Austin ISD on campus COVID-19 plan

Austin ISD is gearing up to start its phased re-entry of students on campus next month.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Austin ISD is getting ready to start phasing students back to campuses district-wide, school administrators are providing a glimpse to parents and guardians of what that will look like.

On Thursday night, AISD Superintendent Stephanie S. Elizalde sent out the latest version of its back-to-school “Open for Learning Plan.”

“I have been so impressed by the creativity, resilience and flexibility I’ve witnessed in our remote classrooms over the past few weeks,” she said in a letter to parents. “As we celebrate a successful virtual launch of this new school year, we are also preparing for the next four weeks of school when we will begin to welcome students on campus in a phased-in approach. Thanks to the collaborative effort among students, staff, families and our community, I am confident we are well-prepared for the next stage in our reopening process.”

Some of the new materials include:

Second Four Weeks of School (Oct. 5 – Oct. 30) 

Students will be phased-in during the second four weeks

Austin ISD is aligned with the Austin Public Health Interim Guidance for Reopening Schools Weeks 5 and 6 will allow for 25% building capacity (aligns with stage 4 of APH) Weeks 7 and 8 will allow for 50% building capacity (aligns with stage 3 of APH) 

Campuses are using survey results to design on-campus learning High School students have a hybrid option On-campus teachers will provide a blended learning experience for students who return for in-person school 

On-campus Learning Beginning Oct. 5 

Instructional delivery may vary from campus to campus Safety protocols and the number of students who return for on-campus learning will inform the level of interactivity between students and between teacher and students on campus Middle schools may implement a hybrid model is warranted by the number of students that return for on-campus learning

RELATED: Austin ISD to continue with original phase-in plan after discussing other options

Early Childhood Education 

Both on- and off-campus remote learning will be available for students Early childhood students will only be on Zoom for a maximum of 15-30 continuous minutes at one time Zoom sessions will provide both whole group and small group opportunities 

Participation in UIL Activities 

Student-athletes are allowed to wear gaiters in place of face masks 

On- and Off-Campus Activities and School-Wide Events 

As access to technology allows, parent/guardian meetings will be held remotely Off-campus walking field trips to adjacent nature spaces are allowed

Community Learning Spaces 

Community Learning Space is a space where a student receives in-person supervision and access to digital resources and other learning supports Community Learning Spaces are not monitored, managed or sponsored by Austin ISD staff 

Afterschool Learning Opportunities 

Austin ISD partners with a variety of groups to provide safe, enriching, and structured learning experiences for all students after school 

Physical Environment – Safety Protocols 

Air scrubbers for air circulation were installed in large corridors at schools HEPA air filters were installed in campus administrative spaces and health rooms Filters in all HVAC systems across schools have been replaced The Rapid HVAC Filter Replacement Program is in place to address timely filter replacement needs 

RELATED: LIST: Confirmed COVID-19 cases by school district

Social Distancing Measures 

Social distancing measures implemented in each classroom will depend on the number of students who return for on-campus learning and the size of the classroom 

Both students and adults will have a series of screening questions Student screening questions will differ slightly from adult screening questions

Responding to a Lab-Confirmed Case at a School 

Students and staff will be required to quarantine for 14 days if they have had close contact or primary exposure with an affected school member 

Criteria for Returning to School or Work of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19 

Students and staff will provide documentation to be cleared to return to campus 

RELATED: Low enrollment numbers reported at Central Texas school districts; thousands of pre-K and kindergarten students missing

Understanding the Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine 

Isolation and quarantine help protect our Austin ISD communityIsolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick 

Students will have a temperature screen prior to boarding the school bus Parents/guardians will be responsible for transporting students home who become sick or do not pass a screening check at school 

Lunch will be served either in the classroom or the cafeteria

The 53-page plan can be read in full here.

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