• Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
    August 2020 Return to School Plan

    Table of Contents

     

     

    Overview


    With Governor Abbott’s announcement that Texas students will return to school in person in the fall, school districts are tasked with developing instructional models and protocols to address the safe return to school for students and staff. HEB ISD formed a committee of central office staff, principals, counselors, teachers, health services, and auxiliary support staff working to design multiple models to address the return to school. Based on the work of the committee, the Educational Operations Division is recommending Board consideration of the following two models:

    1. Traditional School (TS) with Strict Safety Protocols
    2. Online Learning Option (OLO)

    The situation with COVID-19 is continuously changing, as are the protocols and measures needed to keep students and staff safe. Plans will remain flexible to accommodate potential changes and these guidelines may be modified as needed. As adjustments may be necessary throughout the coming school year, it will be our priority to keep the community informed of those changes and updates. The HEB ISD website will provide you with the most up-to-date information.

    Update (07/30/2020)

    On July 21, 2020, the Tarrant County Public Health Department issued an order stating school districts shall not reopen for on-campus, face-to-face instruction or activities until September 28, 2020. [After additional changes in guidance from state and local officials, this date is now September 8, 2020.] At that time, HEB ISD began the process of converting all classes and teachers to online instruction for the first six weeks of school.

    On July 28, 2020, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance that local health authorities may not issue sweeping orders closing schools for the sole purpose of preventing future COVID-19 infections. Rather, their role is limited by statute to addressing specific, actual outbreaks of disease.

    Since May, our staff has used valuable time and resources working on multiple scenarios for the start to school, only to be told there is yet another change in direction by state or local officials. We have run out of time to respond to weekly changes in guidance. With the start of school just around the corner, and the clarification that decisions on reopening schools rest with local leaders, this will be HEB ISD’s final plan for the start of school.

    Start of School 2020

    The first day of instruction for HEB ISD will be August 18, 2020. All students will begin the school year with three weeks of online instruction. Students will access their classes through the HEB ISD Classlink site. Detailed instructions on how to access online learning will be shared with parents and students prior to the start of school. All students will have a defined online schedule they will follow each school day. Attendance will be taken every day and each student will be required to upload his/her work daily through Canvas, HEB ISD’s Learning Management System (LMS).

    Beginning on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, students who selected TS (face-to-face instruction) during online registration will begin reporting to their campus each day. Students who selected OLO during online registration will continue in their current classes online.

    Parents and families, please note that due to the fluid nature of COVID-19 and the effects on students and families, we do anticipate movement between TS and OLO. HEB ISD will do its best to maintain a consistent schedule for students; however, unprecedented schedule changes and teacher changes may occur during the school year in order to respond to student enrollment needs.

    Why a three week online period?

    Due to the consistent changes to the return to school, guidance by state officials: Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Tarrant County Public Health Department, HEB ISD has had to adjust its Return to Learn Plan multiple times. The district has determined a three-week online only time period is necessary to train our staff and prepare our facilities to support the health and safety of our students and staff. During this time period, the district will implement and rehearse safety protocols and facilitate student schedule adjustments.

    Device Distribution

    Each student in the district will need access to a device to effectively participate in online instruction. The district does not consider a cell phone an appropriate device to access online learning. Last spring during the emergency closure, HEB ISD distributed devices to students who did not have access to a device at home. However, due to limited resources, the district was only able to issue one device per family at that time.

    Many of our students used their own devices last year and those students may continue that practice. However, for students who wish to borrow an HEB ISD device, campuses will be contacting all students with device pickup procedures. Campuses will be issuing iPads to students in grades PK-2 and chromebooks/laptops to students in grades 3-12. Parents will be required to sign a user agreement and will be responsible for the full replacement value of each device that is borrowed.

