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*Updated: July 30, 2020*
This document contains the most Frequently Asked Questions that we have answers to at this time. As additional questions are received and as we develop responses, we will add them to this document. Please check this document and the DISD website frequently. Information regarding the re-entry of students is subject to change pending additional guidance from the Galveston County Health District, UTMB medical staff, and the Texas Education Agency.
2020-2021 Re-Entry Date for Students
The return date for Face-to-Face Instruction was moved to Monday, Sept. 14. What happens if there are still a lot of positive cases in Galveston County?
DISD will continuously monitor positivity rates, and we will continue to meet with the Galveston County Health District and UTMB. If the number of positive cases remains high after Labor Day, a recommendation will be made to the Board of Trustees for a TEA waiver to extend Remote Instruction for an additional period of time.
How will the levels of disease activity be determined?
DISD will rely on data from the Galveston County Health District and from the Department of State Health Services to determine the disease activity level and the appropriate protective measures against COVID-19. Please refer to the Alert Level chart located in the DISD Re-Entry Plan.
2020-2021 Instructional Commitment and Registration
I did not complete the survey in July for Face-to-Face Instruction or Remote Learning. What happens?
On-line registration begins Monday, Aug. 3, and it must be completed by Aug. 14. During the registration process a commitment must be made to Face-to-Face Instruction or Remote Instruction for each student.
My student is enrolled in welding. How will he be able to complete this course remotely?
There are CTE, STEM and advanced courses that will require students to come on campus at a designated time to complete performance based assessments or demonstrate a specific skill in a lab setting. Provided below are the CTE courses that will require possible on-campus lab instruction:
Once I commit for the 2020-2021 school year, can we change our mind on the educational learning environment and switch?
After August 14, changes can be made to the educational setting (Face-to-Face Instruction or Remote Instruction) at the end of a grading period (end of 1st nine weeks, end of 1st semester or end of 3rd nine weeks).
According to TEA guidance, the school district will ask parents to commit to either Face-to Face Instruction or Remote Instruction for their students no earlier than two weeks before the start of the school year. With the start of the school year being Aug. 24, the Aug. 14 commitment deadline stands.
What happens after I make my commitment?
Dickinson ISD will be actively working to build master schedules and class lists based on the commitments submitted by parents from Aug. 3 to Aug. 14. Campuses will communicate class assignments and student schedules with families once they are finalized.
DISD will automatically place middle school, junior high and high school students in courses based on the preferences they previously indicated during course selection in the spring. Campus staff will communicate with students if scheduling decisions need to be made because of changes to the master schedule. This will follow campus procedures for resolving scheduling issues at the beginning of the school year.
How do I access Skyward?
To access Skyward, visit the Dickinson ISD website at www.dickinsonisd.org and click on the Skyward Family/Student Access tab in the Quicklinks section on the left hand side of the page. Parents must then use the login information (user name and password) provided by the campus to access the program. If you have forgotten your password, you can click on the “forgot password” option on the login page. If this does not work or you have never received login information, you must contact the school to receive this information. It is very important to remember your Skyward login information, because it is used every year for returning students to complete online registration. It is also a way for parents to stay informed about their student’s grades and attendance throughout the year as this is where teachers enter this important information.
How do I register a returning student?
Dickinson ISD parents are able to take advantage of the district’s online registration for returning students from August 3-14, 2020. This registration period is for students who attended a Dickinson ISD campus at the end of the 2019-2020 school year and will be returning for the 2020-2021 school year. Visit www.dickinsonisd.org/backtoschool and click on the registration tab for complete details regarding online registration.
Where is the registration information for students who are brand new to Dickinson ISD?
Visit www.dickinsonisd.org/backtoschool and click on the registration tab. Detailed information is available for registering new Dickinson ISD students.
Is there still a possibility that DISD will choose the hybrid model as a potential learning option?
DISD does not currently have the resources or capacity to implement a PreK-grade 12 hybrid model alongside Face- to-Face Instruction and Remote Instruction based on the information received from TEA and further study by the district. DISD is concentrating its efforts on enhancing the Remote Instruction and Face-to-Face Instruction models.
