Health & Safety Expectations for Students and Employees
Community health data continues to change in our Liberty Hill ISD community, and we are continuously monitoring this information and adjusting our plans accordingly.
Updated: October 28th, 2020
The District budgeted for the necessary cleaning and sanitizing supplies that will be needed to open the schools in August. The Texas Education Agency also provided additional supplies to school districts. All classrooms will be equipped with plenty of hand sanitizer and bathrooms will be stocked with soap and paper towels. Parents do not need to send additional cleaning supplies to the campuses.
All students will receive instruction during the first week of school on appropriate hygiene practices and mitigation strategies and will be reinforced throughout the school year. We have faith that our students will embrace doing their part to keep their home and school families safe.
PUBLIC HEALTH STATEMENT
As it has always been, the health and safety of our staff and students remain our highest priority. While it is not possible to eliminate all risk of furthering the spread of COVID-19, this guidance document contains information on sets of practices that minimize the likelihood of viral spread. These protocols and guidelines will be modified based on public health and governmental directives, and advancing scientific knowledge on the transmissibility of COVID-19. We also believe that educating our students about proper hygiene techniques and necessary safety measures to prevent the spread will not only keep them safe but will also keep their respective families safe.
AT HOME BEFORE SCHOOL SCREENING
- Parents/guardians are expected to screen their students for COVID-19 symptoms each day prior to sending their students to school. We need parents’ cooperation in not sending children to school who are exhibiting COVID symptoms, especially if they are running a fever. Screening should include:
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Loss of taste or smell or cough
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Headache or chills
- Sore throat
- Shaking or exaggerated shivering
- Significant muscle pain or ache
- If you have been in “close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19. Close contact is determined by an appropriate public health agency. For clarity, close contact is defined as:
○ being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask or face shield); or
○ being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of more than 15 minutes, with/without wearing a mask or face shield; if either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious.
MASKS / FACE COVERINGS
- We will require students and staff to wear masks on school buses, upon entry into the school, and any time in transition as students move from one classroom or space to another. A mask is required for students grades Kindergarten through 12th grade.
- Students will need to provide their own personal face mask. Although we will have an inventory of disposable masks available.
- A mask is required for students and staff at all times and to be worn in all situations except:
When a student has a previously documented disability that would be affected by wearing a mask. The parent will need to communicate with campus administration for these situations.
during recess, outside when socially distanced, and while eating breakfast or lunch.
- Teachers will monitor students throughout the day and refer to the nurse if symptoms of Covid 19 are present.
- Teachers will:
Require hand hygiene before entering the classroom and after group activities.
Increase the space between desks and utilize every square inch of available space to create distance between students.
Establish student responsibilities to clean personal areas and materials/supplies with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other self-cleaning products
Classrooms must have assigned seating.
Incorporate outdoor teaching when appropriate.
Keep classroom doors open to improve circulation and reduce the touching of the door handles. Doors must remain in the ready locked position when propped open in case the teachers needs to pull the door closed in an emergency.
Each classroom will be outfitted with the following:
Visual reminders of distancing requirements will be in all classrooms, marking off areas for common spaces and distancing best practices.
Refillable alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations
Access to products that can be used to sanitize working surfaces. .
Teachers and staff will limit the use of shared supplies when possible; shared supplies will be sanitized between use.
Student or Staff Displaying COVID-19 Symptoms
- When a student has displayed symptoms of COVID-19, the school nurse will provide a clinical assessment to determine if and when a student needs to be sent home.
- Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the campus contacted the student’s parent/guardian.
- Other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus (e.g. go on a walk outside, move to an alternate location, etc.) so that the classroom can be disinfected.
- District communication will be provided to the parents of students who came in contact with a COVID- 19 positive student or staff member.
- Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow district protocols including isolation from students and other staff members.
- Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 must meet the following criteria before returning to work or school:
They must be fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medicine.
The individual has improvement of symptoms.
Has not shown any symptoms for 10 days.
In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 related 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 with the exception of no symptoms for 14 days instead of 10 days.
COMMON AREAS AND TRANSITIONS
- Students and staff will wear protective face coverings.
- Staggered releases from each class may be organized to limit the number of students in the hallway during transitions.
- When transitioning between classes, students will travel corridors as far to the right as possible.
- Visual markers will be developed to help students maintain physical distances and adhere to established campus traffic flow in hallways.
- Traffic patterns will be established throughout the campus that separates individuals to the greatest extent possible.
- Where possible, one-way traffic throughout campus corridors may be established.
- Classroom doors will be propped open to reduce high touch areas.
- Access to hand sanitizer will be provided throughout the campus.
- Students will need to bring water bottles from home.
- Students may fill their water bottles at school, but they cannot use the water fountains unless it has a water bottle filler (to prevent touching the surfaces).
- Drinking fountains will be transitioned to water fill stations on all campuses but this process will take time.
CAFETERIA: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
Depending on the number of students in the school, students may have meals in both the cafeteria and in classrooms.
- Frequent cleaning of high touch areas and wiping down the serving line between lunches.
- Spacing out students in the serving line to promote social distancing.
- Utilizing SMART Tags for scanning accounts for meals. Work with Transportation to verify every student has received their card.
- We will serve all meal choices to prevent touching including condiments and plasticware at Elementary through Junior High School. The majority of lines will be served at the high school. Grab-n-go items will be offered at all campuses..
- We will reduce entree choices to two hot and one cold at the elementary schools. Additional choices will be added in September.
- Please download the So Happy app to see what is on the school cafeteria menu. Be sure to select any allergens your student may have and click save. The app will give you access to calories, nutritional information and allergens.
