Return to Learning - Safety Protocols
Aransas County ISD returned to 100% in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year. We are excited to continue to welcome everyone back into our buildings. At this time, no remote learning options will be offered and face coverings will be optional, regardless of vaccination status. Currently, per Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, ACISD cannot legally require masks and the State will not fund a remote learning option. Other districts receiving federal funds may offer a form of remote learning; however, we are unable to provide remote learning other than limited homebound instruction offered for significant medical conditions.
We will continue to monitor and reassess as conditions dictate. The District may need to change protocols at any time to address specific needs and circumstances in order to protect the health and safety of students, employees and the community. The following guidelines are in accordance with direction from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State of Texas.
Face coverings will not be required for staff, students, or visitors. An individual may choose to wear a mask if desired. Campuses will work to ensure no student is treated differently as a result of the choice to wear a mask or not wear a mask.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to recommend that individuals two and older continue to wear masks indoors. Consistent and correct mask use by people is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. To be clear, while CDC and APA recommend wearing masks, the Governor's order cited above requires mask wearing as voluntary.
Visitors and Meetings
Visitors will be allowed on campus according to standard visiting rules. Meetings will be allowed on campus without capacity restrictions and face coverings will not be required.
Extra- and Co-Curricular Activities
All extra- and co-curricular activities will resume with no capacity or participation restrictions. Students and spectators will not be required to wear face coverings.
Per Gov. Abbott's order, ACISD cannot require students or staff to get vaccinated. At this time, the State of Texas has not added the COVID-19 vaccination to the required immunization list for students.
ACISD cannot require students or staff to report vaccination status.
If a student must isolate after testing positive for COVID, the school/teacher will implement the following:
- The teacher will work with the student and parent to provide make-up work to the student, understanding there is not a remote instruction option available.
- Teachers will utilize the appropriate LMS (i.e. Google Classroom) to provide students with work to be completed.
- The student will submit make-up work as noted in the student handbook (one school day per day of absence) after returning to school.
- Devices may be sent home with isolating students upon principal approval.
- Employees must use personal leave time or comp time while they are isolating.
Employees must use personal leave time or comp time while they are isolating.
As partners working together to maintain a healthy school environment, we ask parents and employees to report confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 to the school district. Parents should report positive cases to the school nurse; employees should report to their supervisor and to the Director of Student Services ([email protected]). Staff will not conduct close contact reviews. Students and staff will not be required to quarantine for exposure. The District is still required, however, to report positive cases to the Department of State Health Services.
- Educate staff about the current health issues and preventative measures.
- Ensure staff have all proper supplies available upon request.
- Continue regular campus cleaning procedures that include sanitizing and disinfecting.
- Educate students and staff on proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette.
ACISD asks individuals to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus each day. Employees and students must notify the school system if they are test-confirmed with COVID-19 and remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below.
Confirmed COVID-19 Positive Case
- If a student has a confirmed case of COVID, please contact the school nurse. Please refrain from sending symptomatic or sick students to school.
- If staff have a confirmed case of COVID, please contact your supervisor and the Director of Student Services at [email protected] Staff should not report to work if they are sick or symptomatic.
- Those who test positive for COVID must isolate for 5 days from the onset of symptoms. If still showing symptoms of fever, vomiting or diarrhea then they need to continue to isolate up to 10 days or until free of symptoms for 24 hours. Those who suspect they have COVID should get tested.
- ACISD school nurses will continue to send students home who have a fever, diarrhea, are vomiting, or display significant symptoms of illness.
- If an individual has tested positive for COVID and believes the test was a false positive 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, though for health privacy reasons the note does not need to indicate what the alternative diagnosis is,
-- or --
b. obtain two PCR acute infection tests (at a physician’s office, approved testing location, or other site) at least 24 hours apart that come back negative for COVID.
Approved COVID-19 testing location can be found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.
Required actions if individuals with test-confirmed cases have been at an ACISD facility:
- If an individual has been test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the individual must notify his/her campus or supervisor so they can notify the Director of Student Services ([email protected]) who will then contact our 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).
- Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must make it known to the public if a test-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on-campus activities. This will be done by sending out letters from the campuses.
Staff guidelines to mitigate the likelihood of COVID-19 spread:
Individuals will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.
Individuals will be advised to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if not available, covered in their elbows.
Adherence to CDC Recommendations
The CDC recommends the universal and correct wearing of masks and ACISD encourages this CDC recommendation. However, on May 18th 2021, Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order prohibiting government entities, including a county, city, school district and public health authority, and officials from mandating face coverings in response to the COVID-19 disaster. On March 3rd, 2021. The Texas Education Agency gave local school boards the authority to make face coverings optional in response to the Executive Order. On May 25th 2021, the ACISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution that would make face coverings optional beginning on that day, May 25th, 2021.
The CDC recommends handwashing and respiratory etiquette. ACISD teaches and encourages proper handwashing techniques and respiratory etiquette.
The CDC recommends the cleaning and maintaining of healthy facilities, including improving ventilation. ACISD will continue its heightened cleaning and maintenance efforts to the
extent feasible. ACISD is committed to improving air quality throughout the district.
The CDC recommends contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine in collaboration with State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments. Case investigation and contact tracing will be conducted by the local health entity. If an infected individual was on campus during the infectious period, campus nurses and the ACISD COVID team will provide appropriate information to aid in the case investigation and contact tracing process.
The CDC recommends diagnostic and screening testing. The campus nurse will provide information for available diagnostic and screening testing to student and staff members who request it.
The CDC recommends efforts to provide vaccinations to school communities. ACISD will communicate information regarding available vaccination locations and vaccination clinics utilizing our standard communication methods (P3, Website, SkyAlert, and/or Facebook).
The CDC recommends appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies. ACISD actively monitors and evaluates the students with special needs through individualized educational plans. These IEPs make concessions for all needed accommodations to provide equity in student achievement and student health.
The CDC recommends coordination with State and local health officials. The ACISDs Health Services department communicates as needed, with the State and local health officials.
Resources and Support
Aransas County Independent School District looks will operate with 100% of in-person instruction. We will provide an instructional framework that accommodates instructional continuity to meet the learning needs of our students. Although challenges with COVID-19 exist, the District continuously monitors the public health crisis throughout the school year and we will focus on the health, safety and well-being of our students, staff, and community as we plan for the continuity of instruction. Student devices have been made available to all students for instructional use. We have purchased additional devices and hot spots. Devices will be issued based on need, availability, and clearance of all issued devices or damages of such devices from last school year and current school year. Our plan follows recommendations for school operations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Texas Education Agency (TEA), and state and local health officials. We continue to update our processes as new information and guidance is received from agencies and stakeholders.
Annual surveys have been sent to all stakeholders and the Safety & Security team continue to update our plan with quarterly meetings. Our team reviews collected data with school officials, county health officials, city officials, parents, and board members.
ACISD is committed to supporting our students and staff in their learning and working environments. For social-emotional support, please contact your school counselor.
If a student has a health-related issue, please contact the school nurse or counselor. Employees should contact HR.
Contact Human Resources
Please contact Human Resources at [email protected] if you have concerns.