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FAQ - Face-to-Face

July 29, 2020 - No. Andrews ISD receives the same amount of funding for a child, regardless if the child is face-to-face or remote learning. 
 
HEALTH & SAFETY
The following procedures have been developed by our Executive Staff and are subject to change as we learn more about best practices related to COVID-19. 
 
For students displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling feverish: 
 
1. The student will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the campus has contacted the parent/guardian. 
 
2. Remaining students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus (go on a walk outside, move to a different classroom, etc.) so that the classroom can be disinfected.
 

3. If an individual who has been in a school is lab confirmed to have COVID-19, the school should notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

 

4. Schools will close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected.

 

5. District communication will be provided to the students who came in contact with a student or staff member displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

 

6. Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow district protocols including isolation from students and other staff members.

a. They are 3 days (72 hours) fever-free without using fever-reducing medication;

b. Improved symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, etc.);

c. 10 days have passed since symptoms began.

No, students’ temperature will not be checked at school for COVID-19 related screening at the beginning of the day. Per TEA guidance, “Regularly performing a forehead temperature check of otherwise asymptomatic students in school is not recommended, but the practice is also not prohibited by this guidance.”

However, we do require parents or guardians attest to a daily screening on their children at home to ensure they do not have one of the following exclusionary criteria for going to school: 
      • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 
      • Lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis 
      • Close contact with an individual with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis 

If students meet any one of the exclusionary criteria, they must stay home from school. Cooperation from parents and students will be critical to ensure we limit possible viral exposure. If students do not meet the exclusionary criteria, students should report to school for face to face instruction. It will be implied that if a student arrives at school or at a bus stop that they attest they are free from the exclusionary criteria listed above.
Per TEA guidance, any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
 
In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
    • At least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
    • The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
    • At least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared. 
 
If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay-at-home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location.  
 
The school nurse at each school will manage this process and will be a key person in working with parents and students through this process.
In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria for a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
On their website, the CDC offers the following definition for close contact:
 
Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
 
Data are limited to precisely define the “prolonged exposure” to determine “close contact”, however 15 minutes of close exposure can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include:
 
    • Proximity
    • The duration of exposure (e.g., longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk)
    • Whether the individual has symptoms (e.g., coughing likely increases exposure risk) and 
    • Whether either the case patient or contact were wearing an N95 respirator (which can efficiently block respiratory secretions from contaminating others and the environment). At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.
 
This definition of close contact will be important for investigation into contact tracing for a positive COVID-19 case in our classes or schools.
Contact tracing helps us understand who a positive COVID-19 patient has been in contact with to allow us to communicate and take follow up actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 
From the CDC website, they define contact tracing as:
 
Fundamental activities that involve working with a patient who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected through exposure to the patient. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who do not.
 
Contact tracing is important to identify those that are more likely to be exposed and those that are not as likely at risk of exposure.
CDC recommends that anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine. Individuals who are sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available) while at home.
 
We expect parents/caregivers to keep sick children at home. If a student is exposed to COVID-19 through a close contact, a parent/caregiver must call the school to report. The student should not report to campus. After review by the school nurse, the student may be required to remain off-campus for up to a 14-day incubation period.
 
Every campus will have a nurse/administrator who will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures and then work with the families and staff to determine the next steps based on guidance from the TEA, CDC, and local health officials.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
 
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
 
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on-campus activities. Given our processes for contract tracing, students or classes may receive a more specific notification letting them know of a confirmed case in their class. Having a confirmed case in your child’s class will not necessarily require your child to quarantine if it was determined your child did not have close contact with the person who has COVID-19.

Schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks. Students and staff are expected to wear face coverings during school hours. This requirement is subject to change at any time.

 

Masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.

 

Staff and students will appropriately wear face coverings unless distanced greater than 3 feet apart; eating/drinking, or participating outside, etc.

 

Students in Pre-K through Third grade may wear face coverings in hallways, common areas and during arrival and dismissal, but are not required to do so.

 

Students in Fourth through 12th grades will wear face coverings while at school unless distanced greater than 3 feet apart.

 

It is impractical for students to wear masks or face shields while participating in some non-UIL athletic or other extracurricular activities.

 

Students will not be required to wear face coverings while eating but will maintain proper distance as permissible by seating arrangements, etc.

Given the executive orders at the state and local level, it is the expectation that all students at Underwood Elementary, the middle school and high school have a mask on when in public. In order to limit the exposure to COVID-19, we are asking all parents and students to take this expectation seriously.  With many new protocols and procedures in place to keep students and staff safe, we cannot do our job effectively if individuals are purposefully disregarding public health precautions that will take time away from instruction and keeping our AISD school community safe.  Please wear a mask or face covering every day.  If you do not agree with wearing a mask or following the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe, please consider the virtual learning option for your child. 
From TEA’s Public Health guidance:
 
For the purposes of this document, masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth. Face shields may be superior to cloth face coverings in many circumstances, given improved ability to see mouth movements and improved air circulation.
 
Like our dress code, there are guidelines for what type of mask is allowed. Students must refrain from wearing masks or face coverings that contain obscene or offensive images, language or in reference to drugs and/or alcohol. A mask or face covering can be patterned, have the district or campus logo, sport or business logos, but may not contain words or messages that are not part of the logo options. Any objectionable masks or face coverings will be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian with the understanding that the mask will not be worn to school again.
Campus administrators are creating plans to increase safety by limiting possible exposure, including staggering transition times between classes, designating traffic flow for specific hallways, social distancing 3-6 feet in the classroom, and creating alternate lunch period plans. These strategies will continue to be developed as we learn more about COVID-19 and as we see the need to adjust as students return.

Based on building capacity and student enrollment, campus administration will determine areas that may be utilized for lunch. These areas could include classrooms, the library or other large areas within the school building.

 

Teachers will monitor the cafeteria and hallways to promote proper distancing practices. Depending on the number of students in the school, students may have meals in both the cafeteria and in classrooms. Cafeteria capacity will be based on current guidelines. Physical distance will be provided around each occupiable seat. Posted signage and staff will reinforce proper distancing and traffic patterns in the cafeteria. Microwaves will not be provided in the cafeteria due to the opportunity for cross contamination with a high-touch device. Hand sanitizing stations may be available at entrances and exits of the cafeteria.

 

    • Students will be expected to follow campus guidelines for cafeteria procedures.
    • Students may be seated according to a seating plan for students consistent with proper distancing guidelines.
    • All students are expected to wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to entering the cafeteria.
    • Students are encouraged to read and adhere to the expectations and posted directional prompts/signs to ensure for proper distancing.
    • At schools with open lunch, students are required to wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon their return to school.
    • Students obviously are not required to wear masks while eating or drinking, etc.
    • Mealtime visitors will not be permitted in the school cafeterias. 
There will be many precautions that are taken to protect students and staff that may not be visible to parents.  However, there are some precautions that will be evident; some of those include:
 
    • Students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
    • Campuses may plan for entry, exit, and transition procedures that reduce large group gatherings (of students and/or adults) in close proximity.

    • Students may be assigned to report to a specific area and are expected to adhere to schedules for morning arrival.

    • It is expected that students and staff wear masks when entering the building and waiting in the designated waiting area.

    • Students are encouraged choose seats that have empty space (seats) empty in between seats.

    • Students can utilize the bathroom, but the number of students that enter may be restricted. Students should observe proper distancing while in the bathroom.

Classroom protocols and procedures will include expectations for not sharing school supplies, proper distancing, limited group work and hand washing or sanitizing, etc. Each classroom will be outfitted with the following when possible:

 

    • Classrooms spaced out to provide 3-6 feet of social distancing space, where possible
    • Increased signage to educate our students on important mitigation measures like hand washing, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, maintaining social distance, and to indicate direction of traffic flow
    • Refillable, alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations
    • Access to disinfectant to sanitize work surfaces

Frequent cleaning and disinfection will support a healthy learning and work environment for students and staff.

 

Daily Campus Cleaning

  • Each classroom and restroom will be cleaned and disinfected.
  • All high-touch areas will be disinfected throughout the day.

  • Custodians are expected to wear PPE (masks and gloves) during work hours.

  • Cafeterias will be disinfected between lunch periods.

  • Staff and students will have access to disinfecting items to sanitize working surfaces, shared objects, and high-touch areas after use and during breaks in instruction.

 

Restrooms

  • Staff may supervise and limit the number of students that enter the bathroom at one time to comply with health agency recommendations and proper distancing.
  • The scheduling of whole class restroom breaks may be considered to eliminate commingling of students across various classes and to ensure teacher monitoring of proper distancing guidelines.
  • Increased disinfecting will occur throughout the school day. Staff and students will wash hands with soap and water prior to exiting the bathroom. Proper hand washing techniques will be taught to all students and consistently reinforced.
It is critical that students understand the importance and effectiveness of personal mitigating practices in keeping themselves and others safe and healthy. This includes, but is not limited to hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, wearing a face covering and staying home when not feeling well. We will post signage and actively teach students about these important mitigating strategies.
Yes. Although recess and PE will be handled differently and scheduled with few students at one time, students will have the opportunity for movement during the day. Staggered schedules and consistent cohorts may be utilized.
 
Teachers will monitor students to ensure safety guidelines are followed. 
 
Students may wear masks during outdoor activity, but are not required. Students should maintain proper distancing while lining up to return to class and sanitize or was hands before re-entering. 
 
While in the classroom, brain breaks and "mask breaks" can be implemented as needed. 
Campuses are in the process of developing schedules. Once more information is available on the amount of classroom transitions that will be built within the schedules, it will be shared.
Visitors will be limited on campus. All visitors will be required to wear a mask when entering campuses.
 
Although we need and value our volunteers and visitors, we will forego having volunteers on individual campuses. However, volunteers will be allowed to help during extracurricular events. 
BUS TRANSPORTATION

As schools reopen, students using school bus transportation services will follow revised protocols. Starting at the time when students arrive at their designated bus stop and board the school bus, the new safety and sanitizing protocols will need to be followed.

 

The Andrews ISD Transportation Department offers the following guidance to parents and caregivers regarding school bus transportation for daily bus routes, field trips, and extracurricular activities. Bus routes will run at regular capacity. Although the district is implementing the safety protocols and disinfecting efforts described below, families are encouraged to drop students off, carpool or walk with their student to school to reduce possible exposure on buses. We are expecting all of our drivers and students to wear masks while on the school bus.

Between each AM & PM Campus drop-off

School bus drivers, bus assistants and staff will be spraying and wiping down seats and high-touch items with disinfecting spray.

 

Bus seating areas will be disinfected after each bus route, particularly high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs and stairway handrail.

 

When possible, bus windows may be open to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.

 

Weekly Deep Disinfecting Process

Deep cleaning: Electrostatic spraying of bus interiors will routinely.

Yes.
Yes. All students must wear masks when they arrive to the bus stop and continue wearing the mask to and from school. 
Unfortunately, TEA has stated students are required to have a mask while being transported to and from school.