GDPST RE-ENTRY AND RECOVERY UPDATES

Looking Back: A Full Year in Review
"Reflection is the act of looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer." - Unknown
Spring Break will be observed on all Green Dot Public Schools TN campuses March 15 - 19, 2021. We are hopeful that teachers and students will use this time to refresh, preparing to end the year successfully. With the onset of Spring break, it must be acknowledged that we reached a milestone: one full year since the start of quarantine and the longest Spring break ever!
So much has happened throughout the country, the state, Memphis and the communities we serve. Green Dot Public Schools TN is proud of the accomplishments we have made through these challenging times. Our school site and district teams have worked tirelessly over the past year to ensure academic attainment for students continued throughout the pandemic. Some decisions GDPST leadership made did not always meet the expectations of public opinions but were always in the best interest of the students we and families we serve. As we move forward to better days and brighter futures, we hope to reflect on our organization's goals, while acknowledging this one year milestone. We reflect on the progress of the organization in an effort to shape our path moving forward.
A Year In Review 
  • Students and staff left school March 12, 2020, one day early, for Spring Break, after local officials introduced Safer at Home measures.
  • GDPST quickly moved to an online platform for students with access to devices and wifi. Students without WIFI were provided packets with systems for safe turn in, making sure students were able to continue instruction following Spring break.
  • GDPST launched a re-entry and recovery newsletter to keep students, families and community members informed, and has since sent out over 22 editions!
  • The after school program adapted to online programming, enabling more students the opportunity to participate.
  • Fairley and Hillcrest hosted their first ever drive thru graduations at Fairley's auditorium.
  • GDSPT schools partnered with the Mid South Food Bank and hosted mobile pantries that gave away over 6000 boxes of food to families in need.
  • Memphis moved to Phase II of the reopening process which allowed us to begin planning for Re-Entry into the buildings.
  • Re-Entry working groups created and published a plan which would guide the work of Green Dot Public Schools for safe return into the schools, the GDPST Re-Entry Plan.
  • Green Dot Public Schools TN began surveying parents to determine parental concerns for students returning to the building.
  • GDPST began a series of virtual community meetings to answer questions from stakeholders and present the re-entry plan.
  • Teachers returned in July for two weeks of professional development before the start of school.
  • Using survey data, GDPST made the decision for students to begin school August 10, 2020, the original start date, through distance learning.
  • Green Dot provided all fully enrolled students digital devices.
  • Green Dot partnered with the Xfinity Essentials Partnership Program to provide free WIFI to students in need.
  • Students who were not eligible for the Xfinity program but still needed WIFI capabilities, were given hotspots.
  • GDPST met with students on the Re-entry Advisory committee for feedback to determine the impact of distance learning for Quarter 1.
  • Surveys were sent to parents to determine which students would return to the buildings for in-person instruction; 24% opted to return in January.
  • GDPST was voted a Commercial Appeal Top Work Place winner for the fourth year in a row!
  • Teachers returned to buildings December 7, 2020 to prepare classrooms for return.
  • Students returned by grade levels, January 19 & January 26, 2021.
  • Calls went out to all Green Dot stakeholders to join the working groups for the next phase of re-entry for 2021 - 2022.
  • Second group of new students returned to buildings February 22, 2021, rather than February 15, 2021 because of extreme winter weather.
  • GDPST teachers and staff were offered the opportunity to receive the COVID vaccine.
  • March 12, 2021, the one year anniversary of the longest Spring break ever, students will leave to enjoy Spring break.

We would like to thank Tennessee Representative G.A. Hardaway of the 93rd District and Terence Patterson from Tennessee Charter Commission for meeting with Kirby Middle Schools students and Principal Marian Williams during the Tennessee Charter School Center's Annual Day on the Hill. Like most events in 2021, the conversations were fostered via Zoom. Students were able to learn about real world work experiences and what it means to be a legislator in our state. We look forward to being able to meet again next year, hopefully in person.

Vaccines

We are thankful to our community for all you have done to make re-entry and distance learning successful for our students. Our teachers, admin teams, staff and students have persevered through the challenges of the past year and continue to make academics a priority. In an effort to maintain safe and healthy learning environments, we are working to ensure our GDPST family has opportunities to receive vital vaccines for COVID-19. Green Dot has applied to become a vaccination site in partnership with Life Doc/Dar Salud. Once we have received our final approval from the state, Kirby Middle School will be a community designation for Shelby County, especially for our families and the residents of Hickory Hill and Parkway Village.
While we work to move through the state approval process, we are excited to announce that the Achievement School District (ASD) has formed a partnership with Meharry Medical College to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all teachers and staff across the district. We will continue working with the ASD and the state health department to make sure our school site teams have a chance to receive vaccinations.

Spring Sports

GDPST will be returning to play for spring athletics as we continue to prioritize in-person learning.  Students who plan to play must meet the following guidelines:
  • In-person daily attendance;
  • GPA requirements set by TSSAA and GDPST;
  • Attend school for each day of Spring state testing; and
  • A current physical on file at their school.
Failure to meet the guidelines will make student athletes ineligible for play.
We will emphasize social distancing and mask wearing for all students and coaches. Students will be required to sign-in to each practice for contact tracing purposes. Temperatures will be checked prior to all practices, games and events.
The following requirements introduced in the Fall have not changed for the Spring; before any school begins participation, we will ensure:
  • School Administration have approved each sports practice plans;
  • Athletic Directors and Coaches have completed required trainings;
  • Student-Athletes have the required paperwork on file; and
  • Athletic COVID-19 resources have been reviewed with essential personnel.

We Want Your Input

The re-entry process has been one of the most important endeavors of this past year. Working with GDPST team members, parents and community partners enabled us to create a plan that resonated with our families’ needs.
As we work on our plan to make sure students continue academic growth, your input is very important to us. We are creating opportunities to ensure our students receive enrichment and to address all learning loss. If you are interested in joining one of our working groups (pictured below), please email gdpstreentry@greendot.org.
working groups

Important Documents

Need WiFi at home?

Green Dot Public Schools TN understands the technology gap that exists for families in our communities. We are proud to be able to partner with Comcast to provide six months of free internet service to enrolled families who qualify. After the six months of free service, families will have the opportunity to continue, with a nominal fee.

We have extended this opportunity to all of our current students and have received an overwhelming response. Fortunately, we are able to extend this to newly enrolled students as well. So, if there are families contemplating enrollment but are afraid they will not have access to internet for their students to attend distance learning, we will work to get them enrolled, assign a laptop and set them up with Comcast for WiFi.

Please email your full name, your student's full name, and your best contact number to tnops@greendot.org or call your student's school to sign up today!

How to Guidelines

Curious about what our classrooms will look like when we return for in-person learning? Check out this video!

Here's what our students had to say about being back in the building...

Make sure to like our Facebook pages for exciting updates about what's happening at each school!
Green Dot Public Schools Tennessee:

Green Dot Public Schools Tennessee | 4950 Fairley Road, Memphis, TN 38109