Coronavirus (COVID-19)

4/3/20 Revised update: District closed indefinitely with review on May 4

Based on updated clarification from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins at 4:45 this afternoon, Garland ISD is revising its extended school closing date from May 21 to closed indefinitely with a review the week of May 4. We remain at Level Red and will provide updates as we receive additional information.  Our at-home and eLearning instruction will continue throughout the closure.  Stay safe, stay home, and stay connected. #GISDAlwaysConnected

Additional update

To limit interaction, starting Monday, April 6, Garland ISD will distribute meals only once per day – from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Lunches will be given out at the 32 campus locations and will include a shelf-stable breakfast for the next day.

 

What we're doing

  • working to provide technology devices for those students who need them
  • developing learning activities for student to do at home
  • providing meals for students
  • continuing to closely monitor the potential impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dallas County and follow guidance provided by local health organizations
  • frequently using a preventive antimicrobial misting system at all facilities and on our buses to thoroughly and widely disinfect
  • making adjustments to our attendance policies to support students who need to self-quarantine (see the 3/6/20 update for more details)

Reminders

If you have traveled from countries or areas identified with large community outbreaks, it is advised that you self-quarantine at home for a period of 14 days to monitor symptoms for potential infection, returning to school/work only when symptom-free. Additional information about symptoms and preventing coronavirus can be found on the CDC's website.

Please also remember to do the following to prevent the spread of infection:
  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds, and encourage others to do the same.
  • If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay indoors to limit exposure.

Previous updates

April updates

Coronavirus related messages

4/3/20 Update: Schools closed through May 21

4/3/20 Update: Schools closed through May 21

Dear GISD Staff and Families,

As a result of the Dallas County order by Judge Clay Jenkins to stay at home through May 20 issued today, Garland ISD schools and facilities will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 academic school year on May 21. At-home and eLearning will continue through that date. 

We have received many questions about high school graduation, and we have been working on alternatives since this extended closure began. 

We have secured three dates in June, as well as three dates in July, for our high school graduations in the event that we are unable to hold them in June.  Information on specific dates can be found at www.garlandisd.net/graduation.

I want you to know that we are here to support our students, staff and families throughout this time. Please reach out to us when you need help. These are challenging times for everyone.  Stay safe, stay strong, stay home - and stay connected. For the love of family and our community, we are #GISDAlwaysConnected, and we are always here for you.

Sincerely,

Ricardo López, Ed.D.
Garland ISD Superintendent

Additional update

To limit interaction, starting Monday, April 6, Garland ISD will distribute meals only once per day – from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Lunches will be given out at the 32 campus locations and will include a shelf-stable breakfast for the next day.

March updates

Coronavirus related messages

3/31/20 Update: District closure extended

Dear Garland ISD Families and Staff:

We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented school closure. The health and well-being of all in our district and surrounding communities continues to be our number one priority.

At this time, based on information and directives from local, state and national leaders and health departments, Garland ISD will continue to remain closed through Monday, May 4, 2020, in alignment with the executive order issued by Governor Abbott today. We will reassess again the week of May 1 to determine the next best course of action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

Please know that although schools are closed, our focus is on ensuring our students and staff have ongoing support, that teaching and learning continue, and that we stay connected with each other throughout this extended closure.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Lopez, Ed.D.

Garland ISD Superintendent

3/30/20 Update

Schools will still be closed on Friday, April 3. A decision whether to extend the closure will be made this week. 

Campuses will be calling families to connect and check on needs Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in Skyward so they can easily reach you.

Tuesday at 7 p.m. GISD’s Family & Community Engagement staff will present a Facebook Live Parent University event on managing stress. The event will be repeated in Spanish on Thursday, April 2.

Don’t forget to show us how you are staying connected by entering the #GISDAlwaysConnected Video Contest and participating in your school’s social media challenges this week.

3/23/20 Update

Watch the new video message from Dr. López.

Curbside meal pickup will continue while we are under the Shelter-in-Place order. Sachse High School will begin serving curbside meals starting tomorrow, March 24.  See serving times and all locations on the curbside meals page.

See the  #GISDAlwaysConnected Photo Challenge daily themes. We kicked the challenge off today with #GISDMotivationalMonday.

The first day of virtual learning started today. Continue to post your photos on social media and check out what’s already been shared using the hashtag #GISD1stDayNewWay.

Need to contact someone at a school or a specific department? Although phones are not being monitored during district closure, you can send your questions by email. For your convenience, we put together lists of school email addresses and department email addresses.

3/22/20 Update

The first day of virtual learning begins tomorrow, March 23. Celebrate by posting photos on social media using the hashtag #GISD1stDayNewWay.

The #GISDAlwaysConnected Video Contest kicks off tomorrow. Students and staff can create and submit videos on Twitter and Facebook for a chance to win $50. Community members can help their favorite videos win by liking them on social media. 

Sachse High School will begin serving curbside meals starting Tuesday, March 24. See serving times and all locations on the curbside meals page.

