GISD reports total of 5 COVID-19 cases at meeting of Trustee Board


This story has been updated to reflect a correction in reporting of the district's enrollment. The Inquirer regrets any confusion caused by this error.

Gonzales Independent School District shared a health update at the meeting of its Board of Trustees in which it was indicated that there have been four cases of COVID-19 among students and one among staff since returning to campus Sept. 22. This report is current as of 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, the same day as the meeting.

A statement from the school district indicates that these individuals are not related to each other.

Here is that statement:

“This afternoon, Monday, October 12, 2020, GISD learned of two individuals who tested positive to COVID-19, a student and a staff member at Gonzales High School. There is no relation to the two individuals. The student was last on campus on Friday, October 9, 2020. The staff member was last on campus this afternoon, Monday, October 12, 2020. The district is making contact with those who came into "close contact" with both of these individuals.
As you may be aware, there are strict guidelines that prohibit District personnel from providing confidential information about the health conditions of a student. For the privacy and dignity of those involved, we cannot disclose further information. However, the Gonzales High School staff members have taken precautions to disinfect as directed, and all staff members on the campus continue to follow the safety protocols to protect the health and safety of everyone at school. If you have any questions, please contact your doctor.
We will continue to work with our staff members, parents and students to keep everyone healthy and safe. If your child is ill or being tested for COVID-19, please notify your campus office and campus nurse. We cannot stress enough, the importance of our students consistently wearing facial coverings as required. Face coverings assist in limiting others from being exposed or coming in contact with illnesses. As previously stated, please ensure face coverings are clean. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”

Members of the Gonzales community and district staff were commended at the meeting as well. A representative of Benny Boyd Gonzales was present at the meeting and was thanked for the car dealership’s contribution to the district-wide appreciation dinner for staff and faculty the previous week. District HR staff were awarded plaques in appreciation for the work that they do and presented with a video of fellow staff thanking them as well.

The Board also received a donation of art prints depicting the history of the city’s legacy as the birthplace of the Texas Revolution from Jo Ann Leifeste. These prints will be disseminated among the campuses within the district.

Discussions of enrollment also indicated that 66 students have withdrawn since returning to in-person instruction with parents specifically citing the return as their reason. A previous version of this story indicated a large decrease in enrollment, which was incorrect. The district's enrollement changes are as follows:

"GISD's current enrollment is 2682 which is a 5.6% difference from last year's enrollment at this time of year. GISD was expecting to have a decrease of 3% due to the large number of graduates compared to the low number of new enrollment in the PK program. There was a slight increase in withdrawals after GISD announced that all students will be returning back to school that contributed to the increase from 3% to 5.6%.  "

In other business:

  • The Board approved the consent agenda consisting of minutes from the Sept. 8 regular meeting as well as budget amendments related to changes in enrollment and legislation regarding funding as well as a financial report.
  • The 2020 Tax Roll was approved by the board, as well as a renewal of a division order for rights to oil and gas exploration on a property known as the Dottie Unit. According to the district’s Chief Financial Officer, this small interest yields the district anywhere between $55 and $3,000 a year.
  • A letter indicating that a property near the Gonzales High School campus will possibly be rezoned was read and discussed.
  • As part of the Superintendent’s report. The health update was given and each campus provided updates regarding their campus improvement plan, and it was announced that the district’s asynchronous learning plan had been approved by the TEA, although no mention was made of a return to large-scale asynchronous learning.