Dragon Chat Live
Carroll ISD hosted Dragon Chat Live, a live Q&A session featuring Superintendent Dr. David Faltys and other guests from the CISD Leadership Team. This event offered a chance for the Carroll community to ask important questions about the 2020-2021 Reopening Plan for Carroll ISD.
Virtual Event Date:
Thursday, July 30, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Questions from the Dragon Chat Live event are grouped into similar topics. Duplicate or similar questions are likely only answered once in the FAQ.
Choose from the following FAQ topicss:
- Choosing Your Instructional Platform
- Dragon Virtual Academy (DVA)
- In-Person Instruction & Class Sizes
- Meet the Teacher & Back-to-School Questions
- Extracurricular Activities
- Changing Learning Platforms
- Test Taking & Cheating Concerns
- Technology-Related Questions
- Pre-screening Students & Staff
- Pre-screening Parents, Volunteers & Visitors
- Class Sizes & Social Distancing
- Mask & Face Shield Requirements
- Plexiglass & Desk Shields
- Symptoms & Health Protocols
- Hand Washing & Hand Sanitizer
- Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Positive COVID-19 Tests & Closure Protocols
- Communicating Positive COVID-19 Cases
- Teacher & Support Staff Safety
- Special Education Services
- Transportation & Shuttle Buses
- Lunch-Related Questions
- Miscellaneous Questions
So next Tuesday we choose in person or virtual?
Yes. Annual Student Verification has been open since July 27 and the deadline is Tuesday, August 4. This will help CISD begin to assess the number of students who have chosen Dragon Virtual Academy and the number who plan to choose In-Person Instruction. A parent has until the end of the day on Monday, August 10, however, to change their mind. If you have completed Annual Student Verification and want to change your choice of instruction for each child for the first nine-week period, simply email your campus principal before 4:30 p.m. on August 10.
Where do you choose DVA, I can’t find it?
You chose in-person or DVA within Annual Student Verification (ASV). Annual verification is done within Skyward Family Access, and is currently open. You access Skyward from the district’s main website or from the Skyward link under the Parent drop down menu. Our site is http://www.southlakecaroll.edu. ASV closes Tuesday, August 4.
Will the district publish updates on the % who choose in person versus DVA?
We have been monitoring the percentages daily, and at this time the percent of parents requesting in-person instruction is about 65%. We will do our best to keep everyone informed as DVA comes to a close. Campus Administrators will be working this week to verify numbers by grade level, class and course.
What percentage of Dragon families have already completed verification (and therefore made their decision)? I’m curious about the statement that parents are overwhelmingly wanting in person. Where did that come from? Is the 60% a number based on the parents who have already completed verification? Or based on the survey that was completed last month?
This percent is based on who has actually already completed Annual Student Verification (ASV). Currently, of the more than 2,000 families who have already completed ASV, about 65% have requested "In-Person" Instruction.
Will you reconsider the start date for starting instruction online and in person now that Ft. Worth ISD has officially announced a start date of September 8th and tentative in person date for Oct. 5th?
Carroll ISD does not anticipate further changes unless they are mandated at the state level. The district plans to begin school for students both virtually and in-person on Monday, August 24.
If you don't have a plan by Tuesday, then how can it be possible for parents to decide by then?
CISD does have a plan. To view our plan please go to: https://www.southlakecarroll.edu/Page/3239
Will the first 9 weeks be spent on an extensive review from what was lost in the spring? Specifically Math, LA & Science and any Foreign Languages.
Curriculum review will take place in all content areas. We have compacted the curriculum and we have taken our power standards that we didn’t go as in-depth with in the spring and incorporated them into the first nine weeks of study. The power standards are the most important standards within each content area. We will continue to monitor our curriculum as we go along in case we need to make further adjustments.
What measures will be taken both in terms of teaching approaches AND in terms of technology to ensure that DVA students are not treated differently or "less than" for their instruction? Obviously not intentionally, but I'm thinking specifically of ensuring that DVA students have equal opportunities to engage with classmates and teachers, can hear/see what's going on in class (in the case of live synchronous instruction), have a set standard for troubleshooting tech issues if they are happening live and causing a student to miss instruction (i.e., teacher's microphone cuts out, camera video stops displaying, etc.)?
The teaching approaches will be the same for both in-person and DVA students. The webcams allow for two-way interaction between the teacher and the students. If there is a problem with technology, the teacher will work with the student to ensure the student receives the same lesson that was delivered to the other students. Synchronous lessons will be taped and archived in Seesaw and/or Canvas. Any students experiencing technical or connectivity issues should contact our Technology Help Desk at 817-949-HELP. There will be no special designation on a transcript showing whether a student was in DVA or in-person. The curriculum, homework and rigor will be the same for both platforms, as well as the grading guidelines.
How will grading be done? Will it be pass and fail or numeric grades? Will it depend on virtual or in person schooling?
Both in-person and virtual learning will follow the same curriculum and the same grading system. Virtual learning will not be pass/fail like in the spring. In order for CISD to receive funding for remote instruction, Carroll ISD’s grading policies for remote instruction must be consistent with the grading policies for on-campus assignments, according to the Texas Education Agency.
Will students' official transcripts note whether they were DVA or in-person? Will the school be providing that information to colleges and universities in any form?
No. There will be nothing on the transcript to differentiate the learning platform chosen by each student.
Will Dragon Virtual Academy be offered as a choice for the full 2020-2021 school year?
Yes. The Texas Education Agency confirmed that virtual instruction will be an option for parents for the 2020-2021 school year. CISD will continue to offer the Dragon Virtual Academy all year as long as TEA continues to fund this method of instruction.
Will we have the option to remain in virtual classes for the next 9 weeks, especially if the numbers do not go down?
Yes. Parents who selected DVA for the first nine weeks will not have to do anything if they wish for their child to remain in DVA. If they decide to return to in-person instruction, they must notify the campus principal in writing within two weeks of the end of the nine-week period.
How are DVA teachers chosen?
All teachers are being trained to teach both in-person and virtually. Some teachers have indicated to their campus principals that they are willing to teach DVA. Other teachers at the secondary level may have sections of students whose parents have chosen in-person instruction, while also teaching a section or two of DVA students exclusively as the master schedule permits.
Does DVA have their own teacher or is it just a camera added to the in person classroom?
Our goal would be to have a teacher specifically assigned to lead the virtual classroom. However, there may be situations that do not lend itself to virtual-only teaching, therefore, a teacher could be teaching a blended classroom. Virtual teachers will combine synchronous and asynchronous lessons using a variety of tools like Zoom, pre-recorded videos and small group chats, so virtual learning is more than just a camera in a classroom.
Will we have different teachers for DVA and classroom?
Depending upon the enrollment numbers, there is a possibility that the student might have different teachers, but we are trying to minimize that as much as possible.
Can we get confirmation that virtual teachers will be dedicated to virtual please?
All of our teachers will be trained and dedicated to student success, whether that involves in-person or virtual learning environments. See answer to questions above.
With the virtual program option for kindergarteners, can we request online Zoom one-on-one meetings with the teacher? Also since that age is so young, if a child is not able to sit from 7:30 am - 3:00 pm for DVA can we try working on the child’s schedule from home?
Yes to both questions. Our teachers will still have conference periods every day, so they will be available to talk to either the parents or the students as needed. The synchronous learning is being recorded, so students may review the lessons when it is convenient for the family. It is important for students to log in during synchronous learning for attendance purposes and participation. Asynchronous lessons may be completed at a convenient time for parents/students. However, lessons for asynchronous learning must be completed and turned in by the deadline assigned by each teacher, just like in-person learning.
Are in-class webcams the means for students to get virtual classes?
Depending on the enrollment numbers, we might be able to dedicate a teacher to just the virtual program, but we cannot guarantee that at this point in time. Webcams could be the virtual class, especially for some of our more specialized courses such as AP courses and robotics. Last spring lessons were delivered through a stationary camera on a laptop. These webcams have pre-set positions and are controlled by the teacher to provide a better experience for both the teacher and the student.
For DVA students, will the homework and/or assignments schedule and types be different? How will they "turn in" their homework?
No, the homework and the assignment schedules will be the same as the in-person schedules. DVA students will utilize either Seesaw or Canvas for submitting their assignments. Any student who experiences trouble submitting completed assignments should contact their classroom teacher and/or our Tech staff for assistance.
Do DVA GT kids get the same GT teachers the kids on campus get?
Yes. Students who participate in the virtual platform will be taught by the same GT teachers who serve the in-person students on their campus.
If a student switches from DVA to in-person, will their teachers remain the same?
It is our hope that we can do this, but we cannot guarantee that will always be the case. Changes at the elementary level could result in a new teacher assignment. At the intermediate and secondary campuses, the teacher is more likely to be the same, but the order of classes may be impacted.
If the decision to go DVA does necessitate a schedule change, how will that be handled?
The student/parent can request a schedule change through the counseling office.
If starting in DVA, but I choose to switch to in-person for the second nine weeks, will the children have the same teachers or will this change? And is it the same or different for high school /elementary?
It is our hope that the students will have the same teachers, but we cannot guarantee that, especially at the elementary level where some teachers may volunteer or be designated as that grade level’s virtual teacher. This might be easier to accomplish at grades 5-12, however, the order of classes may be impacted.
Will High School virtual kids attend the same class with the same teacher, the same block as if they physically attend? In other words are they going to attend the same class online and virtual?
Yes. Students enrolled in DVA will be following their daily A/B schedule in classes with the same curriculum and homework rigor and the same grading guidelines as in-person students.
Will CSHS/CHS students who choose Dragon Virtual Academy be allowed to go into the school for class-related activities such as science labs and robotics? If not, how will these class-related activities be handled for DVA students?
We are still working on this process, but it is our hope that we can allow DVA students to participate, if they wish, in certain in-person classes. If not, then the Curriculum department has worked with the teachers to ensure we have resources that we can provide for our DVA students that will mirror the classroom experience.
Can the kids ask questions (raise their hand) during DVA? How will the interaction work back and forth? Is it a dedicated teacher?
The webcams allow for a two-way communication between the teacher and the students, so the students will be able to ask questions and receive feedback. All teachers will have webcams. Zoom will be the video conferencing tool that teachers will utilize. Zoom allows teachers to have two-way communication, chats, and break-out sessions with students. All teachers will be trained in the use of these tools prior to the school year. Our goal would be to have a teacher specifically assigned to lead the virtual classroom. However, there may be situations that do not lend itself to virtual-only teaching, therefore, a teacher could be teaching a blended classroom.
First grade DVA: How will teachers administer Beginning of the Year (BOY) assessments? How will teachers do progress monitoring?
We have purchased resources that will allow our staff to administer beginning of the year baseline assessments. Progress monitoring is also included in this resource. Training will be provided to our teachers when they report back to work the week of August 10. Elementary students who have selected DVA will be administered their assessments virtually. Teachers will communicate with parents during the first week of school to schedule times.
Is the district still sending a revised DVA schedule this week?
The newly proposed DVA schedules for each elementary campus (grades PK-4) will be posted Monday morning on the individual campus websites.
What is the process for DVA students to get learning materials (e.g. worksheets, HOME READERS, etc.)?
Teachers will post assignments through Seesaw or Canvas, and students may download the material from those resources. Consumable materials such as workbooks will be distributed to PK-4 students during iPad deployment the week of Aug. 17-21. Any materials needed for lesson completion will be available for pick-up for parents of DVA students at designated times. If materials are needed, please contact your classroom teacher.
First grade DVA: Will there be a dedicated teacher for DVA or will virtual students be watching a live classroom with a teacher split. It is my understanding that you will be looking at numbers of students who choose DVA to determine delivery mode. Will you consider combining students in the same grade from different elementary schools in order to provide a dedicated virtual teacher (rather than viewing a live class in session). Will this be determined prior to the two week deadline so that I can switch to in person if not a dedicated teacher?
