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

Editor, Gilbert

Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent more than 30 years in journalism in Arizona and joined Community Impact Newspaper in July 2018 to launch the Gilbert edition. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he served as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication from 2005-19 and remains editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.