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Daily Safety Protocols

ALL students [preK – 12th Grade], staff, and visitors are required to use non-medical grade face coverings, covering nose and mouth.

View the face mask protocols below. Within the face mask protocols section, please also view the section regarding the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics related to reopening of schools.

General Information

Parents must verify they will not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19. Instead, parents should opt to receive remote instruction until the conditions for re-entry are met. Parents may also opt to have their students receive remote instruction if their child has had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 until the 14-day incubation period has passed. 

AISD will screen students for COVID-19. Screening will be accomplished by asking questions by phone or other electronic methods and/or in person. Campuses will regularly reinforce screening procedures and educate parents on the critical need for compliance. When it comes to policies and regulations that encourage daily attendance, students who are engaged in virtual attendance will satisfy attendance requirements for initiatives like perfect attendance/semester test exemptions. Daily forehead temperature checks of asymptomatic students is not recommended by the CDC at this time and will not be regularly performed at school.

AISD staff will wear a face mask while at school. Staff will be asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming onto campus each day. The self-screening should include teachers and staff taking their own temperature. Teachers and staff must report to the school system if they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, they must remain off campus until they meet the criteria for re-entry. Additionally, they must report to the school system if they have had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and, if so, must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed. 

ALL students [preK – 12th Grade], staff, and visitors are required to use non-medical grade face coverings, covering nose and mouth.

View the face mask protocols below. Please also view the section regarding the recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics related to reopening of schools.

  • Following federal, state and local mandates and guidance from the Center for Disease Control as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the use of non-medical grade face coverings will be required of all students, staff and visitors in all Amarillo ISD facilities and on buses
    • Students in preK - 12th grade will wear face coverings during arrival and dismissal times, on buses, in hallways, common areas, and, including in classrooms to the extent it is developmentally appropriate and when social distancing is not feasible
    • Masks are required during all student transitions whether outside or inside
    • Mask are not required:
      • While individuals are actively eating or drinking
      • For outdoor activities such as recess or PE, masks will not be prescribed if physical distancing can be practiced. The key for mask removal is for students who are actively engaged in outdoor activities with social distancing in place or outside with enhanced social distancing in place [Enhanced = <12 feet].
      • It may be impractical for students to wear masks or face shields while participating in some non-UIL athletic or other extracurricular activities; however, those students required to wear a face covering should wear them when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas and when not actively engaging in those activities
      • In the event an individual presents the Amarillo Public Health Mask Exemption Affidavit signed by a medical doctor that excludes them from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield and practice social distancing at all times while at school
         
  • Any individual arriving on campus during the instructional day will be required to wear a face covering in order to gain access to the building(s).
    • School administration or staff will be stationed at entry doors to each campus to remind students to wear face coverings prior to entering the building
    • In instances where a reusable mask belonging to a student or staff member is lost or forgotten, a disposable mask will be provided for the day
    • It is important to note masks do NOT preclude social distancing. Face coverings should be worn, and social distancing followed when possible.

Recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics Related to Reopening of Schools

Amarillo ISD is working diligently to continue to provide in-person instruction and associated activities throughout the 2020-2021 school year. To that end, it is important to consider one of the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics related to reopening schools this Fall:

Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Cloth face coverings protect others if the wearer is infected with SARS-CoV-2 and is not aware. Cloth face coverings may offer some level of protection for the wearer. Evidence continues to mount on the importance of universal face coverings in interrupting the spread of SARS-CoV-2.vii,viii,ix Universal face covering use in schools for children older than 2 years is recommended. It is important to note many children, even those with medical conditions, are able to safely and effectively wear face coverings with adequate practice and support as well as modeling from adults. School staff and older students (those who attend middle or high school) should be able to wear cloth face coverings safely and consistently and should be encouraged to do so. Children younger than 2 years and anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance should not wear cloth face coverings.

For certain populations, the use of cloth face coverings by teachers may impede the education process. These include students who are deaf or hard of hearing, students receiving speech/language services, young students in early education programs, and English language learners. Although there are products (eg, face coverings with clear panels in the front) to facilitate their use among these populations, these products may not be available in all settings.

Students and families should be taught how to properly wear (cover nose and mouth) a cloth face covering, to maintain hand hygiene when removing for meals and physical activity, and to replace and maintain (wash daily) a cloth face covering.

School health staff should be provided with appropriate medical PPE to use in health suites. This PPE should include universal N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, disposable gowns, and face shields or other eye protection. School health staff should be aware of the CDC guidance on infection control measures (Opens in new window). Asthma treatments using inhalers with spacers (Opens in new widow) should be used rather than nebulizer treatments whenever possible, because nebulizer treatments are aerosol-generating procedures, which increase risks to others. The CDC recommends (Opens in new window) that nebulizer treatments at school should be reserved for children who cannot use or do not have access to an inhaler (with spacer or spacer with mask) for a respiratory emergency. Schools should work with families and health care providers to assist with obtaining an inhaler and spacer for students with limited access. In addition, schools should work to develop and implement asthma action plans, which may include directly observed controller medication administration in schools to promote optimal asthma control. In those rare cases in which a student can only use a nebulizer, school health staff should wear gloves, an N95 facemask (when available), gown, and eye protection (Opens in new window). Staff should be trained on proper donning and doffing procedures and follow the CDC guidance (Opens in new window) regarding precautions when performing this aerosol-generating procedure. Nebulizer treatments should be performed in a space that limits exposure to others and with minimal staff present. Rooms should be well-ventilated, or treatments should be performed outside. After the use of the nebulizer, the room should undergo routine cleaning and disinfection (Opens in new window).

School staff working with students who are unable to wear a cloth face covering or who are unable to manage secretions and who must be in close proximity to these students should wear a surgical mask in combination with a face shield.

For additional information, please see the full article from the American Academy of Pediatrics at: https://services.aap.org/en/pages/2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19-infections/clinical-guidance/covid-19-planning-considerations-return-to-in-person-education-in-schools/ (Opens in new window).