     

    Traditional School

    Option A: Traditional School (TS) with Strict Safety Protocols

    Students participating in TS will be required to adhere to strict district protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 inside our school buildings. The following protocols are recommended for the return to TS:

    Social Distancing

    • HEB ISD will follow social distancing protocols to the maximum extent possible in all classrooms, hallways, and common areas. It may not be possible to observe the six feet distancing recommendation based on class size and classroom configurations. Students, however, will be seated as far apart as possible and student-to-student interaction will be limited.
    • All staff will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • All students will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • Classrooms will be arranged to maintain the six feet social distancing recommendation to the maximum extent possible. Desks will be arranged so that students are facing the same direction.
    • There will be restricted use of the cafeteria during dining periods, which will require campuses to use larger common areas as well as classrooms. Individually packaged meals will be served from a kiosk or the cafeteria serving line.
    • Until COVID-19 conditions dramatically improve, there will be no large gatherings. Congregating in any area on campuses will not be allowed.
    • Hallways will be marked with a center stripe to promote social distancing of students during transition periods. Students will be required to stay to the far right when moving through hallways. There will be no stopping or congregating in hallways.
    • Visual and Performing Arts, PE/Athletics, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Special Education staff will be required to follow a district-approved plan to accommodate student participation while addressing health and safety concerns.
    • Participation in extracurricular activities on campus must align with University Interscholastic League (UIL) and non-UIL activities guidance.
      Links to these documents will be posted on the district website. See: COVID-19 Information & Updates on the UIL website
    • All classroom teachers will maintain a current seating chart. The seating chart must be on file with the home campus per Tarrant County Public Health.

    Arrival and Dismissal

    • Arrival and dismissal procedures will be in place to reduce the opportunity for students to congregate before or after school.
      • Campus AM student arrival times will be posted to ensure the buildings are open and staff is ready to receive students. Parents will be asked not to drop off students early. 
      • Upon arrival at school, students must immediately report to their first class of the day.
      • Upon dismissal, all students must leave the campus immediately.
      • Students involved in after-school activities must report to their designated areas within ten minutes of dismissal.

    Extracurricular Participation

    • Students and staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • All participants, coaches and directors will follow rules established by the UIL, TEA, and local health orders.
    • UIL guidance can be found on the UIL Website. See: COVID-19 Information & Updates on the UIL website
    • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UIL has waived the annual requirement of a pre-participation physical examination for students participating in athletics and band for the 2020-2021 school year provided a valid physical is on file from the 2019-2020 school year. New students and students who do not have a valid physical on file from the 2019-2020 school year, must have a pre-participation physical examination completed before participating in athletics and band for the 2020-2021 school year.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Personal Hygiene

    • All students will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • Each campus shall review health and hygiene practices with all students. This should include handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and the use and disposal of tissues and PPE.
    • Each campus will have soap available in restrooms and encourage students to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds, at least two times a day, in addition to washing hands after using the restroom and before eating.
    • Each classroom will be supplied with hand sanitizer and paper towels.
    • Students will be required to sanitize their hands upon entry into the classroom.
    • Each student and staff member will be issued a mask and a face shield.
      • Any individual entering a district facility or boarding a district bus must have a mask in place, covering both the nose and mouth.
      • For all staff and students, face shields may be worn in conjunction with masks, but are never a substitute for the mask unless the student or staff member has a documented medical exemption.
      • When on district property, masks must be worn at all times, covering both the nose and mouth, with the exception of breakfast/lunch and other limited situations, such as athletics.
      • Schools are required to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order GA-29 regarding the wearing of face masks.
      • Consideration may be given to age and developmental level of students.
      • TEA recently announced that PPE will be purchased and provided to each district for use, as needed.
        • HEB ISD will receive:
          210,192 disposable masks
          52,572 reusable masks
          86,572 gloves
          175 thermometers
          2,474 gallons of hand sanitizer
          2,458 adult face shields
        • HEB ISD has purchased:
          40,000 face shields
          484 gallons of hand sanitizer
          100 thermometers
          12,900 disposable masks
          35 backpack electronic sprayers
          12,000 tri-fold student desk shields

