Students & Families » Reopening 2020-21 » Return to Excellence: Reopening 2020

Return to Excellence: Reopening 2020

Tomball ISD Return to Excellence: Reopening 2020 Graphic
 
 
SUPERINTENDENT MESSAGE
 
Tomball ISD Parents and Students,
 
As your Superintendent of Schools, I want to assure you that every decision made regarding our return to campus places a high priority on the safety and well-being of our Tomball ISD students, staff and parents.
 
Dr. Martha Salazar-ZamoraI am confident that our plan will adequately provide a safe return for students of Tomball ISD as we continue to navigate the current health standards and adhere to any new guidelines put forth.
 
We will continue to work hard as a team to make informed decisions that support the needs of our students and staff and make sure they are communicated quickly and effectively. Tomball ISD is committed to providing a learning environment, whether face to face or remote, that keeps students and staff safe and provides for meaningful academic experiences. This commitment will not waiver.
 
I look forward to seeing your students very soon!
 
 
Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora
Superintendent of Schools
 
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LEARNING OPTIONS
 
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The Texas Education Agency provided guidance for school districts reopening for on campus instruction this fall, as well as offering an option for remote instruction.
 
Tomball ISD will offer Face-to-Face learning with numerous health and safety protocols and Tomball Virtual School, a new remote learning option.
 
Both options will follow the same instructional year calendar, grading procedures, and attendance policies, as well as the same curriculum.
 
Families will adhere to their selected learning option for the first grading period.
 
School House F2F
Face-to-Face (F2F)
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Tomball Virtual School (TVS)
Overview
Students in F2F will report daily to their campus according to their bell schedule and engage in Face-to-Face instruction based on their class schedule and the TISD Instructional Calendar. Students in TVS will be expected to follow a full instructional day plan according to the campus bell schedule and expectations of individual teachers. and the TISD Instructional Calendar.
Curriculum
Tomball ISD’s curriculum is the same for both learning options, covering the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for all grades and Texas graduation requirements. TISD’s online learning management system is Schoology
Grading
The grading policy will remain the same for both learning options. According to TEA guidance, the grading policies for remote instruction must be consistent with the District’s grading policies for on-campus assignments.
Attendance
The face-to-face learning option will follow traditional on-campus attendance procedures. To be considered in attendance, a student will be expected to be engaged daily as evidenced by access to Schoology, daily progress via student-teacher interaction and completion of assignments. In addition, requirements to attend live lessons at specific times will be communicated by individual teachers according to grade level and course. Attendance is required at synchronous instruction times.
Extracurricular Activities
All programs and activities will be conducted in alignment with UIL guidelines and District protocols for F2F students. Students enrolled in TVS will be able to participate in extracurricular UIL extracurricular activities such as athletics and fine arts, but all participation will be before or after the face to face school day. Tomball Virtual School students will not be allowed to attend courses that are aligned to these UIL extracurricular activities during the school day on campus. The curricular portions of these activities will be delivered in the virtual environment for the corresponding courses that they are enrolled in.
Meals
As always, breakfast and lunch will be served and price will be dependent on student’s eligibility
A curbside meal service will be available at designated locations on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 4-6 p.m. and price is dependent on student’s eligibility.
 
• Tuesday pick-up: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches
• Thursday pick-up: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches
 
Curbside Communities:
Tomball Junior High will serve students from:
TJHS, THS, TIS, TES, DPES
 
Oakcrest Intermediate will serve students from:
OIS, TMHS, CPES, RES, WES, GOES
 
Willow Wood Junior High will serve students from:
WWJHS, NIS, LES, WCES
 
Creekside Park Junior High will serve students from:
CPJHS, CFES, TCES, CES
 
** TSA students may visit their closest curbside community
Transportation
All students that elect to receive transportation services are eligible, but in alignment 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.
 
Commitment
Whether students chose to participate in our Face-to-Face (F2F) instruction or in Tomball Virtual School (TVS), they are committed to their option until the end of the first grading period (October 23) when they can then change their choice at that time.
 
 
BELL SCHEDULES
Please note that bell schedules at some campuses have changed due to the adjustment in the Instructional Calendar.
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KEY ASPECTS OF TOMBALL VIRTUAL SCHOOL (TVS)
Content learning and activities will be planned by the teacher to make sure each student receives appropriate instructional minutes in synchronous or asynchronous learning opportunities.
TVS will provide a mix of pre-recorded videos and real-time virtual lessons.
TVS will follow the same scope and sequence as students in the classroom.
Expect increased rigor and accountability.
There will be daily expectations for learning and progress, not weekly completion grades.
Students are expected to have daily engagement with teachers via Schoology.
Tomball Virtual School is designed 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 disruption 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 & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
The purpose of this handbook is to provide students and parents with information regarding Tomball ISD’s return to face to face instruction. These guidelines are based on guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
 
In TEA’s Public Health Planning Guidance for the 2020-21 school year, recommendations to prevent, mitigate, and respond are outlined to minimize the likelihood of viral spread of COVID-19.
 
