Ensuring a Safe Transition
We are beginning to prepare for students’ return to classrooms in August. As you may know, all HISD schools will return to 100 percent in-person instruction this fall. That means all students must report to campus, as no virtual learning will be offered. I’m sure some of you may have questions about this upcoming school year and how it will impact your family. Please know that the safety of our students and staff is always our top priority. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in-person classroom learning has not been associated with substantial community transmission throughout the pandemic. Earlier this month, the CDC issued new guidelines urging school to fully reopen in the fall. To ensure a safe transition, the district will maintain the following protocols:
• Urging students, staff, and essential visitors to stay home when sick
• Providing masks upon request and allowing them to be worn in schools and buildings but not requiring them per state mandate
• Keeping plexiglass dividers in place
• Cleaning and disinfecting all schools and buildings nightly
• Limiting visitation to essential visitors with pre-scheduled appointments
More detailed information will be provided in the coming weeks as the district releases its back-to-school plan for the coming year. Please keep an eye out for it. Click here to access most up to date back to school plan - ReadySetGo. As you know, HISD’s Communicable Disease Plan — a living document that governs health and safety protocols during public health emergencies — will be formally deactivated on Aug. 2. However, the Communicable Disease Plan Committee, a cross-functional team that developed the plan, will continue meeting regularly to monitor local conditions and public health guidance. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact our school office.
COVID-19 STUDENT SAFETY: Wearing Masks
Our students need to be at school – to learn at high levels, to have important peer interactions, and to participate fully in school life. We need to protect our students while they are at school.
Our students and staff all wore masks throughout the 2020-21 school year. Together, we helped keep everyone safe. We ask that every member of our Falcon community mask up again for everyone’s safety.
We are ALL responsible for our students’ safety.
As we return to school this month, we ALL are responsible for keeping our students safe. Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently stated, “the path forward [for COVID-19 safety] relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates.” Office of the Texas Governor (2021, July 29)
Governor Abbott encourages us to wear face coverings.
In his July 29 executive order, Governor Abbott stated:
In areas where the COVID-19 transmission rate is high, individuals are encouraged to follow the safe practices they have already mastered, such as wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household. Office of the Texas Governor (2021, July 29)
Our COVID-19 transmission rate is high.
Harris County recently returned to COVID-19 threat level 2: Significant Threat. The county again has a significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19. New cases and hospitalizations are rising. Harris County Public Health (2021, Aug 1)
The CDC recommends we ALL wear masks in school.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends “universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2021, July 9).
The CDC also recommends that “children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies in place.” In addition to masks, COVID-19 precautions include staying three or more feet apart whenever we can and washing our hands often.
Why should we all wear masks in schools?
- COVID-19 spreads through the airwhen a person exhales. When unvaccinated people are crowded together indoors without masks, the virus can spread even more easily. World Health Organization (2021, April 30).
- The new COVID delta variant is even more contagious.The delta variant spreading in Houston is causing hospitalization and death rates to rise again. Mandavilli, A. (2021, July 30).
- 3. People who have COVID-19 may have no symptoms.At least one-third of COVID infections are symptom-free. People may not know they have the virus. Oran, D. & Topal, E. (2021, July 27)
- Maskshelp prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially when combined with vaccination, physical distancing when possible, and hand washing.
Families: WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Please talk with your students about why they should wear a mask covering their nose and mouth at school: to keep them safe, to keep your family safe, to keep their peers and teachers safe. Masks will be available at school, or students can wear their own.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact Principal Square at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Info for Parents
HOW CAN WE KEEP OUR STUDENTS SAFE? Get vaccinated!
Some students are afraid of needles; others are afraid of the arm discomfort or mild flu-like symptoms they might get after the second shot. If they have those concerns, encourage them to get the vaccine for their safety and the safety of their loved ones. Students are used to getting vaccinations
Reminder: Students need to be up to date on all their vaccinations. Check with your doctor or our school nurse for more information. The Texas Department of State Health Services has provided guidance in English and Spanish at this website: https://dshs.texas.gov/immunize/public.shtm
What You Need to Know
- The Food and Drug Administration has emergency authorized the safe and effective Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and older. Moderna is authorized for ages 18 and older. Single-dose Johnson & Johnson is authorized for ages 18 and older.
- COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
- You may have side effects after vaccination. These are normal and should go away in a few days.
- It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19. You are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the 2nd dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine.
- People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.
- Bust myths and learn the facts about COVID-19 vaccines.
- Questions? CDC COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.
Lo que necesita saber:
- Esta semana la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos autorizó la segura y eficaz vacuna contra la COVID-19 Pfizer-BionTech para las edades de 12 años en adelante. Moderna está autorizada para las edades de 18 años en adelante. La Johnson & Johnson de una sola dosis está autorizada para las edades de 18 años en adelante.
- Las vacunas contra la COVID-19 son seguras y eficaces.
- Podrían tener efectos secundarios después de la aplicación de la vacuna. Es normal y deben desaparecer en pocos días.
- Normalmente toma dos semanas después de la vacunación para que el cuerpo desarrolle la protección (inmunidad) contra el virus que causa la COVID-19. Tendrá el esquema completo de vacunación hasta 2 semanas después de la 2.a dosis de una vacuna de dos dosis o dos semanas después de la vacuna de una dosis.
- Las personas que ya recibieron el esquema completo de vacunación pueden empezar a hacer algunas cosas que habían dejado de hacer por la pandemia.
- Rompa con los mitos y aprenda sobre las vacunas contra la COVID-19.
- Preguntas? pueden visitar la página web de la vacuna contra la COVID-19 de los CDC.