    Health Screening

    • Students, staff, or visitors who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, or are ill, should stay home and not enter any district facility.
    • HEB ISD Health Questionnaire: Individuals will be required to respond to the following criteria. A “yes” response indicates they have recently begun experiencing the criteria and is not normal for them.
      • Fever (temperature of 100.0 or greater)
      • Chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
      • Muscle aches
      • Headache
      • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
      • Sore throat/congestion/runny nose
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • International travel in the last 14 days
      • Contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the last 14 days
    • Parents/guardians must assess their student’s health condition daily using the HEB ISD Health Questionnaire. Students answering “yes” to any items on the questionnaire must remain at home.  The parent/guardian should contact the campus nurse for further guidance on return to school.
    • All students will have their temperature taken daily, prior to entering any district facility.
      • Any student who has a temperature of 100.0 or greater will immediately be asked to report to the school clinic. The nurse will wait five minutes and take a second temperature reading.  If the student still maintains a temperature of 100.0 or higher, the nurse will contact the parent/guardian to pick up the student.  Students may return to school when cleared by a health professional, Tarrant County Public Health, or meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) symptom-based criteria.
        • CDC symptom-based criteria: Must be 10 days since the start of symptoms, 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved.
      • All staff members entering a school campus must sign-in each day. When staff members sign-in, they are acknowledging they have taken their temperature and answered “no” to all health questionnaire criteria.
      • Any staff member who answers “yes” to any questionnaire criteria or has a temperature of 100.0 or greater will immediately report to the school clinic. If the forehead temperature was 100.o or greater, the nurse will wait five minutes and take a second temperature reading.  If a staff member still maintains a temperature of 100.o or greater, he/she will be sent home immediately.  Staff members may return to school when cleared by a health professional, Tarrant County Public Health, or meet CDC symptom-based criteria.
      • CDC symptom-based criteria: Must be 10 days since the start of symptoms, 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved.
      • Any individuals–including teachers, staff, students, or other campus visitors–who either are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 or experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed above) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the district designee screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
        • In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the CDC symptom-based criteria are met:
      • Must be 10 days since the start of symptoms, 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved.
        • 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, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same return to school criteria listed above.
        • If the 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 obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return or receive a clearance certificate to return to work from Tarrant County Public Health.
      • Individuals–including students, teachers, staff, or other campus visitors–who have had close contact with someone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, as narrowly defined in this document and as determined by the appropriate public health agency, should stay at home through the 14-day incubation period, and should not be allowed on campus.
        • The district designee will screen individuals after the incubation period has concluded, and if the individual does not experience COVID-19 symptoms during that period, the individual can be allowed back on campus. If the individual experienced symptoms, he/she must stay at home until the conditions outlined above have been met.

    Close Contact

    • This document refers to “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:
      • When you are directly exposed to infectious secretions, such as being coughed on.
      • When you are within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes.
      • If either of the above occurred at any time in the last 14 days, while the infected individual was infectious.
    • Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test.

    Responding to Possible COVID-19 Cases on Campus

    • Campuses must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
    • District staff should clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as is feasible.
    • Students who report feeling feverish should be sent to the appropriate clinic for nurse assessment to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.

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

    • If an individual has been in a district facility and is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the Coordinator of Health Services will notify the Tarrant County Public 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).
    • The district 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, unless more than 7 days have already passed since that person was in a district facility.
    • The district will notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a district facility if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified.
    • The district facility with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case will be cleaned and disinfected with an EPA approved product in accordance with CDC guidelines.
    • If a campus is required to close due to a positive case of COVID-19, students will move to either synchronous or asynchronous online learning during the closure. (refer to Option B for definitions)

    Transportation

    • HEB ISD encourages families to transport or walk with their student(s).
    • Students will not be allowed to board a district bus without a mask in place, covering both the nose and mouth.
    • Failure to comply with the mask requirement will result in loss of bus privileges.
    • Buses will be thoroughly cleaned twice a day.

