As Gilbert Public Schools plans for the new school year, a district Task Force has been assembled to create a thorough and comprehensive plan for the reopening of schools. The Task Force is working to ensure our district continues to deliver a high-quality education accessible to all Gilbert Public Schools students so that we can continue to deliver on our mission of inspiring excellence in every learner.
Student success and wellbeing remain our top priority. There are also a number of other factors that are informing the work of the Task Force, including but not limited to:
- Recommendations at a federal and state level from entities including the CDC, and the Arizona Governor's Office
- Arizona Department of Education Roadmap for Reopening Schools
- Feedback from employee and parent surveys (June 2020)
- Resource limitations and funding parameters
Task Force FAQ
On June 29, Governor Ducey announced that school will not start in person until August 17th, 2020, with the option for districts to begin online/distance learning prior to that date. The Governing Board and district leadership will review the executive order and how this change may impact the beginning of the school year, adjusting the plan accordingly. The Task Force plan has been designed to be flexible in an event such as this. Please be assured that the district will update parents and families as soon as possible. At this time the goal remains to provide families with a choice of three different learning models so that they can select the model that works for their family's individual needs.
As of June 30, 2020:
To promote a healthy and supported beginning to our school year the current plan is to offer a total of three learning models for our families. Families can choose the model that works best for their individual needs :
- On Campus - Full-Time In-Person Learning
- GPS Flex - Elementary Flex (2 days on campus/3 days online, same classroom teacher throughout the week, utilizing GPS Global Academy platform for online learning) and Secondary Flex (flexibility to take some classes online at home minimizing time on campus, utilizing GPS Global Academy platform for online learning)
- GPS Global Academy - Full-Time Online Learning
June 19, 2020, the Town of Gilbert approved an Emergency Order stating that as of 5 pm today, for a period of 30 days unless modified or rescinded, members of the public will be required to wear a face covering when entering and while inside Town-owned buildings and facilities, and in such indoor or outdoor places where persons are unable to maintain safe social distancing (six or more feet separation) from others not of their own household. The City of Mesa also convened a special meeting today and are currently working on a proclamation. Please find below a flyer with more details on how this applies to Gilbert Public Schools campuses and buildings, as of today. Please note this guidance applies to all Gilbert Public Schools campuses and buildings, in both the Town of Gilbert and City of Mesa to ensure a consistent approach district-wide for all of our students and families. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update our community as needed. You can also visit the Town of Gilbert website and City of Mesa website for more information.
Please note: It is not known at this time what the federal, state and local guidance will be regarding face coverings on August 5, 2020.
Yes. Throughout this process, we have been taking guidance from a number of federal and state agencies including the CDC, Governor Doug Ducey, and the Arizona Department of Education.
In preparation for a return to campuses, extensive measures are being adopted and enhanced in order to minimize the spread. These include but are not limited to:
As of June 30, 2020
- Age-appropriate education on good hygiene practices to students will be provided via video and signage displayed throughout the school sites.
- Training of school and district staff about infection control strategies and preventative measures.
- Student health screening protocols
- Staff health screening protocols
- Management of ill students - new protocols and procedures
- New guidelines and protocols for students returning to school after illness
- New guidelines and protocols for staff returning to work after illness
- Personal protective equipment
- Hand washing guidance and protocols
- Enhanced training for all custodians and non-custodial staff on the use of disinfectant application
- Increased daily cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas, doors, counters, sinks, and other horizontal surfaces
- Restroom and Health Office touchpoint areas will be disinfected twice daily
- Guidelines and supplies for cleaning desk and table provided to each classroom teacher
- Use of Hydroxyl/ozone machines to disinfect larger areas
- Signage for safe hygiene and handwashing posted by all classroom sinks and restrooms
- Water fountains are closed
- The use of laundered and sanitized color-coded microfiber cloths for specific surface areas to avoid cross-contamination
- Utilization of electrostatic sprayers for wide-area disinfecting
- Breakfast and lunch modifications
- When possible, student desks and tables will be front-facing. At the elementary level, tables may have taped off student areas to help define the individual student areas.
- Staggering bell schedules during the school day at the secondary level
- Hand sanitizer stations throughout the school
- Plexiglass in specific areas
- Not sharing supplies, for example, pencils, instruments
- Opening up common areas during lunch to create extra space for students to spread out to eat, library, grass areas etc. At the elementary level, spacing students apart and lunch periods staggered as needed.
- At this time face coverings are required on our campuses, as per the Maricopa County Emergency Order, we do not know what the requirements will or won’t be when school begins
- Specialist plans for performing arts and athletics
- Virtual assemblies
In order to capture the needs of individual students, not just individual families, it was best practice to ask parents to complete one survey per student.
Parents and employees were surveyed at the beginning of June. As we are all aware this is an ever-evolving situation. It was very important for us to hear from our stakeholders as part of the planning process. In order to include the voices of our employees and parents and families, it was necessary for us to conduct the surveys at the beginning of June so that their feedback could be incorporated into our Sub-Committee meetings. We continue to receive feedback that is being shared with our Task Force Advisory Group, and both employees and parents are represented within a group of 130 people who are on the Task Force and Sub-Committees.