Safety Protocols (COVID-19) » Return to Learning - Safety Protocols

Return to Learning - Safety Protocols

Aransas County ISD plans to return to 100% in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year. We are excited to welcome everyone back into our buildings. At this time, remote conferencing options are only available to COVID-19 positive students 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

Face coverings will not be required for staff, students, or visitors. An individual may choose to wear a mask if desired and additional masks will be available. 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.

Vaccinations

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.

Absences

If a student must isolate after testing positive for COVID, the school/teacher will implement the following:
  1. 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.
  2. Teachers will utilize the appropriate LMS (i.e. Google Classroom) to provide students with work to be completed.
  3. The student will submit make-up work as noted in the student handbook (one school day per day of absence) after returning to school.
  4. Devices may be sent home with isolating students upon principal approval.
  5. Students may participate in remote conferencing with a substitute teacher in two-through-four hour synchronous sessions per day.
    1. The sessions cannot be concurrent, which means students will not be taught by the teacher of record who is also teaching in-person students at the same time.
    2. The total amount of remote conferencing instruction may not exceed more than 20 instructional days over the entirety of the school year. 

Employees must use personal leave time or comp time while they are isolating. 
 
 

COVID-19 Reporting/Tracking

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 the Director of Student Services (aluttman@acisd.org). 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.

Prevent

  1. Educate staff about the current health issues and preventative measures.
  2. Ensure staff have all proper supplies available upon request.
  3. Continue regular campus cleaning procedures that include sanitizing and disinfecting.
  4. Educate students and staff on proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette
 

Screening Procedures

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

  1. If a student has a confirmed case of COVID, please contact the Director of Student Services (aluttman@acisd.org). Please refrain from sending symptomatic or sick students to school.
  2. If staff have a confirmed case of COVID, please contact the Director of Student Services (aluttman@acisd.org). Staff should not report to work if they are sick or symptomatic.
  3. Those who test positive for COVID must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms. Those who suspect they have COVID should get tested. See “Absences” above.

Approved COVID-19 testing location can be found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

Respond

Required actions if individuals with test-confirmed cases have been at an ACISD facility:

  1. 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 (aluttman@acisd.org) 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). 
  2. 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.

 

Mitigate

Staff guidelines to mitigate the likelihood of COVID-19 spread:

  1. Individuals will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently.
  2. Individuals will be advised to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if not available, covered in their elbows.
  3. Individuals will be encouraged to stay at least 3 feet away from each other.

 

Adherence to CDC Recommendations

  1. The CDC recommends the universal and correct wearing of masks and ACISD encourages this CDC recommendation. However, on May 18th, 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, The Texas Education Agency gave local school boards the authority to make face coverings optional in response to the Executive Order. On May 25th, the ACISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution that would make face coverings optional beginning on that day, May 25th.
  2. The CDC recommends modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing. ACISD has modified classrooms and common areas to allow for the CDC recommended three feet of social distancing where feasible.
  3. The CDC recommends handwashing and respiratory etiquette. ACISD teaches and encourages proper handwashing techniques and respiratory etiquette.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. 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.
  9. 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

As we transition to a less restrictive learning environment with 100% capacities in our schools, 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 humanresources@acisd.org if you have concerns.