Due to the Dallas County Shelter-in-Place order issued this evening, secondary students who have essential athletic equipment or essential musical instruments at the campus may retrieve those items on Monday, March 23, from 4-8 p.m. This will be for car pick-up only to maintain social distancing per the order. This will be the only time to retrieve items until further notice. For questions, contact your coach or fine arts teacher.

Curbside meals will continue during the Shelter-in-Place order.

3/20/20 Update

Thank you to the community of Sachse for your patience. We have been approved for meal distribution in the area and are working out the details. These will be shared once finalized.

GISD students and staff have a chance to win $50, courtesy of the Garland ISD Education Foundation, for creating and submitting videos in the #GISDAlwaysConnected Video Contest March 23-April 2.

For students who completed the tech survey on or before March 19, distribution starts Monday, March 23 at designated times. Campuses are communicating details regarding tech distribution. It's not too late to complete the tech Survey. Additional distribution times are being planned. 

Next week marks the launch of our virtual learning environment, and teachers have been hard at work training, planning and developing their virtual classrooms in either Seesaw (grades Prek-2) or Google Classroom (grades 3-12).

Watch for a Parent Resources page on the At-Home Learning site designed to familiarize parents and caregivers with these platforms so you can assist students as needed and continue to partner with teachers to support distance learning. At-home learning questions can be directed to athomelearning@garlandisd.net.

Have a good weekend and stay safe. #GISDAlwaysConnected

3/19/20 Update

Stay #GISDAlwaysConnected with friends and family using video calling services. See the Apps for Video calling section on the Resources page for some suggestions.

myON has added new titles in both English and Spanish for grades 6-12 and is kicking off the inaugural March Madness Reading Contest. Learn more on our myON page.

Our dyslexia team has collected some suggested activities and resources for students with dyslexia to do at home.

Gov. Abbott today announced temporary statewide closures and social gathering limitations. Download the announcement document for more information.

3/18/20 Update

See the Counseling & CCMR  tab on the At-Home Learning site for access to virtual counseling and resources for academics, college career and military readiness, mental health, and social emotional learning.

Does your student need a device for learning activities at home? Be sure to complete the tech survey to let us know. A plan for distributing devices is coming soon.

The  March and May SAT tests have been canceled. Visit the College Board  SAT Test Center Closings page to learn more.

The 2020 Census is happening now. Did you know you can respond online? See our page about the Census to learn more about how the census helps our schools and communities.

Updated contact emails for questions about:

3/17/20 Update

Curbside meals

  • Meal pickup locations were selected based on 50% of students who qualify for meal benefits per the Texas Department of Agriculture. Although no campuses in Sachse qualify, there are sites nearby for meal pick-up serving all students. We are also looking at other strategic ways to legally provide meals.

  • A new page has been created for curbside meal locations with a map and information. www.garlandisd.net/curbsidemeals

Student medication pick-up

Free wifi resources

Student technology survey

  • A plan for device distribution is coming soon.

  • Please complete the survey if you haven’t already.

At-home learning

  • The At-Home Learning site activities are recommended (not required).

  • Teachers will be reaching out next week with specifics.

See the Resources for Coronavirus page for updated FAQs and new community resource information.

3/16/20 Update: Letter from Superintendent

Dear Garland ISD Families:

I want to sincerely thank you for your patience as we move through this uncharted territory of school closure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our top priority is the safety and well-being of all within GISD, and we remain vigilant in monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in our tri-city area, in Dallas County and across the state, nation and world.

While there are no known cases in Garland, Rowlett or Sachse at this time, Dallas County is experiencing increasing community spread with a growing number of cases. The initial decision to close all facilities in Garland ISD for one week is now being extended through April 3, based on guidance from state leaders, public health officials and additional factors including data from staff travel survey responses. Our goal, as always, is student, staff and community health and safety. We will reassess in three weeks on April 3.

After the first decision was made to close, district leaders began working diligently to address multiple issues to ensure that our students are cared for, meals are available, and that learning continues. We continue to meet daily to plan and coordinate our support for students and staff, regardless of how long we are closed.

An important update I want to share with you is our leveled response plan. To help you understand the levels of situation and how the district response is determined, we are using a color-coded chart with detailed steps to guide district planning and to inform our communities about actions taken. As you can see, we are currently at Level Red, with all facilities closed and learning activities taking place at home. We will continue to work under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the health department to adapt to this fluid situation using this color-coded verbiage to indicate changes in status. Updates will be posted on the district website.

We are currently at Level Red, and we are in constant review to determine if this status will be extended. We will notify you through email, callouts, our website, and social media when any decisions are made regarding a level change. When school resumes, we will open at Level Blue. All decisions made will be based on protecting our students and communities from the spread of infection. 

To help with this, we also highly encourage everyone to practice social distancing and to use preventive measures such as frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and staying home if you are ill, have fever, or have traveled to COVID-19 hot spots as indicated by the CDC. 

Whenever there is unanticipated change such as this, questions follow. Based on the questions we have received, we createdfrequently asked questions (FAQs) with answers available on our website to provide guidance.

