Irving ISD will welcome back all students in-person for the 2021-2022 school year. With the health and safety of all students and staff in mind, the district has created a Blueprint for the Return to School.
“I strongly believe that in-person learning is the most effective for students and their progress,” says Irving ISD Superintendent of Schools Magda Hernandez. “Last year was a tough year academically – there’s no way around it. But perhaps one of the toughest challenges was not being able to interact and engage with all of our students in-person. Our team has worked diligently to ensure we can offer in-person learning in a safe and healthy way.”
The Blueprint outlines a number of safety protocols including separate building entrances for arrival and dismissal, maintaining at least three feet of physical distance as much as possible as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, encouraging frequent hand washing, and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in school buildings and buses.
In addition, the district will support any student or staff member who wishes to continue to wear a face covering. Students and staff will also be urged to stay home when sick.
“I’m ready to see our students back in class,” says Superintendent Hernandez. “I am confident in our district’s plan to keep our students and staff healthy and safe. We look forward to seeing the smiling faces of all of our amazing students on the first day of school.”
Irving ISD will welcome back all students in-person on Monday, August 16.
The district will communicate the Blueprint for the Return to School directly to parents through its numerous communication channels. For a copy of the district’s “Blueprint for the Return to School,” visit IrvingISD.net/Blueprint.
Below are some guidelines from the Blueprint:
Irving ISD will adhere to the Executive Order No. GA-36 relating to the prohibition of governmental entities and officials from mandating face coverings. Please know students are permitted to wear face coverings if they choose. The district will support any student or staff member who wishes to continue to wear a mask.
Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed below) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19.
- Do you have a fever of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher?
- Have you had any of the following?
- Loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Shaking or exaggerated shivering
- Significant muscle pain or ache
- Have you been around anyone exhibiting these symptoms or who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 7 days?
ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
When possible, the following protocols should be implemented for arrival:
- Separate entrances will be utilized for car riders, bus riders, walkers and daycares. (Procedures may vary based on the number of campus entrances and exits).
- There will be bus procedures, based on campus-specific needs.
Campus visitors must take a COVID-19 self-assessment upon entering the receptionist area. If the visitor displays any symptoms related to COVID-19, we encourage visitors not to enter the facility. To maintain safe social distancing, Irving ISD will not permit visitors during breakfast or lunch at this time.
Classrooms and restrooms will be disinfected daily and in between class periods. In addition, all high-touch areas will be disinfected daily, and the cafeteria will be disinfected during and between lunch periods.
Staff will be trained on how to properly disinfect classrooms, and they will have access to disinfectant to sanitize working surfaces, collaboration areas and shared objects after each use and during breaks of instruction.
Please note: Since this is an ever-changing situation, the district may need to change protocols at any time to address specific needs based on the recommendations of the CDC, Texas Education Agency (TEA), Dallas Health and Human Services (DCHHS) or other governmental entities/public health authorities.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available at the main entry to the campus, in classrooms, in the cafeteria and in common areas throughout the campus. Students and staff will be expected to regularly wash or sanitize their hands.
Requirements for handwashing and/or use of district-provided hand sanitizer include:
- Provide hand sanitizer upon entry to classroom.
- Periodic reminders from teachers to use the sanitizer during instructional day.
- Thorough hand washing after recess, before eating and following restroom breaks.
To provide a safe bus ride for students, the following guidelines will be implemented:
- Parents will be highly encouraged to drop off or walk with students to school.
- Hand sanitizer will be available to all passengers as they enter the bus.
- If weather permits, the school bus windows will remain open for better air circulation.
- Bus drivers will wipe down high-touch surface areas between routes. Each bus will be sanitized at a minimum of twice a day with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectants. The buses will also be disinfected weekly using a Petra Backpack Fine Mist Sprayer that utilizes EPA-approved disinfectants as well.
UIL practices and contests will be conducted following safety protocols provided by guidance from UIL and TEA.