School districts tackle COVID-19

A young student has his temperature checked by a teacher before entering a summer STEM camp at Wylie High School Tuesday, July 14, 2020, in Wylie, Texas. Schools and educators across the U.S. have landed in the middle of an increasingly politicized debate over how best to reopen schools this fall. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  Most area school districts reopened this fall with online learning only and are in varying stages of preparing for in-person instruction. The daunting task facing administrators was summed up by Dr. Grenita Lathan, interim superintendent of the state’s largest school district, HISD.

  “Despite the challenges we all face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, safety, flexibility and the academic success of all of our students remain at the forefront of our decision-making,” she said.

  Here are six area districts’ in-person instruction plans, which are subject to change:

        ALDINE ISD 

  Schedule: In-person instruction begins Sept. 14.

  Safety precautions: Face coverings required for students and staff unless medically exempt. Use of shared spaces will be limited. Daily health checks will be conducted.

  Infection protocols: Students or staff who become sick at school will immediately be isolated until they can leave premises and must quarantine for number of days necessary. Areas heavily used by individual with lab-confirmed case will be closed off until disinfection.

  Info: aldineisd.org 

        ALIEF ISD 

  Schedule: In-person instruction start date to be determined.

  Safety precautions: Staff, students and visitors must wear masks with accommodations for students with underlying conditions. More frequent cleaning practices by custodians and cleaning supplies for teachers will be provided. Desks will be 6 feet apart when possible. Frequent hand-washing or sanitizing when social distancing not possible. Parents responsible for students’ screening and temperature checks. Teachers and staff must self-screen each day. Families encouraged to provide students’ transportation.

  Infection protocols: Ill students will be referred to nurse’s office. Students who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated until parent/guardian pick-up. Teachers and staff with symptoms or lab-confirmed must report to school system and remain off campus until they meet criteria for re-entry.

  Info: aliefisd.net

ALVIN ISD 

  Schedule: In-person instruction begins Sept. 14.

  Safety precautions: Students and staff will maintain social distancing when feasible. Age-appropriate students and staff will wear face masks. Water fountains not accessible; students should bring water to school. When permitted, student gatherings will be held outdoors. Deep cleaning will occur daily after school.

  Infection protocols: Students displaying symptoms will be assessed by school nurse. Ill students will be separated and picked up by parent/guardian. Staff displaying symptoms will follow district protocols, including isolation. Students and staff who test positive must submit letter of good health from physician’s office prior to returning to school. Communication will be provided to parents of students who came in close contact with a COVID-19-positive student or staff member.  

  Info: alvinisd.net

FORT BEND ISD 

  Schedule: In-person instruction start date to be determined.

  Safety precautions: Face coverings required of students, staff and visitors. Staff required to complete daily health assessment prior to work. Wellness monitors will confirm daily symptom check-ins, perform temperature checks and support contact tracing. Routine handwashing expected, hand sanitizer provided. Social distancing protocols implemented. Each campus will have COVID crisis team.

  Infection protocols: Students with symptoms will be isolated in nurse’s clinic, parent/guardian will be notified and student will be sent home. Employees with symptoms must contact nurse and supervisor and return home. Students or employees may not return to campus unless cleared by a medical professional or compliant with other CDC/district requirements. Thorough cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be initiated. Upon notice of a confirmed diagnosis facility close and reopen upon completion of district/CDC requirements. Impacted parents and staff and county health authority will be notified.

Info: fortbendisd.com

HOUSTON ISD

  Schedule: Face-to-face instruction begins Oct. 19.

  Safety precautions: Students, employees, visitors and vendors required to wear masks and follow hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette as outlined by CDC. Students and employees prohibited from sharing supplies and equipment unless necessary. Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations employees will follow CDC guidelines regarding cleaning, sanitation and disinfection of facilities.

  Infection protocols: Isolation areas established for students and adults who experience COVID-19 symptoms. Administrators will follow protocols outlined in procedural guidelines. School nurse (for students) will be notified and submit report to Health and Medical Services (HMS) nurse manager. Employee department supervisor will be notified and contact HMS director or school nurse manager and provide employee’s information. Areas where the student or employee was present will be closed for cleaning and disinfection. Impacted staff, students, and parents will be notified of closures and possible exposures.

 Info: houstonisd.org

KIPP TEXAS-HOUSTON

  Schedule: In-person instruction start date to be announced.

  Safety precautions: Parents/guardians must check students for symptoms prior to arrival at school. Face coverings required on campuses and buses. Students, staff and visitors will be temperature-checked before entering a building. Adults and students must sanitize hands when arriving on campus and entering new room or space. Students must bring own supplies that cannot be shared.

  Infection protocols: Students with temperatures of 100.4 degrees or higher will have to be picked up immediately. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be assumed to have it unless negative test or alternative diagnosis by medical professional deems otherwise. Students, teachers or staff testing positive for COVID-19 can return to campus only when meeting certain criteria.

  Info: kipptexas.org