Orangefield ISD releases School Year Health Guidance Plan
Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2020
Orangefield ISD (OISD) is preparing for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Due to COVID-19, it is necessary to create specific health guidelines to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community members. This document will outline our plan and procedures for the upcoming school year.
Due to the fluidity of our current situation, these procedures are subject to a change based on orders and guidance from national, state, and local authorities. We hope to continue the strong relationship between our community and school district. In addition, we ask for your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters. Please continue to use our firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
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Public Health Considerations
(SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guide, Texas Education Agency, July 7, 2020)
While it is not possible to eliminate all risk of furthering the spread of COVID-19, the current science suggests there are many steps schools can take to reduce the risks to students, teachers, staff, and their families significantly. This guidance document contains information on OISD’s efforts to minimize the likelihood of viral spread.
Parents/Guardians: If your child’s health care provider has cautioned your child from attending school in person due to health concerns, please contact your child’s campus for guidance. Any individual questions regarding your child and in-person attendance should also be directed to your child’s campus.
OISD Staff: If your (or your dependent’s) health care provider has advised you to self-isolate due to a serious medical condition, and you are prohibited from physically reporting to work for the 2020-2021 school year, please report this information to your direct supervisor.
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- Teachers and staff are required to self-screen using the COVID-19 Student & Staff SelfScreening Checklist (located in this document) prior to reporting to work each day.
- Parents/guardians are expected to screen their students using the COVID-19 Student & Staff SelfScreening Checklist (located in this document) each day prior to sending their student to school.
- Teachers and campus staff will monitor students and refer to the nurse if symptoms are present.
- Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19. In either situation, the absence from school will be treated like any other illness and makeup work will be provided.
- Excused absences will not count against students for exemptions or extra-curricular activities this school year.
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- All OISD campuses are served by a full-time registered nurse or licensed vocational nurse.
- When a student displays symptoms of COVID-19 or reports feeling feverish, the school nurse will provide a clinical assessment to determine if and when a student needs to be sent home.
- Students who show COVID-19 symptoms while at school will be immediately separated from their peers and should be picked up by the parent or guardian immediately. Other students may be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location (e.g. go on a walk outside,
move to a different classroom, etc.) so that the classroom can be disinfected.
- Teachers and staff must report to OISD if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are labconfirmed with COVID-19, and if so, must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for reentry as noted in this document.
- Additionally, they must report to OISD if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, as defined in this document and, if so, must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.
- Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to meet the Reentry Guidelines listed in this document.
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Disinfecting and Hand Sanitizing Procedures
- Regular hand washing/hand sanitizer use by all students and staff will be required.
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout each campus.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided upon entry to the classroom in addition to periodic teacher reminders during the instructional day.
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Campus Visitor Procedures
- Only visitors essential to school operations will be permitted to enter OISD facilities.
- Schools will utilize virtual meeting options when possible to reduce the number of campus visitors.
- OISD will comply with the governor’s executive order requiring all individuals entering the building to wear a face mask covering their mouth and nose.
- Visitors will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening form in the reception area prior to entering the building.
- Before visitors are allowed on campuses, visitors will be screened to determine if the visitors have COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until they meet the Reentry Guidelines outlined in this document.
- Visitors will also be screened to determine if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.
- Visitor guidelines will be adjusted, as needed, to ensure the health and safety at our campuses.
- Parents needing to drop items off for a student will contact the school to arrange a curbside pickup.
- Visitors and staff will maintain appropriate social distancing for meetings such as parent/teacher and Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) meetings, etc.
- Deliveries to students, including lunches, will be limited and on an emergency basis only. Due to health concerns there will be no sharing of food which includes birthdays, celebrations, and other food related items.
- Parent organization meetings will be held virtually to minimize outside contact.
- OISD is advising no lunch visitors during the first six weeks of school so that maximum cafeteria space can be utilized for our students. Please watch for updates/announcements from each campus regarding future lunch visitations.
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Distancing and Transitioning Procedures
- Distancing measures will be in place, to the extent possible, within the school setting.
- The use of outdoor space for learning will be utilized when possible.
- Desks or tables will be socially distanced as much as instructionally and physically possible.
- Class size will be determined based upon school enrollment.
- Students (when developmentally appropriate) and staff will wear masks or face shields that cover their mouth and nose during transitions and in common areas.
- Where possible, campuses will establish one-way traffic throughout campus corridors. Any changes should be made so as not to disrupt emergency egress routes or prevent students from seeking the nearest exit.
- When it is not possible for one-way hallways, students should stay to the far right side of the corridor to reduce the possibility of contact (“Stay Right, Stay Safe”).
- Classroom doors will be propped open to reduce the use of high touch areas when possible.
- Administrators will assign staff members hall duty to help maintain social distancing during transitions.
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- Campuses will develop procedures to limit the number of students in restrooms.
- A system will be implemented to identify the number of occupants utilizing each restroom to mitigate the chance of exceeding maximum occupants per social distancing.
- Proper hand-washing techniques will be taught to all students and consistently reinforced.
- After a restroom break, students will be required to use hand sanitizer before reentering the classroom.
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Face Covering Procedures
- OISD will comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the use of masks or face shields for adults and students for whom it is developmentally appropriate.
- Any student or staff member is always permitted to wear a mask regardless of whether an order is in place or not.
- During extracurricular activities, guidance will be provided by your child’s coach or director regarding masks.
- At this time, masks are required by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) when students are in large group settings as long as the wearing of the mask does not impede on the educational process.
- Staff and students’ individual needs will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Requests for accommodation should be submitted to campus administration.
- We encourage each student and staff member to provide a mask for themselves that best meets their comfort level. OISD will have disposable masks on hand, if needed.
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- Plexiglas dividers have been added to all cash registers.
- Students will not need to enter their ID on the keypad.
- The district will have barcode scanners for students to purchase meals and avoid using a keypad to purchase their lunch.
- All cafeterias will use disposable trays, cutlery, etc.
- No self-service items will be available; trays and condiments will be plated by the cafeteria server.
- No share tables/bins will be used for items students do not wish to consume.
- Students will practice social distancing in the cafeteria.
- Campus plans may allow students to eat in non-traditional areas to create social distancing.
- Signage and staff will reinforce physical distancing and traffic patterns in the cafeteria.
- Campus plans may add more lunch periods to reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time (ex: start earlier and/or end later).
- Microwaves will not be permitted in the cafeteria to reduce the opportunity for cross contamination.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided in all cafeterias.
- Campuses will utilize non-classroom staff and auxiliary staff to supervise additional eating areas.
- Cafeteria and serving areas will be cleaned and sanitized between serving times.
- Food service workers will be equipped with PPE.
- No visitors will be allowed in the building for lunch.
- Parents will be encouraged to make prepayments on students’ accounts using MySchoolBucks, cash, or checks to avoid cash transactions during meal service.
- Food will be pre-packaged in boats/ bags for easy transport to classrooms, if necessary, and to prevent food from being exposed to others.
- Students will be allowed to bring water only due to the need to closedown water fountains and vending machines. Water bottle fill stations will be operational.
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- In an effort to reduce possible virus exposure on OISD buses, we encourage families to carpool or drop off their students at school.
- Students will be required to use hand sanitizer upon boarding the bus.
- Masks are required for all OISD staff and students utilizing bus transportation. When possible, windows will be open on the bus to allow outside air to circulate.
- To the extent possible, seating charts will be utilized on all buses to allow distancing of students.
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- Campuses will have separate entrances for bus riders, walkers/bikers, and car riders.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at each entrance.
- Entry doors will be propped open for no touch entry.
- To prevent unauthorized persons from entering, staff will supervise all opened entry doors.
- Campuses will utilize non-classroom staff and auxiliary staff to supervise arriving students.
- Students will not be allowed to congregate in a large enclosed area to wait to report to class.
- The campuses will adjust arrival time for certain staff to help supervise.
- Parents will not be allowed to accompany students into the school.
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- The district will stagger departure times for student bus riders, walkers/bikers and students staying after school for extracurricular activities and/or tutoring to decrease the risk of congregating.
- The campuses will utilize staff, including auxiliary staff, to supervise departing students.
- Adjustments may be made with dismissal time for certain staff in order to provide additional supervision for student dismissal.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available at each exit for students to sanitize prior to exit.
- Exterior doors will be propped open and supervised to minimize contact.
- Parents must remain in their vehicles as they wait for their student.
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Elementary Classroom Procedures
- Hand sanitizer use by students in Early Childhood, Pre-Kindergarten, or Kindergarten classrooms will be supervised by a staff member.
