Social and Emotional Well-Being
Together, EPISD and the community can support your child during this challenging time. Counselors and staff will continue to work closely with families and students to help ease the stress they may be experiencing. EPISD staff is here for you and your child(ren). Keeping routines predictable, sharing COVID-19 facts that are age-appropriate, making time to listen and share feelings, and reaching out to us for support are all important.
You can find additional information on TEA Supporting Your Child and Family During COVID-19 (English) / Cómo apoyar a tus hijos y familia durante Covid-19 (Spanish) flyer.
EPISD Mask Policy
Masks include non-medical and medical grade disposable face masks and cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth). Full-face shields may be used in place of a mask to protect eyes, nose, and mouth whenever a mask is not feasible or whenever the educational context may benefit from the ability to see an individual’s full face.
EPISD will comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks.
EPISD is requiring the use of masks and/or face shields for all adults and all grade-level students.
It may be impractical for students to wear masks or face shields while participating in some non-UIL athletic or other extracurricular activities. When it is impractical for students to wear masks or face shields during those activities, schools must require these students to wear masks or face shields when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas and when not actively engaging in those activities. EPISD may, for example, allow students who are actively exercising to remove the masks or face shields, as long as they maintain at least six feet of distance from other students, teachers, and staff. However, campuses must require students, teachers, and staff to wear masks or face shields as they arrange themselves in positions that will allow them to maintain safe distancing.
Campus and Classroom Sanitation Procedures
Campuses will have hand sanitizer at each major entrance (where the highest percentage of students enter) and in every classroom.
Students, teachers, staff, and campus visitors will sanitize and/or wash hands frequently.
All campuses will institute more frequent cleaning practices, including additional cleaning by janitorial staff, as well as provide the opportunity for children to clean their own spaces before and after they are used, in ways that are safe and developmentally appropriate.
Campuses will have additional cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces that are touched in common areas throughout the day. This will include objects such as door handles, common tables/desks, shared supplies such as art supplies, and high touch devices such as shared laptops or tablets.
Teachers and students will clean all of the commonly-touched surfaces in classrooms between different class groups, if the same room will be used by multiple class groups.
When possible, without disrupting the educational experience, students will practice social distancing.
In classroom spaces that allow it, student desks will be a minimum of six feet apart when possible.
In classrooms where students are closer than six feet of one another, schools will plan for more frequent hand washing and/or hand sanitizing and will consider whether increased airflow from the outdoors is possible.
EPISD teachers and staff will be trained specifically on the protocols outlined in this document and the practices adopted by the district.
EPISD will limit in-person staff meetings or other opportunities for adults to congregate in close settings. When those meetings are necessary and cannot be done via electronic means, everyone must follow the mask protocols in this guidance, remain at least six feet apart where feasible and consider whether increased airflow from the outdoors is possible in those settings.
Strict adherence to social distancing policy shall be practiced by all teachers, students, and staff in every campus and district facility. When numbers do not allow for this distancing to occur, EPISD will separate all individuals as much as possible and follow TEA guidelines, such as the use of sanitizer, more frequent hand washing, etc.
Students with Health Conditions
Remote instruction options are available for all students. Parents and families know their child’s needs. EPISD is taking all measures to ensure a safe learning environment. Parents must place their child’s health needs first when selecting which method of instruction they choose, either Remote or In-Person Instruction.
Screening Procedures for Students, Teachers, Staff, and Visitors
All students will be required to self-screen or have their parent/guardian screen for the signs or symptoms for COVID-19 before coming onto campus each day. Symptoms may include any of the following: Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, chills, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting.
Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and instead must receive Remote Instruction until the below conditions for re-entry are met. Parents must have their students receive remote instruction if their child has had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 until the 14-day incubation period has passed.
Teachers and Staff
All teachers and staff are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work each day using the district supplied screener. The self-screening will include all teachers and staff taking their own temperature. Teachers and staff shall report to the school system if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry. Additionally, all teachers and staff must contact their immediate supervisor for further instructions.
Before visitors are allowed on district facilities, EPISD will screen all visitors to determine if they have COVID-19 symptoms, are lab-confirmed with COVID-19 or close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 until the 14-day incubation period has passed, and if so, they must remain off the facilities until they meet the criteria for re-entry.
Conditions for re-entry for Students, Teachers, Staff, and Visitors:
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) has 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.
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:
obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or
obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location (https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/) that comes back negative for COVID-19.
Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases on Campus
Campuses will immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
Campuses will clean all identified areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as possible.
Students who report feeling feverish will be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.
Required Actions if Individuals with Lab-Confirmed Cases have been in School
If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Campuses must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than 7 days have already passed since that person was on campus.
Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, campuses will notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school via the Remind app if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any campus activities.