What is the plan for Special Education students?
The district is actively planning to address the needs of special populations. Students in self-contained programs (ECSE, ABCD, TIDES, WAVE, SAILS and SEALS) will transition back to school on August 31. Additional guidance for Special Education will be posted to the district website very soon.
What will daily hours look like?
From Aug. 24-Sept. 11, regular campus hours will be 8:00-4:00. Teachers and instructional support staff will be in their classrooms providing Remote Instruction for students from 8:30-3:30 each day.
Beginning Sept. 14, regular campus hours will resume.
Dickinson High School: 7:05-2:35
Junior High and Middle School campuses: 7:45-3:15
Elementary campuses: 8:30-4:00
Ten minutes were added to the school day to provide extra minutes in the event the district closes for a weather- related or COVID-19 closure. Seven extra school days are built into the calendar to cover the district in the event of a closure. If additional time is needed beyond the seven days, the school year may be extended into June in order to make-up the required time.
Will Remote Instruction and Face-to-Face Instruction teachers be the same?
Certified DISD teachers will teach all Dickinson ISD students. When Face-to-Face instruction students return to campus on Sept. 14, they may not have the same teacher for all courses.
Will grading be different for Face-to-Face Instruction and Remote Instruction?
No, according to TEA guidance, the grading policies for Remote Instruction must be consistent with DISD grading policies for on-campus assignments. Remote Instruction courses that earn high school credit will count in GPA calculation and class rank. Please reference the DISD Grading Guidelines posted on the DISD website.
How will dual credit courses be handled?
Dual Credit course offerings will continue to be provided through our partnership with College of the Mainland. COM has announced that they will be moving classes online as much as possible.
Will there be STAAR testing in 2020-2021?
According to the TEA website, the STAAR testing calendar has been updated and provides the testing dates during the 2020-2021 school year.
Will DISD change its truancy or attendance policies?
No. The minimum attendance requirement for class credit rule of TEC §25.092 will be in effect. Students are required to attend at least 90% of their classes to receive credit and be promoted. Remote attendance will count in the same manner as on-campus attendance in satisfying this requirement. In Remote Instruction, student
engagement is measured daily and attendance is assigned based on the student’s completion of that day’s engagement measure. Students who do not complete the daily measure of engagement will be counted absent for the day. Truancy laws are in effect for Remote Instruction and Face-to-Face Instruction.
What happens if my student does not engage with lessons during the three-week Remote Instruction period?
As with every school year, students who are not accounted for on the first day of school (August 24) are withdrawn from Dickinson ISD. Students who are withdrawn and re-enroll must show proof of enrollment in another public school, private, charter, or parochial school, or participation in home-schooling during the time the student was not enrolled in DISD.
All students enrolled in Dickinson ISD are subject to compulsory attendance per FEA (LEGAL). If a student fails to attend school without an excuse on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year, the District shall within ten school days of the student’s tenth absence refer the student to truancy court.
If a parent chooses to put a child in a private or homeschool setting during the Remote Instruction period, are they able to transfer the student once Face-to-Face Instruction begins on Sept. 14?
Students who are withdrawn and re-enroll must show proof of enrollment in another public school, charter, private or parochial school, or participation in home-schooling during the time the student was not enrolled in Dickinson ISD. As a public school, students can always enroll with DISD at any time.
Will DISD provide technology devices?
Yes, access to technology should not prevent Remote Instruction at home. Devices will be made available to students before the school year begins. If parents did not complete the technology survey by the July 27 deadline, they will need to indicate the need for technology during the online registration process.
Will face coverings be required?
Yes, all students and staff will be required to wear a face covering or face shield, especially when social distancing measuring cannot be maintained. Face coverings must be in compliance with the DISD Dress Expectations (no designs, symbols, or words that refer to alcohol, drugs including marijuana, tobacco/vaping, violence, death, racism, profanity, nudity/obscenity, Satanism/occult, or gang affiliation.
Will students need to complete a health screener before coming to school?
