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Principal's Message 10/10

Good afternoon Githens Raiders!  This is Dr. Lanier with information regarding sports, returning student enrollment, COVID reminders, COVID testing, and immunization reminders.  Please listen carefully to all details.

Wednesday, October 13, is an early release day.  School will dismiss at 12:20.  Please discuss your transportation plan with your scholar and make arrangements to ensure your scholar is picked up on time.

All parents should utilize the Parent Portal for Returning Student Enrollment.  “Returning” students are those who completed the 2020-21 school year at a DPS school.  This process will allow you to review and update information on file, including transportation requests, free-and-reduced lunch, parent/student handbook, medical, etc.  The easiest way for you to complete this process is to log in to the PowerSchool Parent Portal, and click “Returning Student Registration” in the sidebar.  Parent Portal accounts do require an email address.  This protocol is similar to new student guidance however, this will replace the Student Information Sheet that is normally completed at the beginning of the year including updating contact information.  The beginning of year forms are located on this site including:  Directory Opt-Out, lunch applications, transportation requests, Media Release form, Military Recruiter Opt-Out, Immunization forms, Code of Student Conduct, etc.  There are several links that are included in the email that accompanies this phone message to assist you in completing this task.  PowerSchool Parent Portal is also the official source of student grade information.

The Raiders sports schedule for the week is as follows:

Tuesday, October 12 - Football, Cross Country, Volleyball, and Soccer will compete against Shepard at Shepard Middle School

Thursday, October 14 - Volleyball will compete against Lakewood at Lakewood Montessori Middle School

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.

A reminder that 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.   I also want to urge you—in the strongest possible terms—to notify us immediately if your student tests positive for COVID-19 and to keep them home if they have possible symptoms. If your child is sick, your child must stay home and get tested.  We have to be transparent with each other, and we have to take each other’s health and safety seriously, to get through this pandemic.  When you let us know about a positive test, you are giving us the tools we need to keep COVID-19 from spreading.

  • 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.  

  • 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.

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.

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.  All health forms will need to be uploaded by parents using PowerSchool Parent Portal.  

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: