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Katy Independent School District

Return To School

Safety Protocols

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General Information
Return to School Phase 1 Campus Protocols 
Schools are required to comply with the Governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks. In addition to the Governor’s executive order, TEA has provided school districts with guidance that can require the use of masks or face shields for adults or students for whom it is developmentally appropriate. To limit outside exposure for staff and students, the following Katy ISD Return to School “Phase 1” campus protocols are in effect through the end of the first six-weeks (secondary) and nine-weeks (elementary) grading periods. Phase 1 protocols are reviewed and may be updated in preparation for the start of the next grading period. We appreciate your support for the Return to School Phase 1 Safety Protocol to ensure campus staff have the flexibility to distance students in common areas. 

Katy ISD asks all students and staff to provide their own face covering from home. Katy ISD will make every effort to provide a face covering to those unable to provide their own or should an individual’s face covering become ineffective during school hours. Katy ISD safety protocols for student masks/face coverings/face shields have been updated to ensure consistency and to maximum safety protocols and protections across all buildings and grade levels.  Facial coverings required for all district staff.

  • All staff are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield when in a Katy ISD facility 
  • Students, grades 4-12 are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield upon arrival to school and dismissal, when riding buses, in hallways, common areas, and in classrooms.   
  • Students in grades PK-3 are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield upon arrival and dismissal, in the hallways, common areas, on the school bus and, when developmentally appropriate, in the classrooms. 
    • Katy ISD recognizes our younger students and their range of abilities, including the wearing of a facial covering during classroom instruction, may vary due to the child's stage of development. Alternative measures of safety are available for our younger students who may not be able to wear a facial covering at all times when inside the classroom.  Parents of PK-3 grade students are encouraged to contact their child's campus principal or campus nurse with questions regarding the wearing of a facial covering within the classroom. 
    • Face coverings include non-medical and medical grade disposable face masks and cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), and face shields.  Full-face shields may be used in place of a mask to protect eyes, nose, and mouth and must cover one's face, extending below the chin. 
  • Instructional day temperature checks required for new enrollees and late arrival students
  • No outside food or gift deliveries will be accepted
  • Visitors, non-essential to school operations,  will not be given access to the campus including on the first day of school and during scheduled meal times
  • Parents/volunteers required to conduct campus visits by phone, virtual or by pre-scheduled appointment
  • No student field trips during the instructional day
  • No large group gatherings or events will be held during the instructional day or evenings 

Updated Phase 1 Safety Protocols with Mitigations - Effective September 28, 2020 (Click here for PDF)

Please Note:  Return to School procedures and protocols are subject to change as updated guidance is provided by the TEA, governing authorities and county health officials.   

COVID-19 Protocols

TEA's comprehensive guidelines for a safe return to in-person instruction for the 2020-2021 school year states:  “There will almost certainly be situations that necessitate temporary school closure due to positive COVID-19 cases in schools. Parents, educators, and school administrators should be prepared for this in the event that it occurs, while actively working to prevent it through prevention and mitigation practices”. 

Katy ISD has implemented a COVID-19 protocol that includes a self-reporting APP, process to determine risk of exposure for students and staff, a communication process that requires direct contact with those deemed directly exposed to COVID-19, and a general notification for students and staff assigned to a particular campus or worksite.  In addition, the District provides a COVID-19 testing site for staff in the event a COVID-19 test is recommended.   Reports of positive Covid tests for both employees and students are reported through the COVID-19 APP available via the My Katy cloud.  Every report of a COVID-19 positive is examined and investigated to ensure the mitigation of spread occurs.  Work sites and campuses that sustain a threshold of positives per the COVID-19 mitigation stages may result in a partial or total closure of the campus or work site until the site is thoroughly sanitized and disinfected.   The Emergency Management team, in collaboration with the superintendent, district leadership and county health officials, ensure the COVID-19 safety protocols are enacted in all COVID-19 cases. Reports of more than one COVID-19 positive report will result in increased scrutiny to determine next steps, which may include the closure of a classroom, grade level, campus or work site.  Students impacted by a temporary closure of a campus will continue their learning via the Intermittent School to Home learning plan provided in a virtual environment and supported by their campus teachers.  

  • Alerts & Notifications
    Katy ISD has a standard response in place in the event  of a confirmed COVID-19 among students and staff at a specific campus.  In the event your student’s campus is impacted, parents and staff at the impacted campus  will receive an emailed general notification before the end of the day in which the COVID-19 case is reported.  If the report comes in after regular District hours, the general notification will be emailed the following day. 

  • Intermittent School to Home
    Should there be a need to temporarily close a class or school due to COVID-19, teachers will instruct virtual classes via Canvas, pending the return to class/campus.  Home internet and device access are required for virtual learning.  Also, extracurricular and student programs will be temporarily unavailable during a campus closure.  Please keep in mind that temporary transitions to virtual learning are not part of the KVA programming.  As the start of the school year approaches and anticipated additional guidance from state, local authorities and the TEA is provided, Katy ISD is prepared to release additional COVID-19 health and safety protocol information to our families. 

Cafeterias & Food Service

To minimize possible outside exposure and to allow for adequate physical distancing for students during meal times, Return to School Phase 1 protocols include no food/gift deliveries will be accepted and visitors non-essential to school operations will not be allowed on campuses or in cafeterias.  Phase 1 protocols will be reviewed at the end of each secondary and elementary grading period.

