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Huston Academy Reopening Plan Fall 2020
Huston Academy Reopening Plan Fall 2020
Mike Scott
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy Re-Opening Plan Fall, 2020

The Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy are committed to providing high-quality instruction to all students, regardless of instructional setting. Huston Academy is equally committed to providing a safe environment in which to learn and work.  To that end, this document contains the essential instructional and operational protocols that Huston Academy will use to safely re-engage students and employees in the 2020-2021 school year.  This plan is based on current constraints and considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic and may be updated as additional guidance is provided.  As these plans may shift quickly, we are also continuing to plan for the possibility of a completely remote start to the school year if conditions warrant.  All staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.

No guidance can anticipate every unique situation that might result from COVID-19. As a result, Huston Academy will continue to consult available guidance through governmental agencies and other information deemed relevant to monitor the situation and will update these plans, as needed. The Erath Excels Academy Charter District will comply with applicable federal and state employment and disability laws, workplace safety standards, and accessibility standards to address individual needs.

For the 2020-2021 school year, per the regulations from the Texas Education Agency, the Erath Excels Academy Charter District will offer all students in grades 9-12 the option of either remote instruction or face-to-face instruction. The District has asked parents to inform us of their preferred method of instruction and we have those choices as of July 14. We will ask parents to confirm that choice via an online election form that will go out on July 28 and will be due on July 31st.  Any student whose parent selects the remote learning model will remain in that setting until the end of any six-week grading period. At that time, a request could be made to return to a face-to-face setting.

All staff members will report in person, even those exclusively serving remote learners.  Staff members with an underlying health concern that may prevent them from safely resuming their duties in-person in August should contact the superintendent. A doctor’s note may be required.

General Health and Safety Protocols

  • Disinfectants will be used for deep cleaning campuses.
  • The District will store these products safely and ensure that harmful cleaning products are not used near children.
  • Students, teachers, staff and essential campus visitors/volunteers will be encouraged to sanitize and wash hands frequently.
  • Tissues will be provided in classrooms and common areas to encourage students and staff to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if a tissue is not available, to cover with their elbows. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or hand sanitizer should be used.
  • Social distancing and safety signage will be added and visible throughout school facilities.
  • No outside visitors or parents will be allowed to come to school for lunch, at least during the fall semester.
  • Visitors and volunteers will be limited, at least during the fall semester. NOTE: Essential volunteers scheduled for work at a campus will be pre-screened for temperature/symptoms before admittance to a campus.

Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy is permitted to prevent any individual who fails the health screening criteria from being admitted to the campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry to the campus.

“Close contact” is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 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 15 minutes, while not wearing a mask or face shield.

Health Self-Screening for Staff & Students

Students and staff are required to take their own temperatures daily before arriving at school. Anyone with a fever of 100 or higher should not come to school (TEA mandate).  A staff member will have thermometers available at the school entrance if a parent/guardian doesn’t have one available at home.

Students and staff are required to self-screen before coming to school by answering the following question (TEA mandate):

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100 degrees fahrenheit
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache
  • Diarrhea

Students and staff may be subject to periodic temperature checks for verification, especially if they are feeling ill or suspected of having a fever during the school day.

Teachers will have access to a touch-free forehead thermometer to check/verify temperatures throughout the day as needed and will immediately send anyone with a 100 or higher temperature to the school health clinic for temperature verification and symptom check by the school nurse.

Teachers, staff, and students must report to the campus/district administration if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry.

Additionally, teachers, staff, and students must report to the campus/district administration if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, as defined by this document, and, if so, must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.

Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy will be pre-screening all contracted workers and essential volunteers before they are allowed entrance to a campus.

Protocols for Individuals Confirmed, Suspected, or Exposed to COVID-19

Any individual, including teachers, staff, students, or other campus visitors/volunteers, who either a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 or b) experience symptoms of COVID-19 (as described in this document) must stay home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to the campus until the school screens the individual to determine if the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met. 

Confirmed COVID-19

If an individual who has been in school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy must notify the 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).

In the case of an individual who is diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when a medical professional certifies all three of the following criteria are met:

1)         at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);

2)         the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and

3)         at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Suspected COVID-19

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, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19. The individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above. 

If an 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 professionals note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis, or b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID-19 via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/

Exposed to COVID-19 

Individuals, including students, teachers, staff or other campus visitors, and volunteers, who have had close contact (as defined at the beginning of this document) with someone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, must stay at home through the 14-day incubation period, and should not be allowed on campus. If the individual who has been exposed to COVID-19 wants to return to school before completing the stay at home period, the individual must either a) obtain a medical professionals note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID-19 via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

The Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy nurse will screen individuals after the incubation period has concluded. If the individual did not experience symptoms, they must stay at home until the conditions outlined above have been met. 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • For this document, masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • For 9th through 12th grade students, masks or face coverings are required in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order GA-29 (TEA mandate).
  • All Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy staff will wear face coverings, masks, or face shields in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order GA-29.
  • Executive Order GA-29 requires a mask except:
    • if a person has a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering;    
    • while consuming food or drink, or seated to eat or drink;
    • while exercising outdoors or engaging in physical activity outdoors while maintaining a safe distance from other people not in the same household;
    • while giving a speech to an audience while maintaining a safe distance.

Instructional Protocols

Option A: Face-to-Face Instruction

  • The key to returning to successful, sustained in-person instruction will be our commitment to upholding the health and safety guidelines in this document. 
  • In-person instruction will resume on September 8th.
  • The face-to-face instructional option will include appropriate health protocols and minimized transitions, if possible.
  • Routines for related services and other pull-out services will be adjusted to best preserve the safety of providers and students.
  • Students who begin the year in face-to-face instruction at school may move into temporary remote instruction for a period of time if needed for school closure due to student/staff illness or for self-isolation in accordance with county or state regulations.
  • Instruction in both the remote and face-to-face settings will address the same Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).

FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTIONAL PROTOCOLS

The goal of face-to-face instructional & operational protocols will be to provide a balanced approach that upholds the safety of students and staff while also providing an environment that is developmentally appropriate.

Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy will prepare teachers to utilize the strategies and best practices associated with blended learning to design high quality learning activities for all students.

All students will be issued a District-owned Chromebook to ensure that mobile devices are not shared between students and to ensure quick access to devices in the event of an unforeseen closure.

Teachers will collaborate to plan instruction that is quickly and easily transferable from face-to-face to remote in the event of a temporary exclusion or school closure due to COVID-19 spread.

 

Both the remote and face-to-face experiences will:

  • Utilize the adopted school-wide LMS (Learning Management System) which is Google Classroom;
  • Provide similar expectations around coursework; and
  • Follow the same grading guidelines.

All teachers will prepare for the possibility of teaching a combination of face-to-face and online learners within the same section.

Option B: Remote Instruction

  • The key to successful remote instruction will be our commitment to providing our remote learners with a strong instructional experience that provides the same expectations and experiences as students in the classroom.
  • Remote instruction will begin on August 17th all students and will follow all TEA requirements for remote instruction.
  • In accordance with TEA requirements, instruction for remote learners will be delivered by Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy teachers.
  • The remote instructional option will be an asynchronous model that includes teacher-led instruction, regular "live" teacher-student engagement opportunities, and required daily check-ins/progress for attendance purposes.  Per TEA's requirements for remote learning, student feedback will be provided by the teacher at least weekly.
  • Teachers will teach remote instruction students from their classrooms unless other arrangements have been approved by the Superintendent.
  • All students will be assigned a Chromebook to use in both the face-to-face and remote settings.
  • Both the remote and face-to-face settings will utilize Google Classroom and Odysseyware and will follow the same grading guidelines.
  • Instruction in both the remote and face-to-face settings will address the same Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
  • Designating a home work space that is free from distractions;
  • Participating in daily virtual check-ins/class meetings;
  • Dressing appropriately when participating in virtual check-ins/class meetings;
  • Showing their faces on the screen when engaging in virtual check-ins/class meetings;
  • Showing proof of participation in daily virtual instruction by satisfactorily completing assignments to demonstrate evidence of student learning ie. video, picture, or activities submitted as lessons and/or completing assignments;
  • Communicating with the teacher when there is a need for additional assistance, tutoring, etc.
  • In order to maintain academic integrity, students still will be expected to complete required exams at a proctoring location with limited person to person interaction and adequate space for social distancing.

