COVID-19 Information for Schools
Gaston County Schools will use this webpage to provide information for students, parents, employees, and the community about COVID-19 and the operation of schools as it relates to the ongoing pandemic. This page will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.
Parents who have questions about COVID-19 should contact their child’s school. Employees who have questions should contact their director/supervisor.
■ Face coverings/masks optional
On May 23, the Board of Education voted to maintain its current procedure related to face coverings/masks. The wearing of a face covering/mask while inside a Gaston County Schools facility will continue to be optional.
In accordance with state law, boards of education in North Carolina must take action at least once a month to maintain or amend its face covering/mask policy.
■ Contact tracing no longer required
An update to the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit, the document used by school districts to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, took effect the week of February 21, 2022. The most notable change relates to contact tracing. Schools are no longer required to conduct contact tracing for students and employees who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 – only students and employees who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who test positive must follow quarantine protocol.
■ Wearing a mask/face covering on the bus is optional
The guidance related to the wearing of a mask/face covering by students and adults on buses has been updated. People riding on a school bus or activity bus are no longer required to wear a mask/face covering; it is optional.
Questions and Answers
■ What happens when there is a confirmed case?
When there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 among students and employees, Gaston County Schools will follow the procedures that are outlined in the "StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit." The student/employee who is positive must quarantine at home for five days. When the student/employee returns to school after the five-day quarantine, he/she must wear a mask while at school for the next five days.
■ How will schools communicate?
Schools will send a weekly e-mail to parents and employees to provide a summary of the number of confirmed cases, and our school-by-school weekly chart will be posted on this webpage.
■ What do students do when there is a quarantine?
When students are away from school because of quarantine, they will have coursework/assignments available in the Schoology or Canvas learning management system.
■ What else is going on?
Schools will encourage social distancing when possible. Students and employees will be reminded to wash their hands frequently, hand sanitizer will be available, and students/employees will be asked to follow one-way traffic flow in hallways where feasible. Upon arrival at school, students will report directly to class rather than congregating in a common area – this practice was in place last school year.
■ What about the symptom screening/health check?
Parents/students and employees are asked to conduct a COVID-19 symptom screening/health check each morning at home before coming to school. Anyone who feels sick or exhibits a symptom of COVID-19 should stay at home – do not come to school or work. Parents should let the school know, and employees should contact their director/supervisor. It also is recommended to contact a healthcare provider.
■ What about field trips, school visitors, and athletics?
Field trips are being planned and approved in compliance with current COVID-19 protocols. Non-essential visitors will be limited in school buildings. Athletic events will be held as scheduled.
StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit
Click here for the “StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit” from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the document that provides COVID-19 guidance for school districts.
Information about confirmed cases
Like last year, Gaston County Schools will post a weekly count by school of the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases among students and employees. Click here for the week-by-week charts.
COVID-19 information hotline
If you have questions about COVID-19, you may call the information hotline for Gaston County: (704) 862-5303. Click here for more information about the hotline.
Visit the following websites for information about COVID-19: