Students & Families » Reopening 2020-21 » FAQ - Face to Face

FAQ - Face to Face

 
BEFORE & AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Depending on the elementary or intermediate campus, parents had the option to enroll their child in before and after school care on campus via service providers Campus Kids or YMCA.  After consultation with Campus Kids and YMCA, both providers have indicated they are able to provide the service while maintaining all of the health and safety precautions that are in place during the school day.  Parents interested in this service must register with and pay fees to the service providers directly; Tomball ISD does not facilitate enrollment or payment with these providers.
COMMITMENT FORM
Jul 17, 2020 11:21 AM - Yes, at each marking period, students will be allowed to change their commitment from face to face to virtual or vice versa. We do ask that families make an informed decision and try to commit to the mode that they feel they can stay in for a semester due to scheduling, staffing, and planning purposes, but students will be allowed to change at grading period breaks.
Jul 17, 2020 11:21 AM - You will commit when you complete registration. You do not need to worry about committing at this point. The commitment form is only for currently enrolled TISD students. For more details about Registration: https://www.tomballisd.net/registration/
Jul 23, 2020 9:00 AM - Unfortunately no. We realize this is a difficult decision for families, but it is our goal to create the most consistency we possibly can in this situation for our students and teachers. We simply cannot assign teachers, design master schedules, ensure students get the most courses that they can based on course selections, and train staff accordingly without having a commitment for the first grading period. Families who did not submit the form will be automatically assigned to face to face teachers for the first grading period. In addition, changes may be made at the conclusion of the first grading period for families who choose. The second grading period begins October 23rd.
CURRICULUM & SCHOOLOGY
Sept 10 2020 3:10 PM - Staff members completed a Schoology professional learning course upon returning to work in August and Schoology Campus Master Instructors tailored campus professional learning to meet the needs of each campus staff. Student access is directly tied to our master schedule and student information system. We rebuilt our campus master schedules for students based on family instructional environment commitments so that we have students in the best classes possible. Parents received their individualized Schoology Access Code for each child via email prior to the first day of school, and the code can also be found in the Home Access Center. Included in the email were “How To” login instructions for parents and students, which are also located on the Tomball ISD Schoology website along with additional support videos and documents. The first week of instruction will include navigation of the system through teacher instruction and a checklist of Schoology Success Criteria for students to master with teacher assistance. A help desk hotline has been established for parents and students who need assistance with the system.
Jul 17, 2020 12:00 PM - Yes, those students who indicated through course selection that they were interested in placing into Algebra have been notified and informed about the preparation and online testing window
Jul 30, 2020 8:00 AM - Yes. Our sample virtual schedules are designed around the school day with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instructional time based on research, state recommendations and guidance, attendance accountability requirements, and our commitment to quality instruction. In addition, the structure of the school day will create the least amount of transition for students when they transition back to face to face instruction. We know that many families may struggle with the synchronous instruction time, and therefore, teachers will provide opportunities for students to engage in the instruction at a different time through recording and posting of lessons or other formats. Each teacher will design the instruction and communicate with students and families about the expectations for instruction. Grading guidelines will be consistent student to student whether the student participates at the scheduled time or a flexible time. We highly encourage engagement according to the teacher’s schedule due to the fact that this will provide the best opportunity for students to learn at the highest levels during this difficult time, but for those that require flexibility, we will provide it through a variety of resources.
HEALTH
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
 
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
 
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - The following procedures have been developed by our TISD Health Services Department and school nurses and are be subject to change as we learn more about best practices related to COVID-19.  
      1. If not currently wearing PPE, immediately place a mask or cloth face covering.
      2. If a student presents with any of the following during the school day unrelated to a previously diagnosed medical condition, immediately activate the Isolation Plan (see below) and contact parent/guardian for immediate pick up:
      1. New cough, trouble breathing, or shortness of breath
      2. Diarrhea
      3. New loss of taste or smell
      4. New body aches or chills
      5. Sore throat
      6. Temperature of 100.0° F or greater or reports feeling feverish – Allow ten (10) minutes to cool down if a student or employee has participated in outdoor or other strenuous activities.  Offer cool sips of water, and recheck temperature to determine if elevation is due to infection or is heat/activity related.  If second temperature reading is below 100.0° F, it is not necessary to isolate.
       