This handbook will mirror those headings of Prevention, Mitigation and Response to outline requirements and procedures Tomball ISD staff will follow to keep our students and staff safe while we return to face to face instruction.
 
Parents, please review this information with your child(ren) to ensure they are aware of health and safety procedures and to review their responsibility in following the requirements for our return to face to face instruction.
IMPORTANT: TISD health and safety protocols are subject to change as updated guidance is provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), governing authorities, and county health officials.
 
  PREVENTION
Practices to prevent the virus from entering the school
Are you experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal to you?
            • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0˚F
            • Cough
            • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
            • Chills
            • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
            • Significant muscle pain or ache
            • Headache
            • Sore throat
            • Loss of taste or smell
            • Diarrhea
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
HEALTH SCREENING
Students must screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering a school bus or school. Please refer to the following Daily Health Screening for Students {Español}document.
 
  • Parents or guardians are required to 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 (see graphic below)
    • 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.
  • It will be implied that if a student arrives at school or at a bus stop that the student and parents attest they are free from the exclusionary criteria listed above.
Preventative Actions to Decrease Risk
 
  • Clean your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask.
  • Cover cough and sneezes.
  • Put distance between yourself and others.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touched and dirty surfaces.
  • Monitor your health daily.
CDC Recommendations for Masks/Face Coverings
 
CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
 
Masks can help prevent people who have COVID-19 that do not have symptoms from spreading the virus to others.
 
Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used.
MASKS/FACE COVERINGS
  • The mitigating measure of proper face mask use by all staff and students will decrease the spread of COVID-19 and can assist our schools to remain open.
  • Students in the 4th grade and above must wear a mask.
  • Students in PK-3rd grade are encouraged to wear a mask as much as possible.
  • 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
  • If students PK-12 are not able to maintain social distance of 6 feet, they must wear a mask as developmentally appropriate.
  • If teachers are able to provide students with an opportunity to spread apart at least 6 feet away, students and the teacher can remove their mask with the understanding that they maintain social distance.
  • Once social distance is not maintained, masks must be worn.
  • Students are required to provide their own masks or face covering.
  • Parents of students who fail to provide a mask or face covering will be contacted by the school.
  • 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.
  • 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.
 
  MITIGATION
Practices to diminish the likelihood of COVID-19 spread inside the school
HEALTH AND HYGIENE PRACTICES: GENERAL
  • Campuses have soap dispensers in all restrooms and hand sanitizer dispensers in all classrooms and building and cafeteria entrances.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer at the beginning and end of each class period and throughout the day.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to wash hands frequently.
  • Water fountains will be restricted from use as drinking fountains but may be used to fill water bottles.
  • Additionally, water bottle filling stations will be installed at all schools.
    • We encourage all students to bring their own refillable water bottle to school each day.
  • Students, staff and parents will be educated on health and safety protocols and good hygiene practices, including frequent and thorough handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and social distancing to the extent feasible, using the district and campus websites, social media, email, building signs and classroom lessons with videos.
 
HEALTH AND HYGIENE PRACTICES: CLEANING & DISINFECTION
  • All classrooms will be provided with a spray bottle with sanitizing spray and paper towels for sanitizing desks and technological equipment as needed.
  • High-touch surfaces, toys and manipulatives should be sanitized between use or at the end of each class period.
  • TEA guidance states that students should be given the opportunity to clean their areas before and after they are used, as developmentally appropriate.
    • Teachers are encouraged to spray the tops of desks and provide students with a paper towel to wipe the desk clean to help maintain a clean and safe environment to keep everyone safe.
  • Restrooms will be disinfected with an EPA-registered disinfectant by custodians throughout the day and as needed.
  • The cafeteria will be disinfected with an EPA-registered disinfectant after each lunch period. Students will throw their trash away.
 
STANDARD SANITATION
  • 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.
  • Custodial staff will also be equipped with a hand held pump filled with treated water which produces a disinfecting mist that will cover the objects in the room so they will be ready for students and staff the next day.
  • For students suspected of having COVID-19 like symptoms, teachers are equipped with the necessary cleaning supplies to clean and sanitize surfaces touched or occupied by the student.
  • When a classroom or school has a case of COVID-19, the campus nurse communicates with the Director of Health Services to deploy our enhanced sanitation services.
 
VISITORS
  • In an effort to limit outside exposure and viral spread of COVID-19, visitors will not be allowed inside school facilities during the fall semester of the 2020-21 school year. This decision will be reevaluated before the start of the spring semester.
  • An appointment is needed to meet with campus staff. If possible, the meeting will be held virtually.
  • If a virtual meeting is not possible, only the person who makes the appointment may attend the in-person meeting to limit the number of visitors to the school at one time.
  • Meal delivery for students is prohibited for the 2020-21 school year.
 
EDUCATION ON MITIGATING STRATEGIES
  • 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.
  • The District has purchased and will post signage and actively teach students about these important mitigating strategies.
 
