“We are looking at different opportunities and we are learning a lot about what sets students up for success in a virtual middle school classroom,” Palmer said. “Their teachers are given some information and are leading the conversations around this topic. We will be sending surveys to families who will have students in grade 6-8 next year to give us some feedback. That will really drive our next steps in how we move forward with middle school virtual school opportunities.”
Grover also discussed the district’s master facilities planning. She said that with community support, GIPS has invested more than $100 million into its facilities.
GIPS is building a new early childhood education center — the O’Connor Learning Center — in the former Shopko building and has plans to move the Academy of Medical Sciences to the eighth floor of CHI Health St. Francis. The district also is considering plans for its recently purchased former Principal building.
“As we purchased the Principal building, we really took into consideration our functional capacity, as well as looking at the growth of our district and community,” Grover said. “We have already begun to have some of the other conversations with our parent advisory council, as well as our key communicators.”
After the town hall, parents could query GIPS administrators. One parent asked when students will be able to take off their masks at recess. Grover said the district’s safety protocols show that this measure has been a major factor in keeping schools open and students safe, and that the district has no plans to change it.