Our goal would be to provide a dedicated teacher from your child’s home campus for students enrolled in DVA. Much depends, however, on the number of students in each grade level or course that are enrolled in DVA and how long those numbers stay consistent throughout the 2020-2021 school year. We are still working on this process and will keep parents and staff updated.
First grade DVA: Is there a way to block the synchronous time (closer together than the sample schedule) so that parents have some flexibility on when to administer the asynchronous activities?
Yes, the revised schedules will allow for more flexibility for families. Keep in mind that the number of minutes required for synchronous learning is set by the Texas Education Agency. Parents can have their children work the asynchronous activities at their own convenience daily, however, lessons must be turned in by the deadline set by the classroom teacher. Late assignments will be graded according to the district’s late work policy for all students.
Please clarify if there will be two-way learning in the virtual option. Dragon Virtual Academy (DVA) states "This academy will be administered online and consist of daily teacher and student interactive lessons in each subject area" - which implies two-way learning. However, I have heard that there is the possibility of simply having a camera in a regular classroom where the virtual students cannot participate. Can you please specifically outline the planned instructional method for DVA?
The webcams allow for two-way interaction between the teacher and the students. So, while teachers are teaching using Zoom, all students participating will have the ability to interact with the teacher and each other. These webcams are more sophisticated and flexible than the camera centered on the teacher laptop. Zoom will be the video conferencing tool that teachers will utilize. Zoom allows teachers to have two-way communication, chats, and break-out sessions with students. All teachers will be trained in the use of these tools prior to the school year.
Will the virtual in-person and DVA teacher be the same ? Or will the child need to get reacquainted with the teacher when he returns to the kinder class for in-person?
We would like for the teacher to be the same, but we cannot guarantee that….learning our true enrollment numbers for each learning platform is important so that we can better plan and thus increase the chances of students having the same teacher.
Do you have an outline of how a virtual session would work so we get a better understanding of the layout and time commitment of virtual vs. Independent teaching by the parent?
Please see the revised elementary schedules for each campus and grade level posted on the website. Students will follow these schedules, but DVA will allow for more flexibility as needed by parents. Secondary students follow their daily schedule and the campus master schedule just as if they were in person.
Will virtual teachers be substitute teachers?
No. Teachers for the Dragon Virtual Academy will be certified CISD teachers. We plan to train about 20 of our substitutes so they are prepared to teach DVA should a teacher become sick or unable to teach for a period of time.
Will DVA be in-sync with the classroom?
Yes. The DVA and In-Person scope and sequences are the same. Although an in-person teacher’s schedule and a DVA teacher’s schedule may differ slightly, students enrolled in the DVA should be in-sync with the students in the classroom. All classes/courses will follow our district Year-At-A-Glance or the CollegeBoard curriculum for AP classes.
How is it possible for teachers to teach virtually AND in person simultaneously?
CISD’s goal is to have dedicated teachers for DVA whenever possible. However, if that isn’t always the case, the webcams allow the teacher the flexibility to move around the classroom to teach just like normal by having pre-set locations scheduled via a remote control managed by the teacher. Students, both in-person and virtual, may interact with the teacher. There will be times the teacher may be trying to manage students in person while also teaching with the webcam recording, but keep in mind that students will also have some asynchronous lessons to do at their own convenience but turned in by the teacher’s deadline. This is the same for DVA and in-person students. During this asynchronous learning time teachers can check in with DVA students to help ensure they understand and are connected to the learning. The intermediate school level has announced it will have teachers instructing virtually and in-person simultaneously. While this may take some time to get used to, we believe we have some of the most dedicated and talented teachers in the state who care about all students and will do what is necessary until a time when everyone can return to in-person instruction.
Does TEA allow a teacher to teach online and in person at the same time?
Yes. The Commissioner did say during one conference call that a webcam located in the back of the room does not constitute virtual learning. Keep in mind though that all virtual learning involves a camera of some type. Last spring the only cameras CISD teachers had were stationary on their laptops. The new classroom webcams are centered in the classroom and allow movement around the room while being controlled by the teacher. DVA students won’t always be watching lectures or lessons in real-time. They will also be participating in pre-recorded lessons, small-group discussions and Zoom meetings to support learning, too. It is our belief the Commissioner was encouraging a blend of instructional delivery methods to ensure two-way, effective learning for virtual students.
Is it listed somewhere which HS classes will not be offered virtually? How will parents be notified?
Carroll ISD plans to offer all courses as part of the Dragon Virtual Academy. There are some electives and CTE courses that may involve a form of hybrid learning where the student is at home for most of the learning, but could be allowed to come in-person for hands-on or participatory learning for specific courses. These times would be scheduled by the teacher and communicated to DVA students in advance. If you are a parent interested in DVA, with some in-person learning for courses like athletics, band, choir, theatre, robotics or advanced floral design (as examples), please notify your child’s counselor to work out the details.
What’s the plan for kids in theatre arts if they do DVA? Is there going to be any kind of hybrid option like at Keller ISD?
All courses will be offered for students enrolled in DVA. There could be some electives or CTE courses that offer some in-person, hands-on instruction as described above. This mixture of in-person and virtual learning for students isn’t the type of hybrid option CISD first studied, but we do believe there will be secondary students (7-12) who will be enrolled in DVA but on campus in-person for some courses. Theatre, art and athletics are just a few examples of classes that will have a hybrid option. If you choose DVA but want your child to come to a specific class in-person, please reach out to your campus counselor in writing to see if your request can be accommodated.
For families who do DVA, will the lessons be taped so that students can view them later on? If taped, will students who do in person learning have access to taped sessions?
Yes, the lessons will be taped and available for both in-person and online students. Keep in mind, however, that DVA students must log in during synchronous sessions to be counted present in class for that day.
How are DVA classes configured? Are they all live synchronously, as in a webcam displaying a teacher who is teaching an in-person class, and DVA students simply listen in? Or will DVA students have their own classes with a teacher only tending to online students? How will this be determined, and when will it be determined? Will this impact who teaches which classes and when they are held? How can we make a decision without having these specifics up front?
Enrollment numbers will determine if we can dedicate one teacher specifically to teach DVA students. DVA classes follow the same schedule the in-person classes follow, but allow for more flexibility should the need arise. Scheduling and staffing cannot be completed until all Carroll families finish Annual Student Verification.
Is Edgenuity used for DVA?
Edgenuity could be used for any secondary student that needs it. It will be used as a supplement to the regular instruction. All courses in Edgenuity will be created/customized by a certified CISD teacher.
Will synchronized lessons be recorded in case students need to review since they won’t be able to meet with the teacher before or after school?
Yes. CISD teachers will be recording and archiving their synchronous lessons in Seesaw and Canvas, the chosen learning management platforms. Keep in mind, students in DVA can set up virtual meetings or tutoring sessions with teachers before and after school just like in-person students.
What's the plan for gym (PE) at the intermediate schools for DVA?
For DVA students, physical education will consist of asynchronous activities and lessons pushed out through Canvas by the PE teachers. This is similar to how PE was taught last spring.
Many have asked about how certain classes or electives will be handled for DVA students. I'm curious as well about floral design and PALS classes. Are options being considered to ensure that students a) won't be forced to drop them if they are DVA, and b) can participate fully from home? Or can you go solely to those classes in person? Or perhaps pick up supplies weekly? Meet with small groups off campus weekly? Will we have the complete specifics on these things prior to having to decide? I ask this because if my child cannot do these electives as a DVA student, that would force me to rethink our options.
Both floral design and PALS will be offered through the DVA. We are working on the curriculum and how we can adapt it, but they will both be offered. TEA is allowing districts to offer virtual students an opportunity to come in-person for portions of the week or day for some courses. Transportation will not be provided, but a parent who wishes for their child to participate in DVA, but come to campus for a particular class or period, should contact their child’s counselor in writing with the request. CISD will make reasonable accommodations for this type of hybrid learning for electives (athletics, band, choir and theatre) and some select CTE courses like robotics and advanced floral design.
Elementary in person: Is the district going to place the students in cohorts or pods as recommended by the CDC?
We anticipate having smaller class sizes to allow for social distancing since some families will be selecting virtual instruction. At the elementary level, CISD will ask teachers to place students PK-4 in cohorts of three to four students called “class buddies.” These buddies can even come up with an appropriate, fun cohort group name. This small cohort will travel to/from learning centers together, restrooms for handwashing and breaks, as well as staying within six feet of each other when going to and from locations on campus. This will help minimize an individual elementary student’s exposure to every child in the classroom. Teachers managing their in-person classroom will be responsible for establishing the individual three to four-student cohorts.
How many students in a classroom for kindergarten?
Carroll ISD has a state mandate not to exceed 22:1 at grades K-4, but we typically try to keep kindergarten classes even smaller at 18:1 or 19:1. With about 67% of our parents currently tracking to choose In-Person Instruction, we anticipate class sizes to be smaller, at least for the first nine-week period. After Annual Student Verification ends August 4, the district will have a better idea of staffing needs and class sizes.
How will you transition kindergarten students into the classroom who decide to go virtual?
Our teachers are loving and kind, wanting to include all children and make them feel a part of the learning. The teachers will work diligently to acknowledge and connect with DVA students. CISD often welcomes new students into our classrooms throughout the school year, and we feel confident our teachers will be extra sensitive and helpful to those students who are moving from DVA to In-Person Instruction. Assigning cohort groups and “class buddies” will help students transition successfully as well.
Will kindergarten students have to wear masks?
Students will wear masks on the school bus if they are bus riders. They will also have to wear masks when entering/exiting the building or walking through the hallways to various locations. Once in the classroom, students at this age (9 and under) are not required to wear a mask if they are six feet apart or behind a desk shield. They can, however, continue to wear a mask if their parent chooses. Desk shields are being provided for each of our PK-4 students and teachers will be assigning cohort groups to minimize each student’s exposure to the rest of the class.
Will my child meet her teacher in person before school starts? She will be in kindergarten.
We will be hosting Meet the Teacher virtually so that students can meet and talk to their teacher prior to the start of the school year. CISD will not be inviting all families to the campus for Meet the Teacher events in person. Our goal is to minimize large group gatherings and the intermingling of non-family members with our students. The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and maintain a healthier environment for our students and teachers. Information about Meet the Teacher events will be provided by individual campuses.
Will there be a traditional “meet the teacher/pick up schedule/locker set up/ orientation” for students at intermediate and middle schools? I am most concerned about the 5th graders transitioning from elementary school to a new campus/new routine/changing classes/using a locker etc.
Campuses are planning for virtual Meet the Teacher events, but there will be time set aside on the first day of school for students to learn safety protocols and to get acclimated to their new building and the location of their classes. We do not intend to hold special orientations or events in-person prior to the first day. CISD will also not have students use cubbies/lockers during the fall semester at any campus because of the close proximity of students while at their lockers. Students will carry items in their personal backpacks from class to class.
Can you still participate in extracurricular activities if you choose online?
Yes. Students enrolled in Dragon Virtual Academy may participate in-person in extracurricular activities like sports, cheerleading, band, etc. But you do have to provide your own transportation to/from the campus. Students will follow their individualized schedules using the A/B calendar.
What safety measures will be in place for these electives?
CISD will be following the UIL Safety Protocols and Guidelines for athletics. These same social distancing rules, mask mandates and co-hort group workouts will be utilized across other electives/programs. Every effort will be made to maintain six feet distance between students. Masks must be worn at all times students are not further than six feet apart from each other. Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies will be available in weight rooms and other facilities. Students will be trained on safety protocols the first day of school.
What are the locker room protocols for athletics?
Locker rooms will be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned each night. CISD has purchased electrostatic sprayers to apply EPA-recommended disinfectant that attaches itself above and below surfaces. As fully-charged droplets hit the surface they create an even spread. Particles hold their cationic charge for approximately 2-3 seconds, preventing drips. This allows the solution to cover hidden and shadowed areas, and also enables you to cover a large area in a small amount of time. These sprayers have been designed to meet dwell times for solutions so they can work to their full capabilities. Athletic staff will communicate locker room protocols to student athletes when school starts.
My 7th grader was signed up for Athletics to play football in the fall, but I don't want him playing contact sports right now. Coach Van said he can switch to cross country, but can he still do that if he is DVA? How does that work at the middle school level?
Students who have schedule changes may request them in writing to your school counselor. Students who are enrolled in DVA may attend their athletic class in-person at the time noted on the student’s schedule. Transportation to and from the class must be provided by the student’s family.
Will athletic classes in middle school be the usual size?
We anticipate smaller class sizes, however, some DVA students may be joining their classmates/teammates for athletic periods. Transportation must be provided by the DVA student’s family.
When and how are the basketball tryouts planned for freshmen?
Basketball tryouts will be held as they have been in the past. DVA students will need to report to basketball on the first day for orientation. Transportation must be provided by the parent or student for DVA students. Students will have four days to try out. Additional questions about basketball tryouts can be directed to Coach McDade at firstname.lastname@example.org
DVA - How does swim work for my son entering 9th grade?
DVA swimmers may attend in-person for this class period but transportation is not provided, it is the responsibility of the parent/student.
For Off Campus PE students -- is there any grace in the 5 hrs a week requirement? Many athletes can't accommodate that schedule right now (e.g., GC Divers).
Unfortunately, off-campus PE requirements are outlined in Board Policy, the Texas Education Code and the Texas Administrative Code. The requirements cannot be individually relaxed. To get credit, a student must meet the minimum hours as outlined in Board Policy, the TEC and TAC.
For kids who are enrolled in football, if we elect remote learning for the 1st grading period do they still need to go to the mandatory in-person workouts starting in August and practices starting in September?
If you intend for your child to be in football, the student, regardless of instructional platform choice, will need to be present to learn the proper training and safety protocols, along with the coaching/instruction for that sport to ensure they do not fall behind or get injured. Students may attend in-person for this class period but transportation is not provided; it is the responsibility of the parent/student.
If we opt for one method of instruction but feel that it's not serving our needs or is detrimental, are we truly locked into that choice for the full 9 weeks?
Our goal would be to have students maintain their platform of choice for a full grading period. However, if students select in-person instruction and either experience symptoms or have to self-isolate due to a positive COVID-19 case, that student can move directly to the Dragon Virtual Academy platform. There should be enough flexibility for in-person students to move to the virtual platform as needed, however, movement from virtual to in-person will not occur until the next grading period as this significantly can impact staffing. Parents can request a change from DVA to In-Person instruction in writing to the campus principal at least two weeks before the start of the next grading period.
If you choose in person and then must go online due to school closures or because you are sick or because you must quarantine because of exposure, can you immediately transition to online?
Yes. As noted above, a student will not be penalized and left without the ability to participate instructionally if they are asked to self-isolate or get a stay-at-home order. CISD has greater flexibility to move a student from in-person to DVA. Those who have selected DVA will be required to remain virtual until the next grading period because of schedule and staffing constraints.
Will you still have the same schedule, same class, same teacher? Or will you not do online school at all, and instead have to be out of the school just like in the past and get your own make up work from the teacher like we did before Covid? Will that mean you are absent for all of those days you are required to stay out of school? How will that affect exam exemptions?
For a short-term illness that is not COVID-19-related, you can stay at home until well and return to in-person instruction and follow the make-up work policy. If you move from in-person to virtual due to long-term illness or self-isolation, you may not necessarily have the same teacher. For secondary students, however, having the same teacher is likely. For some courses, teachers could have several sections of in-person students and a single section (or two) of DVA students. Moving from in-person to DVA in this scenario would not require a teacher change. For younger students, however, there may be a dedicated DVA teacher in a particular grade level. Moving from in-person instruction to DVA at the elementary level could involve a teacher change.
If you choose in person, but then decide to go online after the 1st term, will your schedule, teachers, classes remain the same? Same question if you choose online to begin with and then change to in person after 1st term, does your schedule, teacher, classes remain the same?
See answer above. There are no guarantees, but keeping the same teacher may be possible in both scenarios described.
Will every class be offered in both formats? Will we know before we have to choose whether the classes we currently have will be the same or different depending on which option we choose?
Every class will be offered in both the DVA and in-person format.
If your child is doing in-person and they are in dual credit, (which has already been switched to full time online), can they do that class from home everyday even if it is not 1/5 or 4/8 block? Can they stay home in the middle of the day to do their online dual credit or will they have to be on campus?
Dual credit courses taught by Tarrant County College instructors will be completely online. Students who have chosen in-person instruction will be allowed to go home to do this course online, but transportation is your own responsibility. The student will also have the option to remain on campus and complete TCC dual credit work on their laptop computer in the library.
Now that we are back in school in September will the SAT be reinstated at our site?
No, these large gathering events have already been canceled, but we are looking to add additional dates later in the fall, if possible.
How do we ensure kids at home are not advantaged over kids at school. How do you ensure kids are not cheating in the virtual environment?
To be fair, schools have never been able to "ensure kids are not cheating" in the physical classroom, moving to virtual instruction can't make that promise either. However, we have put several tools in place to help reduce cheating. The district purchased Respondus a lockdown browser for students in grades 5-12. Respondus locks students into the test until they finish the test so that they cannot open another browser and search for answers. Our teachers are also working to redesign questions to not be simple answers that are easily "googled" but instead are short essay questions, possibly with video student responses where the student explains "What key factors do you believe caused the French Revolution.", instead of questions like, “What year was the French Revolution?” For at home learning, we also recommend the parents actively monitor their children, much like the teacher would do if the student were in class.
Will my PK-4th graders each be charged a device fee for iPad’s like 7-12 are for laptops?
No. Carroll ISD does not have plans to charge PK-4th graders a device fee for the 2020-2021 school year.
Will K-4 students have their own personal device if attending in person and not share devices?
Yes, all students PK-12, whether in person or DVA, will be provided their own personal dedicated device. Students in PK-4 will be issued district-owned iPads. Students in grades 5-12 are issued a district-owned Dell laptop computer.
Will prek 4 and 3 have iPads? Will kinder also take iPads in daily?
Yes, PK-4 grade students will all be able to check out a district-owned iPad.
What if you choose in person instruction but then the school has to shut down due to an outbreak, will the students get a device then for virtual learning from home?
Yes, if the school is closed for whatever reason, the students will take their assigned devices home with them to begin learning in the Dragon Virtual Academy. Students in grades 5-12 who elect In-Person Instruction will be taking their laptops home daily. Therefore, if a school closes due to COVID-19, these students should already have their devices at home.
Is the new virtual platform single sign on or will we need to login to multiple websites back and forth like in the spring?
The video conferencing platform will be Zoom as reviewed and selected with teacher input. Zoom is available within Classlink, the district's single sign-on solution. Therefore, no additional passwords or URLs will be needed to access Zoom.
I’m concerned about privacy issues related to webcams in live classrooms for virtual teaching. Doesn’t this violate the privacy protocol of having children being broadcast online?
Teachers have had webcams built into their laptops for over a decade, these webcams will work the same way they will just have better quality imaging, and provide the teacher more flexibility. There are pre-set locations that the teacher can manage using a remote control. The camera immediately turns to the preset location rather than panning the room where students might be visible.
Have the technical resources been increased to support DVA? How much down time is considered acceptable once a breakdown in the video feed occurs? What will be done to help the kids catch up the lost time?
The district has great internet capabilities. The current capacity for the district is 30Gb. This capacity should be more than enough. According to Zoom, a presenter needs 3Mb to stream at 1080p (High Resolution). With this need, and our current bandwidth, we could host 10,000 teachers streaming at once. Families without internet service will be issued a hot spot. If a student is experiencing technical difficulties, CISD tech staff are available during school hours Monday through Friday during the school year and are willing to assist. Simply call 817-949-HELP.
Has anyone actually tried this webcam teaching yet?
Yes, teachers have had webcams on their laptops for over a decade, and they have used these to teach remotely. For some teachers the webcams in the center of the classroom will be new. But online virtual instruction has been happening globally for many years. Training will be provided for every CISD teacher the first week they return back on contract.
I hope they have really good internet. Imagine 200 teachers in one building getting online and trying to stream at the same time?
As noted above, the district has great internet capabilities. The current capacity for the district is 30Gb. This capacity should be more than enough. According to Zoom, a presenter needs 3Mb to stream at 1080p (High Resolution). With this need, and our current bandwidth, we could host 10,000 teachers streaming at once.
Will teachers wear a microphone for CHS/CSHS Dragon Virtual Academy or will the audio come from the web-cameras in the room? Will there be closed caption for live DVA? Closed caption for recorded DVA?
Lapel microphones have been purchased for our teachers to provide the best quality sound, and to reduce classroom noises. Teachers also have microphones built into their laptops. The district video conferencing platform is Zoom, which has closed captioning, and can be recorded depending on teacher/presenter preferences.
Will there be entry screening for fever or symptoms daily?
Carroll ISD is following the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Education Agency guidelines for screening. Employees must self-screen and take their own temperatures each day before arriving at work. Each Sunday between noon and 6 p.m. parents will be reminded to complete an electronic health screening questionnaire using a QR code on their cell phone. Students who arrive for school Monday and have not had their screening completed by the parent will be asked to go to the school office until the parent can be reached and completes the screening process. The electronic form will only have to be filled out each Sunday before the week begins. Parents will screen students for temperatures or symptoms at home before arriving at school each day. Staff and students who feel ill or have fever are asked to stay at home until they meet the requirements to return to school (see Symptoms and Health Protocols on this page).
How will you test for Subs health?
Substitute teachers will be required to complete the same temperature check and self-screening that other employees complete each day before coming on campus. CISD reserves the right to use a touchless thermometer to take the temperature of any student, staff member or visitor who appears to be ill or thought to be running a fever. Per the Texas Education Agency, the district can deny entry on campus to those who refuse to follow established health and safety protocols.
Will the district be screening parents, volunteers and visitors before allowing them on campus?
Yes! The front door to each campus will be closed and locked once students have entered the building to begin the school day. Thanks to a school safety grant, CISD had cameras and audio systems installed at the entrance to each school to help ensure safety. A parent, volunteer or visitor that arrives during the school day will have to buzz the front office and show their picture ID into the camera. If requested, the individual must lower their mask so the office staff can confirm their identity. All parents, volunteers and visitors will be asked routine COVID-19 screening questions on the Raptor sign-in machine and have their temperature taken before entry is allowed into the academic areas.
What if I have to drop something off for my student after school starts?
Carroll ISD encourages parents to drop off only emergency items that your child leaves at home that are essential for learning (i.e. laptop, eye glasses, iPads, etc.). If a parent is dropping off an item for a student, the parent must wear a mask and will follow the procedures described above before being allowed into the mantrap (foyer area) to place their item with their child’s name on it on the designated table. There will be no reason for the parent to enter the office area or the school itself. Staff members will collect items periodically to ensure they are delivered or made accessible to students.
What if my child has a doctor’s appointment or I want to sign my child out for the day?
A parent, volunteer or visitor that arrives during the school day will have to buzz the front office and show their picture ID into the camera. If requested, the individual must lower their mask so the office staff can confirm their identity. After indicating that they are there to sign out their child for an appointment or to go home for the day, the parent will be allowed into the mantrap (foyer area) while still wearing the mask. The parent will follow the instructions on the signage in the mantrap, placing plastic gloves on each hand and wearing their mask before being allowed into the office area. Once inside, the parent should go to the Raptor computer and sign their child out, stepping back into the mantrap to wait for the child to be released. These procedures will minimize the amount of disinfecting and exposure to the virus in the office area.