TRANSPORTATION
  • 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.
  • Any student using transportation services will be required to have a face covering.
  • 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.
  • Arriving at the bus stop in the morning without registering for transportation services can have a potential impact on future ability to use transportation services.
  • Students who have not registered for transportation services will not be transported in the afternoon and will remain on campus.
TEA Transportation Guidelines
Per the SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance documents released on August 4, 2020 by the Texas Education Agency (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, drivers 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.
BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAMS & CLUBS
  • Campuses that have before and after school programming provided by Campus Kids or YMCA will continue to have these services offered for students and families.
  • The District has shared health and safety precautions with these organizations and they will be required to follow our guidelines.
  • For internal based clubs, schools may continue student participation with the understanding that health and safety protocols must still be maintained.
 
  RESPONSE
Practices to react to a lab-confirmed case in the school
SUSPECTED OR NOTIFICATION OF LAB-CONFIRMED COVID-19 POSITIVE CASE
  • TISD staff will initiate the Tomball ISD Isolation Plan in the event of a suspected COVID-19 case on campus.
  • Staff members displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 will follow district protocols including immediately isolating away from others and leaving District facilities.
  • Students who are suspected with COVID-19 will be isolated, masked when developmentally appropriate, and cared for by school personnel until the parent/guardian picks them up.
  • Parents/guardians are asked to pick up ill students within one hour of notification by school personnel.
  • Parents/guardians should have alternative arrangements if they are unable to pick up their student within one hour.
CLEANING AND DISINFECTION
In addition to the standard sanitation protocols, we use a disinfecting misting system.
 
This is an electrostatic system where the antiseptic coating covers surfaces and objects 360 degrees.
 
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.
COMMUNICATION
  • Upon notification of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case on a campus, the district will notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • 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.
  • Potentially, two messages will be sent out to parents:
    • One school-wide message notifying parents that there was a positive COVID-19 case in the building.
    • One specific message for parents in the class impacted by the positive COVID-19 case and instructions for follow-up monitoring of their child.
 
OTHER RESOURCES

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Tech Globe Growing Heart
COMMUNICATION
TECHNOLOGY
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
TISD uses SchoolMessenger for student and staff emergency notifications. If you are not currently receiving emails or text messages (text "Y" to 67587) from TISD, please contact your campus registrar to confirm your contact information.
For technical support including logging into ClassLink, contact the Technology HelpDesk at 281-357-3052 ext. 4001 or email helpdesk@tomballisd.net.
 
For instructional support, contact Digital Learning at 832-422-8680.
TISD is committed to the overall well-being of all of our students. Social Emotional resources, related to COVID-19, are available.
Learn more about SchoolMessenger Digital Learning Help Social Emotional Resources
Harris County Public Health
 
REMINDER: First Day of School for ALL Students (face-to-face or virtual) will be Tuesday, September 8.
 
Over the last several months, we have focused an immense amount of attention on the details of our “Return to Excellence: Reopening 2020” plan in an effort to safely begin the upcoming school year. With that in mind, every decision made considers the safety of our students, staff and community as a top priority while we define our face-to-face, in-person instruction and our Tomball Virtual School options.
 
We understand this is an important and difficult decision you and your family must make before the school year begins.  As we continue the planning process, Tomball ISD is taking all state and local health recommendations into consideration to help us make the best and safest decisions for the health and well-being of our students and staff. 

Superintendent Update: August 13 
We continue to move forward with our Return to Excellence plan. Listen for more.

(Updated August 4, 2020): The Tomball ISD Board of Trustees approved the recommendation to make changes to our 2020-2021 Instructional (School) Calendar during a Special Board Meeting.

Rather than begin school with all students in a virtual environment on August 18, Tomball ISD will push back the start of its 2020-2021 school year and begin either with face-to-face instruction or in our Tomball Virtual School on Tuesday, September 8, depending on the choice your family made via our Commitment Form. 
 
Again, the school year is now slated to begin September 8 with your child(ren) in your preferred method of instruction. As we continue to learn, all plans are fluid and are subject to change dependent on new information and guidance.
 
Tomball ISD Board of Trustees approved up to 15 additional minutes to each school day to accommodate for the delay in the start of school. In addition to the extra minutes added, half days and staff development/student holidays were eliminated to capture extra minutes for the delayed start.  With these calendar modifications, coupled with the District already having above and beyond the minimum number of required minutes by the state, we are fortunate to be able to delay the start of the 2020-21 school year without impacting Thursday, May 27, 2021 being our last day of school. 
 
Please take a moment to view our FAQ pages (links in the submenu to the right) as updates have been made to these pages. This information will guide you in making an informed decision as to what you feel is best for your student(s).  We know that the Fall semester will look completely different, but we are steadfast in our commitment to provide quality instruction. We appreciate your understanding and support as we work through these trying times.
 
Together, we are Team Tomball! Please continue to stay safe and healthy.