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GIPS answers parents back to school questions in virtual town hall

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 10:46 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) -

Grand Island Public Schools took to a Facebook Live on Monday to answer dozens of parent questions about their back to school plans. Last Wednesday, the district announced it will have in-class lectures with precautions or the option for virtual learning for people not comfortable going back.

“The content and the standards will be the same,” Toni Palmer, Chief of Leading for Learning at GIPS, said. “So the outcome for what students are wanting will be the same whether they are in virtual school or on-site.”

The school year will definitely be different than any in the past, but GIPS said it’s doing the best it can to keep everyone safe. For students who choose to return to school, new rules will require them to spread their desks apart to follow social distancing guidelines, to wash their hands every two hours, do daily temperature checks and mask requirements.

“All students who will be on-site, they will be required to wear face coverings,” GIPS Superintendent Dr Tawana Grover said. “Our teachers are already gearing up to assist our little ones.”

There was a lot of concern from parents about how long students would have to keep the masks on. Dr. Grover said teachers will be prepared to help any child who needs to take a break. Also, now is a good time for parents to practice with their students on wearing a mask.

“We’re going to start sending out some helpful videos to you so you can start practicing with your students,” Dr. Grover said. “As well as that first day when they’re there all by themselves, they certainly will be working through that process.”

Changes are coming for bus rides also. The district is asking parents, if there’s another option for your students to get to school, to use that instead.

“We need to know numbers because we are planning to double up our routes so that we can do one kid per seat and adding a paraprofessional to make sure those kids social distance and have a mask on,” Dr. Robin Dexter, GIPS Associate Superintendent, said. “They can get to school that way.”

District leaders said if everyone works together, they can see another great and healthy school year.

“If for whatever reason you’re not comfortable with the face coverings, you just don’t believe in it, you don’t want to do it, you don’t want to show up on campus with a face covering, the virtual option is the best option for you,” Dr. Grover said. “All students on-site will be required to follow the rules.”

The last day to apply for virtual learning is July 17th. They do ask that whichever option you choose for your student that you commit to it for the semester.

Monday night’s meeting was only an hour long so there were a few questions they didn’t get to, but are asking parents to continue to submit them through their Let’s Chat program.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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