Will parents be allowed on campus for meetings and other activities?
Parents will be allowed to come to the campus to drop off items in the mantrap (foyer area), check their child out for appointments (using gloves/mask and the Raptor sign-out computer) or to participate in essential in-person conferences, meetings or special events. For the fall semester, CISD will not be allowing parents or other visitors to eat lunch with their children at school. If the parent has an ARD or face-to-face meeting with the teacher, the parent will buzz the front office, show their ID, remove their mask temporarily, if asked, replace their mask and step into the mantrap (foyer area) to follow the instructions on the signage. Once gloved and masked, the parent will be allowed into the office area to complete the Raptor sign-in process to include health screening questions. Parents should interact with office staff from behind the plexiglass provided. Follow all signage and social distancing markers. The parent will then be subject to a touchless temperature check before being allowed to enter the academic area where the teacher meeting will take place. No one with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be allowed in the school setting. If a parent passes the pre-screening, they are to walk directly to the meeting location and minimize touching surfaces or interacting throughout the building; restrooms, of course, may be accessed if necessary. Masks must be worn at all times and social distances of six feet should be maintained during the face-to-face meeting. Parents are free to remove their gloves once they are seated in the classroom for the meeting. When leaving, parents must continue to wear masks and verbally request the office staff check them out as they depart the campus. Hand sanitizer is available in the mantrap (foyer area) for parent use as they leave the campus.
Will there be PTO meetings and events for parents on campus this fall?
The district has announced that most large gatherings have been canceled and/or will be held as virtual events instead. This is to minimize the co-mingling of adults and families from different households and to protect the school environment from any unnecessary outside contamination. PTOs are encouraged to either meet off-site OR hold Zoom meetings at least this fall. Again, we want our parents to know they are an essential part of our Dragon family, but minimizing exposure in the school environment is a priority.
What if someone comes to a school and forgets a mask?
A box of lightweight medical masks and non-latex gloves will be provided in the mantrap (foyer area) of each CISD campus. Those who have arrived on campus but forgotten to wear a mask may help themselves to the mask and gloves provided in the mantrap. Only those who have a mask and follow CISD procedures will be allowed on campus to complete essential duties or meetings.
Will there be opportunities to volunteer at school this fall?
Carroll ISD has announced that only essential volunteers/visitors will be allowed on campus and then, only if they follow the district’s screening and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the fall semester, CISD will not be allowing parents or other visitors to eat lunch with their children at school or to volunteer to help with daily teacher tasks. CISD reserves the right to use a touchless thermometer to take the temperature of any parent, volunteer or visitor who requests to come on campus, especially those who appear to be ill or thought to be running a fever. The district can deny entry on campus to those who refuse to follow established health and safety protocols. The procedures listed above will be utilized to help ensure a safe environment. All volunteer work on campus must be approved by the School Principal this fall. Any volunteer deemed essential will still have to complete an online background check before serving the campus. Essential volunteers must follow all screening and safety procedures described above, including wearing a mask while on campus and completing the health questionnaire in Raptor before entering the academic wings.
Will the district reduce class sizes to adhere to social distancing protocols?
We anticipate that class sizes will be smaller because of the number of families who choose for their children to participate in Dragon Virtual Academy. Right now about 35% of the parents are selecting DVA for the first nine-week period. CISD will also use small cohort groups in elementary classrooms and athletics as recommended by the CDC and the UIL.
How many students will be in a high school classroom at one time?
The answer to this question depends on the class/course, as well as the number of students who opt to participate in Dragon Virtual Academy. Right now, there appears to be a consistent 65% of our Dragon families who are choosing In-Person Instruction for their students. This means that class sizes will likely be smaller for at least the first nine-week period. Because students will still likely be within six feet of one another sitting at their individual desks, masks will be required in class.
While space is an issue, what efforts are being made to ensure social distancing?
The most difficult time for secondary campuses to social distance will be during passing periods. Signage and directional arrows will be provided to help move students quickly to and from classes in an orderly fashion and when possible, in one direction at a time. Students will be masked when moving to/from classes or locations in the building. Depending on the number of students who decide to enroll in DVA, class sizes are expected to be smaller. This will help with social distancing during class and passing periods. In the elementary classrooms, teachers will use cohort groups of 3-4 or “class buddies” to help minimize each student’s exposure to COVID-19. In turn, teachers can spread student cohorts throughout the classroom, using flexible seating, centers and space markers in the room to help encourage social distancing. Desk shields are available at the PK-4 campuses for younger students who are not required to wear a mask in class. Anytime a class can spread out, go outside or utilize other spaces to spread out, CISD will encourage that. Desk shields are being considered for intermediate campuses as well.
Why is CISD not planning for small class sizes?
We are planning for smaller class sizes due to the percentage of parents who will be choosing Virtual Instruction for their child. We will know more about class sizes and numbers for each course once parents have completed Annual Student Verification and principals/counselors can complete the master schedule.
Can teachers take their classes outside?
Weather permitting, teachers will be allowed to take classes outside as long as the space is away from ongoing construction and conducive to learning. PE classes will be encouraged to utilize fresh air outdoors as often as possible. Students will still have to wear masks if they are closer than six feet apart from others.
How are you thinking about social distancing as kids under 3rd grade walk to lunch and gym and the pick up areas?
Students will be wearing masks when walking from one location to another but not in the classroom if they are 9 years of age or younger and using CISD-provided desk shields. Teachers will help show students how far to stand apart and do their best to space classes out as they move from one location to another. There has been some discussion about using ropes with knots (six feet apart) for younger students to hold onto when walking to and from locations as a class. We will explore this idea to get principal/teacher feedback for our youngest students.
Since you all were social distancing for this Q&A why is it safe for in-person instruction?
Carroll ISD has over 5,000 families representing 8,600+ students. The Governor, CDC, Texas Education Agency and Tarrant County Health all discourage large group gatherings where individuals from different households are commingling, especially when case contact tracing would be nearly impossible. The Dragon Chat Live social media event allowed more than 2,000 people to watch and participate. An in-person meeting space could not have accommodated that many in the audience. None of our campuses serve that many students at once, especially given that a percentage of students will be home participating in DVA.
Could we get some type of pics on how classrooms will look for elementary?
Yes. The Board & Community Relations Department is working on several photos, communications and videos to show and/or demonstrate safety protocols, signage and other COVID-19 related procedures for release prior to the first day of school.
Will students in middle school have their desks socially distanced at 6 feet apart?
To the extent possible, students will be socially distanced in the classroom, however, much will depend on the number of students in each class/course. With about 65% of the parents currently choosing In-Person Instruction, this means most class sizes will be less than normal. Students will be required to wear masks in class if they are 10 years or older and cannot be six feet apart. Younger students who are not required to wear a mask will have desk shield dividers to help create safe space between them and their neighboring students.
Will students be in cohorts and stick with the same cohort through the school day?
Students in PK-4 will be assigned to cohorts of three to four (class buddies) whenever possible to minimize overall exposure from one student to another. Even then, students will use desk shields and/or be discouraged from sharing supplies or moving into the personal space of other classmates. Teachers will work with students regularly to remind them of the social distance requirements and to remain with their cohort buddies throughout the day. This concept becomes much more difficult in grades 5-12 where students move from class to class on individual schedules and do not necessarily remain with the same cohort of students. Older students will be required to wear masks and to maintain safe distances when at all possible.
Will students be changing classes or stay in one class and teachers rotate? Lunch?
CISD will work to minimize student movement and rotate teachers when possible. In some cases students might remain in class for Encore while the teacher comes to their classroom. In other cases students will wear masks and be spaced out as they walk in hallways from one class to another, like PE or science lab. CISD does not believe it is in the best interests of students to be contained in one classroom space all day long. Signage will help communicate hallway and stairway pedestrian flow with an effort to separate students to one side or another or moving in the same direction as much as possible. Hand sanitizer will be provided and used as students get on/off the bus and when they enter/exit a computer lab. CISD currently plans to allow students to get out of the classroom and go down to the lunch room to spread out and eat lunch. Younger students may take their desk shields with them to set up on the lunch table if they wish. The lunch tables will be disinfected and wiped down before the next group of students come in for lunch. Student desk shields have the ability to insert a name placeholder.
And who is the physician in charge of CISD’s back to school health plan?
Governor Greg Abbott’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas has physicians and health experts providing advice/guidance. In addition, Carroll ISD has been following the advice and guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Education Agency. CISD remains in direct contact with the Tarrant County Health Department for guidance and has been assigned an epidemiologist to oversee district surveillance. We rely heavily on our Lead Nurse Karen Flexer and our trained medical professionals who work in our school health clinics. CISD also takes health-related issues to the School Health Advisory Council throughout the year. This group does not meet during the summer but will be called upon regularly to review various safety protocols such as the fever policy. In addition, CISD has parents and staff serving on the Safety & Security Committee that meets three times per year by law. Although CISD made a local decision to reopen schools, the district does follow the guidance and recommendations of the health experts and epidemiologists assigned to CISD for contract tracing and case management.
How will students safely transition from class to class while maintaining social distance? Will classes be released at a staggered schedule?
Students will be masked when transitioning from class to class to help prevent close contact and/or the spread of COVID-19. Students are encouraged to follow signage and pedestrian flow for each area of their building. Campus administrators and staff will have flexibility to incorporate staggered dismissals and/or site-specific procedures to help manage students/staff in the safest and most efficient manner. Students will be encouraged to create space and avoid congregating in large groups during passing periods.
Why don’t you rotate the teachers instead of the students in grades 5 and above?
Students in grades 5-12 are not scheduled in teams/groups and therefore they do not move as whole groups from one teacher to the next. Students schedules are built individually and students do not remain with the same students all day. Therefore, in grades 5-12 students must rotate throughout the building. Additionally, we believe students benefit from moving around and not sitting all day in the same classroom. CISD will require masks to be worn when students are moving from class to class and will provide hand sanitizer throughout the building. They will be discouraged from loitering in large groups in the hallway and to maintain safe distance from other students when at all possible. Passing periods will be the most difficult times of the day to manage social distancing. Therefore the mask order during this time will be strictly enforced.
What is the mask policy for teachers and students and what enforcement measures will be in place to ensure compliance?
Masks or face shields will be required for everyone who is 10 years or older if they are not six feet apart or behind a desk shield. Campus Administrators and department supervisors will hold staff accountable for mask requirements. Students will receive gentle reminders to put on their mask. Wearing a mask is a requirement for students to be eligible for In-Person Instruction. CISD reserves the right to deny entry for anyone who refuses to follow the mask requirement. Students who persistently fail to comply could be required to move to the virtual instruction platform.
Is the district considering making masks mandatory for elementary? If not, would you consider making masks mandatory in hallways and settings in which students are not with their cohort?
CISD plans to follow the Governor’s Executive Order and require masks for students who are 10 and over if they are not six feet apart from others. All students will be asked to wear masks while riding school buses and/or walking into the building/hallways. Once in class, students who are 9 years old and under can use the desk shields provided by Carroll ISD and are not required to keep their mask on all day while learning. Students are not required to wear masks while doing physical exercise in PE or athletic classes as long as they are spaced out six feet apart. Because younger students will be playing together at recess, masks will be required and enforced during recess.
What happens if the governor rescinds the mask order?
Carroll ISD won’t change the mask order in the middle of a grading period. If the Governor rescinds the mask order, CISD will make announcements and not change the requirements/mask protocols until the next grading period so that parents have advanced notice. Any parent who does not feel comfortable with safety protocols or with pre-announced changes to a mask requirement will have the right to immediately move their child to the Dragon Virtual Academy platform. Just because the Governor rescinds the Executive Order requiring masks does not mean that CISD will also rescind the mask requirement. The district reserves the right to make these decisions with proper notice to parents and flexibility for parents to move their child to DVA if they so choose.
