Frequently Asked Questions
Content source: National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD), CDC, TEA
What can school staff do to protect themselves and others from getting sick with COVID-19?
School staff can take everyday preventive actions to protect themselves and others from getting sick with COVID-19:
- Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inside of the elbow, throwing the tissue away, and then washing hands.
- Avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose, mouth, and mask/face shield covering.
- Maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from other adults, and from students when feasible.
- Wearing a mask/face shield, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Staying home when sick, or after being in close contact with a person with COVID-19.
- Limiting the use of shared objects (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, games) when possible, and cleaning and disinfecting these objects frequently.
Who makes the decision to close a school district due to coronavirus infections or concerns?
May a school district require employees to attend work even if students are not present?
If an SST employee gets the virus because of exposure at work, would they be eligible for workers compensation?
They may be eligible for worker’s compensation for a work-related illness. However, one would need to establish, through medical documentation, that one contracted the illness through exposure at work, as opposed to off-duty. If this occurs, one should contact the district immediately to make them aware of the illness and get information about how to file a claim.
What if a student comes to school and I suspect the student might be ill with coronavirus?
When does my child’s online classroom begin?
Online classes began Monday, August 24. For additional questions, please contact your child’s school.
What if my child does not have a computer?
SST will provide every student with a device capable of accessing school academic offerings. Please contact your school. SST schools administration are working with families to ensure all students have access to a device. We are still in the process of distributing Chromebooks,laptops and iPads. Due to nation-wide shipping delays, there may be a wait list to receive a school issued device.
Is my child required to participate in online classes when the school offers online education only?
Yes, from Monday, August 24 until onsite classes resume. The majority of classes will be done by students independently. There may also be time when teachers will connect with students online at a specific time of day. Students are strongly encouraged to attend these class meetings.
Parents should contact the teacher or school if students are unable to connect to the online classroom.
Will the District keep track of students who are attending online classes?
Will assignments be graded?
Yes. Teachers are required to take grades and normal SST grading practices will be in effect (see handbook).
How will enrichment and intervention be handled through SST online learning?
Additional learning opportunities will be provided based on teacher assessment. Teachers can provide enrichment and intervention in the same way they provide initial content instruction, direct student-teacher interaction or prerecorded instruction found in their Schoology course.
Are students and staff required to wear masks/face shields?
Yes. Students in grades PK-12 will wear face coverings/shields in hallways, common areas, and when social distancing is not feasible, including in classrooms, to the extent it is developmentally appropriate. All employees will also wear face coverings.
If one student tests positive for COVID-19, does that mean the teacher and the rest of the class must quarantine for 14 days?
It depends on the situation. Every campus will have a health aide/administrator who will receive reports of COVID-19 cases/exposures. Families and employees will be notified, and the school will then work with the families and staff to determine the next steps based on TEA public health guidance for schools, the CDC, and local health officials.
Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (feeling feverish, fever of 100.0 or more, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, headache, chills, sore throat, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
- at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
- the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.
How will SST notify affected students and families if they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19?
Will elementary school students have recess?
Will STAAR testing continue?
If I select one option for my student and want to switch later in the year, can I?
How will extra-curricular programs, fine arts and athletics work next year?
Will the state ‘shut down’ schools for COVID-19?
At this time, TEA has indicated that they will not require school districts to shut down for COVID-19 for the 2020-2021 year. In the case of a school closure, students will remain at home and will engage in virtual learning activities through online courses. Students will be required to log onto all courses for attendance and submitting work.
Will students and staff be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to returning?
What hygienic/safety precautions will be in place at each campus?
SST will implement increased signage around campuses promoting COVID-19 mitigation strategies, increased cleaning and sanitation practices, as well as frequent reminders of hand hygiene and social distancing. Students will wash their hands frequently throughout the day. Hand sanitizer will also be provided throughout the campuses and in classrooms.
Face masks/face shields will be required for all students and staff.
Our full safety and reopening plan will be in accordance with TEA regulations. It will also be posted online, once approved. SST will comply with all health and safety recommendations established by the health department and Texas Education Agency.
Will students be required to complete a screening before class each day?
Will campuses allow any visitors?
All individuals entering a building will be required to wear a face covering. Individuals proceeding beyond the reception area will follow the following guidelines:
o All visitors will be subject to screening by completing a symptom screening form.
o Virtual meetings will be used whenever possible.
o Visitors and staff will maintain safe physical distance for ARD and other meetings in smaller conference areas.
Will the district provide masks or other PPE for students and staff?
How are school buildings being cleaned/sanitized? Will the same method be used once students are back on campus? Is it safe for children?
SST has established a cleaning schedule that will increase the number of times campuses will be cleaned. This method is safe and will be used once students are back on campus.
SST is working with local and state officials to develop protocols and procedures to provide a safe environment for students.
Will students in Special Education and 504 receive accommodations online?
- For students in special education and 504 programs, accommodations and/or modifications are implemented by our teachers in their online classes.
- For students in pullout programs, our special education teachers create online classes and provide resources and support virtually.
How will restroom breaks be handled?
Will SST conduct home visits this school year?
Will there be any engagement activities for students and families?
Our campuses are planning to have engagement activities for parents and students.