Tidehaven ISD sets plan for school year

Tidehaven ISD sets plan for school year

Tidehaven ISD outlined last Friday its instructional plan to have students return to campus in the fall after COVID-19 shut schools in the spring.

Students in Tidehaven ISD will have the option of remote instruction and face-to-face instruction in the fall. Parents in Tidehaven ISD have until Friday, July 31, to complete a survey to declare if their student will start the year online or will come to campus in-person. In-person instruction resumes on Aug. 13 in Tidehaven ISD.

Tidehaven ISD Superintendent Andrew Seigrist said the biggest challenge in putting together the plan was just reading through and fulfilling the guidelines put forth by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Those guidelines were last updated on July 17.

A task force consisting of administrators, teachers and parents was formed by the district to put the guidelines together, Seigrist said. That committee reviewed recommendations and guidelines from the TEA in forming the district’s reopening plan.

Only students that attend face-to-face classes in Tidehaven ISD will be allowed to participate in all on campus and off campus extracurricular activities, including sports.

“The district believes that if students can participate in extracurricular activities face to face, then they should be at school for instruction face to face,” Seigrist said. “We truly believe that face to face instruction with teachers and peers provides the best platform for educating our students.”

Students that attend classes in-person have certain protocols to follow.

All students and staff in Tidehaven ISD will be required to wear a mask or face shield at all times on campus and while on district transportation (ie, buses, etc.). Students may choose to wear a face shield or face mask or both. 

The district is providing face shields to all students at the beginning of the school year. Face shields (not masks) will be required during meal periods. A parent may choose to provide a face shield of their own if they choose. Students will need to provide face shields beyond the first one provided by the district if it is misplaced.

“The district is providing every employee and every student’s first face shield. Any student or employee who wishes to wear a face mask may certainly do so,” Seigrist said. “We have conducted experiments with both face masks and face shields.  The face shields allow everyone to read lips for any person who may have a hearing loss.  Additionally, face shields are cooler to wear and do not get as warm as a face mask.  The TEA is providing PPE (person protection equipment) for each public-school district.  TEA guidelines state that we may wear a face mask or a face shield.”

All visitors, vendors and other non-employees must wear face masks or shields while on campus.

Parents may not drop off students before 7:30 a.m. and will not be allowed to walk students inside the building.

Hand sanitizer will be available at entrances to all buildings, in all classrooms, in the cafeteria and common areas of each campus.

Students that present symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home immediately with parents providing at least four people authorized to pick up a child from school and must be picked up within 30 minutes.

Each classroom will be outfitted with visual reminders like posters to remind students of things like hand washing, keeping desks sanitized and wearing masks or face shields. 

Hand sanitizer will also have hand sanitizer available in each classroom. Teachers will require hand hygiene before entering and after group activities, incorporate outdoor activity when possible and keep doors open during passing periods to reduce touching of door handles. 

Teachers and staff will have access to disinfectant to sanitize high-touch and working surfaces and shared objects regularly.

Each classroom and restroom will be disinfected daily as well as high-touch areas. The cafeteria will be disinfected between meal periods. Playground equipment will be sanitized during the day. Gym facilities and equipment, locker rooms and rehearsal halls will be sanitized regularly.

Cafeteria capacity will be based on current guidelines. Grab and go lunches will be packaged to ensure ease of pick up and transport to eating locations.

“Students will be required to wear face shields at all mealtimes.  This will fulfill the TEA guidelines.  Those students who have an exemption under Governor Abbott’s plan will be provided a safe space in which to eat their meal.” Seigrist said.

Those 10 and over attending extracurricular events, such as sports, will be required to wear a face mask or face shield. Attendance will be limited depending on what the guidelines are to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Concessions will be limited as well to ensure social distancing.

Tidehaven ISD will use asynchronous instruction for those students who choose to stay home. 

Seigrist said the district is currently running a survey of parents as to how many students will use the online option.

“We will use this data to better prepare for any families and students who choose online learning,” Seigrist said.

Asynchronous instruction is online instruction that does not require having teachers and students engaged at the same time. In this method, students learn from instruction that may not necessarily be delivered in-person in real time. It may include various forms of digital and 

Students that choose the online option must at least complete the six-week grading period before they can come back to campus, if that is something they desire to do. Parents must request a formal change to in-person learning before the end of a six-week period.

Those that choose the online option must complete activities and assignments each day in order to receive attendance credit. Students that choose the online option must attend 90 percent of classes during the school year in order to be eligible to be promoted or receive credit for a class. Truancy rules will be enforced for Tidehaven ISD’s online students, just like they would be if they were attending in-person.

Online students must:

• Participate daily in scheduled learning activities, including intervention and tutorials.

• Use proper etiquette during online learning.

• Turn in schoolwork daily and/or at the direction of the assigned teacher.

When students participate in real-time instruction through Zoom or Google Meet, they should be on time and dressed appropriately.

Parents of online students must provide a reliable wi-fi signal for online students as well as access to computer or laptop. Tidehaven ISD has a limited number of devices to loan out to students. Those who use district equipment are responsible for any damage to them. Parents also need to maintain communication with teacher via email, phone or Google Classroom. They also need to make sure students are on track with assignments, coursework and grades.

Those that choose at-home learning are subject to the same expectations for classwork and grading as those who attend in person. Courses taken at home will be calculated into a student’s grade point average (GPA) and class rank.

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