Castleberry Independent School District COVID-19 Planning Guide (2021-22)
SPANISH TRANSLATION: The full guide is available in Spanish. Click here to access.
TRADUCCIÓN AL ESPAÑOL: La guía completa está disponible en español. Haga clic aquí para ingresar.
The development of this guide is to provide pre-K through grade 12 (K-12) school leaders guidance around policies, practices, and strategies that districts and schools must implement and recommendations they should consider to optimize education and promote health and safety.
Use this guidance document in combination with the additional guidance provided by the Texas Education Agency, which includes both strategies for implementation of health guidance in schools, as well as other non-health related considerations for the 2021-22 school year.
COVID-19 Program Coordinators:
COVID-19 program coordinator - Identify a point of contact for each school building in collaboration with building administration and/or district school nurses. This person will communicate concerns, challenges, and lessons learned related to COVID-19 preventive activities as needed with staff, students/families, school and district leadership, and local health officials.
Castleberry ISD district administrators participate weekly in Judge B. Glen Whitley’s Health Guidance for Tarrant County Schools telephone conference and the Texas Education Agency Superintendent’s telephone conference to learn the latest recommendations to keep students, staff and families within the district safe.
Castleberry ISD Task Force Coordinator: Lenny Lasher (817) 252-2070
COVID-19 Program Coordinator
A.V. Cato Elementary
Joy James Elementary
Irma Marsh Middle School
Castleberry High School
Alternative Learning Center
Social Distancing and Minimizing Exposure:
Social distancing (also called physical distancing) means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home. Social distancing is a critical tool in decreasing the spread of COVID-19.
In this planning scenario, schools should create as much space between individuals as possible during the day, recognizing that it is not always feasible to have 3 feet of social distancing during primary instructional time in the classroom.
- Seating charts will be implemented for all classroom and bus routes and extracurricular trips.
- Place physical barriers such as plexiglass for protection at reception desks, nursing clinics, or other similar areas.
- All staff will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
- All students will be trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
- Develop and keep students and staff in small cohort groups that stay together as much as possible throughout the day and from day to day. Limit mixing between cohort groups as much as possible (e.g., during lunch in the cafeteria, bathroom breaks, arrival and dismissal, free periods, recess, etc.).
- Provide frequent reminders for students and staff to stay at least 3 feet apart from one another when feasible.
- Whenever possible, hold physical education and music classes outside and encourage participants to spread out. Consider using visual cues to demonstrate physical spacing.
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE):
Castleberry ISD is HIGHLY ENCOURAGING mask wearing for the safety of students and staff members. Masks are being provided to anyone who may need one.
Cloth face coverings should not be placed on:
- Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
- Anyone who cannot tolerate a cloth face covering due to developmental, medical, or behavioral health needs.
Personal Hygiene / Campus Clinics:
- Hands are to be washed and sanitized throughout the day as well as pre and post meal times.
- No gloves are to be worn by students at any time.
- No sharing of water bottles.
- ALL touchable surfaces are to be disinfected throughout the day and at the end of the school day.
Respiratory Hygiene/Cough Etiquette:
The following measures to contain respiratory secretions are recommended based on guidance outlined by the CDC for all individuals with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing;
- Use in the nearest waste receptacle to dispose of the tissue after use;
- Perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with non-antimicrobial soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub, or antiseptic handwash) after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.
Cleaning and Materials Handling:
Castleberry ISD has developed a targeted cleaning process that specifically addresses COVID-19.
- Each district facility will be cleaned daily with EPA approved products in accordance with CDC guidelines.
- CISD custodial employees have been trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.
- Cleaning and disinfecting will occur periodically in every classroom, common areas and on high-touch surfaces.
- Restrooms, cafeterias, and computer labs will undergo extensive cleaning throughout the day.
- Increase the frequency of disinfection during high-activity periods during the school day.
- Do not use cleaning products near children. Staff should ensure there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children or themselves from inhaling toxic fumes. Securely store products away from children.
- Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., by dedicating supplies or equipment to individual students) or limit the use of supplies and equipment to one small classroom cohort group at a time, allowing for time to clean and disinfect between uses.
- Record cleaning logs for classrooms, restrooms, locker rooms, and transportation fleet
Castleberry ISD has made ventilation improvements to locker rooms. In addition, UV lighting has been installed in the locker rooms and is scheduled to run nightly.
According to TEA, Improving school Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) has been shown to decrease respiratory-related illness infection rates and positively impact student attendance. This includes reducing rates of COVID-19 but extends to reducing the spread of other respiratory illnesses (common cold, flu, etc.) and reducing the severity of asthma symptoms.
Monitoring and Excluding for Illness:
Regular screening for symptoms and ongoing self-monitoring throughout the school day can help to quickly identify signs of illness and help reduce exposure. Staff and students should be encouraged to self-monitor symptoms throughout the day. Staff or students who develop symptoms during the school day must notify school health services or another identified point of contact in the school building immediately.
COVID Symptoms for Screening:
Note: It’s at the discretion of the campus nurse and/ or athletic trainer to evaluate and decide if the signs and symptoms are COVID related. (Per TEA Public Health Guidance; August 5, 2021)
Shortness of breath or difficult breathing
Loss of taste or smell
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who had a lab confirmed positive case of COVID-19
- In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all four of the following criteria are met:
- At least one day (24 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).
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared or a negative test was produced in which the individual may return on day 8 of the 10 day quarantine period.
- 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 obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.
- Identifying Possible COVID-19 Cases on Campuses:
- Schools must immediately separate any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
- Schools should clean the areas used by the individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school (student, teacher, or staff) as soon as is feasible
- Students who report feeling feverish should be given an immediate temperature check to determine if they are symptomatic for COVID-19.
- Communicate expectations and processes for the symptom screening method(s) selected for staff, students, and families.
Responding to a Positive COVID 19 Case:
CDC definition: To be considered exposed to COVID-19, you need to have prolonged close contact with a person who has the virus. Close contact includes living in the same household, caring for a sick person with the virus, being within 3 feet of a sick person with the virus for at least 15 continuous minutes without the use of a face covering, or being in direct contact with secretions from the sick person.
Castleberry ISD, in partnership with Tarrant County Public Health, has hosted several vaccination clinics in the district to provide eligible students and staff members an opportunity during the day to get vaccinated.
- Summer: Wednesday June 9, 2021 and Wednesday, June 30, 2021
- Fall: Friday, August 30, 2021 and Friday, September 24, 2021
In addition, Castleberry ISD is partnering with Be Well Primary Care to provide a community-based clinic for COVID-19 testing.
As a reference, close contact determinations are generally based on guidance outlined by the CDC, which notes that individuals who are vaccinated are not considered close contacts. Given the data from 2020-21 showing very low COVID-19 transmission rates in a classroom setting and data demonstrating lower transmission rates among children than adults, school systems are not required to conduct COVID-19 contact tracing. If school systems are made aware that a student is a close contact, the school system should notify the student’s parents. Parents of students who are determined to be close contacts of an individual with COVID-19 may opt to keep their students at home during the recommended stay-at-home period. (Per TEA Public Health Guidance; August 5, 2021)
- Contact tracing is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helps protect you, your family, and your community.
- Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by
- Letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested.
- Asking people to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact.
- A student or staff member who is considered a close contact and was wearing a mask and/ or is fully vaccinated (without symptoms) is not required to quarantine. (Definition of fully vaccinated is 14 calendar days after the final vaccine dose)
- A student or staff member who is a close contact and was not wearing a mask and is NOT fully vaccinated (without symptoms) is required to quarantine OR test (with a negative result) each day for five days from the first onset date of sign & symptoms of the close contact.
