GPS board puts contingency plan in place if return to hybrid learning is necessary; Campo Verde High first to go

Gilbert Public Schools
Gilbert Public Schools campuses could return to a hybrid model of learning if COVID-19 cases rise too high on a school-by-school basis. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

Gilbert Public Schools campuses could return to a hybrid model of learning if COVID-19 cases rise too high on a school-by-school basis. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Gilbert Public Schools governing board decided Nov. 4 on a contingency plan to bring schools out of in-person learning and back into hybrid learning if COVID-19 cases get too high in district schools.

Under the plan, Gilbert Public Schools gave notice Nov. 5 that Campo Verde High School will return to hybrid learning Nov. 9 for two weeks. The school has 20 active positive cases, representing 1.04% of the student body.

The plan, which passed on a unanimous vote of the board, also considers how the district would move into virtual learning if needed and how it would then return to in-person instruction.

Board member Jill Humpherys crafted a proposal for the board to consider and reworked it after input from the other board members.

Humpherys characterized the task as threading a needle between a preference for students to learn in person but keeping them safe as coronavirus cases surge once again.


Under the plan, an individual campus would switch from in-person to hybrid learning, in which students are on campus two days a week and learn virtually the remainder of the week, if the number of active cases there reach a certain percentage of the students and staff there. For elementary schools, it would be 2%, junior highs 1.5% and high schools 1%.

Canyon Valley School, an alternative high school, would require five cases, and the RISE program for junior high school students would require three cases for the switch to be made. The board decided to go with straight numbers at those schools because of their small sizes.

Superintendent Shane McCord will make this decision based on the number of confirmed active COVID-19 cases reported on a weekly basis on the GPS COVID-19 dashboard.

Additionally the entire district would move into the hybrid model of instruction if two out of three guidelines for GPS district boundaries, as published by the Maricopa County Public Health Department, show substantial community transmission—color-coded as red on the department’s dashboard—for two weeks.

Those three benchmarks are for number of cases per 100,000 population, percent positivity in testing and number of COVID-19-like illnesses.

If numbers continue to rise, the governing board could be called into an emergency meeting to move the district from hybrid into virtual learning.

However, if numbers fall over two weeks of hybrid learning, in-person instruction could resume.
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

Lori Wood
Gilbert Public Schools adopts revised maintenance and operations budget of $263M

Gilbert Public Schools’ final revised maintenance and operations budget for fiscal year 2020-21 is the largest to date for the year.

Almost 3 million COVID-19 doses have been administered to Maricopa County residents as of May 4, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Nearly 3M vaccine doses have been given to Maricopa County residents

Almost 3 million COVID-19 doses have been administered to Maricopa County residents as of May 4, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

Laurin Hendrix
Gilbert Town Council gives preliminary approval to $988.25 million budget

For the second consecutive year, Gilbert Town Council is heading toward a budget that is smaller than the previous year.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites
Holiday Inn Express & Suites opens in east Gilbert

The 55,000-square-foot hotel has 98 guest rooms.

See a breakdown of COVID-19 cases, vaccinations and more local data. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19: Vaccinations in Gilbert cross 100,000

Here is what you need to know about COVID-19 case counts in Gilbert and the state.

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
ADHS: Hospitalization for COVID-19 increases slightly from May 2

Here is what you need to know about hospitalization numbers in Arizona because of COVID-19 cases.

Val Vista Drive
Val Vista widening project at 75% toward completion

The $34.28 million project improves Val Vista Drive to a major arterial roadway with three lanes in each direction with a raised median.

Randy Duren, Hair of the Dog
Pet-friendly Hair of the Dog opens in Gilbert

The wine bar, tap house and coffee shop is designed to be a dog-friendly neighborhood bar.

Mindy Waldon, Scott Waldon, Morning Kick
Casserole gives rise to Morning Kick food truck, which gives rise to restaurant

An 18-month-old picky eater, a grandma and a joke were the ingredients that changed the careers of Mindy and Scott Waldron.

Chandler USD Superintendent Camille Casteel announced she will be canceling an event planned to honor her years of service to the district ahead of her retirement at the end of the school year. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler USD cancels event for outgoing superintendent; new businesses at The Post at Cooley Station and more top area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Chandler and Gilbert areas.

More than 2.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Maricopa County residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Almost 1.3 million Maricopa County residents have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine

In the last week, an average of about 30,000 doses of vaccine per day were administered.