Dear Garland ISD families:
We may have more than 55,000 students and 7,500 staff, but we are one big family. Thank you for staying #GISDAlwaysConnected during our spring semester. We can’t wait to be reunited for the first day of school on August 10. GISD is the place to be for the best education in our nation - even in the midst of a global pandemic. The Texas Education Agency recently released its final guidance for reopening schools, and we have some new updates to share for 2020-21.
Restarting School Transition
We realize that students have been out of school since mid-March, and we want to ensure they have a smooth readjustment. Our return to school will be phased in over the first three weeks. From August 10 to August 28, students will attend school remotely, get to know their new teachers, readjust to “school hours”, and learn to use a program called Canvas. Canvas will be the new learning platform that all GISD students will use. It allows them to interact during classes, actively engage in assignments, take quizzes, collaborate with peers, communicate with teachers, and more. The return to school transition period will also allow campuses to rehearse and finalize all safety and sanitation protocols with a lower number of students to significantly reduce the risk of viral spread on campus.
If families need face-to-face learning during the transition period because of personal schedules or other extenuating circumstances, it will be available for those students beginning August 10. Families can make this request on a commitment form that will be sent Monday, July 13.
GISD is a district of choice, and that extends to our learning models. Please take time to carefully consider your options and what is best for your family. On Monday, July 13, all primary guardians will receive an email that contains a commitment form to select the learning option that you feel is best for your child(ren). All families must make a choice, which will go into effect on August 31.
GISD will offer two learning options for families, beginning August 31:
Face-to-Face Learning: Face-to-face learning is a “traditional” school model, where students physically attend school daily on campus. All students who choose to enroll in Face-to-Face classes or to ride GISD school buses must comply with requirements for wearing face masks and face coverings. Visit our Face-to-Face Learning website for more information and frequently asked questions.
Remote Learning: Remote learning provides virtual lessons with teachers and classmates, as well as self-paced activities, projects, and assignments aligned with state standards. It will look very different from our at-home learning this spring. Daily attendance will be taken, with elementary students required to log in for at least 180 minutes and secondary students required to log in for at least 240 minutes each day. Visit our Remote Learning website for more information and frequently asked questions.
Grading and Reporting
Grades will be taken during the return to school transition period and throughout the 2020-21 school year. They will count toward student GPAs for high school credit bearing courses. The grading system, grading scale, and number of required assignments will be consistent whether students are learning face-to-face or remotely. Students will move to four nine-week grading periods and will continue to receive progress reports every three weeks, with report cards being sent at the end of each nine-week grading period.
Onsite Health and Safety Protocols
We know that schools are the optimal places for teaching and learning, and Team GISD is committed to assuring our campuses are as safe as possible for staff, students, and visitors. The following protocols and procedures will be in place at all GISD facilities.
All visitors will be required to wear face coverings while onsite.
All staff, students, and visitors will be required to screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the building.
Plexiglass shields will be in place at cafeteria serving lines, and at high traffic sites such as front office reception areas.
Increased cleaning and sanitation practices, as well as frequent reminders of hand hygiene, will be in place.
There will be no sharing of school supplies, food, masks, water bottles, or learning materials.
Students who attend classes on campus will be provided a cloth face mask and a face shield. Students may also bring their own cloth face covering, if they choose.
All students must wear a face covering while on school district transportation and while entering and exiting classrooms or the school.
All students must wear a face covering in class and in the hallways, as appropriate to the age and activity.
All face shields will remain at school, where they will be disinfected daily.
Parents are asked to regularly wash all cloth face coverings.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know you have many questions about returning to school. Stay up-to-date with the latest information and frequently asked questions on our school reopening website.
We thank you for your partnership and support. Together, we will make this a great year in Garland ISD.