Galveston ISD: What you need to know about the district’s 2020-2021 school plans

Galveston ISD has released its reopening plan for the upcoming school year.

The district will begin the year with all students participating in virtual instruction for the first four weeks.

GISD has outlined its social distancing and safety measures it plans to implement in its schools upon students’ arrival for face-to-face instruction.

Here’s what to know for the upcoming school year:


The first day of school is scheduled for August 24, 2020.

Click here to view the 2020-2021 school calendar.

Measures underway or being considered

Personal Protective Equipment

  • GISD schools require the use of face coverings for adults and students for whom it is developmentally appropriate as determined by a physician or educational plan.
  • Face coverings will be provided to students, employees, and visitors if they do not have one.
  • Personal reusable masks must meet Code of Student Conduct requirements and not be inappropriate or derogatory in nature.
  • Students participating in outdoor activities or eating may remove face coverings as long as social distancing is maintained, as determined by the program leaders.
  • Staff will be provided with gloves and cleaning supplies to clean touchpoint surfaces throughout the day; gloves should always be worn when cleaning.
  • Custodial staff will wear face coverings and gloves for cleaning throughout the day.
  • A face covering is not required for persons working in a private office or working independently outdoors.


  • Staff will be properly trained on cleaning standards and expectations. Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations employees will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding the cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection of all district facilities.
  • Students will be provided explicit instruction and practice on proper hand washing. Students are encouraged to engage in supervised handwashing for at least 20 seconds at least two times each day, in addition to being encouraged to wash hands after using the restroom and before eating.
  • Tissues should be used to cover coughs and sneezes. If not available, coughs and sneezes should be covered in their elbows. After tissues are discarded, hands are to be washed immediately with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • There will be daily cleaning of touch point surfaces and work areas (doorknobs, handles, rails, light switches, water fountains, desks, chairs, tables, etc.)
  • All schools and offices will be provided with enough hand soap, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant to accommodate frequent cleaning of high touch areas, and stock will be replenished regularly or upon request.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned at least two times per day.
  • Additional custodial staff will be employed to support breakfast/lunch trash disposal and regular cleaning of restrooms.

Health Survey – Temperature Checks

  • The Health and Safety of our students and employees is of the utmost importance. Proper daily screening will be supported with effective identification and tracking processes when needed.
  • Staff will complete a daily screening questionnaire and temperature check. Submit to their supervisor a Health and Wellness Questionnaire certifying it is safe for them to be at work.
  • Staff must report to the school system if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry (see below for re-entry information).
  • Students and families will complete a weekly screening questionnaire by phone, other electronic method, or in person.
  • Any student feeling feverish should be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic.
  • Any person presenting a temperature above 100.0 or who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school will be sent home. Waiting in an isolation room will be available prior to student pick up for a limited time only.
  • Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and instead will receive remote instruction until the conditions for re-entry* are met.
  • All visitors will be screened, and temperatures checked.
  • Visitation will be limited to essential visitors who have previously scheduled appointments. All visitors must wear face coverings when inside a GISD school or building.
  • Non-essential visitors should utilize virtual meetings, when possible. Lunch visits are prohibited.
  • Non-essential deliveries — such as food, personal items, homework, musical instruments — are prohibited.

Common Area Physical Distancing

  • Cafeterias, restrooms, water fountains, hallways, gyms or student commons area.
  • Water fountains in schools will be used to re-fill personal use bottles only.
  • Meals will be consumed in classrooms, outside, or spaced at least 6 feet apart in the cafeteria.
  • Restrooms should be monitored to ensure students stay spaced and are not lingering. Enforce proper hand washing.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located at the entrance to each campus. Locations throughout the campus will be identified for installation.
  • When students leave a classroom, they should be instructed to wash hands or perform hand hygiene with hand sanitizer before going to the next location and to limit the touching of anything non-essential.
  • Visual reminders for social distancing will be placed throughout each campus.
  • Doors to common spaces remain open to avoid multiple people touching handles.
  • Locker use is discouraged. If proper social distancing can be managed, lockers will be used by one person only.

