• 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.