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Grady ISD Back to School Update: Dec. 9th
Grady ISD Back to School Update: Dec. 9th
Tasha Titsworth
Wednesday, December 09, 2020

Grady ISD Pandemic/Epidemic Return to School Plan  

This plan will be posted at www.gradyisd.net and at the two main entries of the school and the wildcat gymnasium.  This plan may be modified at any time.  Any time the plan is changed, the public will be notified that there has been a change by social media, the school website and text alerts.  

As it has always been, the health and safety of our staff and students remain our highest priority.  While it is not possible to eliminate all risk for furthering the spread of COVID-19 or other highly contagious diseases, this guidance document contains information that minimizes the likelihood of viral spread.  This plan follows recommendations for school opening and operations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Texas Education Agency, and the state and local health officials. These protocols will be modified based on public health and governmental directives and advancing scientific knowledge on the transmission of COVID-19.  

All students will receive instruction during the first day of school on appropriate hygiene practices and mitigation strategies and these will be reinforced during the school year.  

 Beginning Monday October 19, 2020, Grady ISD will only offer Face to Face instruction in lieu of Remote Learning as a parent/student choice.  All home learners will need to choose which path they will take beginning Monday October 19, from one of the following approved options for the compulsory attendance laws:  

  1. Come to school face to face.
  2. Withdraw to Home School.
  3. Enroll in a Private School.
  4. Request Transfer to a district that offers remote learning.
  5. Return to your home district (Current transfer students not wishing to attend Grady ISD).
  6.  

In the event that Grady ISD must close its campus, all students will become remote learners until the campus is opened back up.  

Grady ISD will continue to serve students with remote learning under the following circumstances:  

  1. Students are forced to quarantine because of close contact.
  2. Students are forced to isolate because of a lab confirmed positive COVID-19 case.
  3. Students have a pre-arranged surgery, medical condition, or illness that requires them to miss 3 or more consecutive days and can provide a Dr. note.
  4.  

*Students will still be required to engage daily with each of their teachers to be counted as remote learning present.  

Students may be able to do some or all of their work online for any other absence, but will not be considered as a remote learner and will be a normal absence.

AT HOME BEFORE SCHOOL SCREENING  

           Parents/guardians are expected to screen their students for COVID-19 each day prior to sending their students to school.  We need parents’ cooperation in not sending children to school who are exhibiting COVID symptoms, especially if they are running a fever. Other parents will depend upon your diligence in this endeavor.  If your child has had close contact with someone who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19, then they must not attend school.  

STUDENT ARRIVALS

Avoid early arrivals in the morning-students should not arrive before 7:30 AM. (Doors will be locked until 7:30)  

           Each student will have their temperature taken as they enter the building to start the school day.  

           Students will arrive by walk-up, car drop off, or school bus.

Parents or other family members that are not enrolled in Grady ISD will not be permitted to walk students inside the school building.  

           Hand sanitizer will be available at the main entrances, in classrooms, in the cafeteria, and in common areas.  

STUDENT DISMISSAL  

           We will dismiss students in groups to try to avoid overcrowding.  

           Students are encouraged to use hand sanitizer on their way out of the building.  

TEACHER/STAFF ARRIVAL

All staff will self-screen for symptoms and a temperature check before coming on campus each day.    

CAFETERIA           

Grady ISD will stagger meals as much as possible.  Social distancing and clear partitions will be used in the lunchroom and tables.  There will be no self-serving of any food, or condiments and no food sharing.  

           Tables, partitions, and other areas will be cleaned between each set of meals.  

CLASSROOMS  

           Classrooms will be cleaned and sanitized each day at a minimum.  

           Hand washing stations and or hand sanitizer will be available in each classroom.  

           Each student will have a tri-fold partition to use on desks.  

           Teachers and staff will have access to disinfectant wipes to sanitize high-touch and working surfaces and shared objects.  

           Teachers and staff will limit the use of shared supplies when possible.  

           Students will use hand sanitizer upon each entry into a classroom.  

           Space will be increased between students' desks as much as rooms allow to maximize the distance between students.  Tri-fold partitions will be provided by the district for each student, these will be labeled with students' names and will be used only by that student.  

Student responsibilities will be established to clean personal areas and materials/supplies with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other self-cleaning Products.  

RECESS  

           Grady ISD is awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency on recess activities.

   

WATER FOUNTAINS

           Water fountains will be turned off or covered up.  Students must bring water bottles from home for hydrating.  The office will try to have water bottles for sale as in the past but not always available.  

BUSES  

           Parents are encouraged to bring and pick up their children instead of using buses.  

           Students will be screened and temperature taken in the morning before boarding the bus.  

           Students will use hand sanitizer before boarding the bus.  

           Students and drivers will wear masks while on the bus, this includes extra-curricular travel. 

           Buses will run as usual for those students that cannot be brought and picked from school until further notice.  

           Buses will be cleaned after each use and trip.  

           Social distancing will be used as much as possible.  

