new rules.  Our volunteers are all in the high risk category, so we want to keep them safe so they can continue to serve GISD families in need.

Life Message

Operating as usual. Food pantry hours are M, W, F from noon-4 p.m. Registration for new clients requires proof of residency and picture ID. Those 60 and older come in on Thursday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. No zip code or income restrictions for all programs. For more information call 972-475-9800.


5 Loaves Food Pantry

ID required. No appointment needed.

Tuesday 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am-12:00 pm and 5:00 pm-7:00 pm 
1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 10:00 am-12:00 pm.


Dallas/Dallas County

Biscuit Bar Restaurants - Free Lunches for Children

The Biscuit Bar restaurants are providing free lunches for students Monday-Friday, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.  Child must be present.  High school students must present school ID.  

Participating Locations:

City of Dallas COVID-19 Resource Hotline

  • The City of Dallas has launched an automated COVID-19 resource hotline. It has information about unemployment assistance, job search, rental / mortgage assistance, mental health, social services, etc. The hotline number 214-670-INFO and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

Coronavirus Testing Sites

Corovavirus testing sites are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • American Airlines Center 2500 Victory Plaza, Parking Lot E, Dallas TX 75201
  • Ellis Davis Field House 9191 S. Polk Street, Dallas, TX 75232

You must meet the following requirements to be tested:

  • Individuals must have a fever of 99.6 degrees or above
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough 

Dallas County Wrongful Eviction Hotline

  • Dallas County established a tenant helpline for tenants who have been evicted despite the order or who are pending eviction. Before reaching out residents are advised of the following:
    • Tenants engaged in criminal activity or causing an imminent threat to health and safety may be subject to eviction prior to the aforementioned date.
    • Tenants maintain responsibility for paying their rent.
    • Tenants are encouraged to contact their landlord and make sure they are aware when eviction moratoriums are in place.
    • When having difficulty paying rent, tenants should attempt to make payments and/or establish a payment schedule with their landlord.
    • Information about the initial order suspending evictions, is available in English and Spanish at: Dallas County COVID-19 Tenant Hotline
    • Call: 214-653-6563 or 833-743-0072


  • The City of Dallas has created a Resident Resource guide in English and Spanish:

Parkland Memorial Hospital

Parkland Memorial Hospital has a COVID-19 Patient Line at 214-590-8060. Answered 24 hours.  

School Meal Finder

School Meal Finder is for students through age 18 and 19 during the school year, and students with disabilities regardless of age. Select your state and/or provide your address to find Grab and Go meal sites (breakfast and lunch) while schools are closed at the School Meal Finder website