Posted Date: 08/12/2021
August 12, 2021
Dear Waskom ISD Families:
We are excited to welcome everyone back for the 2021-2022 school year! All instruction will take place in person at our schools. Per Governor Abbott’s executive order, face coverings (masks) are optional for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. There is no COVID-19 vaccination requirement for students, staff, or visitors.
The following information is a synopsis of our back-to-school plan for health and safety based on the latest information we have from the Texas Education Agency. You can view the complete plan on the Waskom ISD website at www.waskomisd.net.
Face coverings will not be required for staff, students or visitors. An individual may choose to wear a mask if desired. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that individuals two and older who are not fully vaccinated wear masks indoors.
Per Governor Abbott’s executive order, school districts may not require students or staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The state of Texas has not added the COVID-19 vaccination to the required immunization list for students. School districts cannot require students or staff to report vaccination status.
As partners working together to maintain a healthy school environment, we ask parents and employees to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the school district. Parents should report positive cases to the school nurse; employees should report to their direct supervisor. School district staff will not conduct close contract tracing and reviews. The school district will not require students and staff to quarantine due to exposure. However, the school district is still required to report positive cases to the Harrison County Public Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
COVID-19 POSITIVE CASES
If a student has a confirmed case of COVID-19, be sure to get in touch with the school nurse as soon as possible. Parents should not send students to school who have tested positive or who are symptomatic.
Those who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and have a significant improvement in symptoms. Those who suspect they could have COVID-19 may take a COVID-19 test as soon as possible and isolate until test results are received.
If an individual test positive for COVID-19 and believes the test was a false positive and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a physician’s note clearing the individual for the return based on an alternative diagnosis, though for health privacy reasons the note does not need to indicate what the alternative diagnosis is, or (b) take a subsequent COVID-19 PCR acute infection test (at a physician’s office or approved testing location) at least 24 hours after the positive test and provide a negative test result on that subsequent test.
ABSENCES and REMOTE CONFERENCING
Waskom ISD will offer attendance through remote conferencing for students impacted by COVID-19.
Remote conferencing will be similar to remote learning last year. The students will be given their assignments online. There will be a person online that will facilitate and answer questions. All students must be logged in at attendance time. Parents will provide more information when they contact the school to let them know the student will be out because they have COVID or are exposed to COVID.
To participate, students must meet the following criteria:
The student’s temporary medical condition is documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States. The documentation must include a statement from the physician that the student is to remain confined to their home or a hospital.
The student has a positive test result for COVID-19.
If a parent chooses to quarantine a student due to close contact, the student must participate in remote conferencing to be counted for attendance.
Waskom ISD may not give make-up work if the student does not participate in remote conferencing, resulting in a lower grade.
Students participating through remote conferencing will generate attendance (be marked present) based on whether the student is virtually “present” at the official attendance-taking time. Students not present at the attendance time will be marked absent. Students who do not attend remote conferencing may not be given make-up work.
Elementary (PK-5th Grade) Official Attendance is 9:30 a.m.
Middle School/High School (6th-12th Grade) Official Attendance is 8:45 a.m.
*Please note a student cannot be counted absent or participate in remote conferencing until they have officially attended in person and counted present on the first day of school.
TECHNOLOGY and GOOGLE SUITE COMMUNICATION
A device will be made available to all WISD students. Parents/Guardians must have a completed Student Equipment Use Form on file at the designated campus. Student devices must be checked out through the WISD inventory system. The campus will provide Student login information.
Once approved for remote conferencing, students will receive an invite to google classroom/SeeSaw via their district assigned Gmail from their home campus. Parents, please allow up to the following instructional day for the invite.
Remote Conferencing will be available from 8 am.-12 p.m. via google meets to assist students as needed. Students must be logged in during the designated attendance time to be counted present. *Students will need to be visible in their provided google meet link for attendance.
VISITORS & MEETINGS
Only visitors with administrative approval to attend scheduled meetings will be allowed during the regular school day. Masks are optional for visitors but recommended. Visitors are welcome at school events outside of the regular school day. Elementary lunch will be open to parents, but you can only eat in an isolated area with your children.
CLEANING/SANITATION PROTOCOLS & MITIGATION
Frequent cleaning and sanitation will support a healthy learning environment for students and staff. WISD will continue with cleaning and sanitation protocols in its buildings and campuses. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout buildings, along with opportunities to wash hands frequently.
EXTRACURRICULAR AND CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
All extracurricular and co-curricular activities will resume with full capacity. Students nor spectators will be required to wear face coverings. Students absent or participating in Remote Conferencing with COVID-19 or with COVID-19 related symptoms are not allowed to participate in or attend any extracurricular and co-curricular events at Waskom ISD or at another district where Waskom ISD is participating until they return to in-person school.
RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
For social-emotional support, don't hesitate to get in touch with the school counselor. If a student has a health-related issue, you should contact the school nurse or the campus principal. Employees should contact human resources.
Governor’s Executive Order May 18, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
Texas Education Agency (TEA)
University Interscholastic League (UIL)
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these protocols, don't hesitate to contact Rae Ann Patty at 903.687.3361 ext.1004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waskom ISD looks forward to a great year with our students.
Rae Ann Patty