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April 17, 2020: Message from the Superintendent, Schools Closed for the Remainder of the School Year
Very few challenges facing public education can be called “unprecedented.” Still, “unprecedented” is probably the only word that can describe the effect COVID-19 has had on our family lives, schools, and way of life.
This week President Trump issued new guidelines for “Opening up America Again.” Phase I of those guidelines continue to call for social distancing and schools to remain closed. Similarly, this afternoon, Governor Abbott issued orders for Texas schools to stay closed for the rest of the school year. As a result, Katy ISD will continue to deliver student instruction for the remainder of this school year using the current online teaching and learning model. The District’s free meals program and other supports addressed on our Health Update/ School Closure web page will also continue during this time.
I know that you must have many questions about graduations, summer programs, retrieving items left on campuses, athletics, fine arts and other activities. However, with the evolving guidance and information surrounding COVID-19 in our area, established dates and procedures will inevitably be subject to future adjustment. More information will be released concerning these matters over the coming weeks.
Finally, many of our families are enduring a number of obstacles as we face these circumstances. This dramatic shift in our daily lives has not been easy, and I am truly appreciative of our school community’s commitment to supporting student learning, while protecting the health and safety of Katy ISD children.
My thoughts are with you and your families, and I hope you stay safe and well.
Ken Gregorski, Ed.D., Superintendent
March 31, 2020: Message from the Superintendent, Extension of Closure
Much has changed to our daily lives, and I understand the many challenges our community has been facing in light of COVID-19. With the ever evolving circumstances of the pandemic, we are in the position of rethinking ways of learning and interacting with one another, as well as having to adjust to new practices and timelines. Just this past week, President Trump announced an extension of his administration’s social distancing guidelines through April 30, while today Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order that directs schools to remain closed until May 4. In line with this state order, the temporary closure of Katy ISD facilities will be extended to May 4, 2020 in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Likewise, the District will need to evaluate future initiatives and events such as the Bond 2020, UIL competitions, district events, and high school graduations. With the balance of the school year unclear, we are currently reviewing these items and will release more information about such activities.
Meanwhile, the beginning of April marks week two of our online teaching and learning model. Though it’s been a challenge for all of us as we navigate new territory, I am very proud and truly amazed to see our teachers, families and students engaging and learning through our virtual environments. I know this is different for our school community, but I also know that we are resilient and have always found success working together to set a path forward to overcome the challenges and barriers ahead of us.
Thank you to everyone for your patience, support and kindness toward one another. Should you have any questions about the Katy ISD closure, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Gregorski, Ed.D., Superintendent
March 19, 2019: COVID-19 Testing Site to be at Legacy Stadium - You may be aware from recent media reports that health officials have been working quickly with local entities to establish COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites across the region to make it easier for high-risk residents to get tested. To assist officials in serving the needs of the greater Houston area, Katy ISD has been working with federal and local officials in this endeavor to provide a drive-thru test site at Legacy Stadium that will be open seven days a week, for a minimum of 30 days. The Legacy Stadium site, located at 1830 Katyland Dr, has been designated for testing at-risk individuals with an official notification from a health official. The site will not be set up for random testing. Individuals directed to the site for testing will remain in their vehicles. Tests, which consist of a nasal swab, will be administered by outside health departments. However, medical counseling and services will not be provided at the site. The drive-thru site at Legacy Stadium will be secured by Katy ISD PD, as well as local, state and federal law enforcement in order to manage traffic, and allow individuals possessing a notification from a health official access to the site. The site is not officially operational at this time. However, health officials will notify the public when the site becomes open for business. The situation concerning COVID-19 and our response as a community and school district continues to be very fluid. However, through this national crisis, our priority will always be to do everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our students, families and community. Your ongoing support as we combat this pandemic together is appreciated.
March 18, 2020 - Last week, the District made the decision to close school facilities to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Since that time, the District has been working to develop plans for online education to provide continuity in our students’ learning during the closure.
It is our goal to establish an effective and accessible online learning environment for teachers to provide to students. Online teaching and learning will be comprised of teaching strategies supported by technology tools and resources. The District’s goal is to make the transition from face-to-face instruction to virtual learning as seamless as possible. The planned resources and tools that will be available through the District’s online environment will be an extension of the same online learning that has been utilized by our students, staff and parents since the beginning of this school year.
We will be providing additional information on Katy ISD’s online learning rollout by the end of this week. The information will include details on how the District can assist in providing access to technology resources such as online content, devices, internet access and remote support.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to develop the most effective virtual learning experience possible for our students.
March 16, 2020 - We understand that this has been a challenging time for our school community as many balance career, family and childcare. As you know, the information regarding the prevention and spread of COVID-19 has been evolving daily, while reported cases in the Greater Houston area have gradually increased. The CDC has already recommended social distancing protocols, and is now asking the public to comply with directives to limit gatherings to ten people or less and implement multi-week school closures for a minimum of four weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus. With these priorities in mind, Katy ISD will be postponing the opening of its schools until at least Monday, April 13.
