• On-Campus Instruction

    on campus

    Families may choose the Vandals On-Campus model of learning for their child if they prefer their child to attend school in person five days a week. This page was designed to give families a glimpse of what on-campus instruction will look like for 2020-2021. 

    The American Academy of Pediatrics “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” In listening to feedback from our families, we know there are many families in Van ISD who are very much looking forward to their children physically returning to school on-campus when school resumes on September 3, 2020. We also know that there are families who have concerns about their children physically returning to school due to preexisting health conditions or other reasons, which is why online learning that is facilitated by a certified, Van ISD teacher is an important option and will be available. Van ISD will support all families in whatever decision is best for their children.

    Van ISD is continually monitoring community health data and will adjust our plan accordingly. All plans are subject to change. We are sharing these preliminary plans with the understanding that as we get closer to September 3, 2020, plans could change based on conditions. We are committed to keeping all Van ISD families updated and informed of any potential changes to our reopening plans.

    **If COVID19 related issues arise throughout the year, physical campuses may be closed for intermittent periods of time. If a campus is closed for in-person instruction, students at the impacted school will transition to Vandals Online Learning. 


    General Information

    • Van ISD intends to begin On-Campus Instruction on the first day of school for students, September 3, 2020.
       
    • On-Campus Instruction is traditional at-school learning.

    • Students will follow their daily schedule, including all courses selected and/or assigned, as well as extracurricular activities, if applicable.

    • Students who require support and interventions will receive them in-person.

    • Grading guidelines will be similar for Vandals On-Campus and Vandals Online.

    • Students will be required to adhere to ever-evolving Van ISD health and safety expectations established for the safety of students and staff within our schools.

    • TEA Guidelines: Students ages 10 and up will wear face coverings on buses, hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including classrooms, to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. 

    • Additional safety protocols and social distancing will be implemented as recommended for on-campus learning.

    • If a student participating in On-Campus Instruction is diagnosed with COVID-19, that student will immediately be transitioned to Virtual Instruction until all reinstatement requirements are fulfilled, and they are released to come back to school.

    Evolving Student Health Protocols

    The district is following TEA public health guidance for schools.

    • Families will NOT send students to school if they have a lab-confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis or any of the following COVID-19 symptoms: feeling feverish or fever 100.0 or greater, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, headache, chills, sore throat, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea. Families must immediately notify the school if a child has COVID-19 symptoms (described above) or if the student has tested positive for COVID-19.

    • Families must also immediately notify the school if a child has had close contact with a symptomatic individual or an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and the student should not report to campus. After review by the school nurse, the student may be required to remain off-campus for up to a 14-day incubation period. Parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to opt to have their students receive remote instruction for the 14-day incubation period. 

    • TEA Guidelines: Students ages 10 and up will wear face coverings on buses, hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including in classrooms, to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. 

    • Students will follow campus-specific guidelines to support social distancing to the fullest extent possible. 

    • Reminder posters outlining proper protocols will be prominently displayed for all employees and students to follow.

    Evolving Employee Safety Protocols

    The district is following TEA Guidelines.

    • Employees will self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto a Van ISD campus/facility each day. The self-screening should include teachers and staff taking their own temperature. Employees must immediately report to their supervisor if the employee has COVID-19 symptoms (described below) or if the employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

    • Employees will NOT report to a Van ISD facility or campus if they have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms (in a way that is not normal for the employee): feeling feverish or fever 100.0 or greater, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, headache, chills, sore throat, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea.

    • Per TEA Guidelines, any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed above) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system 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 following criteria are met:
        • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
        • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
        • at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
      • 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 three-step set of criteria listed above.

    • Employees must report to their supervisors if they have had close contact (as defined by TEA’s public health guidance) with a symptomatic individual or an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19. After review by Van ISD Health Services, the employee may be required to remain off-campus for up to a 14-day incubation period.   

    • All employees shall know and follow the established protocols to protect themselves and others from COVID-19 to stay safe to stay open. 

    • Employees will practice approved environment cleaning/disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette. 

    • TEA Guidelines: All employees will wear face coverings on buses, hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including in classrooms. Employees will have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that includes hand sanitizer, face coverings, and gloves.

    • Reminder posters outlining proper protocols will be prominently displayed for all employees and students to follow.

    Campus Procedures

    • Van ISD will continue to educate our students, staff, and community members about the importance of frequent hand washing; covering a cough or sneeze; not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth; staying home when sick, and other measures to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

    • Campus administration will provide procedures to best protect employee and student safety in regards to student movement, personal space, physical distancing in community areas, organization of resources, and classroom supplies.

    • Campuses will develop guidelines to minimize large gatherings, including, where appropriate, establishing varying traffic flow patterns for hallways and restroom use during busiest times of the school day.

