Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE: The details on this page are subject to change as directives are provided by governing authorities and/or health officials or as public health conditions change. Check back regularly, and also check the Fall 2020 Draft Guide for most up to date information. If you would like to ask a question, please contact info@gcisd.net.

Instructional Models (General)

How will GCISD deliver instruction for the 2020-2021 school year?
For the 2020-2021 school year, GCISD will offer both in-person and remote instruction. Parents may choose which instructional option will work best for their student and family. On July 31, GCISD Trustees voted to begin the school year in full remote instruction on August 17 and begin offering both in-person and remote instruction on September 8.

Complete protocols for both in-person and remote learning can be found, and will always be up to date, in GCISD’s Fall 2020 Draft Guide. Additionally, if you are not receiving the GCISD Update, please sign up to have information sent directly to your email inbox. 


What if I want to change my selected instructional method?
Parents will have the opportunity to change their selected instructional method at every nine-week grading period. If you wish to change your selected method before then, please contact your campus counselor directly.


When does school start?
GCISD Trustees have voted to begin the school year in full remote instruction on August 17 and begin offering both in-person and remote instruction on September 8.


Can a high school or middle school student make schedule changes at this point?
High School students may request a schedule adjustment during the Error Adjustment Window of August 3-5 if there is an error in their schedule. Some examples of errors or extenuating circumstances are:

  • Selected for a higher level activity such as band, choir, etc.
  • Previously earned credit for course.
  • Course needed for graduation (for seniors only).
  • Desire to move up or down to Pre-AP, AP.

Students with one of the following extenuating circumstances may submit a form to request a schedule adjustment to correct the error. All requests will be reviewed on a case by case basis.


Remote Learning

What will a typical week or day look like for a remote learning student?
Depending on the student and his or her grade, selected coursework and individual needs, the amount of synchronous versus asynchronous time may differ student to student. GCISD has developed sample school schedules for remote learning. It is important to note the District will provide real-time opportunities and expectations for learning. These live virtual connections will vary based on grade-level and subject matter.


Will the rigor levels and expectations be the same for remote as in person?
GCISD remote learning will have a separate instructional design but will utilize the same high quality, rigorous GCISD expectations and curriculum as students who are in face-to-face instruction.

During remote learning, time management is critical to success. Students and teachers will remain in communication regarding daily schedules and assignments. Students will be encouraged to follow course guidelines and teacher expectations. Teachers will be very clear in the expectations of the course and will work diligently with all students enrolled in the remote course.


How was the decision between asynchronous (independent) and synchronous (live) remote learning made?
TEA required school districts to select a funding method that can best support their school populations. The options were synchronous funding or asynchronous funding. Click here to learn about the remote funding options.

Similar to going to the physical classroom, remote learners will have a schedule of live class time along with some flexibility within the school day to complete independent school work.

Remote learning will have clear expectations of specific assignments, assessments, activities or reading each day along with real time learning opportunities with the student’s teacher and classmates. Students will also have opportunities for tutorials and added support.


What will be the platform for remote learning at the elementary and secondary level?
Elementary students will engage in remote learning through Seesaw with Google Classroom. Secondary students will utilize Canvas. More information on these two platforms can be found on GCISD’s Remote Learning page.


Is the District planning to hold a training session for parents to teach them how to navigate the online learning environment?
GCISD has created Passport to Canvas, a course that provides an overview of Canvas. Additionally, the District has created a Getting Started with Seesaw resource for parents.


If a student is in 5th through 12th grades, can they still apply to iUniversity Prep?
iUniversity Prep is currently at enrollment capacity.


Campus Protocols and Procedures During In-Person Learning

What health screen protocols will be in place?
Students, parents, staff and visitors are asked not to come to campus if they are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, experiencing any of the symptoms included in the Fall 2020 Draft Guide or have been in close contact with anyone who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19.