This measure will provide the District and health officials time to evaluate the extent of COVID-19 in our community. Data collected over the next several weeks will also allow us to make an informed decision to resume in-person instruction or extend the closure.
Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 Katy ISD will begin providing students and parents information and resources to support the beginning of online instruction on Monday, March 23, 2020. Pre-K through twelfth grade students and parents will also receive an elementary and secondary instructional day schedule on Friday to review over the weekend in preparation for Monday morning.
Additionally, school breakfast and lunches will continue to be offered to all Katy area children ages 0-18, free of charge.
We know our parents have a number of questions about instruction, access to technology, waivers, exemptions, the needs of specific student groups, and other school topics. These matters are being addressed and planned for daily. Please continue to check the
Katy ISD Health Update/ School Closure Information web page for the most up to date information. Updated topics and content is being added to this site on a regular basis.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we navigate these circumstances together and do our best to protect our school community.
March 13, 2020 - Free Meals for Children Next Week: To assist our families in meeting the needs of students during the district closure next week, school breakfast and lunches will be offered to all Katy area children ages 0-18, free of charge. Children do not need to be an enrolled Katy ISD student in order to receive a meal. The meals will be served at the campuses listed below from 9:00 a.m. -11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, beginning on Monday, March 16, 2020. All meals will be provided in a "grab and go" style outside of the cafeteria near the covered walkway where buses pickup and drop off students. Families will not be able to enter the campus during the meal service. Visit the Katy ISD Health Update webpage for more information and locations.
March 13, 2020 -
Staff Notification: As you know, Katy ISD has postponed the return of students from spring break by at least one week as the District and health officials continue to evaluate the extent of COVID-19 spread within our community. District administration is currently reviewing options for resuming instruction via online virtual learning should the District need to extend the closure beyond March 22. Non-essential employees should not report to work at this time.
Per Board policy, the Superintendent is authorized to pay all employees during next week’s closure. All semi-monthly and bi-monthly employees will receive their paycheck as scheduled.
All staff should continue to monitor their email and visit the Katy ISD website to ensure you are receiving important information. Essential staff will be notified by their supervisors if they are needed during the closure. Also, department heads will be provided with information on how to record time for such employees.
We are greatly appreciative of staff who are ensuring instruction can be continued should the closure need to be extended, as well as those employees who are maintaining our facilities and other operations in order to ensure a safe return for students and staff when that time comes.
March 12, 2020 - Over the past few weeks, Katy ISD has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation and has remained in constant contact with health officials who have been providing guidance and recommendations. As you know, the number of confirmed cases of individuals infected with the virus throughout the Houston greater area has continued to increase within the past week. Because the safety of our students, staff, and families is a top priority, we have decided to act out of an abundance of caution to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing by postponing the return from spring break by at least one week. In addition, all campus events, field trips, student trips and UIL practices and competitions are postponed beginning Friday March 13, 2020 and throughout the closure. We will keep our community informed on whether the temporary closure will need to extend beyond March 22. Currently, we are reviewing and considering options for resuming instruction via online virtual learning should the District need to extend the closure. Information will be shared about this soon.
The temporary closure will allow the District, state and local health officials to better evaluate the extent of COVID-19 spread within our community and ensure those needing to self-quarantine may do so prior to returning to school. Information concerning COVID-19 and the impact in the Houston greater area is rapidly evolving. As such, Katy ISD will continue to provide updated information to our students, staff and families throughout the week. We ask our community to continue to follow the guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention regarding safety practices to inhibit the spread of COVID-19.
We know parents may also be concerned about instruction, attendance and exemptions during the extended break. Information about these items will be available on the Katy ISD Health Update web page within the coming week.
Should you have any questions or concerns related to this matter, please feel free to email the District at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continued support as we work together to protect the health and safety of our students and community.
March 11, 2020 - The information concerning COVID-19 (coronavirus) is evolving daily. Katy ISD has been in constant communication with local officials to ensure plans and protocols are in place for the health and safety of our students and staff upon their return from spring break. Parent and staff communication regarding District action steps will be distributed by Thursday, March 12. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work with our officials and residents to protect the well-being of our school community.
March 5, 2020 - By now you have likely heard about the recently confirmed presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the Houston area. The District remains in contact with local, state and federal health agencies, all of which have stated that no action is required of school districts at this time. Until such action is deemed necessary, there are no plans to close schools.