      3. Activate Isolation Plan

    1. The isolation plan is not intended to be sequential. When possible, these steps should be conducted simultaneously.  The term “clinic” is used as a general term.  The student may be isolated in any area that has a door and is separated from other students and employees.
      Removal & Separation
        • The ill student will remain in the clinic with an assigned designated staff member.
        • Immediately escort students with no known exposure out of the clinic to the custody of a District employee for escort to a predetermined Secondary Staging Area where they must maintain 6 feet of separation.
        •  Lock clinic doors and do not allow anyone else to enter or leave the clinic.
        • Designated staff member(s) must remain with the student in isolation, and provide care while maintaining a 6 feet social distance until parent/guardian arrives for student pick up.
        • Only those wearing appropriate PPE (mask and gloves) AND performing essential tasks may enter the clinic.
        • Staff members must wash hands and arms thoroughly and must wear PPE for the duration of the isolation period.
      Notify Parent/Guardians
        • Notify parent/guardian that their child is ill and must be picked up 
        • Parents or guardians will be instructed to remain in their vehicle and call the campus from their car upon arrival. 
        • The staff member who is monitoring the student will escort the student to the parent's vehicle, verify identification, and release the student.

Since each individual student and situation may vary, the school nurse will conduct a complete assessment and investigation for any new or unexplained symptoms.  Based on the assessment, the school nurse will communicate next actions with the parent.

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to other childhood illnesses that students may be in contact with.  The school nurse will conduct a thorough assessment and investigation.  Based on the assessment, the school nurse may advise the parent to have the student assessed by his/her pediatrician.  The student may return to school with an alternate medical diagnosis.

In the case of an individual who has COVID-19 symptoms that are not new or unexplained and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria for a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - No, students’ temperature will not be checked at school for COVID-19 related screening at the beginning of the day.  After careful consideration regarding the logistics of screening all 18,000+ students in Tomball ISD, we do not believe that it is feasible for our staff to be able to screen all the students without inadvertently congregating students while they wait, which could have more potential for the spread of COVID-19.  Additionally, there is growing research that suggests younger school aged children are less likely to have fever as a symptom, as many are asymptomatic carriers.  Per TEA guidance, “Regularly performing a forehead temperature check of otherwise asymptomatic students in school is not recommended, but the practice is also not prohibited by this guidance.”

However, we do require parents or guardians attest to a daily screening on their children at home to ensure they do not have one of the following exclusionary criteria for going to school: 
      • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms 
      • Lab-confirmed positive COVID-19 diagnosis 
      • Close contact with an individual with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis 

If students meet any one of the exclusionary criteria, they must stay home from school.  Cooperation from parents and students will be critical to ensure we limit possible viral exposure.  If students do not meet the exclusionary criteria, students should report to school for face to face instruction.  It will be implied that if a student arrives at school or at a bus stop that they attest they are free from the exclusionary criteria listed above.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - 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 COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria for a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - On their website, the CDC offers the following definition for close contact:
 
Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
 
Data are limited to precisely define the “prolonged exposure” to determine “close contact”, however 15 minutes of close exposure can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include:
 
  • Proximity
  • The duration of exposure (e.g., longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk)
  • Whether the individual has symptoms (e.g., coughing likely increases exposure risk) and 
  • Whether either the case patient or contact were wearing an N95 respirator (which can efficiently block respiratory secretions from contaminating others and the environment). At this time, differential determination of close contact for those using fabric face coverings is not recommended.
 
This definition of close contact will be important for investigation into contact tracing for a positive COVID-19 case in our classes or schools.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Contact tracing helps us understand who a positive COVID-19 patient has been in contact with to allow us to communicate and take follow up actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
 
From the CDC website, they define contact tracing as: “Fundamental activities that involve working with a patient who has been diagnosed with an infectious disease to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected through exposure to the patient. This process prevents further transmission of disease by separating people who have (or may have) an infectious disease from people who do not.”
 
