Health & Safety Protocols
Entry Screening Protocols
All students, visitors, and vendors will undergo daily screenings conducted by location-based Wellness Teams at designated entry points, where signage detailing COVID-19 symptoms will be posted for reference.
All will undergo the same screening.
- All will be asked if they are experiencing any symptoms. Those who respond ‘yes’ will be isolated, sent home, and referred to medical care, if needed. Those who respond ‘no’ will be forwarded to temperature screening.
- All who are not experiencing symptoms and meet temperature screening standards (under 100 degrees) will be allowed entry.
Additionally, all students, parents, employees, visitors, and vendors must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, check their temperature before coming to any district school or building, and stay home when sick.
Specific to Students:
- Schools will establish staggered, no-contact pick-up and drop-off times, requiring students to get in and out of cars independently and preventing parents from walking students into the building.
- Families will be encouraged to assign one person who is not high risk to consistently pick-up and drop-off their student each day.
- Schools will no longer incentivize perfect attendance.
Specific to Visitors:
- Visitation will be limited to essential visitors who have previously scheduled appointments. All visitors must wear masks when inside an HISD school or building.
- Non-essential visitors should utilize virtual meetings, when possible. Lunch visits are prohibited.
- Non-essential deliveries — such as food, personal items, homework, musical instruments — are prohibited.
- All employees will undergo daily online self-screening via a designated health screening app prior to arrival at their assigned work location. Employees will be required to download the app, conduct daily self-screening (including temperature checks), and report findings, following all instructions as outlined in the health screening app.
- Supervisors will review daily compliance reports sent each morning to ensure all employees have completed their health screening.
- Additionally, employees must stay home if sick, and self-monitor for symptoms throughout the workday, promptly reporting any changes in condition to their supervisor.
Physical Distancing Protocols
Physical distancing will be required in all HISD schools and buildings, with all students and staff required to remain six feet apart whenever possible. This applies to all areas, including classrooms, offices, restrooms, hallways, cafeterias, copy rooms, breakrooms, gyms, libraries, meetings, dismissal lines, buses, lockers, recess, and athletics.
- Classrooms and office spaces will be reconfigured to ensure six feet of space between desks whenever possible.
- Physical distancing signage and floor markers will be installed throughout buildings as a reminder.
- Student movement throughout the campus will be minimized as much as possible to reduce contacts.
- Students and staff will be encouraged to use no touch greetings.
Breakrooms and copy rooms also are limited to three people and employees are prohibited from loitering in these areas and required to sanitize their hands upon entry and exit.
Elevator capacity also will be limited to three people.
All meetings should be held virtually unless a face-toface meeting is absolutely required. In such cases, the meetings must be held in designated conference rooms, scheduled in advance, and limited to 10 people, all of whom must adhere to physical distancing. Conference rooms should not be used for any other purpose.
Personal Protective Equipment Protocols
All students, employees, visitors, and vendors are required to wear masks that cover both their nose and mouth throughout the school day, during before and after school activities, and while in district schools and facilities.
- Masks will be provided to students, employees, and visitors if they do not have one. Acceptable masks include both district-issued disposable masks and personal, reusable masks.
- Personal reusable masks must be fitted to the face, covering both the nose and mouth, and at least two layers thick. They also must comply with the HISD Dress Code and not be inappropriate or derogatory in nature.
- Masks with a wire bridge should be pinched down and fitted to the nose to ensure they are snug.
- Loose-fitting cloths — such as bandannas, scarves, and handkerchiefs — may not be used as masks, nor can face shields be worn alone without a mask.
- Masks must be worn at all times, including when in the restroom. Masks may only be removed when eating or drinking during lunch periods.
- Mask guidelines — including proper mask use and handling — will be communicated to parents, students, and employees, and schools will set aside instructional time to train students.
- Campus and building administrators have the discretion to require students and employees wear a district-provided mask if they determine a personal mask does not meet minimum health and safety standards.
Building safety captains will be tasked with monitoring mask use in district buildings.
- Employees must wear a mask any time they are outside their personal office, in common areas, or when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from other people.
- Non-campus employees who are assigned to personal office space may only remove their masks when alone in their assigned office with the door closed.
- Non-campus employees assigned to open/cubical office space must wear masks at all times to mitigate transmission in open floor plans.
Fliers outlining hygiene tips and best practices will be posted in common areas, and all student, employees, visitors, and vendors, will be required to follow hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- All must routinely wash and sanitize their hands using either soap or hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Hands must be washed for at least 20 seconds.
- Hands must be thoroughly washed or sanitized after each visit to the restroom and prior to eating.
- Employees must cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, throw used tissues in the trash, and then wash hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Students and employees are prohibited from sharing materials, supplies, equipment and other items, unless absolutely necessary. This includes pencils, markers, books, dictionaries, library books, scissors, and other supplies. If sharing is absolutely required, items must be sanitized by both the recipient and lender.
Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations employees will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines regarding the cleaning, sanitation, and disinfection of all district facilities.
High-touch areas — such as restrooms, main offices, early childhood classrooms, and employee sign-in/ sign-out areas — and will be identified and cleaned more frequently.
All schools and offices will be provided with enough hand soap, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant to accommodate frequent cleaning of high touch areas, and stock will be replenished regularly or upon request.
Air ventilation systems in schools and district buildings will be inspected regularly with any needed repairs made immediately to ensure proper functioning. Filters also will be replaced regularly using the highest grade filter allowable for each system.
Additionally, outdoor air circulation will be increased as much as is possible.
Isolation areas will be established for students and adults who experience COVID-19 symptoms while at school or work. These isolation rooms must be supervised at all times, always stocked with masks and hand sanitizer, and thoroughly cleaned each day.
Should a student or employee become ill while at an HISD school or building, administrators will follow the protocols outlined in the Health and Medical Services Procedural Guideline for Exposure, Suspected, or Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Students, Employees, and Visitors.
- Immediately notify school nurse (for students) or department supervisor (for employees) to report exposure, suspected, or confirmed positive COVID-19.
- Require School Nurse to contact student/employee to investigate, complete COVID-19 Case Report Form, and submit to Health and Medical Services Nurse Manager.
- Require department supervisor to contact Health and Medical Services director or school nurse manager and provide employee’s name, date of birth, and contact information.
Areas or buildings where the student or employee was present will be closed for cleaning and disinfection in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.
Impacted staff, students, and parents will be notified of any closures and/or possible exposures.
Campus administrators must develop a virtual learning action plan to be implemented should the school need to close. Plans will include student technology provisions, ongoing parent communication, teacher training, and special procedures for special needs students.
Microsoft Teams will be adopted districtwide as the primary platform used at all campuses to minimize the overall number of technology platforms used and avoid confusion for families and students. Virtual information sessions will be held to help parents and students understand the platform before school starts.
Should a school or building need to close due to COVID-19 exposure, HISD Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations will determine the deep cleaning and sanitization timeline based on school size.