FAQ - Face to Face
Last year my child participated in an external before and after school program located on campus. Will those programs be available to parents and students for the upcoming school year?
Once I commit to either Tomball Virtual School or face to face instruction, can I change my mind?
How do I complete the commitment form if I have not yet registered my child for school in TISD?
Can we extend the deadline for the commitment form?
When will my student have access to the new learning management system, Schoology?
My student needs to take the Algebra I placement exam in order to take Algebra at the junior high level. Can this happen?
Will there be flexibility during the instructional day for families who cannot log on during the designated synchronous instruction time?
What are the COVID-19 related symptoms?
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
What is the process when a student gets sick or develops COVID-19 related symptoms during the school day?
- 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:
- New cough, trouble breathing, or shortness of breath
- New loss of taste or smell
- New body aches or chills
- Sore throat
- 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
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.
How are you distinguishing COVID-19 versus regular sickness? If my child has a simple cough or the regular runny nose, will they have to be taken for a COVID-19 test every time?
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.
Will my child’s temperature be taken at school for COVID-19 related screening? What is the screening process for students?
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.
If my child has COVID-19 symptoms and we do not seek medical evaluation or COVID testing, when can my child return to school?
What is considered close contact?
- 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.
What is contact tracing?
How do I know when my child can return to school?
- 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.
My child is sick and must quarantine for COVID-like symptoms and there are siblings in the house that are district students in the household, do they need to quarantine and stay out of school?
Will I be notified if anyone in my child’s school or class tests positive for COVID-19?
What is the process if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19? Will the entire class be required to quarantine? If so, will students become part of Tomball Virtual School?
My family, to include my child has travelled internationally within the last 14 days. Can my student return back to school?
What will the lunch period look like for students?
Why does my child have to wear a mask?
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.
- 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:
Or click on the following links:
Will face coverings be required for students? At what age are students exempt from wearing a face covering?
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.
Are there times in the day when a student can remove their mask or face covering?
If a student arrives at school without a mask, what will the consequence be?
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.
Are there any requirements for what type of mask can be worn?
What are the specific requirements for face coverings for students? When does my child have to wear one and for how long?
- 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
Are medical exemptions allowed for wearing a face mask or covering?
Will students be required to wear a mask on the school bus?
How will you ensure that students will leave their mask on while riding the bus?
What will happen if a student does not have a mask when they board the bus?
What about "Meet the Teacher"?
Will there be recess/PE?
What are the specific chemicals used to clean and disinfect classrooms and buses?
What are campus administrators doing to limit the interactions between students and the possibility of viral spread during the school day?
What cleaning and disinfecting procedures have been added to protect students and staff?
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.
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.
How will schools look different than last school year?
- 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
How will the district reinforce mitigating strategies for reducing the spread of illness?
Will students switch classes?
What if I purchased School Supplies through my school? Can I get a refund?
Will there be opportunities for students to be screened for GT?
Will additional devices be issued for multiple students in the same family utilizing virtual learning?
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.
Are all students eligible to ride a school bus in Tomball ISD?
Do I need to register to ride the school bus?
Why do I need to register for transportation services if all District students are eligible for services?
Can students ride the bus without registering for services?
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.
Do families have the ability to select and register for transportation services after the annual enrollment process/commitment period or after school starts?
What guidance was given by TEA regarding Transportation Services?
- 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.
What does transportation do to make sure the buses are cleaned and disinfected?
Will hand sanitizer be available on the school bus?
What will social distancing look like on the bus?
Will there be limitations to visitors on campus?