Update on COVID-19

Gibbon Public Schools continues to deploy precautionary measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Students and staff are still required to properly wear masks as they enter the facility and throughout the entire school day. In addition, we will continue to use hand sanitizers as students enter the facility and when they enter each classroom. Wearing masks and using hand sanitizers are two of the most important strategies proven to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, there have been a couple of changes based on what we learned through the CDC and NSAA Guidelines.

Recent information from CDCs points to the following:

  1. CDC does not currently recommend schools conduct symptom screening for all students in grades K-12 on a routine basis.
  2. Parents, caregivers, or guardians should be strongly encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms of infectious illness every day through home-based symptom screening.
  3. Students who are sick should not attend school in-person.

Addressing the first point, Gibbon Public Schools will discontinue the practice of temperature checks at the beginning of the school day, but we will apply hand sanitizer as students enter the facility. The district still plans to conduct temperature checks during lunch. The primary reasons are connected to a recent study on symptom screening in schools shared by the CDC. That study found certain limitations with COVID-19 symptom screening. Below is information taken directly from the CDC website and can be found by clicking on the following link – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/symptom-screening.html

  • The effectiveness of COVID-19 symptom screening in schools is not well known. A recent study found that symptom screening that evaluated for all known COVID-19 symptoms and was conducted by health professionals in a hospital setting failed to identify nearly half (45%) of all pediatric patients infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, and 40% of those with COVID-19 symptoms did not have the virus that causes it. This means schools still need to implement other mitigation strategies to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 (such as those described in Operating Schools during COVID-19) even if symptom screening is used.
  • Symptom screening will fail to identify some students who have the virus that causes COVID-19. Symptom screening cannot identify people with the virus that causes COVID-19 who are asymptomatic (do not have symptoms) or pre-symptomatic (have not developed signs or symptoms yet but will later). Others might have symptoms that are so mild that they might not notice them. Children infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 are more likely than adults to be asymptomatic or to have only mild symptoms. The exact percentage of children infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 who are asymptomatic is still unknown, but recent large studies have suggested that around 16% of infected children do not develop symptoms. This means that even if schools attempt to screen for all known COVID-19 symptoms, asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic students with the virus will not be identified and could potentially pass it to others.
  • Symptom screening will identify only that a person might be sick, not that the person necessarily has COVID-19. There is no symptom or set of symptoms that occur only in children diagnosed with COVID-19.
    • Many symptoms of COVID-19 are also symptoms of common illnesses like cold and flu. For example, fever and cough are the most common symptoms reported in children with COVID-19 and are present with many infections. The overlap between symptoms of COVID-19 and other common infectious illnesses means that some people with COVID-19 symptoms could have something else. This could be true even more often in young children because they typically have multiple viral illnesses each year.
    • Students with chronic conditions like asthma or allergies might have symptoms such as cough or nasal congestion without having an infectious illness. Children with other chronic illnesses such as those that affect the stomach or intestines (e.g., Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome) might also experience symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea that can be confused with symptoms of COVID-19. For many students with chronic medical conditions, symptoms might reoccur frequently throughout the year.
    • Because many COVID-19 symptoms are present in other illnesses, symptom screenings have the potential to exclude students from school repeatedly even though they do not have COVID-19 or another contagious illness, particularly when those screenings evaluate for multiple or all known COVID-19 symptoms.

We also have recent guidelines issued by Nebraska Schools Activities Association (NSAA) outlines the following:

FOR ALL WINTER ACTIVITIES:

The NSAA is requiring the following of schools, officials, and spectators for all winter season contests: 

  • Active participants are permitted, but not required, to wear face coverings during competition/performance.
  • Coaches and non-active participants (those not currently on the court, mat or stage) are required to wear face coverings at all times. Cheer and dance are considered non-active participants.
  • Spectators are required to wear face coverings at all times while attending indoor events.
  • Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth.
  • The host school may establish additional requirements in consultation with local health departments. Additional requirements implemented by the host school must be the same for all schools, officials, judges, and spectators.
The host school shall comply with the current directed health measure (DHM), mitigate risk, and provide adequate opportunities for physical distancing procedures for the visiting schools, officials, judges, and all spectators.