Can we change our minds and switch to DVA if that happens or if it appears that students are not wearing masks adequately?
If you do not feel comfortable with in-person instruction, please contact your campus principal in writing about moving to virtual instruction. CISD will work with parents and needs to ensure that we can accommodate the request through existing staffing. As you can imagine, it’s easier to move from in-person instruction to DVA, than the other way around. Switching from DVA to in-person will only be allowed at the end of each grading period with two weeks written notice to the campus principal OR by a student who had previously been in-person and was forced to go virtual during self-isolation or illness.
Why are we having desk shields for K-4?? They have been the safest group through COVID-19?
Most of the elementary students do not fall under the Governor’s mask order. CISD conferred with other districts and many were purchasing some sort of portable desk shield for their elementary students only. We purchased them for teachers, too. The shields can be carried from room to room and down to the lunchroom. They are lightweight, but sturdy and will be disinfected each night. All students will be required to wear a mask while riding the bus and/or walking into/out of school and in the hallways.
Why aren’t at minimum face shields required for kids under 9?
Students certainly can wear face shields. CISD will be requiring masks or face shields for all bus riders and for all students when walking into/out of the school building and/or hallways. Once in class, students 9 and younger can use desk shields and remove their masks. A parent can always require that their child wear a mask/face shield at all times.
What is the classroom policy once a child is seated as it only states while passing/moving?
Students will wear a mask while riding the bus and walking into/out of the school building and/or hallways. The only time a mask may be removed is if the student is seated six feet away from other students. At the elementary level there are desk shields and the younger students are not mandated to wear the mask, but a parent can send a mask and have the child wear it if preferred.
Since there is an “exemption-while speaking,” will the teacher wear a mask while speaking?
Teachers may not always have their mask on while speaking or teaching, but if they do not have the mask on, students must be masked, behind desk shields or located six feet away. CISD is providing teachers with clear face shields that can be worn in lieu of a mask while teaching. Our younger students will have desk shields that will help protect them.
Will students wear a mask while speaking?
Students ages 10 and above will be expected to wear masks to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, especially when moving to/from locations and when they are within six feet or closer of others. If the student is giving a presentation or class speech, the mask may be removed during the duration of the speech or presentation. Masks may be removed temporarily to ensure effective communication with the teacher, but should be replaced as soon as possible.
Will students wear masks on the shuttle bus between CHS and CSHS?
Yes. Students will be required to wear a mask while riding the shuttle bus. CISD is providing extra shuttle buses and will only allow one student rider per seat.
Does CISD plan on mandating masks be worn (or will that be optional?)
CISD will follow the Governor’s Executive Order and require anyone who is 10 years or older to wear a mask and/or face shield. See responses above.
How strictly will the mask protocols be followed? For example, If a student over 9 doesn’t wear a mask when arriving at school, will he/she be allowed to enter the building?
Students will be asked and gently reminded regularly that they must wear masks. This requirement will be managed by staff and campus principals like any other student situation. Wearing a mask is a requirement for students to be eligible for In-Person Instruction. Extra masks have been provided by the state and CISD for those students who might arrive and forgot their mask at home. Those who do not follow the mask requirement could be sent home and required to move to the virtual learning platform.
Are you using plexiglass at the tables?
Carroll ISD is providing plexiglass at key locations in the district where students, parents or visitors interact regularly with staff. Examples include reception desks, attendance windows, libraries, lunch serving lines, etc. The district is providing each teacher in the district with a desk shield so that students can approach their desk and interact without worry of exposure. At the elementary level, CISD is providing desk shield barriers for every student. The shields are lightweight but sturdy and can be carried by students to the lunchroom, science lab or other locations as needed. They will be disinfected nightly.
Is it true that the CDC and the Texas Education Agency recently updated/changed the list of COVID-19 symptoms?
Yes. On July 28 TEA released an updated list of symptoms and fever protocols for pre-screening students, staff and visitors wanting to come on campus. Any of the following symptoms indicate a possible COVID-19 infection:
- Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth;
- Sore throat;
- New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain;
- New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.
How does the CDC define close contact?
“Close Contact” is defined as being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on); or being within 6 feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes; if either occurred at any time in the last 14 days at the same time the infected individual was infectious. Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset, or in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are lab-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to the confirming lab test.
What happens if my child comes into “close contact” with someone who tests positive for COVID-19?
Close contacts should follow the stay at home protocol as outlined by the CDC. COVID-19 testing for close contacts is not necessary, as negative test results can occur at any time while the virus is incubating. The role of schools in identifying close contacts is to provide relevant information to local health departments, not to determine close contacts in the absence of public health guidance.
If my child has seasonal allergies, and they regularly go through periods of time in the fall/winter/spring where they are sneezing and coughing because of allergies, will that be considered covid symptoms and will they be allowed to attend school? Will they have to go to the doctor every time they have an allergy issue? Will they have to get a covid test in order to be allowed in school if they start sneezing/coughing due to allergies?
The CDC and the Texas Education Agency just recently released updated guidance on symptoms (see question above). Students experiencing seasonal allergies will not have their symptoms treated as COVID-19 unless the trained Registered Nurse’s assessment is that the child has COVID-like symptoms as noted above and should go home and/or be recommended for testing before the child can return.
If they do enforce a quarantine for all of those exposed to a positive case, how will it affect those students with siblings in other schools within the district? Will everyone within one family unit be required to quarantine? Or just those who have had direct exposure or tested positive?
These decisions are up to the Tarrant County Health Department. Carroll ISD will work with TCHD and communicate with the families involved in the contact tracing. We anticipate that only those who have come into “close contact” with a positive case will be required to stay at home. See the definition of “close contact” above. A sibling of a student asked to stay at home or self-isolate may also be subject to the same order by the TCHD.
If a student presents with a fever in the nurse’s office, will that student be required to test for Covid-19 before returning to school?
The school nurse will call the parent of any child who presents with a fever in the school health clinic. The child will be masked and remain in the clinic until the parent can come pick the child up. According to newly released guidelines by the CDC and the Texas Education Agency, students (or staff) with a 100.4 or greater fever will be asked to stay at home and self-isolate. While at home, encourage other family members to wear a mask and disinfect frequently. If the individual has symptoms but chooses not to get COVID-19 testing, the individual can end self-isolation with a medical professional’s diagnosis that the symptoms are something other than COVID-19 or by obtaining an acute infection test at an approved testing location (https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/) that comes back negative for COVID-19. Otherwise, the self-isolation ends when ALL THREE of the following are true: 1) 24 hours with no fever; 2) symptoms improved; and 3) 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Regular policy requires a student to be fever free for 24 hours. Will this policy be extended to 14 days fever free or altered in any other way?
The return to school after a fever will be subject to an assessment made by the school nurse and/or a family physician. CISD’s current policy is for children to be sent home if they have a fever of 100 or higher, however, the CDC and TEA recently increased their fever requirement to 100.4 or greater. During this COVID-19 pandemic, CISD will follow the CDC recommendations. Our School Health Advisory Council recently reviewed the fever policy and upheld the 100 or higher policy. Our health professionals on staff will work with SHAC to review the changes made by the CDC and make announcements accordingly. Until then, the district will follow the CDC recommendations for fever noted in the question directly above.
Do you intend to relax attendance guidelines such that students that may have symptoms or have been exposed are not unduly incentivized to attend school?
Carroll ISD has in the past when the situation warrants, relaxed its attendance guidelines to accommodate severe flu outbreaks. Our plan right now for students who are subject to extended illness and/or stay-at-home orders is to have those students participate in the Dragon Virtual Academy while they are out. Students who are sick for other reasons and want to return to In-Person Instruction may stay at home to recuperate and simply follow the guidelines to return and CISD’s policy for completing make-up work. CISD, based on TEA and CDC guidance, urges all staff and students experiencing illness or symptoms to stay at home. Students won’t be incentivized to attend school because they can transition quickly to DVA.
At what point are parents required to notify the school of a potential Covid case with their child? Only after a positive test? Or when symptoms appear?
Please contact your child’s school nurse if your child is experiencing symptoms as described by the CDC and updated by TEA (see questions above) or if your child has tested positive for COVID-19. Keep the child at home in self-isolation. Self-isolation allows individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19 to recover while trying not to infect others. Based on medical professionals’ understanding of how long an individual is infectious after fever and other symptoms disappear, self-isolation can end when a symptomatic or lab-confirmed individual meets all three of the following conditions for return to school:
- 24 hours with no fever;
- Symptoms improved; and
- 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- Obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location (https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/) that comes back negative for COVID-19.
- A doctor’s note indicating an alternate diagnosis
What are this year’s vaccination / shot requirements? Did anything change this year?
No. There were no changes to the immunization requirements for students. All students must show proof of required immunizations or submit an applicable waiver before the first day of school. Visit the CISD Health Services website for a list of Immunization Requirements.
Will the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory once available?
Carroll ISD does not have any information on whether or not a potential COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory.
How will you contact trace a positive case if students are going back and forth between the high school and senior high?
Contact tracing involves the identification of individuals who have been exposed as close contacts to COVID-19 and are as a result possibly infected themselves, but presymptomatic. CDC/TEA Guidance for Schools is that case investigation and contact tracing will be conducted by the local health entity, not the school district. If an infected individual was on campus during the infectious period, school personnel will need to provide information to inform the case investigation and contact tracing process.
Will students have additional time to make up work since the virus can last two weeks or longer?
Our plan right now for students who are subject to extended illness and/or stay-at-home orders is to have those students participate in the Dragon Virtual Academy while they are out. Students who are sick for other reasons and want to return to In-Person Instruction may stay at home to recuperate and simply follow the guidelines to return and CISD’s policy for completing make-up work. Those who are out for extended periods of time but feel well enough to attend DVA will be encouraged to do so. The teacher for the course, however, could be different during that time.
Will schools require the use of hand sanitizer upon entry to the schools by all who enter the building? (Local doctors offices, hospitals and businesses require this.)
Carroll ISD has installed hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrance of each school, in each classroom, in computer labs and in numerous other locations throughout the building. The district even made sure there is hand sanitizer in each school bus. Students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer regularly although hand-washing with soap is preferred. Specific times students will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer include: entering/exiting the bus, entering/exiting the building, entering/exiting the playground area, entering/exiting computer labs. Students will be encouraged to wash their hands after restroom use and before lunch.
How is the district planning to address the increased need for cleaning?
Visit our In-Person Instruction webpage to learn more about CISD cleaning and disinfection plan: https://www.southlakecarroll.edu/cms/lib/TX02219131/Centricity/Domain/75/Back%20to%20School%20PPE%20and%20Safety%20Measures.pdf
The Administration presented a staffing plan to the School Board recently showing that CISD was already in need of additional custodial staff even before COVID-19. A staffing study conducted by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) recommended an additional 24 custodial employees to accommodate added square footage from the past couple of bond programs. The Board will soon consider phase 1 of the plan to hire an additional custodial employee for each campus to help from lunch periods into the evening cleaning hours. This will help ensure a consistent and thorough cleaning program to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The district purchased electrostatic sprayers to disinfect surfaces, classrooms, iPads, laptops and computer labs in addition to locker rooms, restrooms and other high-traffic locations on campus.
Specifically, what is your planned cleaning process and how frequently will it be done?
Cleaning will be done throughout the day by the day custodian assigned to each campus, at lunch by staff and into the evening/night hours by our night custodial teams. Teachers and support staff will assist with surface cleaning throughout the day as needed. Our Director of Facilities has experience in the hospital/health setting and brings tremendous expertise to the disinfection process. The Tarrant County Health Department recently toured facilities at Carroll Sr. High School and met with our custodial supervisors and other staff members. They made a few recommendations for ventilation in weight rooms, but overall said they were impressed and satisfied with the cleaning protocols put in place by CISD.
