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Lipan ISD

School Plan COVID-19

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Safety Protocols 2021/2022

Lipan 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, no remote learning options will be offered and face coverings will be optional, regardless of vaccination status. Currently, per Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order, Lipan ISD cannot legally require masks and the State will not fund a remote learning option.

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 should wear masks indoors at school. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated 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.

Vaccinations

Per Gov. Abbott's order, Lipan ISD 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. Lipan ISD cannot require students or staff to report vaccination status.

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 HR. At this time, the district will not administer a COVID-19 Dashboard. 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 Hood County Health Department.

COVID-19 Positive Cases

If a student has a confirmed case of COVID, please contact the school nurse. Please refrain from sending symptomatic or sick students to school. If staff have a confirmed case of COVID, please contact Human Resources. Staff should not report to work if they are sick or symptomatic.

Notifications will be sent to the class(es) of the student/staff who has a confirmed case. Additionally, for students riding a bus, notification will also be made to those on the bus. There will no longer be schoolwide notifications of positive cases.

Per the CDC, those who test positive for COVID must isolate for 10 days from the date of the positive test. Those who suspect they have COVID should isolate at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms are improving.

The Lipan ISD school nurse will continue to send students home who have a fever, diarrhea, are vomiting, lose sense of taste or smell, or display significant symptoms of illness. Please refer to the LISD Student Handbook.

If an individual has tested positive for COVID and believes the test was a false positive 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, though for health privacy reasons the note does not need to indicate what the alternative diagnosis is, or (b) obtain two PCR acute infection tests (at a physician’s office, approved testing location, or other site) at least 24 hours apart that come back negative for COVID.

Absences

If a student must isolate after testing positive for COVID, the school/teacher will implement the following:

• 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
• Teachers will utilize the appropriate LMS (Seesaw or Google Classroom) to provide students with work to be completed
• The student will submit make-up work as noted in the student handbook (one school day per day of absence) after returning to school
• Chromebooks or iPads are available for checkout to isolating elementary students
Employees must use personal leave time or comp time while they are isolating.

Visitors & Meetings

Visitors will be allowed on campus for meetings and conferences only. Lunch will still be restricted to students only in order to limit the number of people in our facility and unintentional exposure.

Cleaning/Sanitation Protocols

Frequent cleaning and disinfection will support a healthy learning and work environment for students and staff. Lipan ISD will continue with cleaning and sanitization protocols in its buildings and campuses. Sanitization stations (Including disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer) will remain throughout all buildings. The district has Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for students or staff upon request.

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.

Resources & Support

As we transition to a less restrictive learning environment with 100% capacities in our schools, Lipan ISD 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. Employees should contact HR.

TEA Guidance as of August 5, 2021

Students Who Have COVID-19

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 or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19. 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.

During the exclusion period, the school system may deliver remote instruction consistent with the practice of remote conferencing outlined in the proposed Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) rules, as described here.

To help mitigate the risk of asymptomatic individuals being on campuses, school systems may provide and/or conduct recurring COVID-19 testing using rapid tests provided by the state or other sources. Testing can be conducted with staff. With prior written permission of parents, testing can be conducted with students.

Students Who Are Close Contacts

As a reference, close contact determinations are generally based on guidance outlined by the CDC, which notes that individuals who are vaccinated are not considered close contacts. 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. If school systems are made aware that a student is a close contact, the school system should notify the student’s parents.

Parents of students who are determined to be close contacts of an individual with COVID-19 may opt to keep their students at home during the recommended stay-at-home period.

For individuals who are determined to be close contacts, a 14-day stay-at-home period was previously advised by the CDC based on the incubation period of the virus. CDC has since updated their guidance, and the stay-at-home period can end for students experiencing no symptoms on Day 10 after close contact exposure, if no subsequent COVID-19 testing is performed.

Alternately, students can end the stay-at-home period if they receive a negative result from a PCR acute infection test after the close contact exposure ends.

During the stay-at-home period, the school system may deliver remote instruction consistent with the practice of remote conferencing outlined in the proposed Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH) rules, as described here.