Staff and Faculty from the Gonzales Independent School District met with parents of elementary school aged students to address concerns regarding the coming school year via Zoom Thursday evening.
On-site versus online
It was recommended that parents purchase typical essentials like composition books, markers, pencils, glue sticks and other items which would typically be necessary for on-site education, regardless of which learning option they have opted for. However, officials said a supply list will be disseminated as it has in past years.
Online learning will not rely on the completion packets, and there will be strict guidelines to be followed for asynchronous learning including attendance and instruction. Attendance will be monitored by assignment completion, as well as assignments for core content over the course of the week, with multiple components to their virtual course work. Instruction between synchronous and asynchronous methods will be mirrored in the case that all students will need to be on the asynchronous program. Students will also need to maintain a grade of 70 or above, unlike in the spring semester, when courses were made pass/fail.
In the classroom
Students will not remain in the same classroom all day long, with heavy cleaning in between class changes. Students at East Avenue Primary and Gonzales Elementary will continue to leave their classroom will to go to “specials,” as well as the library. They will also eat lunch and breakfast with their class, and pods of classes will not be mixing during activities such as recess or during bathroom breaks. A majority of desks will be six feet apart or otherwise grouped to ensure students stay separated. Masks will also be worn and hand sanitizer will be provided, although students are welcome to bring their own.
Students will be provided free lunch and breakfast to every child, and students are welcome to bring their own lunch. Breakfast will be held 7:30 a.m. to 7:55 a.m. in their classrooms, with individually bagged meals labeled with each child’s name on it delivered. Lunch will follow similarly. Parents will not be allowed to bring meals to the school or eat lunch with their child. There will also be food pickup arrangements available for remote learners.
Meet the Teacher
There will be meet the teacher events, with details released in the afternoon on Friday, August 7. Students on the asynchronous plan will also have both an in-person and virtual meet the teacher event. Parents and students will also be receiving a training on how to use the iPads and Chromebooks at a later date.
Students will be required to wear a face mask when they are in transition to and from their classrooms, with the option to wear a face shield instead of a mask if they provide it themselves. However, Pre-K through second grade will not be required to wear their masks in the classrooms. Gonzales Elementary students will also be able to wear face shields, and students under the age of 10 will not be required to wear a mask outside of transition times and group work.
Bus routes will still be the same for county routes, but city routes will be reduced. Elementary students will be dropped off before secondary. Students will be required to wear a mask on the bus, as well as have their temperature taken and sanitize their hands before boarding. Parents are also asked to remain at the bus stop until their child’s temperature has boarded the bus. Students with fevers of 100.4 or above will not be allowed on the bus or into the school. Students who present a fever with symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to stay home for 10 days, or until they return a negative COVID-19 test or note from a healthcare provider.
Correction: A previous version of this story, published on August 7, stated that a school official said classes would be self-contained. This is only true up to second grade. From third grade up, classes are departmentalized by subject. The Inquirer apologizes for any confusion caused by this mistake.