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Principal's Message 10/3

Good afternoon Githens Raiders!  This is Dr. Lanier with information regarding sports, COVID reminders, COVID testing, morning arrival, AIG, and immunizations.  Please listen carefully to all details.

All Principals have been asked to review the following information regarding COVID with our school communities.  Please note, Githens Middle School will continue to follow our COVID-19 protocols in an attempt to minimize and contain the spread of the virus.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • Parents must notify the Principal immediately of a positive diagnosis.

  • A child who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be kept at home and must follow the health department’s guidance on isolation requirements.  

  • Masks are required for all students five years of age and older, teachers and staff, and visitors in accordance with recommendations of the CDC, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Durham County Department of Health.

  • A child who has been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 at home should be kept at home and follow the health department’s guidance on quarantine requirements.

  • Parents should keep all sick children at home, and any student who becomes sick while on campus will be sent home.

  • The siblings of sick children should also be kept home.  The siblings of sick children will be sent home if a student becomes sick while on campus.

  • Parents will have three options for sick children to return to school whether they were kept home or were sent home from school:

    • A negative COVID-19 test result AND symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, or

    • A doctor’s note with an alternate diagnosis AND symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, or

    •  If the parent is unable to exercise the options above, then the student will not be allowed to return for 10 days as DPS assumes the student could have COVID-19.

    • Parents will be notified if their child has been identified as a close contact to an individual who has COVID-19 at school.

DPS can ONLY accept a rapid test (not a rapid home test) when a child is sick or symptomatic.  Anyone deemed as close contact exposure must have a PCR test 5 days after exposure prior to returning to school.  All asymptomatic students must have a PCR test.

Durham Public Schools, in partnership with MAKO Medical, will begin providing weekly COVID-19 testing at school to help identify possible COVID-19 infections among students even if they’re not showing any symptoms.  Research has shown such testing can reduce the spread by 50%, especially in large settings such as schools.  The testing is a simple swab of the nose and not the test that tickles the brain.  This is the same test families can administer from home or at local testing sites.  This is a voluntary testing process, so a parent or guardian must register their student to participate.  All testing information and results will remain confidential.  I encourage our families to register their students for this free opportunity.  Together, we can keep our students safe, in their classrooms, and prevent community spread.  The link to register is included in the email that accompanies this phone message.

Githens will have our AIG/Advanced Academics Annual Review Session for 6th Grade families on Tuesday, October 5 at 6:00 pm.  The session for 7th and 8th Grade students and families will be on Wednesday, October 6 at 6:00 pm.  During the sessions, we will discuss AIG Services for the year, review the DEP process, and provide time for you to ask questions.  Students will bring their invitations and DEPs home on Monday, October 4.  Parents should fill out the invitation, sign one copy of the DEP, and send both signed documents back to school with their scholars.  Scholars can give the forms to ELA or math teachers to return to Ms. Clary.  Links to this virtual event are included in the email that accompanies this phone message.  We look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Now that Durham Public Schools is back to in-person instruction, it is important that our students’ immunization records and Health Assessments are up to date.  All students in the 7th grade are required by state law to have proof of updated immunizations within 30 days of the start of the school year.  The link provided in the email that accompanies this phone message provides a list of all immunization requirements for 7th grade.  As a district, DPS has determined that health & safety necessitates that schools exclude students without updated immunization records from participating in our in-person learning.  The general timeline before the exclusion of students without updated immunization records is after the first 30 calendar days of the new school term.  Due to COVID-19, there were extensions to the timeline last year.  At this time, there are no extensions for the 2021-2022 School Year and all vaccination documentation will have to be provided by November 1 or show proof of an appointment to get the necessary vaccinations which are Tdap and MCV.

The Raiders sports schedule for the week is as follows:

Tuesday, September 21 - Boys Soccer, Cross Country, and Volleyball against Lakewood at home.  Cross Country will also compete against Lucas.

Wednesday, October 6 - Football at home against Rogers-Herr

A reminder that masks and social distancing is required and will be enforced.  All sports ticket sales will be virtual this year through “ticket spicket” and are required for entry.  Please use the link provided in the email that accompanies this phone message to follow the steps necessary to purchase tickets.  For further information regarding athletics or specific teams, please email either Ms. Stackhouse, Athletic Director, or the coaches.

Another reminder that students are required to be in classrooms, seated, with materials ready, and cell phones powered off at 7:30.  Students entering the building after 7:30 will be marked tardy.  Scholars must be on time for school and we are seeing an increasing number of scholars coming to school anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes late.  This is not ok as they are missing valuable instruction needed to bridge learning loss due to the pandemic and virtual learning.  Please make sure your scholar is wearing a mask before they leave your home or your car.  Masks are required by the city of Durham and Durham Public Schools.

An additional reminder that PowerSchool Parent Portal is the official source of student grade information and a convenient way for you to update your most current contact information.  DPS has created step by step instructions, as well as video instructions, on how to access the PowerSchool Parent Portal.  Use the link ( provided in the email that accompanies this voice message to navigate the setup process.

That’s all for now.  Have a great week.


PDF: How to Set up a Parent Portal Account (Eng | Spa)

Video: How to Set up a Parent Portal Account (Eng | Spa)

Web: How to Create a Gmail Account

Web: How to Create a Yahoo Account

PDF: How to Complete Returning Student Process (Eng | Spa)

Video: How to Complete Returning Student Process (Eng | Spa)

Immunization Link:

Register to test your student today with this link: 



Ticket Spicket: