Return to Learn Plan 2021-2022
Due to the evolving changes with COVID-19, some items in the Return to Learn Plan may have changed. Please refer to the COVID-19 announcement page for the most recent information.
Dear CFBISD Families and Staff,
On behalf of CFBISD, I want to extend a very warm welcome to all of you as we officially begin the 2021-2022 school year. It has been many months since we were all together and I am looking forward to a successful year ahead!
The Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity Services Plan outlines specific details about procedures and safety requirements that were designed for the well-being of all students and staff. This plan provides details about:
- Best practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19;
- Protocols for responding to a test-confirmed case in school; and
- Notification and communication.
This past year, we all learned to be flexible as information changed rapidly. Please know that this handbook is subject to change per CDC guidance and executive orders. We will continue to keep you updated and inform you in the event of changes should they occur. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
We have strong relationships in our district, and have an outstanding staff and school community. We will continue to work together through whatever comes our way…. And, “together we will rise” to benefit all students.
All the best,
Dr. John E. Chapman III
- Public Health Considerations
- Academic Calendar
- Provide Notice: Parental & Public Notices
- PREVENT: Practices to Prevent the Virus from Entering the School
- RESPOND: Practices to Respond to a Test-Confirmed Case in the School
- MITIGATE: Practices to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 Inside the School
- Social Emotional Student Supports
- Employee Wellness
The virus that causes COVID-19 can infect people of all ages, which is why Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD is doing everything feasible to keep students, teachers, staff and community members safe. Research from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has found that while children can be infected by COVID-19 and severe outcomes have been reported, relatively few children with COVID-19 are hospitalized or have severe symptoms. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that COVID-19 risks must be balanced with the need for children to attend school in person, given that lack of physical access to school leads to a number of negative consequences, placing, “children and adolescents at considerable risk of morbidity, and in some cases, mortality.”
While it is not possible to eliminate all risks of furthering the spread of COVID-19, CFBISD will utilize current science to take every step possible to reduce significantly the risks to students, teachers, staff and their families.
The COVID mitigation strategies for 2021-22 are as follows:
- Texas Schools are required to comply with the Governor's executive order regarding the wearing of masks. The use of face masks is optional for all students, staff, and visitors and may not be required. It is highly recommended that individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 continue to wear an appropriate face mask while around others. Universal indoor masking is highly encouraged for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. (Dallas County Health and Human Services, CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics AAP). Please refer to the COVID-19 announcement page for the most recent information.
- Continue using disinfectant micro spray in high traffic areas and classrooms daily and as needed
- Continue using disinfectant micro spray on buses daily and as needed
- Desk shields will be provided for classroom use upon parent request
- Staff is responsible for self-screens prior to coming to work
- Parents are responsible for self- screens students at home
- Continue use of hand sanitizer and handwashing
- Each classroom will have hand sanitizer
- Contact tracing will be performed by staff
- Confirmed COVID cases will be communicated to parents via Parent Square
- Continue use of Covid Dashboard
All Texas public schools are required to provide parents a summary of the plan that will be followed to mitigate COVID-19 spread in schools based on the requirements and recommendations outlined in the Texas Education Agency’s SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance document. This CFBISD handbook was developed in consultation with teachers, staff and parents, and contains required notices on the following pages.
Attendance and Enrollment
Education Code requires students to attend class 90 percent of the days the class is offered in order to be awarded credit.
CFBISD is returning to full on-campus face-to-face instruction in the fall of 2021.
On August 5, 2021, the TEA issued guidance allowing school districts to provide remote conferencing for students who are absent due to illness or close contact. Remote Conferencing requires instruction to be provided synchronously, which means two-way, real-time/live virtual instruction between teachers and students. The instruction cannot be concurrent, which means remote students must not be taught by a teacher who is also teaching in-person students at the same time. CFBISD staff is working diligently on the logistics of the plan and will provide the information as soon as it is available.
The prevention practices outlined on the following pages are designed to significantly reduce the likelihood that a coronavirus outbreak occurs on campus. Consistently implementing recommendations of the CDC, local health department and Texas Education Agency to the extent feasible is the best way to reduce the potential negative impact of infection.
Visitor Access/Screening/PPE Requirements
- Visitors are required to self-screen for fever or COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto a CFBISD facility. If they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are test-confirmed with COVID-19, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below.
- Any visitor who is diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to meet readmission criteria.
Building access for parents, guardians and other adults will be by appointment only.
Volunteers that have been cleared will be allowed on campus to assist with essential functions.
There will be no unescorted access into schools.
Students will purchase their meal from the school cafeteria or bring their lunch to school with them each day. Meal drop offs will not be allowed.
Student Pick-Up During the Instructional Day
- Parents picking up ill students during the day will call ahead so that students can be sent or accompanied to parent vehicles upon arrival.
Health Clinic Guidelines
- Each campus will designate a well area and a sick/isolation area to minimize cross contamination. Each area will be cleaned and disinfected on a consistent basis. Any student feeling feverish will be sent to the isolation area for temperature and symptom screening.
- Students will be required to visit the clinic for assessment before calling parents to be picked up. If a student calls his/her parent, the parent will instruct them to report to the school nurse. It is very important that school nurses know the reason a student is being sent home ill. This will aid in keeping everyone as safe as possible.
Student, Teacher and Staff Safety Training
Students, teachers and staff will complete Return-to-School Training that includes:
- Proper use of PPE
- Proper handwashing and use of hand sanitizer techniques
- Communicable exposure guidelines
- Steps to minimize disease spread
- The importance of covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if not available, with an elbow
Off-Campus Student Events
- CFBISD will continue to pursue virtual activities in lieu of field trips, assemblies and special performances when community levels of COVID-19 is high in Dallas County and/or Denton County. Special performances and off campus field trips will be allowed after approval by administration.
- When participating in off-campus, school-sanctioned activities, students will follow all on-campus, in-person protocols and requirements.
- Typical parent meetings, such as meet-the-teacher, open houses, parent conferences, etc. will adhere to all required safety protocols that are currently in place.
- Any extracurricular activities, including campus club meetings, that are approved to be held on campus will adhere to all safety protocols that are currently in place.
COVID Vaccine Sites and Information is available by visiting: https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/
The response practices outlined on the following pages are in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. CFBISD will continue to notify the local health department, CFBISD staff and the Texas Department of State Health Services upon receipt of information that there has been a test-confirmed COVID-19 case on campus.
Screening, Isolation and Return to Campus After Exposure
Parents are required to screen their student(s) for fever or COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto Campus. If they have COVID-19 symptoms or are test-confirmed with COVID-19, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below.
Students, staff or household members with the following symptoms, not related to a current known health condition, will not be allowed to enter campus:
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater or equal to 100.0
- Loss of taste or smell
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Shaking or exaggerated shivering
- Significant muscle pain or ache
- Congestion/runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
If a student fails screening, a medical doctor’s note or other appropriate documentation will be required to return to campus.
All students, staff and visitors who become ill while on campus will be immediately isolated, and the area will be disinfected.
Teachers and staff are required to self-screen for fever or COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus each day. Teachers and staff must report to their supervisor if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are test-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry as noted below. Additionally, teachers and staff must report to the school system if they have had close contact with an individual who is test-confirmed with COVID-19.
Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure
Contact tracing will be performed surrounding positive cases.
Persons who have had COVID-19 within the last three months are not required to quarantine as long as they have remained asymptomatic since current COVID-19 exposure.
Close contact is defined as:
- Being directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on while not wearing a mask or face shield); or
- Being within six feet for a cumulative duration of 15 minutes.
Individuals are presumed infectious at least two days prior to symptom onset or, in the case of asymptomatic individuals who are test-confirmed with COVID-19, two days prior to confirming lab tests.
If diagnosed with COVID-19 either by a positive test or assumed positive based on symptoms, the following criteria must be met to return to a CFBISD facility:
- At least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and
- The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
If the individual has symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 and wants to return to work or school before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must either:
- Obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis, or
- Return a lab test negative for COVID-19.
If the individual has tested positive for COVID-19 and believes the test was a false positive and wants to return to school before completing the above stay-at-home period, the individual must either:
- Obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis, though for health privacy reasons the note does not need to indicate what the alternative diagnosis is, or
- Obtain two PCR acute infection tests (at a physician’s office, approved testing location, or other site) at least 24 hours apart that come back negative for COVID-19.
Results from a COVID-19 test administered at home will NOT be accepted.
The mitigation practices that follow utilize best practices and current research in lessening the spread of COVID-19. CFBISD will implement health and hygiene practices with fidelity.
- Masks are encouraged but not required, by Governor Greg Abbott's order, GA-36.
- The district will rely on guidance from the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Dallas County Health Department, as well as executive orders or directives from Governor Greg Abbott, to determine the mandatory use of face coverings.
- The district will alert students, parents/guardians and staff when face coverings must be worn.
- For more information, visit the Dallas County COVID-19 Health Guidance for the Public.
- A facemask will be placed on any student exhibiting respiratory symptoms to prevent droplet transmission during close contact.
Right Way to Wear Fabric Masks
- The mask must be well-fitted, covers both your mouth and nose and still lets you breathe.
