Spring 2022 COVID-19 Response Protocols – Updated 3/24/22


Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services (RIPICS) Plan

Introduction

With the latest data and evolving science surrounding COVID-19, we are now in a better position than ever before to fight COVID-19. Throughout this Pandemic, the number of students and staff that have contracted and been exposed to COVID-19 has varied from day to day and month to month. LISD recognizes that the situation surrounding COVID-19 can change rapidly and will continue to monitor its impact in our community. Prevention strategies will be implemented to the largest extent practical to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our students, staff, and community. 

Continuity of Services

  • Academics
    • Students will be engaging in learning experiences that are on-grade level as well as participating in instruction that reinforces essential skills from previous grades/courses.
  • Social Emotional and Mental Health
    • LISD is committed to ensuring the social and emotional health and wellbeing of all students. Direct instruction and support are provided to students in the area of social emotional learning (SEL) and wellness.
    • LISD counselors have been trained in social emotional support and trauma-informed care and continue to train campus staff.
  • Health
    • The health and safety of our staff and students remain our highest priority. While it is not possible to completely eliminate the risk of furthering the spread of COVID-19, this guidance document contains information on the practices LISD will implement to help minimize the likelihood of viral spread. These protocols and guidelines will be modified in collaboration with our local and state entities, while following the State of Texas’s Executive Order. LISD will implement prevention strategies based on the current COVID-19 variant.
  • Food Services
    • All students will receive free breakfast and lunch for the 2021-22 school year.
    • Tables will be sanitized between lunches.

Other Services

  • Special Education/RTI/504
    • Leander ISD will ensure that students with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education. To the greatest extent possible, each student will be provided the specialized instruction, support and related services identified in the student’s RTI plan, individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan. Service provisions will align to all regulations and guidance outlined by the state. Students with disabilities will follow the District guidelines and protocols with special consideration given to meet their individual needs.
      • When we return to in-person instruction, we will work to minimize potential exposure to our most vulnerable students. 
      • Accommodations will be provided to students to ensure their safety while on campus or attending campus based events.
  • Accommodations for children with disabilitie
    • Students who have disabilities will receive the needed accommodations to ensure their safety while they are on campus or attending any campus-related events.

Face-to-Face / In-Person Instruction

The key to returning to successful, sustained in-person instruction will be our commitment to health and safety guidelines (below). In-person instruction will resume on Tuesday, August 12, 2021 

Disease Mitigation Guidelines for Parents, Students, and Staff

Communication with Local Health Officials

Leander ISD has partnered with our local health departments with the intent to follow public health recommendations while also staying within the state of Texas mandates and requirements of the Texas Education Agency (TEA). While continuing to monitor the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Public Health Statement

In this time of uncertainty, we know a school is a place of comfort and consistency for our students. It is important to us that we provide clarity regarding LISD’s COVID-19 Health Response Plan so campus staff may design protocols to protect the safety and health of our students and staff. Campus leaders will work with their staff to ensure the implementation of these guidelines throughout the school year. ~ 2020-2021 LISD COVID-19 Health Response Handbook.

Contact for COVID-19 Related Concerns (Communication)

Prevention: Staff, Students, and Visitor SCREENING PROTOCOL

Screening Protocols

Screening is an activity that campus staff, students, and visitors will conduct prior to entering a Leander ISD facility or bus to identify and temporarily exclude those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, in an effort to maintain a healthy and safe learning/working environment.

Parents are asked to health screen their children prior to coming to school each morning. Students should stay home if they have any indication of symptoms of COVID-19.

Per LISD 2021-2022 Student & Parent Handbook: By sending your child to school, you are attesting that your child has a very low risk of carrying or spreading any disease. We appreciate you partnering with Leander ISD to ensure a healthy environment for all our students and staff.

COVID-19 Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Individuals with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*This list does not include all possible symptoms. 

Arrival/Dismissal (Mitigation)

Disinfection and Hand Washing (Mitigation)

Cleaning Protocols

Transportation

COVID-19 Questions?

Community COVID-19 Vaccinations

LISD promotes/ coordinates with outside agencies to provide vaccination clinics for staff, students, and the community.

Community COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Curative COVID-19 Rapid PCR Testing Trailer located at Gupton Stadium / 200 Gupton Way, Cedar Park.  Book Appointment:  COVID-19 Testing & Health Services | Leander ISD RAPID PCR Trailer | Curative

COVID-19 Standard Response Protocol

Spring 2022 COVID-19 Response Protocols – Updated 3/24/22

Prevention & Mitigation Strategies

These prevention strategies may be layered depending on current data of the most current variant. 

  • Recommendation of mask use
  • Handwashing
  • Social distancing 
  • Contact tracing
  • Isolation & quarantine
  • Vaccine Clinics 

Masks

Masks are optional for staff and students.

Hand Washing

Practice thorough hand washing and remind students to wash their hands as often as possible for 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not feasible.

Physical Distance

Desks may be arranged as needed and students may move between classrooms and teachers.

Visitors

All visitors will be asked to show their ID to be checked into the Raptor Visitor Management system if needing to enter the school.

Restrooms

Normal restroom procedures.

Water Fountains

Normal water fountain use.

Athletics, Fine Arts & Other Extracurricular Activities

No limit on audience/spectators.

Normal play/practice/rehearse procedures.

School Arrival/Dismissal

Follow normal school protocols.

Ventilation

Follow normal ventilation protocols.

Food Service

Normal cafeteria service. Students go through the service line to pick up lunch and milk themselves.

Large Group Gatherings  (Faculty Meetings, Field Days, etc.)

May occur.

Field Trips

May occur.

Out-of-District Travel

May occur.

Library

Normal library procedures.

Clinic Isolation Rooms

Not needed.