- We will be working on schedules and routines that teach children to maintain safe distances from each other.
- No outside equipment will be allowed. The campus will supply equipment and sanitize it throughout the day.
- Children will sanitize their hands at the beginning and the end of recess.
- A mask is not required during recess but social distancing should be monitored.
- All visitors (including mentors and watchdogs) will be restricted for at least the first 12 weeks of school. This includes food deliveries.
- PTO members may access the building after hours but not during instructional time.
- The No-Visitor policy will remain in effect until the end of the fall semester (Dec.18th, 2020). This policy will be re-evaluated for the Spring semester - more information coming soon.
- ARD meetings, 504 meetings, and parent conferences will be held virtually.
- The format for the annual elementary conferences will be determined at a later time.
- Bus drivers will sanitize common areas and high touch points daily after each shift AM, PM and Midday
- Bus interior will be sprayed or fogged in accordance with CDC guidelines, LHISD mandate, and the availability of the necessary supplies
- White Fleet vehicles assigned on field trips will be completely sanitized after each field trip
- Hand Sanitizer dispensers mounted on all buses.
- All students must wear a mask on the bus.
- Once families choose in-person learning and decide on transportation needs (bus vs. no bus) you may not change your transportation need until the 6 weeks is over. If you are using the bus service and decide you no longer need it, you have the option to switch to a car rider.
- All extracurricular and athletic events will follow participation guidelines set by the UIL (University Interscholastic League).
- Athletic practices and contests will be conducted following safety protocol provided by guidance from Liberty Hill ISD, UIL, and TEA. This will include COVID screening, group sizes, sharing and sanitizing of equipment, locker room usage, etc.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be in gym facilities and equipment will be sanitized on a regular basis.
- Locker room use will be determined by TEA/UIL. If locker rooms can be accessed, all locker room space will be utilized to follow social distancing guidelines.
- Bus travel will follow the transportation guidelines provided by Liberty Hill ISD and TEA.
- Spectator attendance at games and contests may be limited based on TEA and UIL guidelines. Ticketing for events may be utilized to control the capacity of facilities.
- Postgame sign-out procedures for athletes will be communicated to parents prior to the beginning of each season.
- Event procedures will be in place to minimize face-to-face interactions.
- Separate entrances and exits may be utilized and event doors may be propped open to minimize physical contact with handles.
- Spectator seats may be marked and/or configured in a way to enforce social distancing.
- Concessions and/or concession sales may be limited to encourage social distancing and to follow health and safety guidelines.
- Large group practice sessions, sectionals, and rehearsals will adhere to social distancing guidelines provided by an authorized entity (e.g., Liberty Hill ISD, TEA, UIL, etc.)
- Fine arts music private lesson teachers will not be allowed to teach on-site/campus facilities until further guidance is provided by an authorized entity. Private lessons may continue to be conducted virtually if agreed upon between individual families and the lesson teacher. All district guidelines and pricing will continue to be adhered to.
- Off-campus fine arts performances will only be conducted if specific guidance is provided by an authorized entity (e.g., Liberty Hill ISD, TEA, UIL, etc.).
- Concerts/performances may be adjusted based on health and safety guidelines provided by an authorized entity (e.g., Liberty Hill ISD, TEA, UIL, etc.) including but not limited to transportation procedures, number of attendees, and the orientation of concerts.
- All fine arts performances will be streamed online when possible.
- Booster club meetings should be held virtually to minimize outside exposure to campuses.
- Surgical-style masks should be worn by all students and teachers as face shields are not as effective in mitigating the risk of aerosol spread for playing and singing.
- When possible, a mask with a small slit for mouthpiece access should be worn while playing.
- In instrument groups where a mask cannot physically be worn the mask should be worn over the chin and replaced during periods where the student is not playing. No talking without a mask.
Bell covers are highly recommended as "masks" for the instruments. Bell covers can be made of multi-layered high denier nylon material and provide a barrier for aerosols.
Masks on students and bell cover “masks” on instruments should be used together for maximum mitigation.
Social distancing should occur as suggested by the CDC. Currently, that distance is a 6x6 foot space around each student with the student sitting in the center. Straight lines should be used as curved setups can affect the aerosol movement in a room.
Students should sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize potential exposure.
Trombones should have an additional three feet of distancing making their space 9x6. The player should be seated three feet in front of the backline, leaving an additional six feet in front of them due to the extended nature of the instrument and slide that can be in the extended position.
Indoor rehearsal times should be reduced to 30 minutes or less followed by 20-minutes for the HVAC system to change the air indoors with outside air.
Spit valves should not be emptied on the floor. Recommend using a puppy pad (or similar) to catch the contents of the spit valve and discard.
- Each classroom and restroom will be disinfected daily.
- All high touch areas will be disinfected daily.
- Cleaning cloths and wipes will be provided in each classroom and common area to maximize room to room cleanliness. Some disinfectants will be sprayed and left to dry.
- Custodians will wear masks and gloves during work hours.
- The cafeteria will be disinfected between lunch periods.
- Staff will have access to disinfecting products to sanitize working surfaces and shared objects after each use and during breaks in instruction.
- Every campus will have an electrostatic disinfection device for quick clean up jobs.
- If an individual who has been in a school is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must 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).
- Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the test-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected unless more than 7 days have already passed since that person was on campus.
- 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 test-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate on any on-campus activities.
- Upon receipt of information that any teacher, staff member, student, or visitor at a school is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must submit a report to the Texas Department of State Health Services via an online form. The report must be submitted each Monday for the prior seven days (Monday-Sunday).
Parents as you begin making travel plans for the upcoming holidays keep in mind LHISD may ask students to quarantine depending on the area of travel.