What will the sanitizing protocol be for desks, lunch tables and bathrooms?
CISD custodial staff will disinfect all areas overnight using electrostatic sprayers. In addition, each staff member will be supplied disinfectant spray bottles and Dragon green towels that will be placed in designated containers and washed nightly. Staff will be encouraged to wipe down desks, tables, and other areas in between student use.
Will additional custodial staff be hired for each campus & CISD facility?
The School Board will soon consider an additional 11 custodial employees to serve CISD campuses. One employee will be added to each campus custodial staff, if approved. The individual will arrive to help the day custodian with the lunch period and stay long enough to assist the night custodial team with cleaning/disinfection.
Who is responsible for cleaning & sanitizing individual classrooms?
Our custodial staff is primarily responsible for cleaning and sanitizing individual classrooms every night. Every employee, however, can do their part by helping to clean and disinfect high-touch areas. Office staff spend the first few minutes of each day spraying disinfectant and using Dragon green towels to wipe down door knobs, handrails, desks/chairs, phones, computers and other high-touch areas. We all partner together to help ensure our lunch room tables and classroom desks are cleaned periodically throughout the day and especially before a new class of students arrive. When appropriate, older students can use the safe cleaning materials to wipe down their own desks/work areas. Younger students will not be given disinfectant bottles to do their own cleaning. When Clorox or other disinfectant hand wipes become more readily available, CISD can provide those to the extent possible.
Will teachers and students be cleaning?
The primary responsibility for cleaning and disinfection of classrooms and work areas lies with our custodial staff. CISD is using disinfectant that is approved by the EPA to combat COVID-19. Electrostatic sprayers have been purchased to help with cleaning and preparing the classrooms, gyms and playground equipment before students arrive each day. As noted above, when appropriate, staff and older students can use the safe cleaning materials to wipe down their own desks/work areas. Younger students will not be given disinfectant bottles to do their own cleaning. When Clorox or other hand wipes become more readily available, CISD can provide those to the extent possible.
If a student or teacher in a classroom tests positive will that classroom be closed for cleaning? For how long? Will those students who use said classroom be moved to another space within the building and if so, how will you communicate that to them? ESP. With students who use 2 campuses everyday (CHS and CSHS).
Carroll ISD will ensure deep cleaning and additional disinfecting of all areas impacted by a positive COVID-19 case. The decisions about closing down areas for a period of time are up to the Tarrant County Health Department in consultation with district officials. Carroll ISD will work with TCHD and communicate with the families involved in the contact tracing of positive cases. We anticipate that only those who have come into “close contact” with a positive case will be required to stay at home. See the definition of “close contact” in our Symptoms & Health Protocols section above.
So how many times will they be washing their hands in the classroom?
The Texas Education Agency encourages staff members to remind students to wash their hands frequently when going to the restroom and/or before lunch. TEA recommends that students wash their hands at least twice a day for 20 second intervals with soap. Students will be trained in effective hand-washing techniques at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, in addition to a video being produced by CISD. In addition, CISD is providing hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom, throughout other areas of the campus and on school buses.
Are there any modifications to ventilation?
Weather and circumstances permitting, CISD will allow windows to be opened on buses and classrooms to increase air circulation. We have pre and final filters in all of our HVAC units and air handlers. They are scheduled to be changed out quarterly. All condenser and coils are serviced, cleaned, and disinfected this time of the year. CISD uses high-efficiency air filters when applicable for a particular HVAC system since not all filters are the same for HVAC equipment.
Are the air filters capable of filtering out contagion?
The higher the efficiency filters with MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value), the better the filter for trapping specific particles. CISD transitioned five years ago from a MERV 4 rating to a MERV 8 high-efficiency air filter or the equivalent of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter) throughout the district to capture smaller microns of less than 3.0. For each HVAC system throughout the district, we have to consider the appropriateness of the filter when making decisions so they are not counterproductive with pressure loss and air flow. Air filters alone are actually considered less effective than other "Preventive Maintenance" requirements CISD has in place as listed above since filters still have to be replaced on a regular basis. The Facilities Department is also going to disinfect the air intakes utilizing the electrostatic sprayers which is really the main disinfectant for the duct systems.
Will teachers & staff have access to Covid testing as needed?
Carroll ISD is not conducting testing. Students and staff will go to their own physician or a local testing site if a COVID-19 test is required. Testing is paid for by most insurances, though a co-pay or deductible may apply. Public health entities and community groups also offer free testing in many communities.
How are you handling positive cases with regard to quarantining?
New guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Education Agency were released as recently as July 28 and they do not mention the word quarantining at all. A link to the TEA PowerPoint explaining close contact, stay-at home and self-isolation orders can be found on our website under Health Protocols or by clicking here: https://www.southlakecarroll.edu/cms/lib/TX02219131/Centricity/Domain/75/Public%20Health%20Operational%20Guidebook%2020-21.pdf
What happens to my child if they are exposed to someone who has tested positive while in person at school? Is there still a 5 day shut down? Will we have to quarantine for 14 days?
The CDC and Texas Education Agency recently released new guidelines regarding exposure to a positive test. There is no five-day mandatory shutdown or any mention of quarantines, according to the Commissioner of Education. However, there are guidelines for what to do if you come into “close contact” with a positive COVID-19 case. The recommendation is for the school district to contact the Tarrant County Health Department to seek advice and next steps. Close contacts should follow the stay at home protocol as outlined by the CDC. COVID-19 testing for close contacts is not necessary, as negative test results can occur at any time while the virus is incubating. The role of schools in identifying close contacts is to provide relevant information to local health departments, not to determine close contacts in the absence of public health guidance. See TEA Public Health Guideline link above.
What will be the decision criteria to trigger complete school closure? If there is a broad case level at a school will CISD simply close the school for a day, clean the school and then reopen?
These decisions are up to the Tarrant County Health Department in consultation with district staff. Carroll ISD will work with TCHD and communicate with the families about cases in their child’s class or campus. Deep cleaning is typically conducted when CISD deals with an infectious disease in a classroom like head lice, whooping cough (Pertussis), etc. The district would definitely step-up our disinfection procedures in any classroom with a positive case. The district is working on a website dashboard to keep parents, staff and students informed of positive cases at each campus once school begins.
Is the answer to the quarantine question still not yet determined? The explanation was confusing to me. Will a whole class have to quarantine?
The guidelines changed as recently as July 28 when TEA released an updated document that changed the fever protocols, symptoms and how schools should handle positive cases. They rely heavily on whether or not the case involves “close contact” as defined above in the Symptoms and Health Protocols section. There is no longer any mention of quarantines. Instead, the CDC/TEA now encourages stay-at-home orders and self-isolation. There are steps that can be taken to return to school if you test positive for COVID-19 but there can be as long as a 10-day isolation period for those showing symptoms or testing positive. Our guidance is to contact the Tarrant County Health Department, provide them with information about the case and follow their recommendations.
What are the procedures in place for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 in my child’s class or even school?
The school nurse will report the case to the Tarrant County Health Department and work with the campus staff to determine if the student has come into close contact (as defined in the TEA Health Guidance Document) with anyone in the class or other classes. Parents of students who came into close contact of the positive COVID-19 case will be notified via email. Cases for each campus will be updated at the end of each school day on a website dashboard page created by CISD. The district will follow the recommendations of the Tarrant County Health Department.
How many students have to become infected before it requires the school/schools to shut down?
The Tarrant County Health Department has not communicated a predetermined criteria for cases as their guide to recommend shutting down an entire campus. They consider each situation on a case-by-case basis. CISD will follow the TCHD recommendation when it comes to shutting down a portion or all of a school.
So students and staff who were positive don't need multiple negative tests before being allowed back in?
The rules for employees differ slightly because of CISD leave policies. To return to work, an employee does have to self-isolate and require proof of a negative test. For students, however, the rules/guidelines released by the CDC and TEA no longer require multiple negative tests. Self-isolation is the key for those who test positive and allows individuals who may have been infected with COVID-19 to recover while trying not to infect others. Based on medical professionals’ understanding of how long an individual is infectious after fever and other symptoms disappear, self-isolation can end when a symptomatic or lab-confirmed individual meets all three of the following conditions for return to school:
- 24 hours with no fever;
- Symptoms improved; and
- 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- Obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location (https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/) that comes back negative for COVID-19.
- A doctor’s note indicating an alternate diagnosis
If the kids infected have siblings in other schools will those schools shut down as well?
Carroll ISD will work with the Tarrant County Health Department in assessing outbreaks and/or required shut downs. CISD has been assigned an epidemiologist from TCHD. Having a sibling with a positive COVID-19 test or symptoms may require stay-at-home or self-isolation for brothers/sisters, but it won’t automatically shut down a school.
Is the school required to close if there is a positive case, or is that just a guideline?
The school would close if the Tarrant County Health Department recommended closure due to an increase in the number of positive cases at CISD campuses. CISD will follow TCHD recommendations. The guidelines and procedures for handling positive cases seem to be changing. Visit our website link to review recently-released TEA Health Guidelines.
What happens if a student or teacher attending in-person class tests positive? Does the entire class or school go to DVA and return back to school after 14 day quarantine?
CISD will follow the Tarrant County Health Department’s guidance depending on the situation and whether or not anyone in the class falls under the “close contact” definition. There really are no more mentions of quarantines, but the CDC/TEA now emphasize stay-at-home orders and self-isolation for 14-day periods. The individual who tests positive will have to stay home and follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC/TEA before returning to school. If an entire class is recommended to stay at home or self-isolate, CISD will assist in communicating with the families affected. All students asked to stay at home or self-isolate can transition immediately to Dragon Virtual Academy.
When that happens, do their teachers remain the same during DVA or they change?
The teacher for DVA could be the same because some courses may be offered in-person, as well as a section of DVA taught by the same certified CISD teacher. At the younger grade levels, CISD hopes to identify certified teachers who are willing and want to serve as DVA teachers this year. This means that if a student tests positive or receives a stay-at-home or self-isolation order, moving to DVA may mean a different teacher temporarily. Thankfully, DVA and In-Person teachers will be following the same curriculum, grading guidelines and homework rigor.
When a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19, what is the quarantine plan? Will everyone that individual had contact with be required to quarantine for the recommended 2 weeks? Will the whole school go into quarantine for a period to clean and sanitize? Will teachers in quarantine be required to instruct remotely and will students be required to complete class work remotely?
CISD will follow the Tarrant County Health Department’s guidance depending on the situation and whether or not anyone in the class falls under the “close contact” definition. The individual who tests positive will have to stay home and follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC/TEA before returning to school. This individual can move immediately to virtual learning.
Will you tell us if the positive case was in our kids class or just in their school?
Yes to both situations. Carroll ISD will notify parents if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the classroom and/or at a campus. The district plans to provide a webpage dashboard showing cases by campus for staff and students.
What is the protocol you will follow, will everyone be notified, and how many times will you do this before you reassess whether or not to remain open?
Carroll ISD is working on communication protocols to ensure the public is kept updated on positive COVID-19 cases. Per TEA guidelines, we will work with the Tarrant County Health Department to track cases and follow their recommendations regarding closures.
Will all student and faculty positive Covid 19 cases in CISD schools be announced to the public at large?
Carroll ISD has been sharing the student and staff cases involved in summer workouts via emails/newsletter notices. The district communicates directly with the individuals who may have come into close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19. We are working on a reporting system that will be included in a website dashboard to update families of CISD cases involving staff or students in each location.
How are you all dealing with the 30 plus custodial staff that have tested positive?
CISD did not have 30 custodial staff test positive. We have had several custodial and grounds crew employees who had to self-isolate due to exposure to a family member, friend or coworker who tested positive. The total number of positive cases for this group of employees was only four.