    Visitors

    • HEB ISD facilities will be closed to outside visitors, except by appointment.
      • Parents may schedule conferences with teachers or an administrator virtually or in-person. Parents will not be able to walk students to the classroom, visit classrooms, or join students for meals. 
      • Approved outside visitors and essential school volunteers will be required to wear a mask prior to entering a district facility. Upon entering the building, visitors must sign-in and then report directly to the office to have their temperature taken; sign-in through Positive Proof; respond to health screening questions; and use hand sanitizer prior to scheduled appointment.  If a visitor has a temperature of 100.o or greater, he/she will be asked to leave the district facility immediately.
      • Additionally, campuses will not be able to host events such as open houses, carnivals, dances, class parties or any event that brings additional people onto campus. As a continuous improvement district, we evaluate new data and information as it becomes available and make decisions accordingly.

    Cleaning and Sanitization

    • HEB ISD has developed a targeted cleaning process that specifically addresses COVID-19.
      • Each district facility will be cleaned daily with EPA approved products in accordance with CDC guidelines.
      • HEB ISD custodial employees have been trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
      • Cleaning and disinfecting will occur nightly in every classroom, common areas and on high-touch surfaces.
      • The state recommends that each school district provide students the opportunity to clean their own spaces before and after they are used in ways that are safe and developmentally appropriate. HEB ISD will provide cleaning materials for students to sanitize their work space.
      • Restrooms, cafeterias, and computer labs will undergo extensive cleaning after each day's use.

    Outdoor Spaces & Playgrounds

    • Outdoor spaces will be used, but playgrounds will be closed.
    • When appropriate, students will gather outside (for instance, during physical education class), rather than inside, because of the likely reduced risk of virus spread outdoors.

    Quarantine

    This term describes the situation where an exposed individual is required to stay at home.

    • Students who are in quarantine will participate in the daily schedule via an electronic medium. Students will follow attendance requirements during that time.  The campus will contact quarantined students to facilitate this requirement.
    • Teachers who are in quarantine and able to work from home will be expected to provide detailed daily lesson plans or teach their full schedule through a live electronic medium each day.

     

     Online Learning Option

    Option B: Online Learning Option (OLO)

    Students participating in OLO due to COVID-19 concerns will have the opportunity to complete all required coursework online.

    Course Delivery and Schedule Options

    • For HEB ISD purposes:
      • Synchronous instruction – requires all participants to be present at the same time, virtually.
        Examples: Live interactive classes with students and teachers participating real-time, teacher supported work time on video conference calls, scheduled and timed online tests.
      • Asynchronous instruction – does not require all participants to be virtually present at the same time.
        Examples: Self-paced online courses with intermittent teacher instruction, pre-assigned work with formative assessments on paper or Learning Management System (LMS), watching pre-recorded videos of instruction with guided support.
    • Students in grades PK-2 will receive asynchronous instruction equivalent to a full day of traditional school instruction. (Students in a half-day PK program will receive the equivalent of a half day of traditional school instruction.) All students will have a defined school schedule and required login times during the school day, which will include some small group synchronous instruction.
    • Students in grades 3-12 will receive synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction equivalent to a full day of traditional school instruction. All students will have a defined school schedule and required login times for each class, each day.
    • All Schools of Choice programs will be offered in both TS and OLO.
    • All pre-AP, AP, and IB classes will be offered in both TS and OLO. Please note that our normal process is still in place regarding sufficient enrollment requirements for any course offerings. If a class does not “make” or if there is a scheduling conflict, students will be contacted with available options.
    • We will continue to offer services to elementary GT students participating in OLO.
    • Students can participate in co-curricular or extracurricular activities while enrolled in OLO, including UIL, clubs, and organizations. No transportation will be provided for OLO students to participate in these activities.
    • CTE courses will be offered online; however, many of the courses offered at the BCTEA will require in-person instruction. Beginning September 8, 2020, students enrolled in OLO will be allowed to attend BCTEA classes in person, during their scheduled period. No transportation will be provided for OLO students to participate in these courses.

