With students moving between certain grade levels having the option of on-campus learning starting Monday, Sept. 28 and many other students returning to school the following week, we have compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about on-campus learning.
Visit www.dallasisd.org/reentry for a continually updated FAQ.
Do students and staff have to wear face masks at school?
All students and staff are required to wear face masks at school. Health experts say that mask wearing is one of the most effective tools available to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The district will issue each student and staff member three cloth reusable masks. Students are required to wear masks before boarding buses. Students are required to have a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times. In the classroom, students may wear a face shield over their mask. Teachers may schedule mask breaks by taking students outside and appropriately distance during “mask off” time.
How will recess and eating at the cafeteria work?
When elementary students will engage in recess, classroom teachers may have students switch their face shields for masks, as that may be easier for students in an outside environment. If students are more than 6 ft. apart, masks and/or shields are not required. Whenever they are within 6 ft. of others, masks/shields are required. Students may wear face shields and/or masks to the cafeteria for lunch, whichever works better for the student. The cafeteria tables will have dividers, so masks/shields are not required to be worn during or while eating. Students will only sit on one side of the cafeteria table and should be seated with other students facing in the same direction.
Will students still have specials such as PE, music, gifted and talented classes?
Elementary students will participate in specials such as PE, music, gifted and talented classes and art. Gyms will have appropriate markings of 6 ft for spacing. All classrooms which include music and art will be sprayed weekly with a disinfectant, which is good for 90 days. A campus may opt for its art and music teachers to rotate into home classrooms or students may be taken to the music and art room. These decisions are dependent upon the specific campus space.
How will transportation and school entry procedures work?
All students who take buses to campus will be temperature screened before boarding buses. If their temperature is above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they will not be allowed to board buses. Bus drivers will contact parents to pick them up to return them home. Drivers will not leave students alone at bus pickup locations. The district has provided bus transportation protocols to protect students during transport to and from campus. Students entering a bus are required to wear a mask and sanitize their hands. Bus windows will be opened between routes to increase airflow. Buses will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and all debris removed after bus runs. Students will be encouraged to social distance on buses to the extent possible. Seats will be marked to indicate where students may sit to maintain social distance from others.
What will the school visitor policy be?
Parents are discouraged from entering the campus and will not be allowed beyond the front office area. Volunteers are not allowed to visit campuses at this time (including mentors, college representatives, guest speakers, etc. Virtual tools will be used to conduct meetings such as PTA, ARDs, LPAC, etc. All visitors will be subject to screening by way of a symptom screening form before entering any Dallas ISD facility. All individuals entering buildings will be required to wear face masks.
Will my child stay with the same teacher, regardless of the selected learning model?
Each school has the option to design its classes in ways that work best based for their faculty and enrollment. Some schools may assign teachers to instruct both in-person students and virtual students at various grades. Other schools may assign one teacher for all the virtual students and another teacher for the in-person students. There is a possibility that families who change from in-person to virtual instructional models may find that their student has a different teacher due to the way the instructional program is designed on their campus.
If my child remains in distance learning, will they lose their place at special schools, such as a magnet campus?
No, the student is enrolled in the school and will remain enrolled in the school, so they will not lose their spot.
Do I have to wait until the next nine-week grading period if I decide I want to switch my child from distance to in-person learning?
We are strongly encouraging parents to make the best decision for their child and to stay with that choice throughout the grading period. If family circumstances change, schools will do their best to accommodate, but with all the safety protocols, required safety video and capacity issues campuses are facing, we are trying to make sure we maintain student safety without randomly introducing new students to the school environment.
Do I have to wait until the next nine-week grading period if I decide I want to switch my child from in-person to distance learning?
If your child is attending class in-person and you want to switch them to distance learning, notify the school so they can change it in the system. This is easier to switch to since it does not involve all the additional safety measures.
What safety procedures will be in place at the campuses?
To protect staff and students from the coronavirus or other respiratory viruses, each campus has been equipped with a backpack sprayer and supplies to enable custodians spray classrooms every weekend. The spray is an electrostatic disinfectant that is safe, environmentally friendly and powerful. The product removes and destroys dangerous microorganisms on surfaces and in the environment.
To improve air flow in schools and district buildings, the Maintenance department has increased the schedule for changing air filters. In addition, teachers may open windows to allow outside airflow. Classrooms are also being equipped with air purifiers.
To avoid the spread of coronavirus in elementary classrooms, all elementary schools are providing students with individual plastic bins to store their personal school supplies. Each classroom will be provided with CDC approved disinfectant wipes and disinfectant spray to be clean up spills as needed by the teacher.
All campuses have been supplied with non-contact thermometers, masks, sanitizer and disposable wipes. This PPE was delivered to all schools before the opening of school. All campuses are urged to make these supplies readily available to students and teachers. The lead custodian of every school can order additional supplies as needed from Maintenance and Facility Services.