School Board & Public Meetings

Meetings are conducted following normal procedures.

  •  If we are notified of an attendee in our meeting testing positive for COVID-19, we are required to report the information to the health department. We will not have local controls in place for contact tracing (such as sign-in sheets, assigned seats, etc.) for public gatherings and Board meetings. Contact tracing would be the requirement of the public health agency. 

Isolation & Quarantine Timeframes

Positive Case

  • Are required to be reported to the local health department
  • Positive individuals are required to:
    • Student: isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms or test date whichever comes first. May return on day 11 if 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without medication: and other symptoms have improved.
    • Staff: isolate for 5 days after the onset of symptoms or test date whichever comes first. May return on day 6 if 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without medication: and other symptoms have improved. Wear a mask upon return for 5 more days.
  • Staff and student are to stay home when awaiting results of a COVID-19 test.

Close Contact/Quarantine

LISD will focus contact tracing efforts on our early childhood students, as these students have not been provided the opportunity to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Contact tracing: If required will be handled by the local health department.

Quarantine: If required will be handled by local health departments.

Communication: Leander ISD will follow the guidance from our local health department regarding communication to the impacted campus community. 

Case Reviews

Case reviews will be done for each reported positive case.

For any student or staff member who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, we ask parents/guardians/staff members to complete the appropriate form below to notify the district.

POSITIVE STAFF REPORTING
Email: [email protected]

Quick Reference Guide

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should:

  • Students:
    • at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without medication, and
    • other symptoms have improved.
  • Employees:
    • Isolate for 5 days after the onset of symptoms or test date whichever came first,
    • at least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without medication, and
    • other symptoms have improved.

Leander ISD will notify the appropriate local health department of probable or lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive as required by the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 81. Communicable Diseases.

Individuals who have a known exposure AND become symptomatic are classified as presumptive positive, unless they are able to provide a negative test or alternative diagnosis.

  • If individual chooses not to test or seek alternate diagnosis, the exposed/symptomatic individual must complete the required isolation period for staff or student.
  • Staff that is classified as presumptive positive MUST provide results of a positive COVID-19 test to receive COVID-19 leave.
  • If a negative test or alternative diagnosis is received, the student/staff must follow the return to school/work policy when out with an illness.

Individuals who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should:

  • Consider isolating to prevent the unintended transmission of the virus to others as recommended by the CDC.
  • Consider seeking medical guidance from your health care provider,
  • Consider testing as recommended by the CDC,
    • Must stay home while awaiting test results

COVID-19 Positive Case Notifications:

  • Leander ISD will notify the appropriate local health department of any probable or lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive as required.
  • Leander ISD will send a notification to staff and families of the impacted campus/department.
  • Leander ISD will utilize the District’s COVID-19 Dashboard as a way to provide transparency to our COVID-19 positive cases with the district facilities.

Masks/Face Coverings:

COVID-19 Vaccines:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are not required for students or employees.
  • Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the CDC, promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  • According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and recommended for all eligible individuals.

    * If you have questions or concerns about receiving the vaccine you are encouraged to reach out to your healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to submit a daily COVID-19 screener?

  • No.
  • Students and staff are asked to do a self screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving to school each day.
  • Parents/Guardians: Per the Leander ISD Student & Parent Handbook By sending your child to school, you are attesting that your child has a very low risk of carrying or spreading any disease. We appreciate you partnering with Leander ISD to ensure a healthy environment for all our students and staff.
  • Staff: By coming to work the employee is attesting that they are free of illness or any symptom/s of a communicable disease.

Can I come to school/work if I have symptoms from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

Some individuals report experiencing mild symptoms 24-48 hours after receiving the vaccine. If you have not had close contact with a known positive case in the previous 14 days, you may come to work with mild symptoms of low-grade fever (below 100.0F), fatigue, headache, chills, and/or muscle or body aches, which is common during the first 48 hours. If symptoms persist for more than 2 days, the employee should isolate and consider testing.

Symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell are NOT consistent with post-vaccination symptoms, and employees with these symptoms or fever >100.0F should isolate and consider testing.

Will I be notified if my child or I (staff) am a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual?

  • Leander ISD will notify the appropriate local health department of a probable or lab-confirmed COVID-19 positive as required by the Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 81. Communicable Diseases.
  • Once the case is reported it will be the responsibility of the local health department to contact trace, identify and contact those individuals that are considered a close contact.
  • Leander ISD will send a notification to staff and families of the impacted campus/department.
  • Leander ISD will utilize the District’s COVID-19 Dashboard as a way to provide transparency to our COVID-19 positive cases within district facilities.

What do I do if I choose to quarantine?

If you choose to quarantine please consider following the CDC guidance on how to quarantine.

  • Student:
    • A virtual learning environment will not be available
    • Student will be responsible for missed work
    • Student may not participate in any Leander ISD sponsored UIL/extra-curricular activities, this includes being a spectator.
      • Example: sporting/fine arts practices, games, or performances
  • Staff:

Is there a virtual learning option available?

  • The state announced it will not fund virtual learning this school year.
  • LISD is offering a remote learning option, capacity is currently full, with a wait list that closed on Aug. 8
  • LISD could consider increasing the capacity for this program, but we need the state to take action and give our families choice within our public schools.

Do employees have to use personal leave if they are diagnosed with COVID-19?

Do employees have to use personal leave if they are a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual? ~ Update: 8/27/21

  • If a person is a close contact of someone that tests positive, we highly recommend they quarantine.
  • If an employee chooses to quarantine, they will use their personal leave time.
  • **Under TEA guidelines, you may continue working so long as rapid testing is performed at the start of the day, at least once every other day until the end of day 10. This is up to the employee to perform and does not need to be reported. ~ Updated 8/27/21