Our campuses and our district continue to monitor the health and safety of our students and staff as we prepare to move into our second full week. In addition to providing both in-person and virtual learning for our students, our teachers and staff are working to follow cleaning, hand-washing, and social distancing protocols. As the year progresses, and as students begin experiencing various illnesses that may include COVID-like symptoms, we will continue to communicate with parents regarding health matters.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires all Texas school districts to notify parents any time there is a positive case of COVID on their child’s campus. Additionally, we are required to communicate directly with the parents of a child who has had close contact on a district campus with a student who has tested positive for COVID.
If a school has a positive case of COVID on campus, a notification letter will be sent only to the families of students attending that campus. On the elementary level, our district procedure will be to send notification letters home from impacted campuses via Thursday folders. A secondary campus will send notice to parents electronically on Fridays if there is a positive case of COVID on that given campus at any time during a given week.
Each campus has a team comprised of the administration, school nurse, and additional staff members to investigate students or staff who may have had close contact on campus with an individual positively identified to have COVID. TEA defines close contact as:
- being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on); or
- being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes; however, additional factors like case/contact masking (i.e., both the infectious individual and the potential close contact have been consistently and properly masked), ventilation, presence of dividers, and case symptomatology may affect this determination.
As soon as close contact has been established, a separate notification will be provided to any parent whose child had close contact on campus with the individual positively identified to have COVID. This notification will not be sent to all families of a given campus, only those families with a child who had close contact. This letter will provide further direction regarding the need to quarantine as well as return-to-school procedures.
Every investigation for potential close contact is handled on a case-by-case basis, and a campus team’s determination for close contact is based upon information gathered from the student, the student’s teachers, and our communication with local health agencies. A final determination for close contact and the ensuing response is a campus administrative decision based upon the input of the team. If parents do not receive notification of close contact for their child, it has been determined that their student has not been in close contact on campus with an individual positively identified to have COVID.
Per TEA and CDC guidelines, any student determined to have had close contact on campus with another student positively identified to have COVID will be required to quarantine from school for 14 days from the last day of close contact. Students who have been directed to remain home from school are able to continue learning as a virtual student during the days of quarantine. If a student quarantined for close contact has siblings who attend CISD schools, those siblings are not required to quarantine from school as they themselves were not in primary contact with an individual positively identified to have COVID.
Thank you for continuing to monitor your child’s health as we work together to keep all Bobcats healthy and safe.
Superintendent, Celina ISD