Last Updated January 10, 2022
I. Plan Summary Generally
a. Plan Purpose
The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect people of all ages, and as a school district, we will do everything feasible to keep students, teachers, staff, and our communities safe. Research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), among others, has found that while children do get infected by COVID-19 and some severe outcomes have been reported in children, relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized or have severe symptoms. In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that there should be a balance between the risks of COVID-19 and the need for children to attend school in person.
Any of the following symptoms indicate a possible COVID-19 infection:
Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees
Loss of taste or smell (perhaps inapplicable with new variants)
Cough (perhaps irrelevant with new variants)
Shortness of breath
Congestion or runny nose
Shaking or exaggerated shivering
Significant muscle pain or ache
Nausea or vomiting
c. Plan Contacts
SSISD Representative – Josh Williams – 903-885-0999
II. Required Actions if Individuals with Test-Confirmed Cases Have Been in School Upon receiving information that any teacher, staff member, student, or visitor at a school is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, then SSISD must submit a report to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The report must be submitted each Monday for the prior seven days (Monday-Sunday).
According to TEA guidelines, SSISD will notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a classroom or extracurricular or afterschool program cohort if a test-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students and teachers, or staff who participated in those classrooms or cohorts. Such notification will be made via the SSISD COVID-19 Dashboard, which you can find at www.ssisd.net.
Those confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 shall stay home from school/work until released by their medical provider to return. The district shall require documentation of the release.
For those who are not/cannot see a doctor, SSISD nursing staff will apply DSHS guidelines to determine a date of return.
III. Contact Tracing and Parent Notification
School systems are not required to conduct COVID-19 case investigations. However, local public health entities have the authority to investigate cases and are currently engaged in that effort. Participation in these investigations is voluntary. If SSISD is made aware that a student is in close contact, we will notify the student’s parent.
Parents of students who are determined to be close contacts of an individual with COVID-19 may opt to keep their students at home during the recommended stay-at-home period. Parents who opt to send their children to school in the two weeks following exposure are encouraged to monitor their children closely for symptoms.
For individuals determined to be close contacts, a 14-day stay-at-home period the CDC previously advised based on the virus’s incubation period. CDC has since updated its guidance, and the stay-at-home period can end for students experiencing no symptoms on Day 10 after close contact exposure if no subsequent COVID-19 testing is performed.
Alternately, a student can end the stay-at-home period if they receive a negative result from a PCR acute infection test after the close contact exposure ends.
IV. CDC Recommendations
SSISD will work to maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff. Specifically, concerning current CDC guidelines, SSISD shall observe the following:
CDC Recommendation SSISD’s Planned Response
Universal and Correct Wearing of Masks Masks will be allowed but not required.
Modifying Facilities for Physical Distancing SSISD will not alter facilities for this purpose.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette Handwashing and respiratory etiquette will continue to be encouraged.
Cleaning and Maintaining Facilities Traditional and supplemental cleaning protocols will continue.
Improving Ventilation SSISD will replace older HVAC units to meet this purpose.
Contact Tracing SSISD will not conduct contact tracing unless
required by law.
Diagnostic and Screening Testing Students (parents), faculty, and staff will self-screen.
Efforts to Provide Vaccinations Vaccinations continue to be available through local vendors.
Appropriate Accommodations for Children with Disabilities concerning health and safety policies SSISD will continue to fully implement every applicable student’s Individual Education Plan.
Coordination with state and local health officials SSISD will continue to communicate and coordinate with state and local health officials.
V. Ensuring Continuity of Services Students returned to face-to-face instruction in the 2021-2022 school year, but SSISD stands prepared to return to remote teaching if necessary. Regardless of the method, SSISD will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other conditions, including student health and food services.
SSISD will continue to ensure services to address students’ academic needs through its traditional programs in addition to those stemming from specific conditions caused by the pandemic. More specifically, SSISD will address the educational impact of lost instructional time by implementing evidence-based interventions such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year.
Specific programs include expenditures for a math interventionist, virtual teachers for the prior year, our Reading Academy, the “Sharon Wells Math” intervention program, “Do the Math” intervention program, computers for students, Gomez and Gomez training, Read 180, a comprehensive after school tutorial program, and Capturing Kids’ Hearts program implementation.
SSISD will ensure services address students and staff social, emotional, mental health, and other needs. In addition to traditional programs (counseling and central office support), the district is
ESSER funding for Capturing Kids’ Hearts Training, retention/recruitment stipends for district staff, and an additional social worker.
The district will continue to invest in highly trained nurses for each campus. In addition, they will collaborate with the Local Health Administration to ensure students and staff receive swift and professional guidance concerning any pandemic-related need.
SSISD food service will continue to ensure that they provide students meals. In addition, should the school be required to return to a virtual learning model, the food service will maintain continuity for those in need.
VI. Other Topics
Schools will once again permit visitors on campus per guidelines established pre-COVID-19 pandemic.
b. Health and Hygiene
i. Hand Sanitizer
Schools will provide hand sanitizer in classrooms, offices, and other areas deemed necessary by building administrators.
Students and staff will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer as often as is practical.
ii. Hand Washing
Hand washing will be available in restrooms, breakrooms, and kitchens. Handwashing stations will be
kept clean and equipped with soap approved by the CDC. In addition, though not required by the CDC, hot water will
be available in some locations.
Students and staff will be encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and cover with their elbows if not available. A person’s used tissues go in the trash, and hands should be washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer.
c. Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures
The district is implementing more frequent cleaning practices, including additional cleaning by custodial
staff. The district will implement the following cleaning and disinfecting protocols:
Traditional cleaning practices which include all classroom desktops sprayed with disinfectant nightly
Supplemental cleaning – contact items such as doorknobs, door push bars, lockers, and locker doors, entry/exit doors, and water fountains will be wiped or sprayed with a disinfectant cleaner at least four times daily
Restrooms will be wiped down or sprayed at least four times daily
30 Day “Zoono” Microbe Shield Antimicrobial Surface Protectant – all District facilities and busses
Additional cleaning/wiping down of surfaces by students and staff at their discretion
Reactive cleaning/disinfecting of areas determined to have been heavily used by a person who tested positive for COVID-19
All disinfectants used by SSISD have been approved and recommended by the CDC.
d. Masks/Face Shields and other Personal Protective Equipment
Masks are not required, though students and staff are permitted to wear them.
e. Use of Non-Classroom Spaces
Assemblies, pep rallies, field trips, school carnivals, etc., are permitted and conducted normally.
f. Athletics, Band, and Other Extra/Co-Curricular Activities
All of these types of activities are permitted and will be conducted normally.