District officials brief trustees on coronavirus response plan

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While as of March 12 there are no reported coronavirus cases in Dallas ISD, the district has detailed plans in place to address the virus if the threat escalates.

Dallas ISD officials today briefed trustees on the district’s coronavirus response plan that has been in development for several weeks. From deep cleaning and disinfecting all district facilities over spring break to a learning contingency plan if schools have to close after spring break, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said the district has proactively prepared to respond to the coronavirus threat.

“The (virus) is evolving. All of this is situational and we will continue monitoring,” he told trustees. “But we are ready to pivot at a moment’s notice.”

Up to 14 days of paid emergency leave–which does not deduct from paid time off–will be available to hourly and salaried employees who are potentially exposed to coronavirus. Staff members requiring quarantine protocols to be enacted due to travel or exposure should remain at home and contact their supervisor, who will work with the Dallas ISD Benefits Department to activate emergency leave.

If any schools or the district has to close due to the coronavirus, there are plans in place to ensure learning continues at home. Thanks to one-to-one devices, students in grades 6-12 could take online classes at home. The district is providing students in grades pre-k–5 with activities and lessons they could complete from home if classes are cancelled after spring break.

Meanwhile, Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services is working on a plan to ensure that, in the event of schools or district closure, meals will still be available to students. The plan is still being finalized and more details will be provided soon.

Hinojosa said he should know more by Thursday, March 19 regarding any potential school closures caused by the coronavirus. The district’s coronavirus information page and social media pages will be updated with any new information.

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