In accordance with TEA guidelines, all staff, students and visitors will be required to complete a health screener using a digital tool or paper form before entering the building to verify the absence of COVID-19 related symptoms and they have not been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive.
Will elementary students have recess?
Students will still have outdoor playtime each day, weather permitting. However, to maintain social distancing between classes every class may not be able to utilize playground areas each day. Each elementary campus will be developing a schedule for use of outdoor spaces.
Will my student still go to Specials (art, music, P.E.)?
Each elementary campus will establish a schedule that allows for classes to attend specials with their assigned class groups. Specials class set up and attendance frequency will be dependent upon the space capacity and class size at each elementary campus.
Will my elementary child have to remain at their desk all day long?
Our goal is for classroom instruction to mirror previous years as closely as possible while also realizing modifications will be needed to provide for health and safety measures. Teachers will have the flexibility within safety guidelines to provide active learning possibilities as much as possible.
How many students will be in my child’s class?
We expect class sizes to be smaller than typical years due to students participating in Remote Instruction. An approximate number or range of students in each class is difficult to predict until the DISD registration process is completed.
Has DISD considered keeping students in one place and rotating the teachers?
Yes, DISD has considered this as well as many other strategies being considered or implemented in schools across the country and world. At the elementary level, it is possible for content teachers to move to students. Elementary principals will be providing campus specific information about grouping, changing classes, specials rotation, breakfast and lunch, etc.
At the secondary level, students are provided many choices based on their own interests. Because of the large number of students and the variety of courses available, it is difficult to group cohorts of students together.
Please see the DISD Instructional Continuity Plan for sample schedules. It will be posted to the DISD website very soon.
Will students be sharing school supplies?
Common classroom supplies such as art supplies, manipulatives, Chromebooks, calculators, etc. will be minimized to only items that can be cleaned between uses. Students will be required to have their own set of basic supplies.
Backpacks, school supply pouches/boxes, and lunch bags/boxes will need to be disinfected at home each evening.
Whom should I contact if my child or someone in our household tests positive for COVID-19?
Call or email the campus as soon as possible. Students or staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to submit medical release documentation from a physician’s office prior to returning to school.
How will DISD monitor exposure and positive cases on campus?
Health screen submissions will be checked daily to determine if an individual must be sent home and when they are allowed to return according to criteria established by TEA and Galveston County Health District. In addition, there will be specific information provided to impacted individuals, classes and general information to the campus as required by TEA. Please refer to the DISD Re-Entry Plan located on the DISD website.
What if a student begins to show symptoms during the school day?
Any student who presents symptoms during the school day will be screened by the campus nurse, and if needed, moved to the identified isolation area on campus to wait for parent/guardian pick-up. It is requested that parent/guardian arrive to the school within 30 minutes after notification by the campus. The Dickinson ISD Case Management Process will be implemented which includes communication to individuals potentially exposed and communication to parents about criteria to return to the building.
When a case occurs in a classroom, does the whole class and the teacher need to quarantine for 14 days?
Dickinson ISD will apply TEA guidelines as part of the COVID-19 Case Management Process. Once a case has been confirmed that impacts the campus, all staff and families will be notified.
Students or staff who come into close contact with an individual with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days and may not return to campus during this time.
Please review the DISD Re-Entry Plan located on the DISD website.
If my student has to self-quarantine due to close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, will his or her siblings also have to self-quarantine and stay home from school?
If a student is exposed at school and required to self-quarantine based on the criteria outlined in the DISD Re-Entry Plan, his or her siblings would not need to quarantine. Quarantine is required for close contact with a confirmed or probable case. An individual is not considered a probable case until he or she has symptoms or close contact. So if a student is quarantined due to close contact, but shows no symptoms, no one who came into with that student will need to quarantine. However, if the student does start showing symptoms, anyone who came in close contact in the 48 hours prior to the student showing symptoms will need to quarantine.
What happens if we return to school and there is a COVID-19 spike at my child’s campus or in the district?
If a campus or the district should need to close, elementary and secondary students will begin Remote Instruction for a short or extended period of time. The length of the closure will be based on health guidelines and recommendations provided by the Galveston County Health District.