    General Information

    • The district will develop a training module to acquaint students and parents with the expectations of online learning, the use of Canvas, an integrated LMS, and tools to become a successful online learner.
    • Students and parents will be required to sign the district’s OLO Agreement in order to participate in OLO.
    • Students wishing to transition from OLO to TS instruction may only do so at the beginning of a six-weeks grading period. Students may request transition from TS to OLO at any time.
    • Temporary changes to grading guidelines and the suspension of GPA ended at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year. Grades, awarding of credit, and GPA will follow the regularly approved and published guidelines as outlined in Board Policy EIA (LOCAL) and EIC (LOCAL). 
    • Students who participate in OLO will take on greater responsibility for their learning; parents will take on greater responsibility as their student’s learning coach by ensuring the student logs into Canvas each day, follows the daily published schedule and regularly monitors student progress. Since OLO for grades PK-2 is required by TEA to be asynchronous, parents must understand they will have an increased role to ensure their student’s academic success. 
    • A draft document with the details of OLO and protocols for returning to TS was provided to parents prior to elementary and secondary registration. This enabled parents to make an informed decision to meet their student’s and/or family’s learning needs for the 2020-2021 school year. 

    Technology Support

    • Students in grades PK-12 will be issued a district-owned device for TS or OLO, if requested.
      • Technology staff will be available from 8:00 m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, to assist students and staff with technology support. As a continuous improvement district, we evaluate new data and information as it becomes available and make schedule adjustments accordingly.
    • HEB ISD will provide “hot spots” for families in need of internet access.

    Staff Information

    • All OLO teachers will be assigned a workspace at an HEB ISD facility and will be required to report to this location daily to complete their job responsibilities and duties.
    • HEB ISD will utilize Canvas to deliver both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Canvas is a robust LMS with logistical tools to assist both the teacher and the students with the following:
      • Integration with Google products
      • Integration with eSchool gradebook
      • Better organization for delivery of content
      • Consistent template for course content
      • Data tracking to monitor the time students spend on assignments
    • The district will develop a training plan to assist staff in the transition to Canvas.

    Attendance Requirements

    • Students in grades PK-2 must participate daily in three hours of asynchronous instruction to be counted as present; students in grades 3-5 must participate daily in three hours of synchronous or asynchronous instruction to be counted present; students in grades 6-12 must participate daily in four hours of synchronous or asynchronous instruction. The 90% attendance rule will be in effect for the 2020-2021 school year. Attendance will be taken daily and submitted to the TEA to draw funding for Average Daily Attendance (ADA).

     

     

    Mandated School Closure Due to COVID-19: Remote Instruction

    • If the Governor or Tarrant County Public Health Department closes all HEB ISD campuses during the 2020-2021 school year, students participating in TS will move to online synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
    • Students enrolled in OLO will experience no disruption or change to their instruction.
    • Students may not request a transfer between TS and OLO during a mandated school closure.

     

     

    Social-Emotional Support/Mental Wellness

    • HEB ISD counselors will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • Counselors will wear a mask when meeting face-to-face with students.
    • Counselors will develop strategies and support for students, families and staff members for each phase of recovery (before reopening, immediately after reopening and long-term support).
    • Counselors will develop a referral system for individuals who need targeted support as well as access to school-employed and community mental health professionals.
    • 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. This should involve conducting psychological triage to determine who needs crisis intervention support through a review of data about students and staff that they received during the closure.
    • Students in need of social-emotional support will be provided tiered interventions which may involve referral for additional school-based services or referral for outside mental health support.

     

     

    Communication Plan “Return to Learn”

    • HEB ISD will continue to inform key stakeholders regularly.
    • The district and campuses will communicate official HEB ISD news using School Messenger, websites, E-news and social media accounts.
    • School Messenger texts will be sent directing all individuals to an important email.
    • The entire plan will be on the HEB ISD website with hyperlinks to each heading throughout the plan.