Student expectations for remote instruction will include:

It is important that parents and students understand that remote attendance is based on DAILY engagement, not solely on the completion of assignments. State law TEC 25.092 still require students to attend at least 90% of their classes to receive credit and be promoted. Remote attendance will count in the same manner as on-campus (face-to-face) attendance in satisfying this requirement.

REMOTE LEARNING PROTOCOLS

All secondary teachers must prepare for the possibility of teaching a combination of face-to-face and online learners within the same section.

In accordance with TEA guidelines virtual students will be expected to participate in approximately 4 hours of school per day or 20 hours per week.

  • Remote learning times for students will follow the same schedule as the face-to-face times. Teachers are not expected to remain on duty during evenings and weekends.
  • Teachers facilitating remote learning will work closely with the school professional learning community to ensure consistency of curriculum, instruction, and in the quality of assessments.
  • Teacher-created video lessons and assignments will be delivered via Google Classroom.
  • The student will complete and turn in assignments through the LMS. Students will have designated time periods in which to turn in work.
  • In order to maintain academic integrity students will be expected to complete required exams at a proctoring location with limited person to person interaction and adequate space for social distancing. The exams must be scheduled and completed within the time frame determined by the teacher.
  • The student will be required to complete assignments similar to what is asked of in-person students.
  • In accordance with requirements from TEA, grading policies for remote student work will be consistent with those used for on campus assignments.
  • Teachers will create assignments/assessments that make academic dishonesty more difficult. Teachers and administrators will establish required synchronous instructional check-ins by subject/grade level.
  • Scheduled tutorials and interventions will be established.
  • Daily attendance will be taken in the Ascender Student Data System. Being “present” is determined daily by one of three methods:
  • teacher interaction with a student;
  • progress documented in the LMS; and/or
  • an assignment completed and turned in to the teacher.
  • Student elective choices for those selecting remote learning may be limited.
  • Some courses for students who select remote instruction may require the student to complete assignments or projects at the campus if the course requires assignments that cannot be reasonably completed remotely (e.g., welding, etc.).
  • Students who select remote instruction will be contacted at the beginning of August regarding their schedule if any of the courses requested require an in-person component.

Technology

  • Student Chromebooks will be provided to all students through a drive-thru pickup service scheduled to occur prior to August 12th.
  • Students and families are expected to follow guidelines for care and use devices in a way that ensures these resources are effectively maintained.
  • Relevant notifications, instructions, procedures, policies and processes related to instructional technology are available on the Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy website. https://www.hustonacademy.com/
  • Technology staff will be available in all instructional models to assist students and staff with technology support.
  • Students and families can submit a technology support request by emailing: techhelp@erath-excels.org.
  • Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy has purchased a limited number of mobile hot spots for families in need of internet access.
  • Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy has outdoor WiFi located in the Huston Academy parking lot available 24 hours per day to students.

Special Education

  • Parents can rest assured that we are committed to implementing a child’s IEP to the fullest extent possible in a remote setting. If there are difficulties with implementation, we will come together and arrive at workable solutions in the best interest of the child.
  • The remote instructional setting is available to all students in grades PK-12, including those receiving special education services.
  • ARD Committees will determine the unique individualized needs of students who receive special education services and will make service recommendations for students attending the remote instructional program.
  • The nature of special education interventions will likely require a heavier concentration of synchronous supports and services to ensure that individual student needs are met. Progress will be carefully monitored and ARD Committees will convene as needed to make appropriate recommendations to meet individual student needs. This will ensure continued growth in the general education curriculum and on IEP goals and objectives. 