How will my student receive assignments if they are required to quarantine because of exposure?
Students who are required to quarantine because of exposure will immediately begin receiving Remote Instruction at home. During the quarantine, students will not be marked absent if they participate daily in Remote Instruction activities and assignments. These students will be able to return to Face-to-Face Instruction on campus at the end of the quarantine period.
Will it be an excused absence if a symptomatic student is quarantined for 14 days and too ill to do their remote learning activities?
Students who have a doctor’s note for their illness will be marked with an excused absence. Grading policies related to excused absences will be applied.
Will students be required to wear face coverings while on the bus?
Yes. Students will not be allowed on DISD buses without a face covering or face shield.
Will students be required to social distance while on the bus?
Drivers will social distance students as much as possible on the buses. Some of the procedures bus drivers will use include filling seats from the back to the front and unloading front to back, assigning seats, and requiring siblings to sit together.
Parents are encouraged to bring their children to school each morning and pick them up in the afternoon whenever possible.
What changes will be implemented to the nurse’s office to ensure my student will not be exposed to COVID-19 while visiting the nurse’s office? Will the school nurse quarantine for 14 days with each exposure to a COVID-19 positive student or staff member?
School nurses will serve students who are well separately from those who potentially have a contagious disease, including COVID-19, and the nurse’s office will be disinfected regularly. Consistent with guidance for healthcare workers, school nurses will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) like that worn by doctors and nurses in a hospital setting. There will be no need for nurses to quarantine after evaluating a student or staff member who later tests positive unless there was a defect in the protective gear.
What if my family travels before school starts or during the school year? Will my child have to quarantine before attending classes on campus?
Depending on circumstances related to the spread of COVID-19 globally with the United States of state of Texas, federal, state and local governments may impose additional restrictions related to travel. If implemented, they will apply to returning to the classroom as well.
(Internet access and a laptop, desktop computer or Chromebook required)
How will tests be administered to students who choose Remote Learning?
Some assessments will be provided to students online through their Eduphoria access. However, diagnostic tests (MAP-beginning of year, middle of year and end of year), curriculum based assessments and unit tests, Pre-STAAR benchmarks, State assessments (STAAR), certification tests and performance-based assessments (Secondary Fine Arts, STEM, CTE, ROTC) must be completed on-campus during designated time periods.
Extracurricular Activities – Athletics, Fine Arts, CTE, and Clubs
Will students be able to participate in clubs?
Clubs will be available; however, at this time, meetings must follow all health and safety protocols or be scheduled remotely.
What happens at the Ag Barn if the high school or district is closed?
The health and safety measures that are in place at Dickinson High School are also in place at the Ag Barn. In addition, the CTE program has been aligned to the Alert System that is in the DISD Re-Entry Plan. Please visit the CTE page on the district website to view this document.
Will we have football and volleyball this year?
The UIL has modified the 2020-2021 UIL calendar and updated COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. Provided below are the dates for first games/matches for 6A teams.
Team Tennis Sept. 7
Cross Country Sept. 7
Volleyball Sept. 14
Football Sept. 24
These dates are subject to change pending recommendations from local and state health officials and the Texas Education Agency.
What are the restrictions for Friday night games at Sam Vitanza stadium?
Schools may allow spectators to attend games, contests, or events within a maximum 50% capacity limitation. In addition, the following will be required:
• Any individuals who are confirmed to have, suspected of having, are experiencing symptoms of, or have been in close contact with an individual who has been confirmed to have COVID-19 should not enter the facility.
• Student groups, spectators, audiences, fans, and media are required to wear face coverings.
• Seating will be spaced to maintain a minimum of six feet of distance between groups.
• At least six feet of distance must be kept during the process of admission, seating, restrooms, concessions, and exiting.
• Pathways for spectator ingress and egress should be unobstructed.
• No congregating of groups under the bleachers, restroom area, concessions area or parking lots will be permitted.
Will spectators be allowed in the gymnasium for volleyball games?
The restrictions listed above for the stadium also apply to the gymnasium.
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