Students and staff may also be subject to periodic temperature checks for verification, especially if they are feeling ill or suspected of having a fever during the school day.


Why are there not going to be temperature checks everyday?
At this time regularly performing a forehead temperature check of otherwise asymptomatic students in school is not recommended by the TEA. As a practice to prevent the virus from entering the school, the TEA is asking parents to ensure they do not send children to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19, which includes a fever of 100.0 ° F. Should any student exhibit signs of an increased temperature at school, they will be sent to a designated area and be checked for a fever.


If a student is registered for in-person instruction, but wakes up with a sore throat (for example), will that student be able to participate in online instruction from home that day and be counted as present?
Students who are absent from in-person instruction may still be counted present for a course if they participate in remote instruction. This will assist students, who may be home with an illness, maintain the necessary attendance in order to be awarded credit for the course.


Will it be possible to place desks six feet apart in all classrooms?
The following guidance was issued from TEA on July 7, 2020:

Where feasible without disrupting the educational experience, encourage students to practice social distancing.

  • In classroom spaces that allow it, consider placing student desks a minimum of six feet apart when possible.
  • In classrooms where students are regularly within six feet of one another, schools should plan for more frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizing and should consider whether increased airflow from the outdoors is possible.

Students and staff will be trained in proper social distancing.


How will the campuses address visitors?
Campuses will utilize virtual meeting options to limit campus visitors when possible. All visitors who enter the building will be required to wear a face covering. Individuals who proceed beyond the reception area will follow specific guidelines for visitors.


Are there plans for meet-the-teacher events? Will they be in-person only or will remote options be offered?
Elementary campuses will not host meet-the-teacher in the traditional format. Our elementary teams are working on plans for students and parents to meet their new teachers that follow the current health and safety guidelines. Parents will receive specific information on events from the campus as we get closer to the first day of instruction.


Protocols for a Positive COVID-19 Case

If a student tests positive, do his or her classmates have to quarantine as well?
Students or staff who come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days and may not return to campus during that time. A negative COVID-19 test result will not reduce the required 14 day quarantine period.


Will I be notified if there is a positive case on my child’s campus?
Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on campus activities.


What are the protocols for returning to school after a positive COVID-19 case?
In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:

at least 24 hours passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) at least 10 days passed since symptoms first appeared

 


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Masks

What are the protocols for personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks on campus?
Schools are required to comply with Governor Abbott’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks. The order requires Texans living in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth while in a business or other building open to the public, as well as outdoor public spaces, whenever social distancing is not possible.

However, it provides several exceptions, including for children who are younger than 10 years old, people who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, people who are eating or drinking, and people who are exercising outdoors.

Students in Pre-k through second grade will wear face coverings in hallways, common areas and during arrival and dismissal. Students in third through twelfth grades will wear face coverings while at school. Complete information on personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks can be found in the Fall 2020 Draft Guide.


Are there any other safety measures being implemented at the elementary school?
Elementary students will have a portable plexiglass desktop barrier, which may be carried to other locations in the building, should a student need to leave the classroom for additional support or instruction. This item will need to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.


Will middle and high school students be provided with a mask?
Students in middle and high school will be provided with a ‘gaiter’ instead of a face mask to wear during the school day. This item covers the neck and may be pulled up to cover the mouth and nose. Each student will be provided one gaiter, or may choose to bring their own personal protective equipment, provided it meets the definition from TEA.


What are the protocols for PPE and masks on buses?
All drivers and students must wear a mask while on the school bus. Due to the close proximity of students that ride buses, all students, except special education students, will be required to wear facial coverings at the bus stop and while on the bus. Students that cannot wear a face covering may not ride the bus and will need alternate transportation to and from campus.