    • Students will not be allowed to use the water fountain for drinking but can use the water fountains to fill their water bottles.

    Campus Cleaning & Disinfecting

    • The district will create universal signage for all facilities including, but not limited to, signs for the use of face coverings per official orders, social distancing, hand-washing/sanitizing, directional signage for all employees and students.

    • Proper cleaning and disinfecting of school workspaces, and high-traffic areas (e.g., bathrooms, cafeterias, libraries, faculty lounge rooms) will be conducted routinely throughout the day. 

    • Hospital-grade sanitation of the schools will be conducted each evening. 

    • All classrooms will be provided with wipes, cleaner, and hand sanitizer for students to clean their learning surfaces.

    • Hand sanitation stations will be available at designated entrances and other areas throughout the building. Everyone will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene frequently.

    Student Attendance

    • The health and well-being of all students and employees is a priority. If you are sick, stay home, learn from home if you can, and come back to school when you are healthy enough to do so. 

    • Van ISD will not award Perfect Attendance certificates during the 20-21 school year. This may be reviewed in future years.   

    • Attendance-related exemptions are not in effect for the 20-21 school year. This may be reviewed in future years.   

    • As always, contact your campus to report an absence, so we know how to best support your student while they are out sick.

    • If your child is an on-campus learner and has to be quarantined for any reason, they will be switched to the Virtual Instruction model and will not be counted absent as long as virtual attendance requirements are met.

    Meals 

    • All child nutrition staff will use PPE while performing job responsibilities and will be trained to practice health and hygiene regulations.

    • To ensure the safety of students and staff, food delivery services will not be allowed for the first nine weeks. We will reassess the conditions at that time. Campuses will develop procedures for families to drop off lunch to a student if needed.

    • Students will be socially distanced as much as possible during breakfast and lunch.

    • Cafeterias and serving lines will be cleaned between uses.

    Promoting Social Distancing

    • Campuses will follow TEA guidelines to promote social distancing.

    • TEA Guidelines: Teachers will configure the classroom to maximize social distancing. They will utilize desk placement and assigned seating to accommodate social distancing and will limit or eliminate group work in person. Teachers will use furniture for social distancing by identifying spaces as “Do Not Sit” or by other means rather than removing items from classrooms.

    Nurses/Clinic

    • In collaboration with Health Services and guidance from TEA, campuses will implement protocols for students who require additional support from clinic staff, i.e., diabetes, medications, and regular care due to illness or injury, etc.

    • Visits to the school clinic will be for essential services only. 

    • Campuses will utilize the school nurse to provide professional learning for students and employees regarding best practices for health and hygiene.

    Transportation

    • TEA Guidelines: Students ages 10 and up will wear face coverings on buses to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. Face coverings will be available on school buses for students who arrive without them, although students are expected to bring their own face covering. Hand sanitizer will be provided as students enter and exit the bus.

    • In all cases, windows will be lowered to allow for appropriate ventilation (weather permitting). Buses will be disinfected on a daily basis. Family members will be seated together and family groups will be socially distanced as much as possible.  

    • Bus drivers and attendants will wear face coverings in the presence of students. 

    Mental Health and Wellness for Employees

    • There will be a designated contact for employees who need additional support with mental health and well-being.

    • Employees will participate in back-to-school training over health and wellness, and they will have the option to participate in additional opportunities throughout the year.

    Mental Health and Wellness for Students

    • Campuses will provide opportunities for students to seek guidance counseling, whether in-person or online, through their campus counselors.

    • Campuses will provide wellness resources that are easily accessible on campus websites.

    School/Extracurricular Activities

    • Extracurricular activities will follow TEA guidelines, UIL, community health organizations, and other agencies/organizations. 

    • Campuses will determine a schedule for using facility space that adheres to physical distancing guidelines.

    • Records shall be kept of all students and staff who are in attendance at each practice/meeting/rehearsal.

    • Any used equipment will be disinfected before another student uses it. All surfaces in practice/meeting/rehearsal areas will be thoroughly disinfected with VISD-approved solutions throughout and at the end of each day. 

    • Sharing water or food is prohibited.

     


    FAQs

    ON-CAMPUS LEARNING FAQs:

    Will students be socially distant at lunch?
    Students will be socially distanced as much as possible.  

    How will morning drop-off be socially distanced? 

    • Students arriving at school will be allowed to social distance and spread out in larger common spaces (pre-designated by the campus, like the gym, library and cafeteria) until the bell rings to report to class.
    • Parents are encouraged to drop their child off at school to reduce possible virus exposure.
    • Students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the building.

    Will students over 10 be required to wear a mask?
    The use of face coverings will be determined from the guidance of various agencies including the Department of State Health Services, NET Health, and/or executive orders from state and county leaders. At this time, face coverings will be required for all staff and all students ages 10 and up. Face coverings for students younger than 10 years old will be optional but encouraged, in hallways, common areas, and during arrival and dismissal. This could change depending on future guidance. Students will have the option to wear face coverings even when not required.

    Will masks be required on buses?
    Mask requirements for buses will follow mask requirements for school buildings.

    Will there be social distancing on the school buses?
    TEA Guidelines: Students in grades PK-12 will wear face coverings on buses, hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including in classrooms, to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. This applies to both school (indoor and outdoor) and bus settings. Face coverings will be available on school buses for students who arrive without them, although students are expected to bring their own face covering. Hand sanitizer will be provided as students enter and exit the bus. In all cases, windows will be lowered to allow for appropriate ventilation (weather permitting). Buses will be disinfected on a daily basis. Family members will be seated together and socially distanced from other family groups as much as possible.  

    Will face masks/coverings have a dress code?
    Yes. Masks and face coverings should follow the general dress code regulations (ie nothing considered gang-related, lewd, offensive, vulgar, obscene, advertise or depict tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, drugs, or any other substance that can be associated with drug or substance abuse or be sexually suggestive.)

    Will class sizes be smaller?
    We anticipate class sizes will be smaller due to the virtual learning option this year.

    Will desks be cleaned between students who change classes? 
    Yes. Clorox wipes will be used to clean desks between each student.

    Will PE and recess still be a part of daily school life? 
    Yes. Outdoor play and learning will be encouraged as public health conditions allow. Students will be required to wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon re-entry to the building. Per CDC guidance, playground equipment will not be cleaned as part of the daily sanitizing protocol.

    How will electives be handled? Will my child be able to participate in those classes? Will there be additional restrictions in classes that require more hands-on activities?
    Yes, elective classes will be offered with appropriate restrictions in place.

    If staff is absent for any reason, will substitute staff be updated with the new procedures and training?
    Yes. Substitute teachers will be trained on Van ISD COVID protocols and procedures.

    Will parents be notified if their child comes in contact with someone who tests positive with COVID19? 
    Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on-campus activities. If a positive case is identified for a school participant (student or employee), the district will identify and notify any individuals who had regular or close contact with the affected participant. This may include the entire class (students, teachers, staff). These individuals may be required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to in-person school.

    If there is a spike in cases within the school district, will the entire district switch to virtual learning?
    It is the intention of Van ISD to offer in-person instruction as much as possible; however, local and state guidance will always be followed.

    Will parents be screened for COVID19 if they have to come to school for any reason?
    Parents will complete a screening process and will only be allowed in office areas and will not be allowed in student areas.

    Can my child switch to virtual instruction from on-campus instruction?
    Yes. Van ISD is asking students to commit to an instructional model for 9 weeks. Students may switch to a different instructional model at the end of a 9 week period.

    ILLNESS, ABSENCES & ATTENDANCE FAQs:

    What do attendance requirements look like if my student has to switch to online learning?
    In order for online students to be counted present each day, they must log in to their learning management system (LMS) before 11:59 pm each school day and complete one of the following:

    1. Daily progress in the Learning Management System (LMS) as defined in the Van ISD learning plan; or
    2. Daily progress via teacher-student interactions as defined in the Van ISD learning plan; or
    3. Completion/submission of assignments from student to teacher (potentially via email, online, or mail).

    What will be done if a student, staff, or faculty member comes to school and begins running a fever at some point during the day in addition to exhibiting symptoms of COVID19? 
    In the case of a staff member, they will be sent home immediately. In the case of a student, they will be held in the nurse's office until their parent or guardian arrives to take them home. Parents/guardians are asked to pick up ill students within one hour of notification by school personnel and should have alternate arrangements if they are unable to pick up their child within that time frame. Areas used by the student or staff member with fever will be cleaned as soon as feasible.

    If a child goes to the nurse and has a fever, will it automatically be assumed the child has COVID19? What about other viruses and illnesses that come with fever? 
    No assumptions will be made and school nurses do not diagnose illnesses. As always, any child with a fever will be sent home.

    When a child is sent home, is a doctor’s note required before they can come back to school, or is an at-home quarantine period an option? 

    • Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
      • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
      • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
      • at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
      • In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
    • 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 three-step set of 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 (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

    What do I do if my child comes in close contact with someone who had a confirmed case of COVID19?
    Individuals including students, teachers, staff or other campus visitors/volunteers who have had close contact with someone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 should not be allowed on campus during the incubation period. Van ISD school nurses will screen individuals after the incubation period has concluded, and if the individual did not experience COVID-19 symptoms during that period, the individual can be allowed back on campus. If the individual experienced symptoms, they must stay at home until the conditions outlined above have been met. 

    We expect parents/caregivers to keep sick children at home. If a student is exposed to COVID-19 through close contact, a parent/caregiver must call the school to report. The student should not report to campus. After review by the school nurse, the student may be required to remain off-campus for up to a 14-day incubation period; in that case, parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to opt to have their students receive remote instruction for the 14-day incubation period in order to promote student learning.

    Every campus will have a nurse/administrator who will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures and then work with the families and staff to determine the next steps based on guidance from the TEA, CDC, and local health officials.

    As more is learned about COVID-19, we expect that there may be changes to this health guidance, and we will keep our families informed.

    How is the school going to deal with absences due to COVID19 on top of all the other illnesses students experience during the school year? Will there be additional sick days allowed this year or exceptions to the attendance rule? How will absences affect my child if they develop COVID19 or have to quarantine because of close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID19?
    The same compulsory attendance rules apply; however, if your child is an on-campus learner and has to be quarantined for any reason, they would be switched to the Virtual Instruction model and would not be counted absent if virtual attendance requirements are met.

    If one student tests positive for COVID-19, does that mean the teacher and the rest of the class have to quarantine for 14 days? 
    It depends on the situation. Every campus will have a nurse/administrator who will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures. Families and employees will be notified, and the school will then work with the families and staff to determine the next steps based on TEA public health guidance for schools, the CDC, and local health officials.  

    • Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (feeling feverish, fever of 100.0 or more, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, headache, chills, sore throat, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
      • at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
      • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
      • at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
      • In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
      • 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 three-step set of criteria listed above.

    If a student or staff member on campus tests positive for COVID-19, will the building be shut down?
    Van ISD will follow guidance from TEA, as well as local, state, and federal health officials. At a minimum, the building will be deep cleaned and sanitized. Steps will be taken to trace contact and to notify staff and families about possible exposure to the virus and to screen for symptoms. A decision to close the campus will be made in conjunction with health officials and the district’s Emergency and Risk Management team.

    Who will be responsible for helping students keep their face coverings on when in school?
    All school staff will work to educate the students about the importance of wearing a face-covering in situations where adequate social distancing cannot be achieved. We ask that families work with their children at home to practice wearing a face covering and also to stress the importance of wearing a face-covering to keep everyone healthy. Van ISD will do our best to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control, Texas Education Agency, and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, but we cannot guarantee that all students will be 6 feet apart at all times of the day, including in the classroom. We expect our students to play an active role in adhering to these guidelines established for the safety of students and staff within our schools.

    Will students’ temperatures be checked daily at school?
    No. Temperature checks of asymptomatic students at school are not recommended. All nurses are being provided with updates on a regular basis and receive guidance on screening and evaluation protocols. All staff and students participating in Vandals On-campus will commit to conducting a daily COVID-19 screening at home, which will include temperature checks, prior to entering a Van ISD campus/facility. Reminders will be posted at building entrances.

    Will the district be using plexiglass dividers between desks?
    Our facilities team is looking at every classroom space to determine the best way to create social distancing among students, including rearranging desks and tables. Classrooms will have different configurations based on student capacity and square footage. Dividers will be used in areas where it is difficult to create appropriate social distancing like reception desks, sink areas, and some cafeteria tables.

    What other health precautions will be in place?

    • Van ISD will continue to educate our students, staff, and community members about the importance of frequent hand-washing; covering a cough or sneeze; not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth; staying home when sick, and other measures to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.
    • Van ISD will provide extra cleaning, including disinfecting every bus and room daily. Teachers will set up procedures for cleaning the classroom during the day. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed on every campus, and additional equipment will be provided in high traffic areas.
    • Students will not be allowed to use the water fountain for drinking but can use the water fountains to fill their water bottles. Disinfectant wipes will be available for students and/or staff to use on the bus and in the classroom. Campuses will implement procedures to minimize hallway traffic.
    • We will create universal signage for all facilities including, but not limited to, signs for the use of face coverings per official orders, social distancing, hand-washing/sanitizing, directional signage for all staff, students, and visitors when they are permitted to be on campuses.

    How will immune-compromised students be accommodated? 
    Students with health-related issues who do not feel comfortable participating in Vandals On-Campus may choose to attend Vandals Online learning that is facilitated by a certified Van ISD teacher.

    Will campuses be required to have a quarantine space for students who show symptoms while at school?
    Yes, every campus will have a designated quarantine area where students will wait to be picked up. 

    What supplies are allowed to be used for cleaning/disinfecting purposes?
    The district will use Environmental Protection Agency-approved disposable wipes and cleaning solutions. Our cleaning agents are peroxide-based and low odor.