Recommended protocols for winter contest hosts:

  • Restricted attendance/seating areas based on current DHM.
  • Require 6 feet of physical distance between household groups in stands and spectator areas.
  • Create separate points of entry and seating for home and visitor teams/spectators.
  • Provide no concession stands or separate/multiple concession stands for home and visitor spectators.
  • Provide separate/multiple restrooms for home and visitor spectators.
  • Use signage, stanchions, or floor markings to ensure physical distancing of 6 feet at concession stands and restrooms.
  • Communicate the availability of locker room space for the opposing team and officials to maintain 6 feet of physical distance.
  • Implement diligent and effective cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Here is a link to the winter guidelines: https://nsaa-static.s3.amazonaws.com/textfile/covid/2020WinterGuidance.pdf

In response to the winter guidelines, Gibbon Public Schools will limit the number of spectators to no more than 25% of the current capacity. The following groups may be given access to the facility:

  1. The coaches and their spouses (athletic contests).
  2. The sponsors and their spouses (activities such as cheerleaders, one-act play, etc.)
  3. The employees of Gibbon Public Schools and their spouses.
  4. The participants and their parents.
  5. The team managers, statisticians, and other event personnel.
  6. The cheerleaders from both teams and their parents.
  7. The Shimmers and their parents.
  8. The event personnel and officials.
  9. The students of Gibbon Public Schools. This will be determined prior to each event or activity.
Masks will be required as spectators enter the building and throughout the entire time they attend an activity or event.

Please go to our website for more information about COVID-19.

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COVID-19 and Gibbon Public Schools

 Since March 16, 2020, Gibbon Public Schools, like all schools across the nation, has grappled with COVID-19 and the challenges of ensuring quality educational experiences continue to be delivered to students.  Remote learning, alternate learning environments, face masks, hand sanitizers, and Return to School Protocols have become the new normal.

From the school’s perspective, we have realized a minor impact on the number of students and staff placed in quarantine or who have tested positive for COVID-19.  At this time, we have had just one staff member test positive and there have been five students test positive for COVID-19.  Currently, we have 17 students home in quarantine and who attend school via ZOOM.  Although the school district has seen positive cases, we can definitely claim these cases are not traced back to the school.  We can confidently say folks were exposed to the virus through relatives or when attending special events such as weddings.  

Recently, we received information from the Two Rivers Public Health Department that offered a look at new COVID-19 case numbers for Buffalo County beginning on October 17th and running through Monday, October 26th.  The numbers are alarming.  On October 17th there were 62 new cases.  On Monday, October 26th, there were an additional 23 new cases of COVID-19.  To paint a different picture, between the 17th of October and the 23rd of October, there were 323 new cases.  

I thought, wow, I wonder what the number of cases looked like when we began the school year.  So, I went back to the start of school to review the number of new COVID-19 Cases.  Beginning on August 1st and running through September 1st I found a similar trend.  On August 1st there were 7 new cases.  On September 1st, there were 8 new cases.  However, the alarming information lies in the monthly totals.  Between August 1st and September 1st, there were 358 new cases of COVID-19.  

This information confirms what the Three Rivers Public Health Department has stated time and again.  The number of cases continues to grow in Buffalo County, and this alarming trend highlights a need to remain diligent to exercising the appropriate precautions that help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  The district will continue to require facemasks, use hand sanitizers, and take temperature checks twice per day.  These precautions have been helpful in preventing the spread of COVID-19 while keeping our students and staff safe in school.  

Please be aware that the Nebraska Schools Activities Association (NSAA) recently published new guidelines for winter sports indicating another significant shift with precautions for winter sports and activities.  We can share the NSAA has identified the following four requirements for all winter season contests:

  1. Participants are permitted, but not required, to wear face coverings during competition.
  2. Coaches and non-active participants are required to wear face coverings at all times.
  3. Spectators are required to wear face coverings at all times while attending indoor events.
  4. Host school requirements must be the same for all schools, officials, judges, and spectators.

NSAA offers additional recommendations the school district will consider for all winter activities.  The school district asks for patience and grace while we review the information found in the new District Health Measures, new NSAA guidelines, and as we monitor the number of new COVID-19 cases as we consider a more stringent approach to preventing the spread of COVID-19.  

Please go to our new website to find updates and locate additional information about the school’s protocols.  Here is the link to our new website – https://www.gibbonpublic.org/ 

Go Buffaloes!

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New Website

 Our website has moved.  Please click here to visit the new GibbonPublic.org 

You may need to refresh your browser if you return here instead of opening the new site.

Fundraiser–Gibbon Strong Clothing

This fundraiser is unlike any other one done in the past. All items are purchased online and will ship directly to your house. The items are not sport specific but rather promoting “Gibbon Strong” and “Together We Win”. There are also new items including the “Buff Strong” tumbler. Thank you in advance for supporting this boys basketball fundraiser and Gibbon students. The fundraiser ends and store closes on Thursday, June 18. Click on this link to view and order:  Unity Strong Apparel.