Special Programs

  • Parents can rest assured that the Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy is committed to implementing each child’s plan to the fullest extent possible in a remote setting. If there are difficulties with implementation, we will come together and arrive at workable solutions in the best interest of the child.
  • Meetings will be held virtually when possible.
  • Please contact the principal at your campus if you need further assistance.

Operational Protocols

As it has 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 four 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, as well as staff and teachers.

OPERATIONAL PROTOCOLS RELATED TO COVID-19

Preparing for the Opening of the Huston Academy Campus

Erath Excels Academy and Huston Academy will implement health and safety plans that include:

  • Ensuring adequate supply inventory (e.g., PPE, cleaning supplies, hand soap, hand sanitizer, etc.);
  • Cleaning with products approved by governing authorities and per guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Ensuring compliance with the Centers for Disease Control, Texas Health and Human Services, the Texas Education Agency and other jurisdictional policies; and
  • Providing communication of procedures and expectations upon entering facilities and throughout buildings.

Employee Pre-Screening

  • All employees must conduct a self-health screening every morning before reporting to work.  The self-screening must include all employees taking their own temperature.
  • Employees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, including a temperature of 100.0 or higher, should not report to work and should, instead, contact their immediate supervisor as soon as possible.

Student Pre-Screening & Temperature Checks

  • Parents will be informed of screening questions and that any child exhibiting those symptoms must not be brought to campus.
  • Any student with a temperature of 100.0 or higher must remain at or be sent home.

Pre-Screening Questions

In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, he/she should answer the following:

  • Have you recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for you?
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache
  • Diarrhea

Anyone answering yes to any of the items above and anyone with a temperature of 100.0 or higher will be denied entry into any building or facility.

 

 

Also, an individual will not enter campuses or district buildings if any of the following apply. The individual:

  • Has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals must follow all isolation and quarantine guidelines from the local health authority or their physician; or
  • Has a household member who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who is awaiting their own test results.

Visitors

  • No outside visitors or parents will be allowed to come to school for lunch until further notice.
  • Campus visitors will be extremely restricted and will follow the specific guidelines listed here.

Visitors and volunteers will be limited, until further notice. NOTE: Essential volunteers scheduled for work at a campus will be pre-screened for temperature/symptoms before admittance to a campus. Campuses will consider utilizing virtual meeting options to limit campus visitors.

  • Only essential visitors will be permitted to enter school buildings.
  • Volunteers are not permitted to visit campus at this time (including mentors, college representatives, guest speakers, etc.).
  • All authorized essential visitors permitted to proceed beyond the reception area must follow all safety and campus protocols.
  • All authorized essential visitors will be required to wear a mask throughout the duration of their visit.
  • Social distancing and safety signage will be added and visible throughout school facilities.
  • Parents dropping off students in the morning may not leave their cars and will be prohibited from walking students inside the school building.
  • Parents picking up students during the day may not enter the building and, instead, must call ahead so that students can be sent or accompanied to parent vehicles upon arrival.

Huston Academy Campus Facility

  • Traffic patterns in hallways will be revised to promote safe distance practices.
  • Signage and markings will be provided throughout the buildings to encourage safe distancing practices.
  • Face shields will be provided to instructional staff.
  • Disposable masks will be available to all students and staff upon request.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided at entrances and throughout the buildings.
  • Staff development regarding everyday protective measures, including proper hand washing and the proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings, will be provided to all staff members.
  • Beginning of the year education on school routines for students will include education on routines for hand washing, cough/sneeze protocols, keeping shared spaces clean, and mitigation practices adopted by the school.
  • Signage promoting everyday protective measures will be posted in visible locations.
  • Custodial staff will increase cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces and all staff members will be provided with materials to safely disinfect items and materials, as needed.
  • Isolated health rooms will be identified on each campus for students or staff exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Masks/Face Coverings (Employees)

Schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks.

