On-Campus Instruction

Comal Parent Central Home ButtonComal ISD is committed to providing students the opportunity to attend school and receive on-campus instruction during the 2020-21 school year. While there are some changes in the way campuses operate due to COVID-19, our goal is for the on-campus experience to mirror previous years as closely as possible.

The health and safety of students and staff is our priority

Girl on RockwallComal ISD has developed a health and safety plan based on current state and local guidance (which is subject to change) and research regarding the spread of COVID-19 with the following strategies:

    • Monitor symptoms and exposure through daily health screenings and case management 
    • Promote personal hygiene practices  
    • Social distance to mitigate viral spread 
    • Clean facilities to ensure a safe environment for our campus communities  
 

We know you have a lot of questions

As you consider which method of instruction is best for your child, we know you have questions. We have received hundreds of questions about what On-Campus Instruction should look like this school year. Below we have compiled and responded to some of the most commonly asked questions. We encourage you to review them to make your choice of instructional delivery.
 

On-Campus

Health and safety guidelines have been amended to allow parent and teacher choice with regards face coverings. The quarantine protocols will still be in effect for individuals who are not properly masked so staff will continue to strongly recommend the use of face coverings.
The use of a face coverings minimizes the risk of viral spread on campus which reduces the number of positive cases we will see stem from exposure on campus. Face coverings are critical in common areas of the building where an individual may cough or sneeze, and another individual may come in contact with respiratory droplets. When combined with frequent cleaning practices and good hand hygiene practices, face coverings are our best defense in keeping our schools open.
In accordance with TEA guidelines, all staff, students and visitors are required to complete a health screener before entering the building to verify the absence of COVID-19 related symptoms and that they have not been in contact with anyone who has tested positive within the last 14 days. Staff, students and visitors can complete the digital health screener or complete a paper copy of the screener in the front office of each campus.
No, we will not take temperatures of students as they enter the building.
Every classroom has hand sanitizer available. In addition, sanitizing stations are placed at all building entrances and throughout the hallways. Sanitizer use is supervised at the elementary level to ensure student safety. 

On-Campus Day-to-day Operations

Yes, students change classes as in previous years. Options of rotating teachers are being discussed and may be initiated where feasible. 

Students still have outdoor play time each day, weather permitting. However, to maintain social distancing between classes, not every class may be able to utilize the playground areas each day. Each campus has developed a schedule for use of outdoor spaces.  
Campuses rotate students through lunch periods to facilitate social distancing while in the serving line and seating areas. Serving and seating areas are cleaned between lunch periods. All food served to students will be in closed containers and be handed to students instead of available for self-service. 
Each campus has established a schedule that allows for classes to attend specials with their assigned class groups. Specials' class set up and attendance frequency is dependent on space capacity and class size at each campus.
Our goal is for classroom instruction to mirror previous years as closely as possible while also realizing some modifications may need to be made for safety and health. Teachers have the flexibility within safety guidelines to provide active learning opportunities as much as possible. Music class, PE, other specials classes, and recess, etc. are still being offered, but may look different based on guidelines from the Texas Education Agency.
While interaction will be limited due to health and safety guidelines concerning exposure and spread of the virus implemented by TEA, each campus has created a schedule based on their unique set up, space capacities and class sizes to utilize common areas and allow for safe interactions when possible. In accordance with TEA guidelines, any student who is determined to be a close contact to a lab-confirmed positive case may not return to campus until after 10 days have passed since the date of exposure. Therefore, interactions between groups is limited to ensure minimal impact of a positive case. 
Common classroom supplies such as art supplies, manipulatives, etc. are minimized to only items that can be cleaned between use. Each student is required to have their own set of basic classroom supplies that are stored in a closed container that can be cleaned at the end of the day.  
Yes, students can bring their own technology to school for instructional use.
Handling Cases
Health screener submissions are checked daily to determine if an individual must be sent home and when they are allowed to return according to criteria established by TEA. In addition, there is specific information delivered to impacted individuals, buildings and general communication to the campus as required by TEA. Information about the number of current open cases on each campus can be found on the District COVID-19 Active Case Dashboard.
Any student who presents with symptoms during the day will be screened by the campus nurse and, if needed, moved to the identified isolation area on campus to wait for parent/guardian pick up. The Comal ISD Case Management Process includes communication to parents about criteria to return to the building as well as communication to the campus community. 
Comal ISD will apply TEA guidelines as part of the COVID-19 Case Management Process. Once a case has been confirmed that impacts the campus, all staff and families will be notified of the case.

Individuals who have had close contact with someone who has a lab-confirmed case may return:
  • 10 days after their date of exposure, if no symptoms have developed
  • Seven (7) days after their date of exposure if they receive a negative test result taken after day five, and no symptoms have developed
  • If symptoms develop at any point during quarantine, individuals will need to remain off campus for 14 days after their date of exposure
 
Close contact” with an individual who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 is defined as:
  • Being directly exposed to infectious secretions (i.e. being coughed or sneezed on); or
  • Being within six feet for a largely uninterrupted period throughout the course of a day totaling approximately 15 minutes. If an individual is properly masked, they are not considered to be in close contact.
 
Properly Masked includes:
  • Wearing a medical or non-medical grade disposable or cloth face covering that covers the mouth and nose
  • Wearing the face covering for the entire duration of the contact time period
  • Face shields (when worn alone) and neck gaiters do not eliminate an individual from being considered a close contact
 
It may be impractical for students to wear face coverings while participating in some activities such as: eating or drinking, actively exercising, or engaging in athletic or other extra-curricular activities. In these situations, anyone within six feet for more than 15 minutes will be considered a close contact and will need to quarantine for the 14-day viral incubation period.
 
If an individual develops symptoms during that time, they should seek medical attention and inform their doctor of their status as a close contact to a lab-confirmed individual. They will still be required to remain off campus for the duration of the 14-day incubation period as COVID-related symptoms may begin to develop or worsen at any point during that timeframe.
 
Transportation
In accordance with Federal Order, all students and staff members must wear face coverings when riding the bus as distancing measures cannot be adequately maintained.
Due to space restrictions and ridership capacities, students will likely not be able to social distance while riding the bus. When possible, parents are encouraged to take their children to school or carpool to reduce possible virus exposure on the bus.
All buses are cleaned between routes, focusing on high-touch surfaces such as seats, door handles, steering wheels, etc. During cleaning, and when possible during transport, windows are open to allow for additional ventilation and air flow. 
 
In addition, all staff and students are required to use hand sanitizer when they board the bus.