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Austin ISD outlines safety measures as in-person classes are set to resume this fall

Gov. Greg Abbott told lawmakers Thursday that schools will resume in-person instruction this fall.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday told lawmakers schools will resume in-campus instruction this fall, Austin ISD is outlining safety measures it plans to have in place as students head back to school.

"There will likely be a point in time when any one of our 127 schools may need to switch its instructional delivery model based on the health conditions at a particular school site," the district wrote on its website. "Our preparations include being able to deliver distance and face-to-face learning, as well as a hybrid approach."

Some of the procedures it plans to implement include:

  • A no-touch temperature check and screening of students, by a staff member wearing personal protective equipment, will occur at designated spots before students can enter the school building. Screenings will take place in vehicles when possible.
  • Each person who arrives without a mask will be provided one. However, due to a limited national supply, staff and students will be encouraged to bring their own.
  • Student capacity in the classroom will be limited. Staff and student capacity will not exceed 25% of the classroom space. Depending on the specific class size and the ability to safely distance, this will average six to eight students per room.
  • Meals will be offered in the classroom. This is to ensure safety for students and staff and is in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Texas Education Agency recommendations.
  • A staff member or student will need to meet the CDC criteria for returning if they are displaying symptoms, presumed positive or have received a confirmed positive COVID-19 test.
  • A staff member or student will need to quarantine for 14 days if they have had direct exposure to someone that is displaying symptoms and/or is presumed or confirmed positive for COVID-19.
  • Additionally, every student and staff member that has had direct contact with the affected student/staff member in the last seven days will also need to quarantine for 14 days. This includes, but is not limited to, the students and staff in a class, on a bus route and in group extracurricular activities.
    • The need to shut down an entire campus, the school’s foodservice operations or an entire extracurricular activity for a period of time will depend on the level of contact, isolation of groups and guidance from health authorities.

The district said it understands the need for some families to have options as schools reopen, so it is working to have at-home learning options available as well.

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