Contact tracing is important to identify those that are more likely to be exposed and those that are not as likely at risk of exposure.
Sept. 8, 2020 11:34 AM - Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are test-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 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 re-entry 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 one day (24 hours) has 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 COVID-19, 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) obtain an acute infection test (at a physician’s office, approved testing location, or other site) that comes back negative for COVID-19.
  
The school nurse at each school, in coordination with our TISD Health Services Department, will manage this process and will be a key person in working with parents and students through this process.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - CDC recommends that anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should quarantine. Individuals who are sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available) while at home.
 
We expect parents/caregivers to keep sick children at home. If a student is exposed to COVID-19 through a close contact, a parent/caregiver must call the school to report. The student should not report to campus. After review by the school nurse, the student may be required to remain off-campus for up to a 14-day incubation period.
 
Every campus will have a nurse/administrator who will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures and then work with the families and staff to determine the next steps based on guidance from the TEA, CDC, and local health officials.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Per TEA guidelines, 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 in any on-campus activities. Given our processes for contract tracing, students or classes may receive a more specific notification letting them know of a confirmed case in their class. Having a confirmed case in your child’s class will not necessarily require your child to quarantine if it was determined your child did not have close contact with the person who has COVID-19. Our school nurses, in coordination with the Harris County Public Health department, will be responsible for the contract tracing protocols and communication with impact individuals.
Please refer to the previous questions about the process for when a student becomes ill during the day.
 
If there is a positive case in your child’s school or classroom, parents will receive written communication informing them of a positive case in the school or classroom.  A positive case in your child’s class most likely would not trigger a class-wide quarantine period.  It is important to note that because each case and circumstance is unique, how we handle each case will be individualized.
 
The school nurse reports influenza-like illnesses and absences daily starting from the first day of school to the Harris County Public Health Department.  Heightened surveillance begins when there are approximately 5% absences. As absences near 10%, District and school administration, the school nurse, and Harris County Public Health will collaborate to determine the possibility of closure of school, which would ultimately be decided by the Superintendent.
 
Students who may have to quarantine for a limited amount of time will not join Tomball Virtual School, but will access the curriculum and teacher instruction via a new learning management system, Schoology, with support from their face-to-face teacher.
Sept, 4, 2020 3:22 PM - Notify your school nurse for any international travel.  Depending on the country visited, your child may need to quarantine prior to returning back to school.  Travel notices and recommendations are frequently updated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also visit the CDC website regarding international travel for the most up to date information and guidance.
LUNCH PERIOD
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Campus administrators are working with TISD’s Child Nutrition department to create a plan that works for each campus.  Options include eating in the classroom, walking through the cafeteria lunch line (socially distanced, of course) and eating in a designated area identified by the campus administration, and eating in the cafeteria at tables that have seats specifically designated to ensure social distancing.  Schools may have a variety of options available based on logistics and age of students.
MASKS / FACE COVERINGS

Oct 20, 2020 8:00 AM -  The district understands the community may have vastly differing opinions on the use of face masks.  However, in addition to the research supporting that masks prevent individuals from catching and spreading COVID, the mitigating measure of using face masks can also prevent quarantining of both staff and students when they are exposed to individuals with COVID.  The masks are an important factor in keeping our positivity rate low, student and staff quarantines at a minimum, and we believe it would be extremely detrimental to the safety or our staff and students to change our practice at this time.  The district believes it is of the utmost importance to keep all schools open and not be forced to close due to unmanageable numbers of COVID cases.  Therefore, in accordance with federal, state, and local mandates; guidance from the Center for Disease Control; and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of masks will be required of all students, staff and visitors in all Tomball ISD facilities and on buses when proper social distancing is not possible. 

Masks may be removed:

  • When individuals are eating or drinking
  • When individuals are spaced more than six feet apart
  • During outdoor activities such as recess or PE when physical distancing can be observed and equipment is not shared
  • When individuals have a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing of a face mask. Written documentation from a medical provider is mandatory, and individuals with exemptions will still be required to wear a face shield.

Additionally:

  • Per CDC guidelines, masks with exhalation valves or vents are not acceptable masks for students or staff to wear. These masks allow the virus particles to escape and do not provide protection for our school community.
  • Face masks must meet the Student Code of Conduct and dress code requirements.
  • All visitors that have an appointment (including parents, contractors and vendors) will wear a face mask when inside TISD facilities.

 

Recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics Related to Reopening of Schools

Tomball ISD is making every effort to provide in-person instruction for all students who choose that option throughout the 2020-2021 school year.  The benefits of in-person instruction are substantial, and the district will continue to enact whatever measures deemed necessary to keep all schools open.  To that end, it is important to consider one of the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics related to the reopening of schools this fall:

 

Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Cloth face coverings protect others if the wearer is infected with SARS-CoV-2 and is not aware. Cloth face coverings may offer some level of protection for the wearer. Evidence continues to mount on the importance of universal face coverings in interrupting the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Universal face-covering use in schools for children older than 2 years is recommended. It is important to note many children, even those with medical conditions, are able to safely and effectively wear face coverings with adequate practice and support as well as modeling from adults. School staff and older students (those who attend middle or high school) should be able to wear cloth face coverings safely and consistently and should be encouraged to do so. Children younger than 2 years and anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance should not wear cloth face coverings.

 

For additional information, please see the full article from the American Academy of Pediatrics at:

https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/ (Opens in new window).

 

Or click on the following links:

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Cloth-Face-Coverings-for-Children-During-COVID-19.aspx

 

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Mask-Mythbusters.aspx

 

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Why-Cloth-Face-Coverings-are-Needed-in-Youth-Sports-During-COVID-19.aspx

Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Per executive orders from Governor Abbott and Harris County Judge Hidalgo, TISD will follow the face covering mandate.  Additionally, TEA guidance requires school districts to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks.  Students 10 years of age or older are required to wear a mask or face covering to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  
Furthermore, students in grades PK-12 will wear face coverings on buses, hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including in classrooms, to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. All employees will also wear face coverings. We will continue to evaluate the need for face coverings in the school setting as more guidance becomes available.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Face coverings are most effective in protecting students and staff when social distancing is not possible.  There may be times throughout the day when social distancing is not possible based on activity and space limitations.  Conversely, there will be times in the classroom and other locations on campus where students are able to socially distance, and as a result, could remove their mask or face covering for a period of time.  However, we strongly encourage students to wear their mask as much as possible to help protect themselves and others.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Given the executive orders at the state and local level, it is the expectation that all students (age cutoff still to be determined) have a mask on when in public.  During the TISD July Board of Trustees meeting on July 9, 2020, we announced that masks or a face covering would be required. In order to limit the exposure to COVID-19, we are asking all parents and students to take this requirement seriously.  With many new protocols and procedures in place to keep students and staff safe, we cannot do our job effectively if individuals are purposefully disregarding public health precautions that will take time away from instruction and keeping our TISD school community safe.  Please wear a mask or face covering every day.  If you do not agree with wearing a mask or following the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe, please consider Tomball Virtual School (TVS).

With that said, we understand that students may forget or lose the mask on the way to school or the bus stop.  In that event, TISD has been issued a limited amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) from TEA and will have masks for students who arrive without one.  If a mask is provided to a student, TISD staff will make a follow-up call to parents to inform them and to review the expectations.  If the same students continue to arrive without a mask, parents or guardians must meet with campus and/or district officials to develop a plan for ensuring the student arrives with a mask daily.  These meetings and enforcement of plans will reduce time spent on more critical matters.  Please wear a mask or face covering every day.
Sept. 8  11:40 AM - For the purposes of this document, masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (that firmly cover the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth with nose and mouth masks worn underneath.  In their latest guidance issued on August 21, 2020, the CDC stated that face shields are not considered a face covering, and thus, a face shield alone does not comply with TISD guidelines for face covering and cannot be worn without a mask underneath.
 
Also, CDC guidelines (as of Sept. 8, 2020), masks with exhalation valves or vents are not acceptable masks for students or staff to wear. These masks allow the virus particles to escape and do not provide protection for our school community.  
 
Like our dress code, there are guidelines for what type of mask is allowed.  Students must refrain from wearing masks or face coverings that contain obscene or offensive images, language or in reference to drugs and/or alcohol.  A mask or face covering can be patterned, have the district or campus logo, sport or business logos, but may not contain words or messages that are not part of the logo options.  Any objectionable masks or face coverings will be confiscated and returned to the parent or guardian with the understanding that the mask will not be worn to school again.  A replacement mask would be provided if one is confiscated.
CDC Masks
Aug 26, 2020 4:30 PM - In compliance with Executive Orders and guidance from TEA and CDC, all students 10 years and older must wear a mask.  For operational purposes in Tomball ISD, students in the 4th grade and above must wear a mask.   However,  depending on the activity and location in the building, there will be instances when students below 4th grade will wear a mask.  Some examples include, but are not limited to:
 
  • Arrival to and departure from the school building
  • During transition times outside of the classroom
  • Instructional activities where students are not able to social distance
  • When participating in activities using shared equipment such as balls and playground equipment
  • When using transportation services
 
It is difficult to provide an exact number or percentage of the day students will be required to wear a mask.  The use of masks are intended to protect each other from further viral spread of COVID-19.  If we believe that students can safely remove their mask at different times throughout the day, we will allow that but safety will always be the deciding factor.  Students and families are required to provide their own masks.  Please refer to previous questions related to mask or face covering requirements.
Aug 26 2020 4:48 PM -  Students with a medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask may be exempt from this requirement. Written documentation from a medical provider will be required.  Students with a medical exemption for a face mask will still be required to wear a face shield.  Face shields alone (without a medical exemption) are not allowed by students or staff.  Parents must contact their school nurse to submit medical exemption documentation
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Yes, a mask will be required for every student that elects transportation services, regardless of age or grade due to the close proximity of students and duration of ride in an enclosed space.  These precautions are critical for ensuring the safety of all students and the driver. Transportation is a service we want to provide to any student who needs it; wearing a mask while receiving this service is mandatory.  If students and parents are uncomfortable with this requirement, we respectfully request you consider finding alternate transportation to and from school.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Safety is the first priority in transporting students to and from school.  Our drivers are trained to keep students safe.  Drivers must stay focused on the road and cannot police students’ compliance with this requirement while driving.  They do have the ability, however, at bus stops, red lights, and other safe stops to identify students who do not comply with the mask requirement.  If students are identified as violating the transportation requirements, Transportation staff will review the camera footage and if identified, the student’s parents will be notified and warned that further failure to comply with the requirements will result in loss of transportation privileges.  If students and parents are uncomfortable with this requirement, we respectfully request you consider finding alternate transportation to and from school.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - As indicated, wearing a mask or face covering is a requirement to receive transportation services.  If a student arrives at the bus stop without a mask, bus drivers will have a limited supply of masks to provide one for the student.  Like the process for arrival at school without a mask, the student’s parents or guardians will be contacted informing them of their child arriving at the bus stop without a mask.  Transportation staff will remind parents of the requirement and the importance of wearing a mask to the health and well-being of all riders and the driver.  If students continue to arrive at the bus stop without a mask despite the calls from the Transportation Department, students will be in jeopardy of losing their transportation services.  We have made a conscious decision to provide transportation services to all those who need it, but we cannot compromise the health of other students and the bus driver for those who will not comply with the requirements.  If students and parents are uncomfortable with this requirement, we respectfully request you consider finding alternate transportation to and from school.
MEET THE TEACHER
Aug 26, 2020 4:45 PM - Campuses have coordinated and communicated meet the teacher events and activities.  Out of precaution, most events are being held virtually. 
RECESS & P.E.
Aug 26, 2020 4:47 PM - Students will have an opportunity to participate in both in PE and recess.  Students will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands before and after handling/playing with any games, balls, or equipment.  Masks are encouraged for students while playing ball games to avoid students putting their hands in their mouth and nose.
SAFETY MEASURES
The cleaners that are used in our daily cleaning in the standard sanitation plan have not changed.  We use an oxidizing multipurpose cleaner, degreaser, sanitizer and virucide for our cleaning throughout the day and at the end of day.  The product we use contains a formula that combines cold-pressed Orange Oil and hydrogen peroxide to clean, deodorize, degrease and sanitize any water-safe surface.
 