What are you doing to ensure that our teachers safety is also a priority? Parents are being given a choice. Are teachers being given a choice also?
The Texas Education Agency said employees of school systems, like employees of any organization, must continue to meet the work expectations set by their employers, subject to any applicable employment contract terms or legal requirements. However, CISD is working with teachers and other staff to ensure the safety of students, teachers, and staff.
Each campus principal called their staff to ask the following questions in an effort to assist anyone with health concerns and to provide our staff with choice in their teaching platform:
- Do you have an underlying health condition, as documented by a physician, that may prevent you from reporting to work in-person based on the current pandemic conditions?
- If yes, please provide Personnel Services with the documentation from your physician and what accommodations you may need to return to work.
- Once Carroll ISD is able to offer in-person instruction, is there anything that would prevent you from reporting to work?
If so, what?
- If given the option, would you volunteer to be a teacher assigned full-time to a virtual classroom when in-person instruction resumes?
Carroll ISD is taking into consideration those teachers who have documented health conditions that would prevent them from providing in person instruction. If a teacher has a health condition that requires that the district consider a reasonable accommodation under ADA, they must notify their principal and submit documentation to Personnel Services. Per Federal law, reasonable accommodations are only able to be considered for an employee’s own health condition. As enrollment numbers come in, principals are working on their master schedules to see if we are able to accommodate those teachers who have health concerns by making them a DVA teacher. Teachers without documented health concerns can also volunteer to be a DVA teacher by notifying their principal, but they are not guaranteed for approval.
Virtual teaching does require a teacher to come to the building to teach from their classroom. In the event that accommodations cannot be made for a teacher to report to their classroom to teach virtually, that teacher will work directly with Personnel Services for additional accommodations. We will make any necessary accommodations for our staff members. For example, ensuring they are able to enter and exit portions of the building that students will not enter or exit daily. Moving classrooms to a location closer to restrooms so that there is less exposure around the building. Allow staff to attend any and all training virtually to limit exposure. Staff must work cooperatively with their campus principal to ensure these accommodations can be met.
What about the faculty? Especially the immunocompromised?
Carroll ISD is providing Personal Protective Equipment to help minimize risk to exposure. Cleaning protocols, social distancing efforts and health screening is all being done with our staff’s health in mind. Our Campus Principals and Personnel Services Department are confidentially working with each staff member to identify those who have a doctor’s note verifying a qualifying, underlying health condition that puts them at risk of contracting COVID-19. On March 28, 2020 Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act providing paid leave for school district employees through the provisions in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act. Employees are eligible for 10 days of leave at their regular rate of pay if they are subject to quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19, are advised to self-quarantine by a healthcare provider, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and are seeking a medical diagnosis. An employee is also eligible for 10 days of leave for up to $200/day to care for an individual subject (immediate family member) or advised to quarantine or isolate, or to care for son or daughter if school or place of care is closed due to COVID-19. An employee may only take a total of 10 work days per occurrence or per qualifying reason. Please contact Personnel Services to discuss your leave options.
Can teachers who are not comfortable going back in person and/or have high risk factors themselves or have family members with high risk for COVID-19 teach online while someone who is comfortable being physically in person monitors the in-person class?
Carroll ISD is looking for staff members who are willing to teach students enrolled in Dragon Virtual Academy. While the individual will still report to work and teach from their vacant classroom, the risk of exposure by others is minimized throughout the day because they have no students. Teachers interested in being assigned to DVA exclusively should notify their campus principal.
Are teachers getting desk plexiglass barriers?
Yes. CISD purchased portable desk shields for teachers and teaching assistants to use. These are the same lightweight, but sturdy desk shields purchased for PK-4 students. If these prove useful, the district may be able to purchase/obtain another order and expand their use to other campuses/grade levels. Teachers will also be provided face shields, masks, gloves and other PPE to help ensure their safety. Requiring masks to be worn throughout the day will also limit the risk of exposure. CISD’s decision to add five additional teacher training days will also ensure that all staff are back at work for a total of 10 work days (or two full weeks) before students return for the 2020-2021 school year. This is, in essence, will give CISD staff a full two weeks to minimize large group gatherings and outside exposure before students return.
Will teachers have a choice based on their personal underlying medical condition, age, risk factors to others living in their house, etc.?
Yes. As stated, our Campus Principals and Personnel Services Department are confidentially working with each staff member to identify those who have a doctor’s note verifying a qualifying, underlying health condition that puts them at risk of contracting COVID-19. Employees who are able to provide this documentation have leave options available to them under federal and local policy.
Can teachers wear scrubs? Something that can be easily washed?
No, we are asking our teachers to wear professional attire. Jeans and Dragon shirts may be worn on Fridays or designated spirit days.
You aren't making tests available to teachers?
CISD is not conducting testing. Testing is paid for by most insurances, though a co-pay or deductible may apply. Public health entities and community groups also offer free testing in many communities. The City of Southlake website has a list of local testing sites. CISD encourages teachers to contact their physician to discuss testing.
Why is teacher pay relevant to the discussion on how to open safely?
We have a lot of parents who have been concerned about our teachers and the additional stress/work associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The information about the 1% of the midpoint teacher raise was merely shared to show that the School Board does recognize the efforts put forth by staff. They also approved a one-time 1% check in December for each employee.
How often will y’all be testing staff for Covid?
CISD is not testing staff for COVID. They may be required to get a test if they show symptoms or are exposed to a positive case, but they will go to their doctor or a testing site. They have to provide CISD with their negative test results and meet the CDC/TEA requirements to return to work.
How are you going to enforce they get tested on their own if they have been exposed??
CISD requires a negative test and/or a doctor’s note for an employee to return to work.
Special Education Services
CISD will ensure that students with disabilities have access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The district will ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student with a disability can be provided the educational and related services identified in the student’s individualized education program (IEP).
What about the special education community? When will we hear about that?
Now that Carroll ISD is offering in-person instruction beginning the first day of school for students, the district intends to serve special education students in-person unless the parent requests virtual learning. SPED teachers and aides will be given Personal Protective Equipment and will take every safety precaution to minimize the student’s and staff member’s exposure to COVID-19. Teachers will wear face masks and/or shields, as well as other PPE. The district has included staff in the special education department as part of the Instructional Task Force and the needs of students in special education have been evaluated and addressed in every committee meeting. Individual student needs will be addressed as part of an ARD Committee meeting when school resumes.
Can CISD hold a live interactive town hall for SPED parents?
We are happy to address questions from our special education community. Similarly to Thursday’s Dragon Chat Live, we will continue to participate in all upcoming live chats and will address any Special Education question submitted. Due to confidentiality, a public interactive town hall for Special Education parents is not recommended. Please use the Let’s Talks feature on our district webpage to submit individual questions. Be sure to select Special Education as the Interest Area.
Is there additional training to occur for staff during the extra week regarding special education as well as training for parent education regarding data collecting?
Yes, additional training will be provided to address the following areas: safety protocols, virtual methods of service delivery, social emotional learning (SEL), data and documentation, and Compensatory Educational Services resulting from school closure in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parent video training sessions on how to access the specialized platforms and data collection will occur early in the school year. Should an Intermittent Closure occur prior to the start of school, parent video training sessions will be provided via preferred District platforms, such as Canvas or Seesaw. Parent training with therapists (related services, dyslexia teachers) regarding strategies and techniques will occur early in the school year. Video training sessions will be provided via preferred District platforms, such as Canvas, Seesaw and/or a video conferencing software tool if not possible in person.
What is the plan to follow IEPs and incorporate general education peer models, therapists, and other appropriate items per IEPs given the need to limit exposure?
Students will continue to receive access to all general education instruction as determined in the 504 Plan (IAP) or the IEP (ARD). Access to general education classes will be provided through accommodations and modification of the curriculum by the general education teacher, special education teacher and staff. Students requiring social skills instruction will continue to receive specially designed instruction by the special education teacher and staff. Students requiring an alternate curriculum will continue to receive specially designed instruction by the special education teacher and staff. Students requiring therapies or other related services will continue to be served by the appropriate service provider. If parents have chosen in-person instruction, the incorporation of general education peer models occurs in a naturalistic context by students participating in that general education classroom, with in-class support or through a co-teach model depending upon student data. Goals and objectives relating to peer models may be addressed in a variety of ways, but will have to be specifically addressed individually by the student’s ARD Committee.
If schools end up closing due to COVID-19 cases, have any decisions been made to prioritize special education students coming on campus?
Yes. Carroll ISD will be utilizing a phased-in approach. The 3 Phase Plan Draft outlines the availability for on-campus instruction and/or related services based on information from local, county and state officials. Instruction and/or therapy will take place with adherence to group size, sanitation protocols, PPE requirements, and use of a plexiglass shield.
How will kids under special education be incorporated into the general education classroom especially during synchronous times and how the general education peer modeling will be provided?
General education time for students in special education is an ARD Committee decision based on data and student needs. If parents have chosen in-person instruction, the incorporation of general education peer models occurs in a naturalistic context by students participating in that general education classroom, with in-class support or through a co-teach model depending upon student data. Goals and objectives relating to peer models may be addressed in a variety of ways, but will have to be specifically addressed individually by the student’s ARD Committee.
If parents opt for the DVA, facilitation of synchronous lessons will be the responsibility of the parent/caregiver or someone in the home. General education and special education teachers will collaborate to provide accommodations and modifications based on IEP paperwork and ARD Committee decisions. Accommodations and modifications of the lesson will be provided to the parent in order to meet individual student needs.
How significantly impacted is the PK program with regards to losing enrollment?
We will not know the final impact until the October 30, 2020 deadline. Some of the parents began withdrawing when they expected CISD to only offer virtual online learning. There are now parents re-enrolling their PK child with the announcement CISD is offering parents a choice between virtual or in-person instruction. The number of PK students enrolled at the start of school will not be known until Annual Student Verification closes.
Will the teachers in PK be expected to teach in-person and synchronous at the same time?
All teachers are being trained to teach both in-person and virtually. Some teachers have indicated to their campus principals that they are willing to teach DVA. This decision will depend on data from the Annual Student Verification process.
Will PK and Kindergarten be expected to bring iPads daily on campus and be a primary source of instruction?
Yes, all students PK-12, whether in person or DVA, will be provided their own personal dedicated device. Students in PK-4 will be issued district-owned iPads.
Will CISD expedite the process if SPED/504 kids need to switch plans if their needs are not being met?
Yes. ARD/504 meetings using a virtual platform will be used to facilitate meaningful participation and collaborative decision making while reducing the risk of community spread of the virus. If parents have questions about their child’s IEP/504 plan or services at any time and wish to convene an ARD/504 meeting to discuss, please contact your child’s diagnostician, campus 504 coordinator, or speech language pathologist. IEP/504 Plan amendments may be considered on a case-by-case basis to align virtual instruction and/or environment/supports. In the event an ARD/504 meeting needs to happen in-person, all participants must follow CISD’s health screening and parent/visitor safety protocols to be admitted on campus.
How will ARD and Section 504 meetings be held?
ARD/504 meetings using a virtual platform (Zoom) will be used to allow for meaningful participation and collaborative decision making while reducing the risk of community spread.
If my student is enrolled in DVA, can he/she still attend his/her Language Sciences class in person?
Students participating in the Dragon Virtual Academy will be eligible for scheduled site-based services if they receive occupational therapy, physical therapy, adapted physical education, orientation and mobility and vision instruction. We believe that high-quality instruction and therapy in the areas of language science (dyslexia) and speech can be provided in a virtual setting. The nature of special education and/or dyslexia interventions will likely require a heavier concentration of synchronous supports and services to ensure that individual student needs are met.
How will the bus work?