Board of Education Meeting Agenda – June 8

Board Meeting Agenda – June 8

Message and Info From Dr. Fisher

Gibbon Nation,
The school district has closed a history-making end to the school year, and it is important that we celebrate all that was accomplished in response to a monumental challenge called COVID-19. Teachers were thrown into an alternate learning environment with little time to prepare, students were thrown into an environment and asked to manage their own time while attending to academic requirements, and parents were asked to monitor learning while they also tended to the needs of their families. OUR collective response has been overwhelmingly positive and I wish to thank students, parents, teachers, and our community for their tremendous effort. Read more. . .

Summer Weight Lifting Begins–Waiver Required

The summer weight lifting program for athletes will begin June 1 under strict guidelines. Coaches have communicated with their players this information and the lifting session that they are to attend. Students and their parents MUST SIGN A WAIVER prior to Monday, June 1. Students must bring the waiver with them on that day. Click here to download and print the waiver, which is available in English and Spanish; this form is also located under the STUDENT tab at the top of this page: SUMMER CONDITIONING and ACTIVITIES WAIVER.

Girls Basketball and Volleyball Player Information Needed

Any girl going into grades 9-12 that plans to go out for volleyball and/or girls basketball please fill out the following questionnaire ASAP so we can get a good idea of numbers for the weight room. Thank you! Coach Pickel and Coach Jacobitz
Google Form Questionnaire

Gibbon FBLA Scholarship Available

The Gibbon FBLA is awarding two scholarships to the Class of 2020 graduates. Applications are due June 1 and are available under the Students Tab – 2020 Scholarships at the top of this page or can be accessed by clicking on this link:  FBLA Scholarship Application.

A Big “THANK YOU”

We want you to know we care! The Gibbon School Board is proud to surprise & support all staff, students, families & community that our school serves with a BIG, “THANK YOU”  for all your hard work!‬


‪(funded by) Brian Kroll, Kim Watkins, Brandon Kee, Scott Baker and  Jodi Bendfeldt 

Gyms Closed For Refinishing

Both the elementary and high school competition gyms are scheduled for floor refinishing and will be closed from June 1 to June 21.

School Board Meeting Minutes — May 11

Board Meeting Minutes — May 11

Board of Education Meeting Agenda May 11

Board Meeting Agenda — May 11

Awards Night Video – Congratulations to All!

Congratulations to all the Gibbon High School Award Winners!  Your hard work has paid off!  We are proud of you!

Class of 2020 Senior Parade

Please help celebrate and recognize the 2020 Seniors in a safe social distancing way! This Saturday, May 9, the seniors will drive through town from 6:30 – 7:00 pm led by the fire department. They will join in with the regular cruise night at 7:00 pm. Make some noise with a yell, wave, clap, and cheer or feel free to decorate your yard with a sign to show them we are proud of them.

They will try to go up and down every street so people can social distance in their own yards. Out of town supporters can part downtown, at the daycare center on Court Street, the parks, or the Methodist church parking lot. This is organized by the parents of the 2020 class. Thank you for supporting our Gibbon 2020 Graduates!

School Board Meeting Minutes — April 16

Board Meeting Minutes — April 16

FBLA Appreciates Blood Drive Support

Thank you to the community of Gibbon and the Faith United Methodist Church for supporting the American Red Cross Blood Drive. The student coordinators met their annual goal for scholarships–a huge success! Thank you again for your support.

Grades K-11 Year End Check-in Procedures

Monday, May 18, has been reserved for students in grades K-11 to check in district property. There are two time slots available for students and their parents. Please choose either 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. or 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm to check in. Click on the following link for more details on these procedures and fee collection:  Check-in Procedures.

Assistance With Technology For Parents/Guardians

The following links are very short instructional videos (1-3 minutes) that show how to login and navigate the technology that our school is using for our Online Learning — Schoology, IXL, EPIC, and Powerschool system. There are videos also that show how to see if your child has been completing their assigned work in Schoology and Powerschool.

Gibbon Public Tech Videos – English
Gibbon Public Tech Videos – Spanish

Grab-and-Go Lunch Schedule Modification

Starting this Monday, May 4th, OPAA will be changing their serving schedule. Free lunches will be served on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays ONLY. On Mondays and Wednesdays you may pick up two meals and on Friday you may pick up one meal.