In accordance with the TEA Public Health Guidance (as of August 19, 2021; revised August 23, 2021):
Staff Who Have COVID-19 or Who are Close Contacts:
Similar to students, school systems must exclude staff from attending school in person who are actively sick with Covid-19, who are suspected of being actively sick with Covid-19, or who have received a positive test result for Covid-19. Staff may return when the re-entry conditions have been met:
For staff who (vaccinated or not) who meet the close contact threshold with a Covid-19 positive individual, it is recommended that the staff remain off campus during the stay-at-home period.
For staff who meet the close contact threshold with the Covid-19 positive individual, if these staff continue to work on campus, rapid testing must be performed at the start of the day, at least once every other day until the end of day 10.
To simplify, staff who are close contact (follow in this order):
- Q: Was the staff member/s wearing a mask?
A: Yes - Not considered close contact
No - Proceed to #2
Note: A student or staff member who is considered a close contact and was wearing a mask and/ or is fully vaccinated (without symptoms) is not required to quarantine. (Definition of fully vaccinated is 14 calendar days after the final vaccine dose)
- Q: Is the staff member vaccinated?
A: Yes - Staff must remain off campus for 10 days OR Staff can continue to work on campus, rapid test must be performed at the start of each day, at least once every other day until the end of day 10.
No-Staff must remain off campus for 10 days OR Staff can continue to work on campus, rapid test must be performed at the start of each day, at least once every other day until the end of day 10.
CDC Close Contact Definition: To be considered exposed to COVID-19, you need to have prolonged close contact with a person who has the virus. Close contact includes living in the same household, caring for a sick person with the virus, being within 3 feet of a sick person with the virus for at least 15 continuous minutes without the use of a face covering, or being in direct contact with secretions from the sick person.
Handling suspected or confirmed positive cases of COVID-19:
- The COVID-19 Program Coordinator will be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns and will help coordinate with the District COVID-19 Program Coordinator (Lenny Lasher) and local health authorities regarding positive COVID-19 cases. All school staff and families should know who this person is and how to contact them.
- Implemented systems will allow staff and families to self-report to the school if they or their student have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test for COVID-19, or had a close exposure to someone with COVID-19 within the last 10 calendar days in a manner that is consistent with applicable law and privacy policies, including with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- A dedicated space for symptomatic individuals will be identified for those who are waiting to go home. The designated space should accommodate social distancing of at least 3 feet for multiple individuals if needed.
- All visitors shall enter the school at the main entrance and check in at the front desk.
- Visitors with a valid purpose for being on the school campus are asked to sign in. The registration sheet shall require the visitor’s full name, person visiting, time in, and time out and the date of entry.
- Parents and guardians will be permitted to come on campus to eat with their children on Fridays only. Note: The only exception is for holiday lunches. (Thanksgiving and Christmas)
- Volunteers will be permitted on district and campuses. All volunteers will need to complete a volunteer form on the CISD website:
- Students must use hand sanitizer while entering the bus.
- Clean and disinfect transportation vehicles regularly, focusing on frequent cleaning of touched surfaces in the vehicle (e.g., surfaces near the driver’s seat, hard seats, door handles, seat belt buckles, light and air controls, doors and windows, grab handles) between routes.
- Spray buses daily (End of the Day)
- Wipe down high touch areas after each route (am & pm)
- Hand Sanitizer will be available on each bus.
- Keep doors and windows open when cleaning the vehicle and between trips to let the vehicles thoroughly air out.
Continuity of Service
Castleberry ISD ensures continuity of learning to support students and families affected by COVID-19 in the following ways:
- Academic - Students in kindergarten through sixth grade are eligible to participate in the district’s Remote Conferencing Program
- Social, Emotional, and Mental well being - All students and staff have access to the RHITHM app, which is used as a wellness check-in tool. The platform selects an ideal 1-3 minute SEL activity/intervention video to regulate well-being based on user given data from a simple emoji assessment. This data is available on dashboards to reflect and connect with as desired at the campus, district/network and state levels.
- Food Services - The Seamless Summer Option provides free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all students attending Castleberry ISD for the 2021-2022 school year.