Important COVID-19 (Coronavirus) District Notices
January 3, 2022 Email: Hays CISD COVID-19 Omicron UpdatePosted by Tim Savoy on 1/3/2022
Dear Hays CISD Family,
Welcome back from what I hope was a relaxing break. When students return to class tomorrow, January 4, 2022, many of you will, no doubt, be thinking about the COVID-19 Omicron variant. During the break, the district has been monitoring developments on this latest COVID variant and has been preparing for contingencies.
The district continues to maintain an updated, central location webpage where you can find current safety plans, case-count dashboards, and other important COVID-related information at: https://www.hayscisd.net/coronavirus.
Here are some highlights and recent changes as the district prepares to weather the Omicron variant surge:
What the District is Doing
- During the break, the district began installing special air purifiers in every classroom and other strategic places at campuses. The installation will continue during the next several weeks until all campuses are completely covered. The air purifiers will not only aid in neutralizing viruses like COVID and the flu, they are also designed to help reduce other airborne contaminants, including pollen that causes allergies.
- Because of the sharp rise in case counts with the Omicron variant, the district has suspended plans to relax visitor restrictions on campuses during the school day and other safety protocols we had hoped to modify in January.
- The district will continue with the strictest COVID safety protocols allowed by state law and the Texas Education Agency, including regular and vigorous building cleaning and sanitization, strongly encouraging mask wearing, and recommending vaccines and booster shots for those who are eligible.
- The district also continues to monitor cases and maintains a daily case-count dashboard so that you have the information you need to make decisions for you and your families.
What You Can Do
- Consider getting vaccines and booster shots for you and your children if eligible. This is the first time we are returning to school from a break where most students are eligible for a vaccine. (https://www.vaccines.gov)
- Consider wearing masks
- Stay home if you are symptomatic or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Remain vigilant with hand washing or hand sanitizing, and other basic flu-season hygiene practices.
New CDC Isolation Protocol
During the break the Centers for Disease Control changed its COVID-19 isolation protocols, which should help in reducing potential staffing shortages at Hays CISD campuses and allow us the best chance to keep operations from being disrupted. These changes are based on continuing research. The isolation period has been reduced from 10 days for people who test positive for COVID to five days – if they are asymptomatic, fever-free for 24 hours, and wear a mask for an additional five days while around others. People who meet the criteria to end isolation after five days, but who do not wish to wear a mask, or are unable to do so for the next five days, must remain home and away from school for the full 10-day isolation period.
Students Who Are Out Sick or Isolated
Students who are out of school with a positive COVID test result, or for close-contact isolation, no longer need to login daily for remote conferencing. This was something the state had required for attendance counting purposes. Since it is no longer necessary, and was burdensome on students and teachers; the district will no longer offer it. Instead, COVID-related absences will be managed as would any other absence for illness. Students can access assignments directly from their teachers to make up missing work. Secondary students can access their assignments in Schoology and elementary students will be able to get assignments in hard copy, or by other means at the teacher’s discretion.
COVID-19 continues to have a substantial impact on all of us – from frustrations and disruptions of normal routines; to illnesses; and, sadly, for far too many – the loss of loved-ones. We have said throughout the pandemic that we are stronger together and we prove that in our school district community and family each and every day.
We should all prepare for a bit of an uncertain January. We’ll need to give each other continued grace, understanding, and flexibility as we see what unfolds with Omicron. Though the case count numbers are significant with the Omicron variant, we’re optimistic that the trend will hold that symptoms are generally less severe. And, we have more tools to work with and knowledge about the virus this time around.
Schools are among the safest places for students and staff during this pandemic. We’ll keep our focus on doing what we can do about the virus and what we need to do to keep students in class, where we know they have better academic results and social and emotional experiences.
Chief Communication Officer
December 1, 2021 Email: Vaccine Clinics for 5 to 11 Year-OldsPosted by Harvest Coats on 12/1/2021
The second shot for those students who received their first shot at the district-sponsored clinics on 11/18 and 11/20 has been scheduled for:
Saturday, December 11, 2021 at
Science Hall Elementary School
1510 Bebee Road
Kyle, TX 78640
This is the only district-sponsored location that will have the 2nd shot for the 5-11 year old’s. If you are unable to attend, you can seek a 2nd dose from a local provider by visiting www.vaccine.gov
You MUST sign up for a time slot.
The link for the sign up genius: https://www.signupgenius.com/2ndshotbooster
Please make sure you bring your child’s vaccination card. Print out all of the attached forms (click on form below).
Completely fill them out including your child’s social security number and insurance information. This information is needed for the provider to receive their funding reimbursement.
Director of Safety & Security
Hays Consolidated ISD
La segunda vacuna para aquellos estudiantes que recibieron su primera vacuna en las clínicas patrocinadas por el distrito el 18/11 y el 20/11 está programada para:
Sábado 11 de diciembre de 2021 a lasEscuela Primaria Science Hall1510 Bebee RoadKyle, TX 78640
Esta es la única ubicación patrocinada por el distrito que tendrá la segunda oportunidad para los niños de 5 a 11 años. Si no puede asistir, puede buscar una segunda dosis de un proveedor local visitando www.vaccine.gov
DEBE registrarse para un intervalo de tiempo. El enlace para el genio del registro: https://www.signupgenius.com/2ndshotbooster Asegúrese de traer la tarjeta de vacunación de su hijo. Imprima todos los formularios adjuntos (haga clic en el formulario a continuación). Rellénelos por completo, incluido el número de seguro social de su hijo y la información del seguro.Esta información es necesaria para que el proveedor reciba su reembolso de fondos.
Director of Safety & Security
Hays Consolidated ISD
November 11, 2021 Email: Vaccine Clinics for 5 to 11 Year-OldsPosted by Tim Savoy on 11/11/2021
Dear Hays CISD Parents,
This email contains COVID clinic information for 5-11 year old Hays CISD Students. If you do not wish to have your child vaccinated, you do not need to take any action. All clinics are occurring after school hours.
Hays CISD is hosting a student vaccine clinic for COVID-19 for 5-11 year old students. You can get details about the approved Pfizer-BioNTech for this group @ https://www.fda.gov/media/153717/download
The clinics will be offered at three locations on November 18th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and three locations on November 20th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. You MUST register for a time. You will also need to complete both consent forms, links attached. Bring with you.
VACCINE CLINICS FOR 5-11 YEAR OLDS ONLY
Thursday, November 18, 2021, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Negley Elementary School, 5940 McNaughton, Kyle, TX (Central)
Carpenter Hill Elementary School, 4410 FM 967, Buda, TX (West)
Tobias Elementary School, 1005 FM 150, Kyle, TX (South/East)
Saturday, November 20, 2021, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Buda Elementary School, 1060 Old San Antonio Rd, Buda, TX (North/West)
Science Hall Elementary School , 1510 Bebee Rd, Kyle, TX (Central/East)
Simon Middle School, 3829 FM 150, Kyle, TX (South/East)
Registration Link: Vaccine Clinic Registration Link
Consent Forms: MINOR Consent Form for COVID-19 ImmTrac (Bilingual) Form C-7
Director of Safety & Security
Hays Consolidated I.S.D.
Director of Student Health Services
Hays Consolidated I.S.D.
September 8, 2021 Email: Elementary School COVID UpdatePosted by Tim Savoy on 9/8/2021
Dear Hays CISD Elementary Parents,
We continue to monitor real-time data regarding COVID-19, particularly how it is affecting our elementary school campuses. We know your children are the most vulnerable because there is not yet an approved vaccine option for students who are not 12-years-old.
Our number one goal is to keep everyone safe while maintaining the educational integrity in our classrooms. Closing classrooms has been critical to maintaining safety in about a dozen cases in our district so far this year; but this practice alone fails the test of the second, and equally important, part of our goal – educational integrity. We know, without a doubt, that the magic between students and teachers happens in-person, in classrooms.
We anticipated that we would likely see an increase in the number of positive cases on our campuses this year due to the increased number of students attending in person. Our actual data from the first three weeks of school confirms what we expected. Given that we are seeing the increases in cases; beginning today, we are implementing a process on all elementary school campuses that we have been developing in hopes that this will help to keep students safe and in class.
If you are fine with our district’s program of mask encouragement, you do not need to do anything. Our teachers will continue to have your children wear masks in classes, particularly in group collaborations. If you do not want us to encourage your children to wear masks you may affirm that position by completing the district’s Elementary Mask Preference Form (linked below) and returning it to your child’s teacher or campus by Monday, September 13, 2021.
No student is currently being required to wear a mask. We continue to encourage masks as we have said we would do. With this process, we will be able to take the guess work off of the plates of our teachers about which students should or should not be asked to wear their masks. And, we will be able to have a system in place to ensure that your wishes are respected.