  • For the purposes of this document, masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks (over the nose and mouth), cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Employees must wear a mask on school buses.
  • Employees must wear a mask at all times, except when eating or drinking and/or when exercising outdoors while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.
  • An employee may remove a mask while alone in a separate room, or in the presence of only members of the same household or residence.
  • Employees shall provide their own personal face masks for daily use.  Should a replacement mask be needed during the day, one will be provided.  Teachers will be provided with a face shield.
  • Individual exceptions to this requirement will be made for those with a documented medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.  Current medical documentation must be provided to the campus principal to qualify for an exception.

Note: Local guidelines regarding masks/face coverings may be adjusted to ensure compliance with an order of the Governor of Texas or to regulations from the Texas Education Agency.

Masks/Face Coverings (Students)

Schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks.

  • For the purposes of this document, masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks (over the nose and mouth), cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Students must wear a mask on school buses.
  • Students must wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking and/or when exercising outdoors while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.
  • Whenever possible, outdoor physical activities that maintain social distancing will be scheduled throughout the day to provide students in with brain breaks and "mask breaks". These will occur at the discretion of the campus administration and teacher.
  • Students shall provide their own personal face masks for daily use.  When/If a replacement mask is needed during the day, one will be provided.
  • Individual exceptions to the mask requirement will be made for those with a documented medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.  Current medical documentation must be provided to the campus principal to qualify for an exception.

Note: Local guidelines regarding masks/face coverings may be adjusted to ensure compliance with an order of the Governor of Texas or to regulations from the Texas Education Agency.

Masks/Face Coverings Noncompliance

Failure to comply with the mask/face covering requirements will be handled through existing discipline processes.  Repeated instances of noncompliance will result in exclusion from face-to-face operations.

Student Arrival

  • Parents are asked to avoid early drop offs in the morning.
  • Parents dropping off students may not leave their cars and will be prohibited from walking students inside the school building.
  • Hand sanitizer or hand washing stations will be placed at entry/exit points.
  • Staff reporting times may be adjusted to supervise arriving students.
  • Huston Academy staff will be available for additional duties related to student arrival, as needed.

Classrooms

  • Efforts will be made to limit the number of people in each classroom at a time, as well as on the number of people in and out of the space during the day.
  • Where feasible, students will be kept in cohorts to minimize the number of students in proximity to one another throughout the day in order to minimize viral spread in the school.
  • Procedures to limit the sharing of high touch materials (e.g., art supplies, pencils, etc.) will be put into place.
  • To ensure that mobile devices are not shared between students and to ensure quick access to devices in the event of an unforeseen closure, all students will be issued a District-owned Chromebook.
  • Signage and markings will be placed in classrooms to encourage safe distancing practices.
  • Personal, labeled water bottles will be encouraged to reduce shared water fountain use.
  • Classroom visitors and volunteers will not be permitted until further notice.
  • Whenever possible and developmentally appropriate, there will be no group or pairs work requiring students to regularly interact within 6 feet.
  • Teachers will prop classroom doors open to allow for additional ventilation during class and in between classes so students don't touch doors or handles.
  • Teachers will be provided with materials to safely disinfect items and materials, as needed.

Cafeteria

  • Huston Academy plans to utilize the school cafeteria as much as possible for student meals. NOTE: no parents/visitors during lunch, until further notice.
  • Cafeteria staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Lunches will be staggered to ensure appropriate disinfection between groups.
  • Limits will be placed on the number of people in the cafeteria at a time.
  • In order to safely provide meals to all students in a timely fashion, lunch may be provided inside classrooms.
  • Signage and markings will be placed in cafeterias to encourage safe distancing practices.
  • Students will not be allowed to pick up food from the office. All food must come with the student when arriving at school (no food deliveries to students).