- When wearing a mask, do not touch the mask or pull it off then pull it on again.
- When taking off the mask, use two fingers to lift it off your face, do not touch the fabric.
- Put your used masks in a sealed bag, wash them daily using soap for later use.
- Wash your hands regularly to prevent contact with viruses.
Disinfecting and Hand Sanitizing
- There will be frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch areas, such as desks, light switches, door handles, computers, bathrooms, health clinics, etc., utilizing EPA-approved disinfectants for COVID-19.
- Per CDC guidance, CFBISD will employ more frequent deep cleaning during moderate to high COVID activity.
- CFBISD will immediately clean any areas used by an individual who shows COVID-19 symptoms.
- Hand sanitizer stations are located in every classroom and by elevators, entrances and high-traffic areas.
- Students and staff are encouraged to properly use hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving the building, before and after use of communal items or areas such as elevators, stairwells and lounges, and when entering the classroom.
- Elementary teachers will be encouraged to supervise student handwashing for at least 20 seconds throughout the day, including after using the restroom and before eating.
- Secondary students will be encouraged and provided reminders to wash hands at least two times a day, after using the restroom and before eating.
- Handwashing techniques will be taught as part of the Return-to-School Training for students.
Special Considerations for Students with Respiratory Health Conditions
- Use of aerosolized medication will be discouraged at school as they spread respiratory droplets and are not advised by the CDC.
- Inhalers with spacers will be used to treat asthma whenever possible.
- Asthma management training will be provided to families as needed.
Special Considerations for Students with Special Needs
- Students will be provided with instruction and reinforcement on wearing a facemask and/or shield upon request of parent.
- Social distancing will be adhered to as much as possible.
- Manipulatives that cannot be cleaned and sanitized should not be used.
- Manipulatives that children have placed in their mouths should be set aside until they are cleaned by hand by a person wearing gloves.
- Clean with water and soap, rinse, sanitize with an EPA-registered disinfectant, rinse again and air-dry.
- May be cleaned in a dishwasher.
- Enough manipulatives should be available so they can be rotated between cleanings.
- Staff are highly encouraged to wear face shields and gloves anytime they are unable to socially distance, i.e., feeding students, diaper changes, hand- over-hand instruction, etc.
- Staff will wash hands prior to diapering, wear gloves and wash hands immediately following changings.
- Surfaces used to change students should be cleaned with a district- approved disinfectant.
If staff are working closely with a student and there is a possibility of fluid contamination, an isolation gown shall be worn.
Contaminated clothes should be placed in a plastic bag or washed in a washing machine.
Students will be monitored when utilizing hand sanitizer.
Communicable Disease Monitoring
There shall be collaboration between nurses, data clerks and attendance clerks to record symptoms when students have called in sick.
Health Services will be notified of any positive findings immediately so contact tracing can be implemented.
School nurses will follow up with the employee or parent to determine if the individual will or has been seen by a physician and the plan of care.
The school nurse, in collaboration with H.R., must provide return-to- school clearance before the individual is allowed back on campus.
CFBISD will maintain ongoing monitoring of local, national and global health trends.
CFBISD will follow up-to-date communications from DSHS, CDC, TEA and the Office of the Governor regarding community-specific communicable disease concerns, planning and interventions.
Updates to this handbook will be made accordingly.
Other Excludable Conditions
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD will continue to follow all Board policies and Texas Department of State Health Services and local guidelines concerning communicable disease reporting and exclusion from school. Refer to 25 Tex. Admin. Code § 97.7 for further information.
- If an individual who has been on a campus is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, parents, teachers and staff of that campus will receive notification via Parent Square messaging on a weekly basis.
- Parents and staff must ensure that CFBISD has a correct contact information on file.
- For those individuals who have had close contact with an individual who is test-confirmed to have COVID-19, additional notification will be sent, along with instructions about self-monitoring or required quarantine.
- Health Services will contact the local health department for any presumed or positive COVID-19 case.
Classroom Configurations and Procedures
- Student desks (or seats at a table if tables are used) will be spread out a minimum of three feet apart when possible.
- Classroom manipulatives that will be shared amongst students will be cleaned frequently. As feasible, each student will be assigned his/her own supplies.
- Supplies that must be shared will be made of easily cleanable surfaces and disinfected between uses, e.g., calculators.
- Visual reminders will be displayed for social distancing throughout common areas.
- Used tissues will be thrown in the trash, and hands will be washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or hand sanitizer will be used.
- Students are encouraged to bring a clear water container to school each day with their name clearly marked on it.
