Nixon-Smiley CISD officials recently announced plans to have students to return to campus effective Oct. 13.
When school started on Sept. 1, the district offered two learning options due to COVID-19 safety protocol, offering both in-person and distance instruction. NSCISD Superintendent Cathy Lauer said that at that point distance learning could be provided via online access or paper packets.
“However, we have since told all students that we are going to be offering only in-person as of October 13, 2020,” Lauer said. “Students who do not want to be taught in person can choose to use Texas Virtual Academy, transfer to a district offering remote, or home school.”
Lauer pointed out that NSCISD IS required to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order for wearing masks or face shields, where this is most developmentally appropriate. All adults are required to wear masks when in the building, classroom,and/or office with others when it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not inthe same household. Exceptions to this requirement include employees with medical conditions or disabilities that
prevent wearing a face covering, any person while consuming food or drink, any person while the person is giving a speech for a broadcast or to an audience, lunch breaks with appropriate social distancing. Classroom teachers may use face shields and social distancing when providing direct instruction in the classroom. During classroom monitoring and circulations, masks or face shields are required.
Lauer said NSCISD are still on their traditional seven period bell schedule, and that since they were not doing any synchronous instruction, the students in person moved through the day just as they always have.
Lauer noted that students over the age of 10 are required to wear masks when riding the bus and during the school day. Exceptions to this requirement include during meals and other activities where it is not appropriate. For example, it may be
impractical for students to wear masks or face shields while participating in some non-UIL athletic or other extra-curricular activities.
“When it is unfeasible for students to wear masks or face shields during those activities,
NSCISD will require students, teachers, staff, and visitors to wear masks or face shields when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas and when not actively engaging in those activities,” she said. “NSCISD may, for example, allow students who are actively exercising to remove masks or face shields, as long as they maintain at least six feet of
distance from other students, teachers, and staff who are not wearing masks or face shields,” she said.
The district stated that NSCISD must require students, teachers, and staff to wear masks or face shields as they arrange themselves in positions that will allow them to maintain safe distancing. It is recommended that masks be rotated and thoroughly cleaned daily, and that sharing masks with other family members is extremely risky and discouraged.
Lauer emphasized that when it comes to sanitary requirements, students and staff are expected to use hand sanitizer or wash hands when entering a bus, building, classroom, and office. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing will also be incorporated throughout daily schedules.
Lauer wants to remind everyone that students, staff, teachers, and visitors are encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their
elbow, even with a mask on.
Buses, classrooms, and other common areas within the school will be thoroughly disinfected daily and deep
cleaning schedules will be regularly conducted.
The district also announced that additional janitorial staff have been added (extra hours) for additional cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces that are touched throughout the day. These include objects such as door handles, common tables/desks, shared supplies such as art supplies, and high touch devices such as shared laptops or tablets.
When possible, commonly-touched surfaces will be cleaned in classrooms between different class groups, if the same room will be used by multiple class groups.