- Students will use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the classroom. Students may wash their hands in lieu of hand sanitizer when the classroom setup allows for hand washing.
- Every effort will be made to distance students six feet apart from one another as instructionally possible.
- Students will use their own supplies and campuses will limit any shared supplies. Shared supplies will be wiped down with disinfectant between student use.
- Teachers will develop and implement classroom procedures that limit student movement such as turning in assignments and passing out materials.
- Students will be taught procedures to sanitize their personal work space with hand sanitizer or cleaning wipes.
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Secondary Classroom Procedures
- Desks or tables will be socially distanced as much as instructionally possible.
- Teachers will eliminate shared supplies. Group supplies will be sanitized between use.
- Students may bring their technology (laptops, tablets) if possible, to minimize the sharing of electronic devices.
- Group or paired work can be implemented while maintaining social distancing.
- If working in groups, it is recommended that students wear a face covering.
- Classrooms will have multiple locations of hand sanitizer, tissues, and trash cans to limit students and staff movement.
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Elementary Recess Procedures
- Enforcing physical distancing in an outside playground is difficult and may not be the most effective method of risk mitigation.
- Emphasis will be placed on cohorting students (keeping students in the same group) and limiting the size of groups participating in activities on the playground each day. Outdoor transmission of the virus is known to be lower than indoor transmission.
- Staggered schedules will be utilized as needed.
- All students and staff will be required to use hand sanitizer before entering the playground and upon exiting the playground.
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All Campuses-Fine Arts/Specials Classes/Physical Education Procedures
- Large group rehearsals will adhere to social distancing guidelines provided by OISD, TEA, and the Orange County Health Officials.
- Off-campus fine arts performances will only be conducted if specific guidance is provided by an authorized entity (OISD, TEA, UIL, etc.).
- Concerts/performances may be adjusted based upon health and safety guidelines provided by an authorized entity (OISD, TEA, etc.) including but not limited to transportation procedures, number of attendees, and the orientation of concerts.
- All fine arts performances will be streamed online when possible.
- PE groups will social distance as instructionally possible.
- PE classes will meet outside as weather permits.
- Equipment will be disinfected after use.
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- Athletic practices, games and contests will follow safety protocol guidance provided by OISD, UIL, TEA and Orange County Health officials. This will include COVID screening, group sizes, sharing and sanitizing equipment, weight rooms, gyms, locker rooms, etc.
- Locker room use will be determined based upon guidance from TEA and the UIL. If locker rooms can be used, all locker room space will be utilized to be in compliance with social distancing guidelines.
- Transportation guidelines will be provided by OISD and TEA.
- Based upon guidelines from TEA and UIL, spectator attendance at games and contests may be limited.
- To control capacities at facilities and venues, seat specific tickets for events may be utilized to enforce social distancing.
- Event procedures will be in place to comply with social distancing requirements and minimize face-to-face interactions.
- Separate entrances and exits may be utilized and event doors may be propped open to minimize contact with handles.
- Concessions and/or concession sales may be limited to encourage social distancing and to follow health and safety guidelines.
- Booster club meetings should be held virtually to minimize outside exposure to campus.
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- OISD will report COVID-19 cases consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements.
- OISD will 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 in any on-campus activities.
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School Closure Procedures
- There may be times when specific campuses need to be closed to allow for sanitizing.
- The sanitizing process should not take longer than 12-24 hours.
- Campus closures will be determined by the individual campus needs and not the entire district.
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2020-2021 School Year Health Clarification Document
The items in this section clarify guidance items discussed in the 2020-2021 School Year Health Guidance document.
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COVID-19 Student & Staff Self-Screening Checklist
In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following questions:
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 degrees Fahrenheit?
- Loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Shaking or exaggerated shivering
- Significant muscle pain or ache
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Lab Confirmed Definition
A COVID-19 case that is confirmed by one or more of the laboratory methods.
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Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) must stay at 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 reentry have been met:
In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
- at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without 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 first appeared.
- In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria 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 alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid19/.
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This document refers to “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID19. Close contact is determined by an appropriate public health agency. For clarity, close contact is defined as:
- being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask
or shield); or
- being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes, while not wearing a mask or face shield
If either occurred at any time during the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious, it is considered “close contact.” Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test.