Giddings ISD Safe Return to School Plan for the 2021-2022 School Year

PLEASE NOTE: The guidelines in this document are subject to revisions as guidance and directives from the Governor, Commissioner of Education, and local authorities are given to public school districts. 9/22 /2021

The Giddings Independent School District plans to open and operate the 2021-2022 school year in a way that closely resembles normal pre-pandemic operations. Students, staff, and families will experience the activities and routines that are typical with Giddings ISD including but not limited to full use of classroom supplies and labs, campus assemblies, classroom celebrations, athletic events, etc.… GISD does not currently have plans to offer remote learning.

Screening & Testing

To contain the spread of COVID-19 and to help protect students and GISD staff, students and staff are encouraged to complete a self-screening before entering any GISD building or facility.

Utilizing a plan based upon the implementation and testing strategies set forth by the TDEM and adapting them to the needs of our school community, we will be able to fill a gap in the need for readily available free COVID testing for students and staff. While there is flexibility given in implementing this program, Giddings ISD will focus on the testing of symptomatic students and staff. If your student is being sent home for COVID related symptoms by the school nurse, you may opt to have your student tested at the school by a trained test administrator. Students under the age of 18 must have parental consent which may be given ahead of time and kept on file or provided at the time of need. Test results are available within 15 minutes of administration and will be emailed to the parent/guardian.

Masks

In accordance with Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order issued on May 18, 2021, face coverings cannot be required in any GISD facility. Per TEA, school systems must allow individuals to wear a mask if they choose to do so. At no time will mask shaming be tolerated at GISD. GISD held summer camps and summer school without a mask requirement. Staff and students made personal choices about the use of masks. GISD at no time experienced a disruption of activities, due to COVID-19, during the summer.

Cleaning Procedures

  • Each teacher will have access to district-provided hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies.

  • Frequent cleaning of high touch areas including restrooms and cafeterias will occur throughout the school day by GISD custodial staff.

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout all buildings, in common areas, and on school buses.

  • Each campus will be cleaned nightly.

  • In the event of an active COVID-19 positive case, GISD will conduct a deep cleaning of the affected area(s) in accordance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Attendance and Exemptions

  • GISD will regularly communicate the importance of staying home if ill.

  • Perfect attendance awards will not be presented, and attendance criteria will not be used for exam exemptions.

  • Students out ill with a positive COVID-19 test should remain home and follow GISD illness protocols.

  • Students will be allowed to make up assignments in accordance with GISD grading guidelines.

  • Make-Up work can be accessed through google classrooms.

  • GISD does not currently have plans to offer remote learning.

Transportation

  • Parents are encouraged to drop off & pick up their student to the extent possible each day.

    • Transportation changes MUST be made the day prior.

  • Buses will operate with windows down to allow air to circulate (weather permitting).

  • Students and staff will be required to use hand sanitizer upon boarding the bus.

  • Buses will be thoroughly cleaned after each bus trip, focusing on high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles.

Cafeteria

  • Tables will be sanitized after each lunch period.

  • Students will be encouraged to not share food.

  • GISD food service will operate under the summer seamless option (SSO) for the 2021-2022 school year. Each student will be eligible for a free breakfast and lunch each school day.

Positive COVID-19 Cases

  • As required, the Giddings Independent School District will report any known COVID-19 cases to the local health authority.

  • Per TEA, school systems must exclude students from attending school in person who are actively sick with COVID-19 or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19.

  • A school administrator shall exclude from attendance any child having or suspected of having COVID-19.

  • Exclusion shall continue until the readmission criteria for the conditions are met.

  • Students or staff testing positive for COVID-19:

    • If symptomatic, exclude until at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, and fever free, and other symptoms have improved.

      • Fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications. Fever is a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit (37.8° Celsius) or higher.

    • Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms must stay home until at least 10 days after the day they were tested.

  • Students or staff members who contract COVID-19 will be required to follow local health guidelines and/or doctor’s orders.

Contact Tracing

(updated 9/8/2021)
  • Per TEA, given the data from 2020-21 showing very low COVID-19 transmission rates in a classroom setting and data demonstrating lower transmission rates among children than adults, school systems are not required to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing. However, a general notification will be sent, by the campus principal, if a positive case occurs on your child’s campus.

  • GISD requires household-based close contact students to stay at home during the below stay-at-home periods listed below. This applies specifically to students who are close contacts because an individual who lives in the same household is COVID-19 positive.

Staff & Student Quarantine

(updated 9/8/2021)
  • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure. o If you have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact your local public health authority or healthcare provider.

  • You may be able to shorten your quarantine:

    • After day 10 without testing with a note from healthcare provider stating you are symptom free

    • After day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later)

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who have close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, may remain on campus. However, rapid testing must be performed every other day for 10 days post exposure.

UIL Guidelines (Per UIL Website)

Required actions if individuals with test-confirmed cases have been in areas where UIL activities are being conducted

  • If an individual who has been in areas where UIL activities are being conducted is test-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 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

  • Upon receipt of information that any teacher, staff member, student, or visitor in an area where UIL activities are being conducted is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must submit a report to the Texas Department of State Health Services via an online form. The report must be submitted each Monday for the prior seven days (Monday-Sunday).

  • If a test-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers, or staff who participated in a UIL competition against another school, the school must notify the opposing school and the officials/contest judges who also participated in the competition.

UIL is not currently limiting capacity for spectators at UIL events.

Students Who Have COVID-19

(updated 9/8/2021)
  • As provided in this Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Rule, school systems must exclude students from attending school in person who are actively sick with COVID-19, who are suspected of being actively sick with COVID-19, or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19, and must immediately notify parents if this is determined while on campus.

  • Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is test-confirmed with COVID-19, until the conditions for re-entry are met. See the DSHS rule for more details, including the conditions for ending the exclusion period and returning to school.

  • In addition to the criteria and processes described above, a student who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must receive clearance from a physician, or a physician-approved delegate prior to returning to participation in UIL marching band or athletic activities.