Students will be required to purchase bus passes to ride. There will no longer be a two-week grace period for bus riding without a pass at the start of school. Riders will wear masks and drivers will wear masks or shields, too. Hand sanitizer will be available as the students enter/exit the bus. Windows may be lowered to better circulate air, weather permitting. Only one student will be allowed in each seat unless you have a sibling living in the same household. Students will enter the bus and go all the way to the back of the bus to begin filling the bus. The bus will be loaded back to front and unloaded front to back. Buses will be disinfected each day before/after routes.
What is the plan for the shuttles between CHS and CSHS during the school day? Will there be multiple shuttles for social distancing or will students remain at one campus and need to be virtual for the other campus?
Carroll ISD plans to have extra shuttle buses running between CHS and CSHS during the school day and students will sit one person per seat. The drivers and the riders will be masked. Hand sanitizer will be provided as the students enter/exit the bus. Windows may be lowered to better circulate air, weather permitting.
Since my kids are doing the DVA for fall, I am not buying the bus pass yet. Will I get a chance to buy passes for next semester?
Yes. CISD sells passes by the semester or the year. Our plan would be to offer bus passes for the spring semester, too. By then, we are hoping we can relax the social distancing requirements of one student per seat and offer more bus passes. If not, the district will only have enough passes for sale to accommodate one student per seat.
Will you be checking all students and staff with the touch less thermometers before entering the building?
The CDC and the Texas Education Agency recommend self-screening and temperature checks. We have purchased touchless thermometers and CISD will make them readily available to any teachers who want to check a student’s temperature because he/she looks like they don’t feel good or might be feverish. Students who are feeling sick will go to the School Health Clinic where our Registered Nurses have established protocols for screening and taking care of ill students, immediately notifying parents and keeping the ill child isolated in the nurse’s clinic until the parent arrives for pick-up.
When were the percentages for virtual vs classroom instruction taken? Are they recent?
We are looking at the percentages daily from actual parent choices entered into Skyward Family Access during the Annual Student Verification Process. Right now it has been pretty steady with approximately 35% choosing Dragon Virtual Academy and 65% choosing In-Person Instruction. We will be analyzing grade level and campus choices through the end of Annual Student Verification (which closes August 4) so that we can begin the process of adjusting schedules and staffing assignments. CISD is providing a dashboard to show progress and choices by grade level and campus on the district’s COVID-19 website. Select the Annual Student Verification page to view the numbers which will be updated daily through August 4 and again on August 11 after parents who might have changed their mind have made their final selections for the first nine-week period.
How will lunch services be available for the in-person students? Will cafeterias be open? Will students eat lunch in the classrooms?
Our plan is to have kids eat in the lunchroom not in their classroom. Cafeteria staff will wear gloves and masks while preparing and serving food to students. There will be no salad bar, but rather boxed items when possible. CISD will have plexiglass shields between students and workers. The tables will be wiped down in between use. CISD is providing student IDs and lanyards in order to allow for touchless point of sale. Students will be social distanced, when possible, in the cafeteria.
What will lunch and transitions between classes look like at the secondary level?
Students will be required to wear masks when transitioning to/from classes. Once seated in the cafeteria, students may remove masks to eat lunch. Signage and directional arrows will help move students through crowded hallways and stairwells. Campus principals may stagger and/or make accommodations to help reduce the number of students in the cafeteria and hallway at one time. Campuses will be adding additional lunch periods to accommodate more students and to allow for social distancing.
Will elementary online learning schedules have the same time period for lunch and recess to coordinate with siblings?
Yes. After releasing sample schedules for various grade levels, CISD received parent feedback and concerns about aligning the lunch and recess schedules for students and siblings, especially at the elementary level. The campus principals are putting new schedules together that will be posted to their individual school websites Monday, August 3.
What are the physical distancing measures for lunch? Will there be more than the pre-pandemic 3 lunches at HS & CSHS, to stagger numbers?
As noted above, secondary students will be required to wear masks when transitioning to/from classes and lunch. Once seated in the cafeteria, students may remove masks to eat lunch. Signage and directional arrows will help move students through crowded hallways and stairwells. Campus principals may stagger and/or make accommodations to help reduce the number of students in the cafeteria and hallway at one time. Campuses will be adding additional lunch periods to accommodate more students and to allow for social distancing. Plexiglass shields have been added in serving lines. When possible, food items will be pre-packed/boxed. CISD will not provide an open salad bar during the fall semester. Students will be issued IDs and lanyards to pay for lunch to avoid touchin pay screen by students standing in line. The Child Nutrition Services Department is also now offering pre-order options for lunches via the Dragon Mobile app. Administrators and lunch staff will help monitor distancing and encourage students to replace their masks immediately after eating. Hand sanitizer and washing stations will be available for students before and after lunch.
With the survey conducted can we see a breakdown between Elementary, Intermediate, Middle School, and High School please?
The simple Google docs survey conducted by Carroll ISD in late June/early July is no longer as relevant as a parent’s actual choice for the first nine-week grading period. The information in the June survey was used for general planning and to determine overall attitudes and opinions regarding the wearing of masks, underlying health conditions and choices between three proposed instructional options. The survey was not scientific or designed for significant cross tabulation but served as a baseline of parent and staff concerns so that CISD could plan for the fall. The district is now in the process of conducting Annual Student Verification which ensures that the district knows specifically what the parent chooses as an instructional platform for each child. Once ASV closes on August 4, CISD will have choice information at every grade level and student-specific so that we can begin scheduling and staffing decisions. CISD will be sharing information about the number of students in Dragon Virtual Academy or In-Person Instruction by grade level and campus. The district will be able to communicate class sizes for In-Person Instruction to parents prior to the start of school.
Why isn’t CISD re-surveying parents?
Parents are identifying their choice for students during Annual Student Verification. This is child specific and the best way to measure how many DVA and In-Person learners we can expect so that we can determine schedules and staffing. Right now it’s running about 65% choosing in-person and about 35% choosing DVA. (see question/response above)
Is the survey still going to be sent out to students? I thought it was supposed to be sent out on July 27th?
CISD did intend to send out a survey for students in grades 5-12 on July 27th. Changes at the county and state level delayed the survey temporarily. The district is still planning to send it out before the start of school. We will make announcements when the survey link is ready. The purpose of the student survey is to assess social-emotional needs for students in grades 5-12 and to find out any concerns or fears they have as school begins. CISD counselors will use the results of the anonymous survey to support students as they return to school or learn virtually this fall.
When is the next school board election?
School Board elections are annually. Terms are for three-years and are staggered among the seven places. Trustees are elected at-large and serve without compensation.
With districts such as FWISD going online only for the first four weeks (officially announced today), why are we rolling out both platforms with so many complications?
Carroll ISD has been conferring with state and county officials all summer during regularly scheduled conference calls and individual consultations. Throughout the process the state has encouraged local decision-making specific to each community. In six months, Southlake has had just a little more than 200 cases and one death. While we know the risk of getting the virus still exists, we are concerned about other factors in the social-emotional wellbeing of our students, staff and parents. It’s been clear for a while that approximately 65% and 70% of CISD’s parents and staff prefer schools to open for In-Person Instruction with safety protocols in place. Attorney General Ken Paxton recently ruled that local health authorities cannot make sweeping closures of schools for preventative purposes due to COVID-19. CISD opted at that time to announce two forms of instruction as an option for the fall. Significant safety protocols and health screening will be in place. While we understand the fear and anxiety a pandemic virus situation brings for those at-risk or uncertain about returning, we believe it is in the best interests of a majority of our families to open and allow students to return to as normal a daily educational routine as possible. CISD supports any teacher who volunteers to teach virtually from their classroom (thus reducing the risk of exposure for the teacher) and any family who chooses the virtual platform for their child. While we made the decision based on stakeholder input/feedback to reopen for in-person instruction, we are still closely listening to health expert recommendations for mitigation and will follow Tarrant County Health Department’s lead and guidance when it comes to managing positive COVID-19 cases.
If Fort Worth ISD is not holding in person classes until at least October, why does Carroll ISD think it is safe to open classes in August?
Every school district has to consider the input of its own stakeholders and the specific facts of their situation and/or community spread. Fort Worth ISD leaders are making the decision they believe is best for their families/staff. It is a large, urban district with significantly more challenges to serve students who might not otherwise have childcare, access to meals or internet service. The number of COVID-19 cases are also different for a district like Fort Worth ISD as compared to a district our size in the Southlake community. The Texas Education Agency and Governor Gregg Abbott supports local decision-making with all factors taken into consideration. CISD has the ability to move to DVA very quickly should the COVID-19 case load or virus community spread increase in our immediate Southlake area. But to the extent we are able, the district is focused on getting students back in class for face-to-face instruction with safety protocols in place. Our goal for DVA students is to provide such a safe environment that parents of these students will transition them back to in-person instruction as quickly as they feel comfortable doing so.
Can CISD please host another Dragon Chat given that there are 350+ comments/questions just from today from Facebook alone? Ideally, additional different chats for grade level groups. The high school questions vary greatly from the elementary school questions.
The Dragon Chat Live event was our first in Carroll ISD. We do hope to have additional events, perhaps focused on individual stakeholder groups and/or at the campus level. Stay tuned for more announcements for these live chats. The district staff has spent numerous hours over the weekend answering questions that could not be answered during the first Dragon Chat Live event. Hopefully our FAQ will answer most of the questions submitted but not covered during the 60-minute period. We like this platform as over 2,000 people were able to join. TEA and Tarrant County Health have been discouraging in-person large group gatherings where families from different households intermingle. The virtual events allow our Dragon families to come together to interact without the risk of exposing one another to the virus. Those questions not yet included in our FAQ will continue to be processed by available CISD staff and added to the website FAQ.
Can CISD expand on which "county medical experts they are relying on" per the email sent out? I would like to understand who that is since they are not following Tarrant County?
The Tarrant County Health Department Director is a Carroll ISD parent and has been in communications with the Superintendent. Medical professionals are advising the Governor’s Strike Force to reopen Texas and the Texas Education Agency. CISD reviews protocols and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and also confers with Tarrant County Health Department staff. The district has been assigned an epidemiologist from TCHD. Our Lead Nurse has been involved in the work of the CISD Instructional Task Force and continues to provide CISD guidance and feedback from our Registered Nurses assigned to each campus. The district explained the decision to reopen schools in spite of the more restrictive county medical authority in the question above. The COVID-19 case load for our area and input from stakeholders are the main reasons CISD made the local decision to open and give families a choice between virtual and in-person instruction. While teachers do have to report to work unless they have an underlying medical condition with a doctor’s note that puts them at-risk, our campus administration is working with those who want to volunteer to teach virtually to reduce their daily exposure to face-to-face interaction with students.
How does CISD view Fort Worth ISD's newly released reopening plan of not starting in-person until possibly October? Since Tarrant County has not seen a decline in COVID-19 cases, will the CISD Board consider this plan at the Monday school board meeting?
The School Board has met several times since the pandemic began and continues to remain informed by the Administration. CISD’s leadership team has been accepting feedback for months in various forms and ways. The School Board did not have a special meeting planned at the time the announcement was made, but the Superintendent and his leadership team believe they have the support of the locally-elected School Board in reopening schools with safety protocols and offering families a choice between in-person and virtual instruction. The Board recently voted to delay the school calendar/start date for students by five days to give the Administration more time to train and prepare teachers for the 20-21 school year. The decision was unanimous to delay the first day for students until Monday, August 24. No additional vote by the Board is planned at this time.
How will band be handled at the elementary level?
Carroll ISD does not offer band to elementary students. Music is taught as an Encore class and will be provided in-person for students at school and as asynchronous lessons pushed out by the CISD music teachers for Dragon Virtual Academy students.
Any plans of a 10 year reunion for the 2011 State Championship football team?
We are not aware of a reunion planned at this time, but CISD is focused on implementing the delayed schedule and safety protocols outlined by the University Interscholastic League so that we can have a season for our athletes. More details on these plans will be forthcoming.