Cleaning Protocols

How is the District going to quickly clean surfaces?
The most effective tool to combat any outbreak of viruses, including coronavirus, is the electrostatic application of germicidal mist. The mist is a germicidal detergent designed for use in hospitals and health care settings. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released an emerging viral pathogen policy, which approves the use of germicidal mist for combating coronavirus, or COVID-19. Electrostatic patented technology sprayers provide an electrical charge to solutions, allowing them to wrap conductive surfaces with an effective and even coverage.

The District has purchased new electrostatic misters that will be deployed to every campus. In addition to the new misters being used every evening by the custodial staff, other school staff (e.g. coaches, nurses, sponsors, etc.) will also have access to misters to address lockers rooms, weight rooms, isolation rooms and other areas as needed during the day when students and staff are not present. If there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, our custodial staff will enter to clean and mist the areas with the germicidal mist.


How will the restrooms be cleaned?
Restrooms will be disinfected three times during the school day by removing and disposing of trash, mopping floors and wiping all surfaces with disinfectant. Every evening this process will occur again and the restrooms will also be misted with the germicide. Facility Services has checked all restrooms to ensure they have operable soap dispensers and all dispensers are filled with soap. Paper towels are available for individual use and placement in trash receptacles.


How will the District clean touchpoints?
Touchpoints are the items that individuals come into contact with on a frequent basis such as door handles, elevator buttons, light switches, countertops, phones, keyboards and other office equipment and shared classroom items. Teaching staff, students and other campus staff will have access to gloves, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes to disinfect shared items and commonly touched items in their spaces throughout the day. This is in addition to students taking breaks to wash hands in the restrooms. Classrooms with sinks will have soap and paper towels for additional hand washing.


Extracurricular Activities

How does this impact fine arts and athletics classes?
Students will be eligible to participate in in-person extracurricular activities regardless of which instructional method is selected. Only those Fine Arts classes that have an extracurricular component (high school marching band or high school drill team) would be asked to report to school during that class period. All other high school fine arts classes, as well as all middle school and elementary fine arts classes can be taken either in person or fully remote. Remote students will be given the option (not required) to come to before or after school events if they choose, but there is no requirement to report to school each day. For athletics and PE courses, students choosing to remain remote will receive virtual workouts for them to do on their own to earn their PE credit.


Am I able to come to campus for a Career and Technical Education Course?
The TEA has determined all Career and Technical Education courses can be provided through remote instruction or a combination of remote and on-campus instruction. More details will be provided at a later date.


Will athletics and marching band competitions continue in 2020-2021?
On July 21, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) released modifications to the 2020-2021 UIL calendar and updated its COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines. Included in the update was the delay of competitions of fall sports for Conference 5A schools (GHS and CHHS). Please continue to check the UIL website for the most up to date information.


Dyslexia / Dysgraphia Intervention

What will dyslexia/dysgraphia intervention look like this fall?
During full remote learning dyslexia/dysgraphia intervention will be provided live via Webex with additional independent work. Elementary dyslexia/dysgraphia will take place during a scheduled grade level/classroom independent work time on the master scheduled to be determined by campus based on student grouping. Secondary dyslexia/dysgraphia will take place during their assigned dyslexia class period.

When GCISD begins operating in a remote and in-person learning environment, elementary intervention will be scheduled during grade-level intervention time (in-person and remote via WebEx).  This time is determined by campuses based on student need and grouping. Secondary intervention will take place during the student's assigned dyslexia class period (in-person and remote via WebEx).


Will my child have access to paper copies of dyslexia/dysgraphia intervention specific materials, pencils, and other dyslexia/dysgraphia materials?
Individual student materials will be distributed to students to be utilized for live and independent work.


How will my child's progress be monitored during dyslexia/dysgraphia intervention?
Pre-assessment will take place at the beginning of the year to determine any concepts needing to be reviewed, as well as live progress monitoring will take place weekly. Students will also utilize SeeSaw in elementary school and Canvas in middle and high school to share their learning.


Advanced Academics (Gifted & Talented, Telescoping, etc.)