MASK/FACE COVERINGS  

           Mask or face coverings must cover both the mouth and nose at all times.  It is recommended that cloth coverings be washed each day.  

           Simple bandana style masks do not meet the requirement of a mask or face covering.  It must at a minimum be 2 ply.  

           It is the responsibility of the students/parents/staff to have their own masks or coverings.  Grady ISD will have a limited supply for sale on a day by day basis.  

           Face coverings fall under the dress code and no face coverings will be allowed that might disrupt the day to day school operations and learning of others.  

           Any student that refuses to wear a face covering when required will be immediately enrolled in distance learning for at least the rest of the six weeks and will not be allowed back on campus until then.

           Grady ISD will use a color coded system to dedicate when face masks or coverings should be worn.  There will be laminated color sheets at each entrance and other areas in the building that represents which color Grady ISD is currently using.  Anytime a color change is made that change will be communicated on the website, social media and text alerts.  That change will take place until another announcement is made that there is going to be a change in practice.  

           Green-No face mask or coving required at any time except on buses.  Students and or staff may still elect to wear a mask or covering.  

           Yellow-Mask or face covering must be worn when social distancing is not feasible.  Students would be required to wear a mask or coverings when passing in the hall, arriving and departing from school, going to lunch and other transition times.  Students would not have to wear their mask or coverings while seated at their desk.  If students get up for any reason from their desk, then they are required to put on their mask or covering before doing so.  Teachers will instruct the whole class with a clear face shield.  Once the teacher begins to work with students individually or in smaller groups both the teacher and students he/she is working with must wear a mask or covering.  

           Red-All staff and students must wear masks or coverings at all times except while eating and possibly exercising.  

Grady ISD administration reserves the right to make changes or exceptions to this policy.  

PUBLIC MEETINGS  

           Until further notice all public assemblies, open house, fall festival, meet the teacher, assemblies, …… will not be held.  

POSITIVE TEST  

Any individual who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 or (b) experience symptoms COVID-19 (listed below) must stay 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:  

  • At least one day (24 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever with 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 have first appeared.
  •  

In the case the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individuals are assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step process listed above.  

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 alternate diagnosis or 

(b) obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location (https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-1...) that comes back negative for COVID-19.  

Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases on Campus  

           Schools must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian  

           Schools should clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as feasible.  

           Students who report feeling feverish should be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.  

RESPONDING TO LAB-CONFIRMED CASE IN THE SCHOOL  

Required action if individuals with Lab-Confirmed cases have been at school.  

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

           Schools must close off the 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, unless more than 7 days have already passed since that person was on campus.  

           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 on any campus or activities.  

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

The school nurse will perform a clinical evaluation to determine if and when a student should be sent home.   

In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, Grady ISD will consider the following:  

Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?  

Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0℉

Loss of taste or smell

Difficulty breathing

Shortness of breath

Headache - severe

Cough (new uncontrolled cough; for students with chronic allergies/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)

Fatigue

Chills

Sore Throat

Congestion or runny nose

Shaking or exaggerated shivering

Significant muscle pain or ache

Diarrhea

Nausea or vomiting        

CLOSE CONTACT  

This document refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.  Close contact is determined by the school nurse and administration.  For clarity close contact is defined as:  

  • Being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask or face shield); or,
  •  
  1. Being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.  However, additional factors like case/contact masking (i.e., both the infectious individual and the potential close contact have been consistently and properly masked), ventilation, presence of dividers, and case symptomatology may affect this determination.
  2.  

Either (a) or (b) defines close contact if it occurred during the infectious period of the case, defined as 2 days prior to symptom onset to 10 days after symptom onset.  In the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, the infectious period is defined as two days prior to the confirming lab test and continuing for 10 days following the confirming lab test.  

As of December 4, 2020, TEA has amended their guidance to allow two shorter options for the stay at-home period. Based on current CDC/TEA guidance, the stay-at-home period can end for individuals experiencing no symptoms: 

  • 10 days after the last close contact, so long as they continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms and take appropriate precautions through day 14
  • 7 days after the last close contact, after receiving a negative test result (administered at least 5 days after the last close contact), so long as they continue to monitor themselves daily for symptoms and take appropriate precautions through day 14 
  •  

Anyone who is in quarantine or isolation, is not allowed on the school campus or allowed to attend any school activities until they have met the minimum requirements to return.

VISITORS  

           No walk in visitors are allowed.  All visitors/parents must make an appointment and will be screened with questions and a temperature check before admittance is allowed.  Visitors will be required to follow whatever mask color requirement that the school is observing at the time of the meeting.  Any visitor that has had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 will not be allowed on campus and must remain off campus until the   14-day incubation period has passed.  

           Parents and other guests are not allowed to come to school to eat with their children, or observe them in any capacity until further notice.  

UIL ATHLETICS, ACADEMIC, AND ONE ACT PLAY  

           Grady ISD at a minimum will follow current UIL/TEA policy on these activities.