 

Counseling Services

The Erath Excels Academy and Huston Academy administration and counseling staff will maintain current information regarding mental health and community services available as a result of COVID-19 for students, families, and staff.

Employees: Cleaning & Disinfecting of Personal Work Spaces and Equipment

  • Employees will be provided with access to disinfecting supplies and gloves, as needed.
  • Employees must ensure the daily disinfecting of personal workspaces, including appropriate disinfecting of touch points located within that workspace.
  • Employees must disinfect shared office equipment (e.g., copiers, fax machines, etc.) after use.
  • Employees working in facility reception areas must ensure that spaces and touch points are routinely disinfected after each visitor exits the building.  This includes deliveries and visits by staff from other locations within the District.
  • In accordance with TEA guidelines, students may be asked to assist in disinfecting workspaces when appropriate.

Positive Cases and Teachers, Staff, or Students Showing 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 must be picked up within one hour from the time the campus contacts 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 a different classroom, 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 follow the exclusion guidelines below.
  • Students or staff who come into close, sustained contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will be asked to self-isolate and follow the exclusion guidelines below.

Required Actions if Individuals with Lab-Confirmed Cases Have Been in a School

  • If an individual who has been in school is lab-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 lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected.
  • 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.

 

 

 

 

Remote Operations for Employees in Self-Isolation

Teachers and staff must notify the District if they have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry.

Additionally, teachers and staff must notify the District if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.

  • Teachers and staff who must self-isolate, but who are otherwise willing/able to continue serving students remotely, may be placed on a temporary remote assignment.
  • Employees placed on a temporary remote assignment who become ill and require leave related to COVID-19 must consult the guidelines in the next section.

Employee Leave Related to COVID-19

There is a separate leave system called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that is available through December 30th (see link below).  An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

  • Is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;

2.   Has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;

3.   Is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;

4.   Is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);

5.   Is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or

6.   Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Exclusion and Closure

Erath Excels Academy and Huston Academy will adopt the following guidelines for exclusion and closure. Please note that these guidelines are subject to change. 

When do we exclude a person from face-to-face operations a student or staff member will be excluded/self-isolate from face-to-face operations after direct contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19.  Any teacher, staff member, or student who experiences any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (including an asymptomatic positive test) will be excluded/self-isolate until the below conditions have been met.

In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
  • and the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath);
  • and at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared; or
  • In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above; or
  • If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.

If the individual wants to return to school before completing the 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) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

Note: Governor Abbott has stated that a campus would qualify for exclusion for a period of five (5) days if there are any positive cases in the school. Erath Excels Academy and Huston Academy will update these criteria after specific guidance is provided by the State.

When do we close the Huston Academy campus for face-to-face operations? The Huston Academy campus will close for face-to-face operations upon the most up to date recommendations provided by local health authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social-Emotional Support/Mental Wellness

  • The Huston Academy campus administration and counseling department will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • The Huston Academy campus administration and counseling department will develop strategies and support for students, families, and staff members for each phase of recovery (before opening, immediately after reopening, and long-term support).
  • A process will be established to help identify and provide support to students or staff, perhaps at higher risk for significant stress or trauma from COVID-19.
  • Students seeking outside social-emotional support will be provided information for appropriate community mental health resources.

Communication

  • The Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy will continue to communicate and inform key stakeholders regularly while offering opportunities for feedback to help shape the 2020 Fall Plan.
  • The District and campuses will communicate official Erath Excels Academy Charter District and Huston Academy news using group messaging, websites, and social media accounts.
  • Survey links will be sent to each family to provide feedback to district staff concerning instructional choices for the Fall of 2020.
  • Specific questions, concerns, or suggestions should be directed to mscott@erath-excels.org or ctaylor@erath-excels.org.