Ventilation of Classrooms
Increase outside air intake to "flush" the system strategically throughout the day
Change to Merv 8 filters (highest rating allowed by manufacturers)
Installation of Ionizers with new HVAC equipment and units
Bus transportation is provided for Special Education students when required by the students ARD and IEP. All general education students will be provided transportation if eligible from the student’s home address within the district according to the TEA 2-mile guidelines. Academy students must live within the district for transportation to be granted from their home campus to the Academy within the set route.
Transportation is not guaranteed to your school of choice if you do not reside in a designated transportation area for that campus.
- Parents are strongly encouraged to provide transportation to school for their children.
- Parents are required to screen their student for fever and COVID-19 symptoms prior to students entering the bus. Based on the exclusion criteria listed in this document, parents are to notify dispatch and campus if student is ill.
During transport, drivers will maintain as much social distancing as possible between students. Members of the same family may sit together.
Seats will be numbered and assigned to students.
Buses will be loaded from back to front and unloaded front to back.
Required Bus Sanitation Guidelines:
Bus drivers will use an EPA-approved disinfectant on frequently touched surfaces after each morning run, each afternoon run, and as needed.
Buses will be disinfected using the EPA-approved antimicrobial misting system on a rotating basis, based on manufacturer specifications.
Student Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
CFBISD is encouraging cashless payments. Payments can be made at MySchoolBucks at www.myschoolbucks.com.
Cafeteria meal service will be provided to students receiving on-campus instruction.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available at cafeteria entrances and exits.
- Students will sit by classroom, practicing social distancing as much as possible.
- Students will purchase their meal from the school cafeteria or bring their meal(s) to school with them each day. Meal drop offs will not be allowed.
- No Visitors/Parents will be allowed to dine with students.
- Outside food delivery services will not be allowed on school property.
- Cafeteria tables will be sanitized by custodial staff after each use.
- No sharing table/cart will be provided to prevent cross-contamination.
Meal service will occur in the serving line of the cafeteria with the following safety measures in place:
- Clearly marked spacing on floors will promote social distancing in the serving lines.
- Cafeteria staff serving meals will wear a mask and serving gloves throughout meal service.
- Students will enter the serving line preferably by classroom to prevent exposure.
- Students will choose meal items by taking them from the serving line. Cafeteria staff will place meal items with space in between so students only touch the item they are selecting.
- Cafeteria staff will monitor that spacing between items being served is maintained, that students only touch the item they are selecting, and that once a student takes a serving, it cannot be returned. Items that students want to return will be discarded.
- Disposable food service items will be used to the greatest extent possible.
- Pre-portioned condiments will be provided by the cafeteria staff upon request.
- Hands-free transactions with ID badges will be used to the greatest extent possible. Students will either scan their barcoded ID card through the glass shield or call out their ID number for the cashier to enter into the cash register.
- The serving line, tray slide and glass shields will be sanitized between classes or at breaks by Cafeteria staff.
- Use of playground equipment is permitted. Use of hand sanitizer before and after use is required.
- Whenever possible, campuses will limit the number of students per recess group. Staggered schedules may be utilized.
- Teachers will monitor students to ensure safety guidelines are followed.
- Movement and brain breaks will be implemented as needed, at the discretion of the campus/teacher.
- Activities requiring multiple students to touch or handle the same equipment will be limited.
- Equipment will be disinfected between each use.
- Any activities bringing students into close physical contact will be avoided.
- Will be governed by UIL protocols
CFBISD counselors are available to support students academically, socially and emotionally. Counselors are prepared and ready to provide mental health support and resources for families who may be struggling emotionally. These services may be provided remotely or face-to-face. To provide families with free or low-cost face-to-face and telehealth services, CFBISD has numerous partnerships with local community-based counseling agencies. Access to schedule a meeting with a CFBISD counselor or to find a list of local counseling-based resources. Counseling Page
In addition to providing individual and group counseling, the Guidance and Counseling Department also provides behavioral health and wellness-based classroom guidance lessons for all students. These lessons include the following:
- Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention/Harassment
- Violence Prevention/Conflict Resolution
- College, Career, Military Readiness (CCMR)
- Suicide Prevention/Mental Health Safety
- Drug Education Prevention
Social Emotional Learning lessons are offered to CFBISD students to develop important skills such as self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. The lessons include learning using Sanford Harmony, Second Step, Character Strong, and EverFi curriculum through advisory classes.
CFBISD offers health and wellness resources for employees in the following ways:
- CFBISD Employee Wellness Specialist through the Counselling Department
- MD LIVE Free Telehealth for non-exempt employees and their families
- Blue Cross Blue Shield Wellness and /orTRS ActiveCare Wellness
- Employee Assistance Program at Cigna Life Assistance Program at 1-800-538-3543
For more information see the COVID-19 information page on the district website.