For our treated water described in our enhanced sanitation plan, we use products that provide an effective cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting process without using the danger and complexity of traditional toxic chemicals.  The product and process used by District uses technology to electrically charge a mixture of water and proprietary electrolyte minerals to clean and disinfect our facilities and buses using an effective, safe, sustainable and chemical-free solution.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Campus administrators are creating plans to increase safety by limiting possible exposure, including staggering transition times between classes, designating traffic flow for specific hallways, social distancing 3-6 feet in the classroom, and creating alternate lunch period plans.  These strategies will continue to be developed as we learn more about COVID-19 and as we see the need to adjust as students return.
Aug 26, 2020 4:15 PM - TISD is committed to enacting additional practices to reduce likely spread inside the school, specifically related to our standard and enhanced sanitation plans.  As part of our standard sanitation plan and as a basis for keeping the environment safe and healthy for students and staff, TISD custodians will continue to execute our routine cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, offices, and common areas within district facilities.  In addition to our routine cleaning, frequently touched objects like doorknobs, hand railings, desks and shared resources like computers will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times throughout the day.

As a new measure added to our standard sanitation plan, custodial staff will also be equipped with a hand held pump filled with treated water that will produce a disinfecting mist that will cover the objects in the room so they will be ready for students and staff the next day.
 
Additionally, classroom teachers will be equipped with spray disinfectant and paper toweling that may be utilized as needed during the school day for desktops or other surfaces. 

In our enhanced sanitation plan, our Health Services team of campus nurses monitors communicable diseases on campus and reports to HCPH.  When a classroom or school has an outbreak of the flu, or COVID-19, the campus nurse communicates with the Director of Health Services to request enhanced sanitation services, commonly referred to as a “deep clean”. In addition to the standard sanitation protocols, we use an electrostatic system where the antiseptic coating covers surfaces and objects 360 degrees, which provides three times the coverage over conventional sprayers and four times the disinfecting power of bleach.  Disinfecting and sanitizing areas with this process is the most effective and efficient way of reducing illnesses and is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as a disinfectant for potable water with no observable negative health effects over a lifetime of consumption.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - There will be many precautions that are taken to protect students and staff that may not be visible to parents.  However, there are some precautions that will be evident; some of those include:
 
  • Classrooms spaced out to provide 3-6 feet of social distancing space, where possible
  • Increased signage to educate our students on important mitigation measures like hand washing, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, maintaining social distance, and to indicate direction of traffic flow
  • Installation of refillable water bottle stations to reduce the use of traditional water fountains.  The number of stations will be dependent on the level of the school and enrollment numbers, but each school will receive at least one new station
  • Reduced seating options in the cafeteria to ensure social distancing while dining in the cafeteria
  • Plexiglass partitions in various locations throughout the campus.  Some locations may include but are not limited to the reception area, libraries, and classrooms depending on the grade level
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - It is critical that students understand the importance and effectiveness of personal mitigating practices in keeping themselves and others safe and healthy.  This includes, but is not limited to hand washing, covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, wearing a face covering and staying home when not feeling well.  We will post signage and actively teach students about these important mitigating strategies.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Campuses are in the process of developing schedules.  Once more information is available on the amount of classroom transitions that will be built within the schedules, it will be shared.
SCHOOL SUPPLIES
Jul 22, 2020 2:00 PM - The return policy for school supplies from EPI has passed the deadline for reimbursement. The schools will arrange an opportunity for parents to pick up the school supply packets for use at home If they ordered them through the school.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS
Jul 17, 2020 12:00 PM - Yes, students will be screened for GT. Processes are being designed to complete testing and families will be notified regarding next steps.
TECHNOLOGY
The District is committed to ensuring that our students have access to educational resources and high quality instruction from our incredible teaching staff.  During the spring semester, TISD Technology Department distributed technology to almost 1000 students who indicated a need for a device.  There are a limited number of devices available for additional students and families in need.  There will be a process for families to notify the District if there is a need of a device.
  