Nutrition & Food Service Protocols 

  • Katy ISD Nutrition & Food Service staff use face shields, facial coverings and gloves when performing job responsibilities and are trained to practice health and hygiene regulations 

  • Katy ISD cafeterias are cleaned and disinfected daily 

  • Katy ISD cafeterias, serving and eating areas are cleaned between uses

  • Grab N Go carts are utilized as needed at designated campuses to minimize cafeteria lines, increase the speed of service and enhance social distancing

  • Signage is located in cafeterias to reinforce social distancing

Meal Service 

  • Students must wear ID at breakfast and lunch to ensure efficient scanning of ID for payment and minimize touching of ID by multiple staff

  • Students must follow social distancing signage displayed on the walls and floor markers

  • Students may be directed to eat in various locations throughout the building, including classrooms, to maximize social distancing

  • Parents are encouraged to use the Pay N’ Go mobile app to provide student meal money instead of sending cash to your child’s campus.  Pay N’ Go mobile app information 

Campus & Classroom Protocols

For the health and safety of all students and staff – parents are required to assist their children with a daily self screening for COVID-19 symptoms and fever before arriving to school, or boarding school transportation.

Per TEA “In evaluating whether an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, consider the following questions: Have they recently begun experiencing any of the following in a way that is not normal for them?" 

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • Cough

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Headache

  • Chills

  • Sore throat

  • Shaking

  • Exaggerated shivering

  • Significant muscle pain or ache

  • Diarrhea 

Health and Hygiene Practice:  Masks/Face Covering
Schools are required to comply with the Governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks. In addition to the Governor’s executive order, TEA has provided school districts with guidance that can require the use of masks or face shields for adults or students for whom it is developmentally appropriate.  Katy ISD’s Return to School Phase 1 protocols require the following in regards to the wearing of face masks and will be reviewed upon the end of the first grading period.

Katy ISD asks all students and staff to provide their own face covering from home. Katy ISD will make every effort to provide a face covering to those unable to provide their own or should an individual’s face covering become ineffective during school hours. Katy ISD safety protocols for student masks/face coverings/face shields have been updated to ensure consistency and to maximum safety protocols and protections across all buildings and grade levels.  Facial coverings required for all district staff.

  • All staff are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield when in a Katy ISD facility.
  • Students, grades 4-12 are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield upon arrival to school and dismissal, when riding buses, in hallways, common areas, and in classrooms.   
  • Students in grades PK-3 are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield upon arrival and dismissal, in the hallways, common areas, on the school bus and, when developmentally appropriate, in the classrooms. 
    • Katy ISD recognizes our younger students and their range of abilities, including the wearing of a facial covering during classroom instruction, may vary due to the child's stage of development. Alternative measures of safety are available for our younger students who may not be able to wear a facial covering at all times when inside the classroom.  Parents of PK-3 grade students are encouraged to contact their child's campus principal or campus nurse with questions regarding the wearing of a facial covering within the classroom. 
    • Face coverings include non-medical and medical grade disposable face masks and cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), and face shields.  Full-face shields may be used in place of a mask to protect eyes, nose, and mouth and must cover one's face, extending below the chin. 
  • Instructional day temperature checks required for new enrollees and late arrival students

  • No outside food or gift deliveries will be accepted

  • Visitors, non-essential to school operations,  will not be given access to the campus including on the first day of school and during scheduled meal times

  • Parents/volunteers required to conduct campus visits by phone, virtual or by pre-scheduled appointment

  • No student field trips during the instructional day

  • No large group gatherings or events will be held during the instructional day or evenings

Employee Health Protocols

  • All staff are required to complete a daily self screening for symptoms prior to arriving to work 

  • All staff must practice appropriate hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing

  • All staff are required to wear a facial covering while in classrooms, common spaces, and when social distancing cannot occur

  • All staff are expected to clean and sanitize work space before and after use

Student Health Protocols

  • All students are required to complete a daily self screening for symptoms prior to arriving to school or boarding school transportation

  • All students are provided daily guidance on proper hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing

  • All students, grades Pre-K through 3, are required to wear a facial covering upon arrival to school and dismissal, when riding a bus, in hallways, common areas and in classrooms, to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. Our grade Pre-K through 3 teachers are prepared to be flexible and patient when accommodating the wearing of a facial covering with regard to students' developmental stage and abilities.

  • All students, grades 4 through 12, are required to wear a facial covering upon arrival to school and dismissal, when riding a bus, in hallways, common areas and in classrooms

  • All facial coverings should cover the nose and mouth

  • All students must be up-to-date with state required immunization compliance

  • All students are provided sanitizing wipes to clean work space before classroom instruction begins and ends

  • All students are encouraged to use hand sanitizer before classroom instruction begins and ends

  • All students are seated with as much separation as feasible during the instructional day 

Cleaning Practices 

  • Campuses are cleaned throughout the instructional day with an emphasis on cleaning high traffic and multiple touch areas, including  door handles, restrooms, large group transition areas, cafeteria between meals

  • Hand sanitizer stations are located in multiple areas throughout the campus

  • Transportation personnel disinfect school buses between runs

  • Signage for proper hygiene practices is visibly posted at multiple locations 

Transportation 

Per TEA’s COVID-19 guidance regarding transportation, Katy ISD is implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures between each bus trip. Therefore, additional time is now required between bus trips.  For the 2020-2021 school year, the instructional day start and end times have been adjusted to accommodate the enhanced hygiene protocols.  View the revised 2020-2021 bell schedule.  Bus transportation is provided for eligible riders and every effort is made to ensure students are able to socially distance.   In addition, TEA encourages families to drop students off, carpool, or walk with their student to school to reduce possible virus exposure on a bus.

  • All transportation staff required to wear facial coverings

  • All students, grades PreK through 12, required to wear facial coverings upon boarding

  • In most cases, bus seating is assigned, with no more than two (2) students per seat

  • Students and staff required to use provided hand sanitizer upon boarding the bus 

  • Bus windows will remain open to allow for additional ventilation and air flow

  • Buses will be thoroughly cleaned after each bus trip, focusing on high-touch surfaces such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles  


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