Based on current guidance, it is recommended that schools continue to take the same steps to protect against COVID-19 as are taken to prevent other common communicable diseases such as the cold and flu. While the identification of a new illness can be alarming, together we can continue to help protect our school community by following basic prevention practices. At the campus level we are ensuring sufficient soap and sanitizer supplies are available to students, staff and visitors in all locations, at all times. While maintenance staff is also thoroughly disinfecting frequently used surfaces on a regular basis.
Katy ISD supports our parents’ decisions regarding their child’s well-being and attendance at school. Absences related to this matter will be coded as excused. The District is currently reviewing adjustments to the high school final exam exemption requirements and will provide additional information at a later date.
Finally, as we prepare for spring break, students and staff who are traveling outside of the country are asked to follow all federal regulations when reentering the country that may include medical screenings, quarantine and self-reporting. New enrollees from outside of the United States should contact their campus prior to visiting the school and completing the enrollment process.
March 3, 2020 - Katy ISD continues to closely follow the guidance of federal and state health officials with regard to COVID-19. While there are no confirmed cases in the counties in which Katy ISD is situated, the District is reminding our school community that the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus are the same preventions that are recommended for the spread of the flu and common cold. This includes:
Staying home if you are sick.
Students who demonstrate symptoms of fever must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to school.
Cover your coughs/sneezes.
Avoid touching your face, eyes and nose area.
Cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
Washing your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
If no soap and water is available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
With regard to Katy ISD families returning from travel outside of the United States, or new enrollees from outside of the United States, it is expected that families follow federal regulations when reentering the country, including medical screenings, quarantines and self-reporting. We appreciate our families notifying their child’s campus of any recent travel outside of the US and new enrollees contacting their child’s new campus in advance of their arrival to enroll.
Also, please note that while there are travel restrictions in place for countries identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of today there are no travel restrictions or advisories pertaining to COVID-19 within the United States.
District school health officials are taking this matter very seriously and will continue to watch carefully for all developments, as well as communicate any updates until the threat of the virus has passed.
In the meantime, families are encouraged to visit the following sites for additional information:
February 26, 2020 - Katy ISD is closely monitoring information and guidance regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus). Staff are following the direction and expertise of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of Health and Human Services to help protect our students and surrounding community against the transmission of communicable diseases.
The District is aware that the CDC recently changed the risk warning for an outbreak of the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. At this time, there are no confirmed cases in our schools or counties in which Katy ISD is situated.
Katy ISD school health officials are taking this matter very seriously and will continue to watch carefully for all developments, as well as communicate any updates until the threat of the virus has passed.
February 13, 2020: Lackland base has 91 individuals under 14 day quarantine beginning 2/6/2020. Some were solo travelers, others were family groups.
2/11/2020 1 individual (solo traveler) developed fever and was sent to an unidentified San Antonio hospital for isolation in a negative pressure room.
2/12/2020 coronavirus diagnosis confirmed by CDC.
A contact investigation is underway.
February 1, 2020 - What is Coronavirus?
A coronavirus is a type of common virus that can infect your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. They can spread much like cold viruses. Almost everyone gets a coronavirus infection at least once in their life, most likely as a young child.
Most coronaviruses are not dangerous, but some are. Those that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS ) can be deadly.
To learn more about the transmission, symptoms, prevention along with current data, trends and resources go to:
With recent news about the coronavirus, you or members of your family may have some questions or concerns. As always, Katy Independent School District continues to follow proper health and safety precautions to ensure the wellbeing of students and staff by taking direction from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as well as our local health departments. The CDC is closely monitoring reports of the novel coronavirus (named 2019-nCoV). For current or updated information you may go to the CDC main website.
Katy ISD has been advised that the risk to the general public, including school-age children, is very low. Local Health Officers continue to monitor the situation closely and will provide further advice and information as it becomes available.
The District takes the following measures to ensure a safe learning environment for all students and staff:
Continuously educate students, staff, and community members about the importance of frequent hand washing; covering a cough or sneeze; not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth; staying home when ill; and other measures to prevent the spread of all communicable disease;
Routinely disinfect campuses with cleaner that is effective against multiple disease-causing viruses and bacteria;
Monitor students for symptoms and refer students to the school nurse for assessment as appropriate;
School nurses exclude students from school attendance according to Department of State Heath Services Guidelines; and
Work with Harris County Public Health and Fort Bend County Health and Human Services for any suspected case of a "Reportable Condition."
Parents and guardians can help to keep their child, our schools, and community healthy by:
Observing their child for signs of infection which may include coughing, colds, fever, itching on the skin and scalp and unusual rashes.
Keeping sick students at home and seeking medical attention for severe illness.
Reinforcing the importance of good hand hygiene.
Adopting healthy practices, such as disposing of used tissues, coughing into a sleeve rather than into a hand, and not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth
Keeping children home until free of fever for 24 hours (without the aid of fever reducing medication)
Keeping children home until diarrhea free for 24 hours (without the aid of anti-diarrheal medication)
Receiving the flu vaccine.