Additionally, the District is working with the State to explore opportunities to expand connectivity options to our students and families. When details are available to share, we will excitedly do so.
TRANSPORTATION
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Yes, all students that elect to receive transportation services are eligible, but aligned with TEA’s guidance on public health, Tomball ISD encourages families that can provide transportation for their student to please do so.  However, the district will continue to provide transportation for all families that register for service.
Aug 26, 2020 4:15 PM - Parents are asked to register their child(ren) for transportation service by providing the necessary information using the link on the transportation website. If parents have any questions, please call Transportation at 281-357-3193.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Although all students are eligible for transportation services, families are required to register their child for the service. Tomball ISD and the Transportation Department are taking extra precautions to limit viral spread of COVID-19 while students are on the bus, including distributing ridership to ensure a fairly even number of students on each bus.  Without an indication of how many students and families are requesting transportation, we cannot take these measures to protect our students and drivers.

Aug 26, 2020 4:15 PM - If students are at the bus stop in the morning, drivers will not leave students who have not registered.  However, parents will be called and reminded to register for service.  Students that are not registered will not be transported in the afternoon.  Repeated attempts to ride the bus without registering can jeopardize a student’s longer term eligibility for transportation services. 

 

Jul 20, 2020 10:00 AM - Yes, families can register their students for transportation services after the annual enrollment process/commitment period and any time after school starts, but students are not allowed to ride the bus until the registration process is complete and the students are assigned to a bus route.  Parents will fill out a registration form on our district website and will receive a confirmation email once their request has been processed.
Aug 26, 2020 4:15 PM - Per the SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance documents released on July 7 and August 4, 2020 by TEA, the following recommendations were made for school bus transportation:
 
    • School systems should consider requiring students and staff to use hand sanitizer upon boarding the bus.
    • When possible, schools should open windows to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.
    • School systems should encourage families to drop students off, carpool, or walk with their student to school to reduce possible virus exposure on buses.
    • Buses should be thoroughly cleaned after each bus trip, focusing on high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles. During cleaning, open windows to allow for additional ventilation and air flow. 

TISD and the Transportation Department will comply with recommendations set forth by TEA.  However, no guidance, provisions, or restrictions were placed on the number of students that can be transported by school bus. Tomball ISD is trying to balance the safety and wellness of students and staff and the need for safe access to transportation to and from school.  In a true partnership, Tomball ISD and parents must work together and support the requirements put in place for safe transport of our students.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - After each bus trip the buses will be thoroughly cleaned, focusing on high touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheel, hand railing, knobs and door handles.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Yes, hand sanitizer will be provided for every student when they board the bus.  It will be a requirement that every student sanitize their hands when they board the bus.
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Given the limitations on space, it is very difficult to distance students on a bus.  We will be limiting seating to only two students per seat, with expectations made for students in the same family.  Because social distancing is not always possible on a school bus, we have put in place other safety measures to protect our students and drivers: use of masks, hand sanitizing upon boarding the bus, and cleaning and disinfecting between secondary and elementary routes.
VISTORS ON CAMPUS
Jul 13, 2020 11:30 AM - Yes. Although we need and value our volunteers and visitors, we must limit the visitations on campus. We look forward to being able to allow this in the future once it is deemed safe.