Gilbert Public Schools will consider what's next as COVID-19 numbers rise

Gilbert Public Schools district office
Gilbert Public Schools will hold a special governing board work-study session and brief business meeting Oct. 29. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Public Schools will hold a special governing board work-study session and brief business meeting Oct. 29. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

With COVID-19 case numbers on the rise, the Gilbert Public Schools governing board requested a work-study session for Oct. 29 to consider what happens next if the trend continues.

That meeting was later rescheduled for 9:30 a.m. Oct. 30.

The orginal request came before the board reviewed Superintendent Shane McCord’s presentation on the state’s health benchmarks.

In that presentation, McCord said a change in how the state presents the data now has GPS in the yellow, or with a moderate risk of transmission, on one of three benchmarks, cases per 100,000 people. McCord said the numbers also are trending upward.

The other two benchmarks, the testing positivity rate and hospitalizations for COVID-19-like symptoms, remain in the green, or a low risk of transmission.


The state recommends with a benchmark in the yellow a district remain in hybrid learning—part-time in-person instruction and part-time online. GPS ended hybrid learning for full-time in-person instruction Sept. 21 for those families who preferred in-person instruction.

The special work-study and brief board meeting will be streamed live through the district website and on YouTube.

In other business items:

  • The district anticipates receiving a minimum $14 million from a federal enrollment stabilization grant and up to $26 million to $28 million, Business Services Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Betz said. It expects to hear on the grant in early to mid-November.

  • The board tabled the possibility of holding a board retreat to do team building.

  • The board did first reads on policy changes that would have the district mark Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Day each year, add relevant crisis phone numbers to school IDs for students in ninth to 12th grades and include the Arizona Department of Education’s statutory handbook of parental rights prominently on the district website.

By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


MOST RECENT

Fry's Marketplace, Post at Cooley Station
5 businesses now open or coming soon to Post at Cooley Station

The Post at Cooley Station opened this month, with more stores soon to come online.

Here is what you need to know today about coronavirus in Gilbert. (Community Impact Newspaper)
COVID-19: Cases in Gilbert have risen more than 12% in seven days

Here is what you need to know about coronavirus cases in Gilbert

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
Number of people in ICU units with COVID-19 up more than 400% since end of September

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona

Rajiv Patel, Nico's Barber Shop
Nico’s Barber Shop entrepreneur finds niche in cutting hair to help people look good, do good

in 2017, Rajiv Patel opened a barbershop in Gilbrert, Nico’s Barber Shop, even though he did not know how to cut hair

Simi's Cafe, Black Pepper Filet Mignon
Simi’s Café has become gathering place for extended family

Eight years ago, Albert Kan found himself burnt out on the restaurant business and, perhaps more importantly, a little too far from his parents

HD South
Kayla Kolar leaving Gilbert's HD South museum for House of Refuge

Kayla Kolar, who has been president and CEO of HD South for 15 and a half years, is moving on from being the only director Gilbert’s arts, culture and history museum has known.

Freestone Activity Center
Gilbert offering residents discount on recreation programs

Gilbert residents will get a 50% discount on recreation programs starting Nov. 30 as part of the town’s pandemic relief program.

ile.gal Modern Cocktail Kitchen
Gilbert's ile.gal Modern Cocktail Kitchen prepares to open after COVID-19 delay

The rooftop bar in the Heritage District originally planned to open in April but postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Four business changes to know in Gilbert

Here are four business changes to know in Gilbert.

Higley USD governing board election winners, Michelle Anderson, Kristina Reese, Tiffany Shultz
Kristina Reese re-elected to Higley USD board; Michelle Anderson, Tiffany Shultz also joining

The Higley USD governing board vice president is officially returning to the board, and two new members will join her in 2021.

The county has adjusted the COVID-19 risk levels for local school districts. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Maricopa County updates COVID-19 school dashboard; Chandler, Gilbert, Higley all considered 'substantial risk'

The county has adjusted the COVID-19 risk levels for local school districts.

Gilbert utilities
Help available to residents as Gilbert turns toward normal utility operations

Residents need to be prepared to catch up on their accounts or face the possibility of disconnection