What can you tell us about Canvas as a learning management system (LMS), especially as it relates to advanced, GT, and ASPIRE classes?  
Canvas includes ways for students to collaborate and work in small groups within it, a way for teachers to give audio feedback on assignments, and a number of other options. Additionally, fourth and fifth grade ASPIRE teachers will pilot using Canvas. First, second, and third grade ASPIRE teachers and students will utilize SeeSaw.


GT LEAD

How will GT LEAD work? Will students still receive GT services? 

GT LEAD students will still receive GT services as outlined in the sample elementary school schedule. There are several times during the day when all students will be engaged in independent work or small group instruction. GT Specialists will work with their individual campuses and classroom teachers to create a GT LEAD schedule for each grade level. GT Specialists will offer both live lessons and independent work for their identified GT students.


ASPIRE ACADEMY
 
What if my ASPIRE student attends CHHS, and we choose the in-person option when it becomes available? Will the shuttle still run between CHHS and GHS for ASPIRE courses? 

Shuttle buses will continue to run. However, students will also be encouraged to transport themselves if they drive their own vehicles to reduce the number of riders on the shuttle buses. This is also true for other courses for which students might need to travel between the two high school campuses (i.e. CTE courses). 
 
Will choosing the remote/learn from home option in any way jeopardize my student’s ASPIRE “seat” in regards to the district waiting list policy?
As long as your student remains enrolled in GCISD, your student has a seat in ASPIRE classes regardless of the instructional model you select.


GIFTED & TALENTED TESTING

We just enrolled my elementary student in GCISD. Can he/she be tested for Gifted & Talented services when school starts?
At this time the decision is for the elementary GT Specialists to conduct GT testing for new students just like they have in previous years if at all possible. GT Specialists will work with the advanced academics department and their campus leadership regarding the details of when and how this testing will occur. 
 
When will secondary students be able to test for gifted/talented services?
The advanced academics department has tested a small number of secondary students who were referred for GT testing prior to Spring Break. We are discussing options with District leadership regarding how to continue GT testing given current circumstances.


MATH TELESCOPING
 
How will math telescoping work?
As this is an ever-changing situation, there are some questions that cannot be answered at the current moment. District and campus leaders are continuing to work through the logistics and will share information with families as it becomes available.


Nutrition Services

Will the district offer meals from August 17 through September 8 when all students are remote?
As of July 31, 2020, guidelines from the Texas Department of Agriculture will allow the District to offer a week of meals (meal bundle) for pickup one day per week for students taking their courses remotely. During any period in which all students are learning in a full-time remote setting, the department will determine if meal delivery is possible.

Meal bundles will be available through a curbside (drive-thru) pickup at Grapevine Middle School, Cross Timbers Middle School and Grapevine Elementary School starting August 17.

  • Parents may pick up two days worth of meals on August 17.
  • From August 19 through September 2, meal pickup will be 9-11 a.m. and 4-5:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
  • When GCISD begins to offer in-person and remote learning for students on September 8, meal pickup will be every Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.

The meal bundles will include five breakfast meals and five lunches and a choice of chocolate or white ½ pint milk (10). Baking instructions will be included so that families can prepare the meals at their convenience. In order to be eligible for the meal bundle, students must be enrolled at a GCISD campus in pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade.


Will students be able to eat lunch in the cafeteria?
Elementary students will be able to eat lunch in the cafeteria with the following safety protocols in place. Each student will have an assigned seat, with the appropriate social distancing and must use their plexiglass divider. As a reminder, this should be cleaned regularly by the student with a disinfectant wipe. Secondary students will be able to eat lunch in the cafeteria, and high school students will also be able to eat at some of the campuses outdoor spaces. Appropriate social distancing will be enforced for students eating in the cafeteria or outside.


Can my student still bring their lunch to school?
Yes. While students will be able to purchase breakfast and lunch from GCISD nutrition services, students may also bring their lunch from home.