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MISD presents back-to-school plans

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With an eye on an Aug. 24 start of school, the Medina Independent School District has issued numerous guidelines for the 2020 -2021 School Year.

Topics covered in the guidelines include On Campus Instruction, Remote Learning, Stay-Home Students, University Interscholastic League Extra-Curricular Activities and Campus Visitors.

The information was contained in a seven-page message from MISD Superintend Kevin Newsom and posted on the district’s Facebook page last week.

With careful consideration from the administration and the MISD Board of Trustees, the district will hold on-campus instruction with safety and COVID-19 prevention measures in place as well as offer students a remote learning option, Newsom said.

Additionally, the school district has outlined an instructional model that provides for a continuation of instruction in the event a classroom or a school must temporarily move to a homebased model due to COVID-19.

Although there are no strategies to completely eliminate transmission risk in schools, MISD is committed to keeping transmission as low as possible in order to safely continue school, Newsom said.

The message said face to face instruction will be offered at MISD for students with updated safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that are within applicable state and federal guidelines.

Masks will be required in all high traffic areas, hallways, and in classrooms if social distancing is not available.

We will observe the distancing guidelines throughout our campuses to the best of our ability.

GA -29 executive mandate by GA -29 executive mandate by the governor requires that masks be worn by all individuals ages 10 years old and older.

Therefore, students in the fourth grade and up, as well as staff members and visitors, will be required to wear masks.

In the event that the state issues a statewide school closure or if a student or staff member tests positive for the virus, the following protocols will be implemented.

1. Immediately isolate the student or staff member if they are on campus.

2. Notify all parents/ guardians, students, staff and Bandera County Health Department of the situation.

3. Attempt to identify, by contact tracing, where that student/staff member has been in the last 24-48 hours and notify all parties.

4. Depending on the circumstances, the school will most likely close from 2-5 days and then reassess the situation.

5. During that time of closure, the building will be cleaned and sanitized.

6. If the outbreak involves multiple students and/or staff, then the closure could last up to 14 days.

For parents concerned about sending their children back to class during the pandemic, the district will offer a learning program for students that stay home.

Remote students will get the same class schedules as students attending on-campus classes and will be expected to log into classes via Google Meet or Google Classroom depending on what is available.

They also will be accountable for all assignments just like the on-campus students are.

Due dates for the work and grading policies will be the same for remote learners and students attending school on-campus.

To participate in a UIL program or extracurricular activity during a six-week period, a student must be involved in the on-campus model of instruction, the guidelines state.

Newsom at the end of the message to the community wrote, “My greatest fear as an educator throughout this pandemic has been gaps in the education of our students. No one could have ever planned for or prepared for the massive changes we have faced.”

But he also said, “We will see the other side of this pandemic, and we will be stronger.”

For more information, visit the Medina ISD Facebook page.