Frequently Asked Questions
Will the city school calendar mirror the county calendar? When will the calendar be out?
At this time, we are beginning the process of forming a school calendar for the GSCS 2019-20 year and hope to have it published in March. We are aware that coordinating with the Baldwin County Schools calendar certainly has advantages. As a city school system, our top priority is to develop a calendar for the unique needs of the Gulf Shores community.
Will Gulf Shores High School, under the City system, offer early graduation (December).
We plan to continue offering early graduation.
Will there be a Pre-K program? If so when will we register for Pre-K program?
GSCS is completing the application for the Pre-K program and should have confirmation of that grant in April, at which time we will begin the registration process.
Will there be Kindergarten registration? When will it be?
We plan to continue Kindergarten registration under the same guidelines and procedures as Baldwin County. We will follow the same timeline as Baldwin County.
Will GSCS have an IB Program for 8th graders?
GSCS will not offer IB for upcoming 9th grade students. If a student is presently in the IB program at Fairhope, that student will be allowed to continue.
Where will the Ft. Morgan kids attend school?
The Board conducted its first reading of a Non-Resident (Out of District) Policy on February 14, 2019. The policy can be approved at the March board meeting. If approved, students residing outside of the Gulf Shores city limits may apply for admission to the Gulf Shores City Schools. Please see the posted DRAFT policy for details.
Why am I told to complete another Declaration Form?
In mid-January, the GSCS Superintendent, contacted State Superintendent, Dr. Eric Mackey seeking guidance regarding the “Rising Sophomore Declarations”. We were instructed to create and distribute a form accordingly. We followed those instructions and solicited declarations with the prescribed deadline of Feb. 1, 2019. We shared a copy of the form used to the State Superintendent’s office. We are compiling that data and scanning in all declaration for forms received and will forward to the State Superintendent’s office and to the BCBE as soon as the new March deadline is past. It is our position that those declarations already completed are valid. The first week of February, as part of the final separation agreement, Dr. Mackey extended the declaration date to March 1, 2019. We immediately reached out to the approximately twenty families that did not submit a declaration form prior to 2/1/19. GSCS is not requesting anyone to resubmit a declaration form. The new March 1 deadline from Dr. Mackey stated, “…any student who failed to declare his or her intention as requested shall do so by March 1, 2019, or such student shall be considered to have elected to remain in Gulf Shores City Schools…”
Is 6th grade moving to middle school?
Yes. The Board voted on February 14, 2019 to restructure the grade levels at Gulf Shores Middle School to 6-8 and to restructure Gulf Shores Elementary School to PK-5.
Will GSHS continue with the same electives that are currently offered?
The goal is to continue college/career pathways along with aligned electives for all current high school students. We also intend to continue with the current AP and Dual-Enrollment offerings.
What are the plans for our parking lots? They are dangerous.
Plans for campus improvements will be announced in March.
As a business owner in a classic trade, are there any thoughts on internships or trade schools? Will there be Vocational Training?
Work Force Development, internships, and apprenticeships are very much a part of our discussions and conversations. We will work with local businesses, colleges, and chambers to provide opportunities for student readiness and skill development. Specific programs are not available at this time. We welcome any input and partnerships from local trades and businesses.
When we officially become Gulf Shores City Schools can we start recognizing those hard working seniors that earned valedictorian and salutatorian?
The Board is in the process of creating policies to govern the activities in the school system. The Board is committed to recognizing excellence in our students.
When Gulf Shores City Schools begin will we still use the Common Core curriculum?
We will continue to use Alabama College and Career Ready Standards, as required by state law.
When Gulf Shores City separates from Baldwin County in 2019, will it still be called Gulf Shores High School and will the colors and mascot (Dolphin) still be the same OR will all that change?
We will continue to be the Gulf Shores High School Dolphins. We have "refreshed" the color scheme and can't wait to share it on March 12, 2019.
How can my students stay at Gulf Shores if he/she would rather not be moved to Orange Beach?
The Gulf Shores Board of Education will approve a Non-Resident (Out of District) Policy that will provide guidance concerning admittance of students who do not live in the city limits. Currently, a draft of the policy is available on the school system's website under the February 14, 2019 agenda.
Will Special Education services remain the same?
Gulf Shores City Schools will ensure that a free appropriate public education, consistent with the standards established by state and federal regulations, will be provided to all children with disabilities ages 3 to 21.
Will Gifted Education services remain the same?
Yes. All second grade students will be observed as potential gifted referrals using a gifted behavior checklist provided by the State Department of Education. A student may be referred for consideration for gifted services by teachers, counselors, administrators, parents or guardians, peers, self, and other individuals with knowledge of the student's abilities. Standard referrals may occur at any time for students six years of age or older. Parents must be informed when students are referred. Consent is secured from the parent to proceed with evaluations for consideration for gifted eligibility.
Will my child still have the same access to sports and clubs?
Yes. Gulf Shores City Schools plans to continue all presently offered sports and clubs.
Will we continue to compete against county schools (sports, Scholars' Bowl, etc.)?
Our goal is to continue competing against schools in our geographic area as we do currently. Of course, continued competitions rely on neighboring schools also participating.
Will transportation still be provided to city schools?
Yes, GSCS will continue to provide transportation for some students who live in the city limits. Bus routes will be analyzed over the summer and could be changed to improve efficiency. Students admitted to GSCS through the Out-of-District Policy will not be provided transportation. Out of District students who are admitted through the Separation Agreement (Grades 10-12) will be provided transportation.
Will the price for lunches change? If so, what are the new prices? Can I still pay for lunch online?
School districts are mandated by federal guidelines to analyze lunch prices on a yearly basis. We will analyze prices this summer. We do not anticipate a change, but it is a possibility. Parents will be able to pay online. Details on the process will be communicated this summer.
Will GSCS have the same dress code as BCPS?
The GSCS Board will develop and approve a dress code taking input from the community.
Will GSHS keep the same diploma offerings?
All diploma offerings presently in place for existing students will be honored.
What are my child's options if he/she would like to be in an IB program?
If a student is presently enrolled in a Baldwin County IB program, he/she may continue that program. Students wishing to enter an IB program, would need to enroll in a Baldwin County School or another system that offers IB. At this time, GSCS do not offer the IB program.
Will GSES continue to have After School Care?
Yes. We will continue the Century 21 grant program at the Elementary School.
Will GSES offer Special Olympics or be able to join BCPS for Special Olympics?
Will GSCS still use iNow for parents to check grades?
iNOW is a State Department of Education database, so all public schools utilize that system. However, the state will be moving to a new database, but it will have a parent access feature. The implementation schedule of the new state database is not certain at this time. Either way, we will be using a student management system that allows parental access.