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 required indoors
On September 20, the Board of Education voted to maintain the current procedure of requiring people, including students, employees, and visitors, to wear a face covering/mask while inside a Gaston County Schools facility regardless of vaccination status.
The requirement will be in effect until the next Board of Education meeting on October 18. In accordance with state law, boards of education in North Carolina must take action to maintain or amend its face covering/mask policy at least once a month.
Factors that contributed to the decision include the continued high transmission rate of the COVID-19 Delta variant and the continued high COVID-19 positivity rate in Gaston County. Additionally, wearing face coverings/masks indoors is expected to reduce the number of students/employees who are required to quarantine when there is a confirmed case.
Students/drivers are required to wear a face covering/mask while riding on a school bus or activity bus in accordance with federal requirements for public transportation.
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 quarantine procedures that are outlined in the “StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit” beginning on page 14. Parents and employees are encouraged to review the procedures so they are aware of what steps will be taken when quarantine becomes necessary.
■ How will the schools communicate?
Schools will send a weekly e-mail to parents and employees to provide a summary of the number of confirmed cases. When there is the need for quarantining students, the school will contact the affected families to provide them with information/instructions. If the closure of a classroom or school becomes necessary, the school will provide information/instructions for parents and employees.
■ 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/school staff 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 will not take place during the first nine weeks of school, and 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: