According to the district’s new Covid Mitigation Plan and Protocols on Reopening 2021-22 school year, students/ staff in Devine schools who have had close contact with a person positive for Covid-19 will no longer be required to quarantine or isolate at home. It will be a parent choice. Parents will be notified and the parent can choose to send their children back to school after having exposure or to keep them at home. Masks can be worn by choice, but cannot be mandated at this time.
This new protocol and others were set at the meeting this past Monday night, August 2 with all school board members in attendance.
At the previous meeting, the district defined close contacts as having been within 3 feet of someone with Covid-19 for an hour without masks. Regardless of who is a close contact, there will be no restrictions imposed until symptoms appear or lab test confirmed.
If tested and confirmed positive by the test offered by Devine ISD, that will be considered a lab confirmed test since it is a state approved test issued to Devine ISD by TEA and approved by DSHS according to Devine ISD Superintendent Todd Grandjean.
Desktop dividers and shields used last year will also not be used this year, except by choice. Masks are optional as well.
Grandjean warned and encouraged parents to keep a close eye on the rules and watch for updates on protocols, as they can be changed as needed, or directed, so watch for updates through remind, the website, social media, and news sources.
Here’s a list of other measures the district is taking to keep our kids safe and protocol on reopening for the 2021-22 school year as presented at the meeting:
Introduction and District Priorities
As the concern for the safety and well-being for everyone at the district is our priority, we recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has required our district to collaborate in new ways, examine practices, learn new information and skills, show flexibility in a time of changing information and needs, and make difficult decisions. As we transition to a less restrictive learning environment, DISD is committed to supporting our students and staff, and we are guided by our beliefs that:
● Public education is the keystone of the success of our community.
● All decisions should be made in the best interest of all students.
● Devine ISD is responsible to prepare all students for their future.
● Developing leaders is vital to our success.
● Instruction should be designed on the needs of the learners.
● Community/Parent/Guardian engagement leads to a successful educational experience.
The goal of Devine ISD is to have the reputation for being home to the most inspired students, served by the most dedicated leaders. We believe that this pandemic, through progressive leadership and initiatives, is an opportunity for our organization to lead, grow and serve the students, faculty, and community.
Instructional Information for Families
Devine ISD will be returning to fully face-to-face learning for all DISD students in the fall of 2021. We are excited to welcome all of our students back to campus and will not offer remote learning in any framework. We do understand, however, that some students and families may still be seeking greater flexibility with their education. There are options available outside of Devine ISD to families to continue their student’s education in a virtual setting.
Specific DISDgrade levels were issued a district Chromebook as part of our one-to-one technology initiative. We will continue to provide specific grade levels with a Chromebook. Hotspots may be made available on a very limited lending basis under specific circumstances as long as they remain available to the district through the Texas Education Agency Operation Connectivity. Please contact Devine ISD central office for request/approval of hotspots.
In most cases, learning devices are turned in at the end of the school year for maintenance and upgrades. Any student or staff member who is in possession of a DISD-issued device that is not needed is encouraged to return it to a campus or department. Staff who have a district laptop only need to turn in devices upon separation from the district.
Protocols for Safe and Healthy Schools
As the year progresses, Devine ISD may need to change protocols at any time to address specific needs and circumstances in order to protect the health and safety of students, employees and the community. Devine ISD will continue to seek guidance from governmental agencies including the Medina County District. The district will comply with applicable federal and state employment and disability laws, workplace safety standards, and accessibility standards to address individual needs. Updates to safety protocols will be posted on our website as needed.
Protocols for Screening and Isolation
Neither staff nor students should report to school/work if they have fever or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19. Absences should be reported to the campus or staff supervisor.
For questions regarding attendance procedures, you may contact your campus with questions or review the Student Handbook.
Employee questions regarding absence procedures should be directed to staff supervisors.
If students display symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling feverish, the school nurse will provide a clinical assessment to determine if and when a student needs to be sent home.
If an individual who has been in a school or district facility 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).
Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be permitted to return to school when they have documented the following requirements:
• They are 1 day (24 hours) fever-free without using fever-reducing medication; and
• Improved symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, etc.); and
• 10 days have passed since symptoms began.
Positive cases will be reported to staff and families with children in the same classroom.
Individuals who are a close contact are not required to observe quarantine protocol.
Protocols for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive orders regarding the wearing of masks. As of June 1, 2021 masks are optional for all students and staff. Desktop plastic shields and cafeteria dividers will not be used. However, portable plastic desktop dividers are available upon request.
Protocols for Disinfecting and Hand Washing
Frequent disinfection and hand sanitization will contribute to the positive health and wellness of students and staff.
Hand Washing/Sanitizing Expectations
● Hand sanitizer will be available at the main entry to each campus and district facility as well as in the cafeteria and other common areas.
● Staff and students will be expected to regularly wash or sanitize their hands.
Protocols for Campus Cleaning and Disinfecting
Frequent cleaning and disinfection will support a healthy learning and work environment for students and staff. The district will continue to supply adequate cleaning and disinfectant supplies for all district facilities. Staff will be trained on campus protocols before the first day of school.
Resources for Mental Health
School counselors will provide support to all students through their comprehensive guidance program. This includes working with students through large group instruction and/or working with classroom teachers to meet the personal/social needs of students.
Those students who need more specific mental health support can receive a referral to school-based therapy through their school counselor.