In addition to these FAQs, we will be communicating daily with updates or changes to ensure that you are informed and knowledgeable in these unprecedented circumstances. Please be sure to check our COVID-19 updates and resources pages, and follow district social media posts on Twitter and Facebook. It is also important that families have updated information in Skyward so that you receive calls and emails from the district.

Another update I want to share with you is our at home learning plan.

Although students are not in school, this is not a holiday. They will be working throughout the week on lessons and activities that will be reviewed and assessed so that their education continues with little disruption. It is important that you monitor this so that learning is ongoing while we wait to re-open schools.

Garland ISD at home instruction and assignments can be found at https://sites.google.com/garlandisd.net/gisd-distance-learning. Also included is a tab for virtual counseling so that students have access to counseling services and support, including academic and college counseling needs, dealing with anxiety and more. 

We know that not all students have access to the technology needed. To help us determine how to best provide support, we ask that families complete this survey so that we can gauge needs. We are working on a plan for distribution and will provide that information as soon as possible.

I am unswerving in my commitment to the welfare and education of all our children. By working together, we can continue to excel in what we provide. We have the very best staff, families and communities in Garland ISD. This is true on a typical day and even more so in times of adversity.

I am grateful to work alongside you, and I thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Ricardo López, Ed.D.

3/15/20 Update: FAQS and Community Resources

Following guidance from state leaders, public health officials, and additional data received via staff travel survey responses, GISD is re-evaluating an extension of its re-opening date. Our goal, as always, is student, staff, and community health and safety as we work to contain the coronavirus. Once a decision is made, it will be shared through all our district communication channels.

Frequently Asked Questions and community resources have been added to the Resources for Coronvirus page. Curbside meals for students will be available starting tomorrow starting at 8 a.m.

Please continue to practice social distancing such as keeping six feet away from others, staying at home and avoiding events and places with large groups. 

Check back tomorrow for details on learning activities for students and other updates.

3/13/20 Update: Resources for Coronavirus

To support students and families while schools are closed, we've created a Resources for Coronavirus page. Check the page regularly for information about free services for students, learning activities and more.

3/12/20 Update: schools closed March 16-20

Due to rising concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and as a precautionary measure to protect our tri-city communities, Garland ISD is closing for the week of March 16-20 as we assess this rapidly developing situation.  All GISD campuses, facilities and offices will be closed, and all meetings, events, practices, and extracurricular activities are canceled for the week of March 16-20.

We encourage students to engage in learning opportunities during this time; online learning resources will be available on the district website beginning on Monday, March 16.

The district will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation daily prior to Monday, March 23, and we will share updated information throughout the week on this page.

3/6/20 Update: Travel and attendance

March 6, 2020

Garland ISD continues to closely monitor the potential impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Dallas County. There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in our area.

However, with the beginning of spring break next week, we are asking that all students, families, and staff take extra precautions if traveling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel guidelines provide country-specific information at the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel website.

Staff and students returning from countries identified in the CDC’s travel warnings should notify their campuses and self-quarantine at home for a period of 14 days to monitor symptoms for potential infection, returning to school/work only when symptom-free. Absences for these students will be marked excused. 

Because we want families to follow requests to stay home when ill, Garland ISD is making the following changes to perfect attendance for all students and to student final exam exemptions as follows:

  • Perfect attendance guidelines for the remainder of the 2019-20 school will be discontinued for all students for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Perfect attendance for the 2019-2020 school year will be recognized through today, March 6, 2020.
  • Attendance requirements for final exam exemptions will not be part of the criteria considered for second semester exams for high school students.

The well-being and health of everyone in our tri-cities is our top priority. 

2/28/20 Update: Coronavirus

February 28, 2020

The Coronavirus risk remains low at this time. It is believed to be spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes, much in the way the flu and other respiratory viruses are spread. Symptoms are thought to appear within two to 14 days after exposure and consist of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

Garland ISD Health Services and campus nurses are well prepared. We have protocols and policies in place to ensure students are sent home with fever or when ill, and for ensuring they are fever-free before they return to school.  

We also check daily with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Dallas Health Department and Garland Health Department for updates and guidance. 

Currently, nCoronavirus cases have been reported in the three cities served by Garland ISD or in any surrounding communities. We will always be responsive and open with communication to families about any reported or suspected cases, in addition to sharing the following best practices for staying healthy: 

  • Symptoms for COVID-19 often mimic the flu; getting a flu shot is highly recommended. 

  • We will continue to use our preventive antimicrobial misting system at each campus and on our buses to thoroughly and widely disinfect. 

  • We will continue to train for and implement good handwashing practices, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue. We ask that you reinforce these preventive measures at home. 

  • Anyone who is ill should stay at home until fever-free for 24-hours without the use of fever reducing medication. 

  • Notify the campus nurse if your child has flu-like symptoms.  

It is best to rely on factual information from reliable sources when questions arise. The links below provide information about the coronavirus from local, state national and international health organizations. 

We have received questions about wearing masks. There is no evidence that wearing a mask protects healthy people from infection. For more information about when a mask is effective, please visit the World Health Organization’s page Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: When and how to use masks. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to GISD Health Services at A877@garlandisd.net with any questions you may have.