The health and safety of the Waller ISD family continues to be the district’s top priority. Following the global COVID-19 pandemic that drastically impacted the 2020-2021 school year, we are pleased to return to a more traditional plan for the 2021-2022 school year. While there are still safeguards in place to help protect our students and staff, campus procedures for 2021-2022 will be more familiar to families, similar to those set prior to COVID-19. This page will help answer many frequently asked questions about how COVID-19 will be addressed moving forward. Please note that the procedures are subject to change based on guidance and orders that may be issued by the State of Texas, Texas Education Agency, and local officials as well as local conditions within WISD and each of its campuses. The content found here is a summary and supplement document to WISD’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Service Plan.
Page Revised 8/17/21
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INDIVIDUALS WHO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 (STAFF/STUDENT/VISITOR)
CONTACT TRACING/CLOSE CONTACT
POSITIVE CASE NOTIFICATION
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
All WISD staff, students, and visitors are expected to self-screen daily for symptoms of COVID-19 or any communicable disease before entering a district facility. If any symptoms that are unusual to the individual are present, please do not come to a WISD facility until you have consulted with a school nurse via telephone or email, or licensed medical professional.
Individuals waiting for COVID-19 test results due to symptoms or individuals currently experiencing any of the symptoms listed that are new and/or not normal for them, should stay home and consider seeking medical care and/or COVID-19 testing. Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 include:
- Feeling feverish or a temperature equal to or greater than 100.0F
- Loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Shaking or exaggerated shivering
- Significant muscle pain or ache
- Nausea or vomiting
Attendance Notes: Perfect Attendance will not be an award category during the 2021-2022 school year to allow students the incentive to stay home if they are ill. Excused absences will not affect high school final exam exemption in an effort to allow students the incentive to stay home if ill. However, students with 3 or more unexcused absences will not be allowed to exempt. Waller High School will provide full final exam exemption guidelines.
Per Executive Order GA-38 by the governor of the state of Texas, school systems cannot require students or staff to wear a mask. While masks are not required, they are strongly encouraged to help protect the health of individuals and those around them.
As part of good practice, individuals are asked to maintain social distancing to the extent possible. Each campus will provide social distancing measures in classrooms, hallways, and common areas to the extent possible.
Visitors will be allowed at all schools and offices during regular work/school days by appointment only. No visitors will be allowed during meal times. All visitors are expected to self-screen for any communicable illness before coming to a WISD facility. If a communicable illness is suspected, please reschedule your visit. Virtual meetings are available for certain meetings such as parent/teacher conferences, ARDs, etc. If a virtual meeting is desired, please inquire with your child’s teacher or campus administrator.
For sanitary reasons, WISD recommends that all students and staff bring a large water bottle with a flip or screw-top lid to school/work each day. Bottle fillers will be turned on where available. Water fountains will be turned on for use as needed, however personal water bottles are preferred.
- WISD will comply with Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 School Readmission Criteria. WISD will use this criteria for both students and staff who test positive for COVID-19.
- State rules require schools to exclude students with certain illnesses from school for certain periods of time. For example, if a child has a fever over 100.0 F, he or she must stay out of school until fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications. Students with diarrheal illnesses must stay home until they are diarrhea-free without use of diarrhea suppressing medications for 24 hours. A full list of conditions for which the school must exclude children can be obtained from the school nurse. More detailed information on student health procedures may be found in the WISD Student Handbook under the Absences/Attendance and Illnesses sections. Any illness-related absence should be reported to the campus nurse.
- In addition to the criteria and processes described above, per UIL COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Guidelines, a student who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must receive clearance from a physician prior to returning to participation in UIL marching band or athletic activities.
- Staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, exposed to COVID-19, or have any questions related to a communicable illness should contact their direct supervisor and/or HR Coordinator Elva Chapa at email@example.com for guidance. Staff who test positive for COVID-19 must report it to WISD using the 2021-2022 WISD Staff COVID-19 Report Form.
- Visitors who test positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours of visiting a WISD facility are asked to report the case to the campus principal or facility supervisor.
- WISD will notify parents, students, and staff via email if they have been in proximity of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Parents/guardians are encouraged to login to Skyward Family Access to ensure their email address has been updated to receive these email notifications.
- WISD will conduct broad-scale contact tracing by notifying students, staff, and parents if they (or their child) are in a scheduled class with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Individuals who receive notifications that they were in a scheduled class with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will NOT be required to quarantine. This will be a notification for awareness only and provide reminders for self-screening, testing, etc. Please review Positive Case Notification.
POSITIVE CASE NOTIFICATION
WISD will activate a 2021-2022 COVID-19 Dashboard on its website to report active COVID-19 cases by campus. The dashboard will be updated online for families to review at any time.
Individuals who feel they need to be tested for COVID-19 should contact their medical provider or seek a local clinic for services. Most COVID-19 testing is conducted at no cost to the patient. For assistance finding a COVID-19 testing site, please contact a school nurse or go online to the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Testing Information.
Everyone age 12+ is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. The vaccine is not required for WISD students or staff, however it is strongly encouraged for eligible individuals. The CDC has proven that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing or drastically diminishing the effects of COVID-19. WISD occasionally works in collaboration with local providers to host in-district vaccination clinics. In-district vaccination clinics will be posted on wallerisd.net and official WISD social media. To find current vaccine information and locate a provider, visit the Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Vaccination Information webpage.
- Will WISD offer an online learning option?
At this time WISD will not offer a virtual learning option due to the lack of funding and support from the state. While some larger districts are able to offer a limited version of online learning, current Texas Education Agency (TEA) parameters are not viable for WISD. Students who are absent due to COVID-19 will be counted as “Absent, Excused” and make-up lessons/assignments will be handled similarly to any absence prior to COVID-19. If current restrictions are changed by TEA, WISD will review new parameters and implement the best options for the WISD family.
- Will those in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 be required to quarantine?
No. Those who have been exposed to COVID-19 are not required to quarantine, however, WISD encourages individuals to make informed decisions and consider the health and safety of those who may be around them at school/work. For example, if you have been exposed to COVID-19 you may choose to wear a mask as a precaution to help protect those around you. As a reference, close contact determinations are generally based on guidance outlined by the CDC.
- Can a student/staff come to school/work if they have symptoms after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Some individuals report experiencing mild symptoms 24-48 hours after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have not had close contact with a known positive case in the previous 14 days, you may come to work with mild symptoms of low-grade fever (below 100.0F), fatigue, headache, chills and/or muscle or body aches, which is common during the first 48 hours. If symptoms persist for more than 2 days, the individual should isolate and consider testing. Symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, runny nose, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell are NOT consistent with post-vaccination symptoms, and employees with these symptoms or fever >100.0F should isolate and consider testing.
- What about Harris County’s mask order for schools?
WISD’s present guidance does not include a mask requirement for students, staff, or visitors; however, masks are highly recommended to protect individuals and those around them. We are closely monitoring cases of those who have reported for work and activities. Current conditions are changing rapidly and continue to require our flexibility. WISD is working to analyze state and local information as well as cases within WISD and each of its campuses in order to make the best possible decisions for the health, safety, and success of our students and staff.
Please note that the procedures are subject to change based on guidance and orders that may be issued by the State of Texas, Texas Education Agency, and local officials as well as local conditions within WISD and each of its campuses.