Social Distancing

  • Explicit expectations, monitored and managed for 100% compliance
  • Arrange classroom spaces to ensure proper social distancing that accommodate no more than 15 students in a classroom.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to use no-touch greetings.
  • Student workstations facing the same direction.
  • Movement in the classroom and hallway should minimize gatherings.
  • Frequent outside breaks should be scheduled by campus administration.
  • Physical education classes should be held outside and while practicing physical distancing, whenever possible.
  • As possible, students should be managed as a pod - small groups of the same students. Rotating classrooms in mass is discouraged.
  • Virtual delivery of instruction, while on-site, may be necessary for secondary campuses
  • Community supplies should be avoided. Each child should have their own supplies.
  • Classroom materials that cannot be disinfected (magazines, books, etc.) should be limited for use by one person only. 48 hours set aside prior to next use by a different person.
  • We will continue to offer extracurricular activities and afterschool services consistent with the guidance in this document and with the UIL.
  • All meetings should be held virtually unless a face-to-face meeting is absolutely required. When those meetings are necessary and cannot be done via electronic means, everyone must follow the face covering protocols, remain at least 6 feet apart where feasible and consider increased airflow from the outdoors.
  • Assemblies and other activities that bring large groupings of students and/or teachers and staff together should be reviewed as to whether they are essential.
  • Field trips should be moved to virtual tours. Outdoor experiences with considerations for transportation will be considered.


  • Schools have the authority and responsibility to limit access to the facilities and restrict visits in school to only those essential to school operations.
  • Staggered arrivals and dismissals are encouraged and will be determined by campus principal and leadership.
  • Schools will establish staggered, no-contact pick-up and drop-off times, Parents should remain in vehicles requiring students to get in and out of cars independently and preventing parents from walking students into the building.
  • Drop off and pick-ups should be contactless whenever possible.
  • Campus hours of operation will be strictly adhered to; leaving a child at an unattended location is prohibited.
  • Families will be encouraged to assign one person who is not high risk to consistently pick-up and drop-off their student each day.
  • Parents who escort their children to school must wait in a designated area socially distanced from other students and families.
  • Loitering at exit doors will not be allowed.
  • Elementary campuses will communicate the week one process for escorting pre-K and kindergarten students.
  • All campuses will communicate processes for drop-off and pick-up of students for any reasons (medication, doctor’s appointments, illness, campus violations).
  • Children will report to a specific location for entry and exit; each campus will communicate the entry/exit location for students. Staff will be provided the entry/exit by their principal.
  • Visitors, when essential, will enter the main doors and report to the reception desk for screening and security check-in.
  • Schools will consider circumstances for students, staff, visitors with physical, behavioral or health challenges and work to accommodate any limitations. Decisions will be developmentally appropriate.
  • Schools will no longer incentivize perfect attendance.


  • GISD will gather data to determine bus ridership and parent/private transportation. Parents are encouraged to provide transportation to their children to reduce possible virus exposure on buses.
  • The bus driver will administer hand sanitizer to every child who boards the bus.
  • All riders and drivers will wear face coverings while on the bus.
  • Buses will be loaded from back to front and unloaded front to back.
  • Upon arrival at a campus, a designated staff member will escort students to their assigned location.
  • Social distancing constitutes one student per seat with siblings able to share a seat.
  • When possible, the bus windows will be open to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.
  • Buses will be thoroughly cleaned after each route, focusing on high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles.
  • Transportation will work with campus administration to provide training for students.

Visitor Access

  • Visitor access is limited.
  • Access will be limited to assigned entry points.
  • Visitors must wash or sanitize hands upon entry.
  • Visitors will wear a face covering to enter and will wear that face covering throughout their time on campus.
  • Food deliveries will not be permitted.
  • Visitors who access the campus other than pick up/drop off must be checked for symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature check.
  • The campus reserves the right to limit guests in the front office to maintain social distancing.

Instruction methods offered

Galveston ISD plans to offer face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid learning models for the 2020-21 school year.

All students will begin in virtual instruction for the first four weeks.


  • Face-to-face instruction will take place at school with all safety precautions in place.
  • Students will have a fixed school schedule with a 10 minute increase daily to allow for increased safety and hygiene procedures.
  • Face coverings required.
  • Students in Pre-K - 8th grade will attend school five days a week.
  • Ball High School will deliver a hybrid program with on-site learning 2 days a week, the other three days will be remote.
  • Bus transportation will be available for eligible students.


  • The entire school day will be completed from home.
  • Students will have a flexible schedule and daily interaction is required.
  • Computer and internet access is necessary.
  • GISD core curriculum integrated into Canvas learning management system.
  • Real-time and self-paced instruction.
  • Switch to on-site learning at the end of grading period is allowed.

Recent updates

Dr. Moulton and Galveston ISD are hosting a virtual Town Hall Meeting at 2 p.m. on July 28.

Parents and teachers will have to opportunity to access questions and make comments and suggestions regarding the back to school plan.

Click here to the join the Zoom meeting and enter the passcode 2020.

Do you have questions about Galveston ISD’s plan?

Fill out the form below and we’ll work to find the answer to your question.


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