Additionally, we anticipate that the governor will sign into shortly that will allow us to expand our virtual learning option to students up to 6th grade. This should provide parents with more choice in terms of COVID safety. We will have more information about that option soon, pending signature of the governor to allow schools the ability to offer the program.
The Hays CISD Academic Team
August 31, 2021 Email: Superintendent Update on COVIDPosted by Tim Savoy on 8/31/2021
Dear Hays CISD Family,
As the school year enters its second full week, we continue to get additional information about what we are facing with the Delta variant of COVID-19. The data is not surprising or unique to our district, but it is indeed as concerning as we expected it might be. I want to share with you the latest information on the adjustments we are making to our actions and plans as we work to stay ahead of the virus and to provide you and your children the best and safest educational setting we can.
I need you to wear masks. Your school district family needs you to wear masks. Given that our COVID-positive case numbers are as high this week as the highest week of the entire last school year, I need you to wear a mask. Thank you to the majority of our staff and students at the majority of our campuses for doing your part to be kind to your neighbors by wearing a mask. Additionally, we are distributing masks to campuses to have them readily available for students and staff who need them.
We don’t currently have legal authority or practical ability to require masks, but we are closely watching the courts and the legislature. In the courts, we anticipate the supreme court to issue a statewide ruling within the coming weeks regarding the governor’s ban on mask mandates. In the legislature, both political parties appear to be close to an agreement on a bill that, if signed by the governor, would allow districts to have mask mandates with opt-out provisions. We hope to know more about this development by the end of this week or early next week.
We are also watching the legislature for a bill that could fund a virtual learning choice for students beyond the limited remote conferencing and Homebound Academy options we are currently able to provide students. We are optimistic we will have some additional options soon that we can make available to you and your children.
Beginning Tuesday, September 7, 2021, which is next week, we will begin updating our COVID dashboard daily, on days students are in school. The dashboard is in re-design to accommodate the additional data.
Moving Classes to Remote Conferencing
We have started to see our first classrooms having to move to remote conferencing because of COVID cases. Remote conferencing is the name the Texas Education Agency has given a type of virtual learning option that allows students to access teachers for up to four hours a day with questions about their asynchronous assignments. Students and staff who test positive must quarantine.
Our standard threshold to move an entire classroom, grade-level, or school to remote conferencing is when we see a 10% or greater positive case confirmation count within a week. For example, with most elementary school classrooms of 22 students, if three or more people in the same classroom test positive within the same week, the class would move to remote conferencing.
As of writing this letter, we have placed 5 classrooms districtwide on remote conferencing – two at Elm Grove Elementary School, one each at Buda and Negley Elementary Schools, and one special education classroom at Chapa Middle School.
Streamlining the Notification Process
We are working on ideas to streamline our COVID-positive and close contact notification emails and letters that go home to you. This will make the information more user friendly for you and will help reduce data and notification duties from our nurses so that they may spend more time working directly with students.
Employee Leave Benefits
I am proud to announce that the Board has approved a program that will allow employees to have up to ten days paid leave if they must quarantine for a positive test, or if they must quarantine to take care of a COVID-positive, school-aged child. This benefit is for all employees regardless of vaccine status and it will be retroactive back to July 1, 2021. In weighing whether to use this program as an incentive for employees to get vaccinated, we determined that the most important outcome is that all employees who are ill, regardless of vaccine status, need to have the ability to quarantine without fear of losing income if they are out of leave days.
COVID Help Desk
We are working to set up a COVID information helpdesk staff with nurses who would be contracted from an outside company to answer your COVID-related health questions and to help you with district COVID-related quarantine and safety protocols. This will help free our campus nurses to focus on their duties working directly with students. As an example, one of the many questions we are getting is whether an unvaccinated person should stay home if they live with a person (spouse, child, household member) who has tested positive. The answer is yes.
Vax Approval for Younger Children
We don’t have any new information regarding when a vaccine may be available for children younger than 12, but we know it is in the works. We hope it will be this fall. For those who can get vaccinated, we are encouraging you to do so.
In addition to our heightened sanitization protocols at campuses, we are in the process of bidding out for air purifiers and filtration systems for our campuses to enhance what we already have in place.
This email is just a highlight of the many things we are working on to navigate this latest and most aggressive chapter in the COVID pandemic. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us, expressed their voices at our Board meetings, and who have provided insight. As we continue to be flexible with our response plans, know that we will not wavier on our commitment to educate your children.
I will keep you updated with news as we learn it.
Note: Information can change quickly based on the health and safety needs of our school district and community family. Information posted here is the most current.
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