TEA Requirement: Providing Notice
Positive Solutions Charter School is providing notice to parents, families, and the community regarding back-to-school plans and instruction through this initial document. As further required, one week prior to the start of school, a plan to mitigate COVID-19 will be disseminated to all families and posted school websites. Preliminary information is posted in this guidance and is subject to change based on state and local decisions.
COVID-19 Response Team – Positive Solutions Charter School has developed a COVID-19 Response Team to respond to concerns and communicate district decisions. Members of the team are listed below:
Maya Yruegas – Human Resources Manager
Carrie Burns – Career Teacher Leader
Sandra Vasquez – Academic Coordinator
Geraldine Molina – Student Coordinator
TEA Requirement: Prevent and Mitigate
Positive Solutions Charter School must identify and implement practices to prevent the virus from entering the school and mitigate or reduce the likely spread inside the school; therefore, district practices and guidelines have been established for various areas noted below:
Health and Safety Guidance
- Social and Emotional Well-Being – Students’ social and emotional well-being are a top priority. Together, schools and families can support your child during this challenging time. Staff will continue to work closely with families and students to ease the stress. Keeping routines predictable, sharing COVID facts that are age-appropriate, and reaching out to us for support are all important. We are here for you and your child(ren).
- Masks – Schools are expected to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order for wearing masks or face shields, where this is most developmentally appropriate. If or when Governor’s Order expires, Positive Solutions Charter School will continue to require students, staff, and visitors to wear masks. All adults are required to wear masks when in the building, classroom, and/or office, common areas, and hallways. Exceptions to this requirement include lunch breaks with appropriate social distancing. Classroom teachers may use face shields and social distancing when providing direct instruction in the classroom. During classroom monitoring and circulations, masks are required.Students are required to wear masks during the school day. Exceptions to this requirement include during breakfast/snack. Students, teachers, staff, and visitors will not be allowed to enter the building if no face covering that cover nose and mouth is worn.It is recommended that masks be thoroughly cleaned daily. Sharing of masks with other family members is extremely risky and discouraged.
- Handwashing/Sanitizing – Students and staff are required to use hand sanitizer when entering building, classroom, and/or office. Frequent sanitizing will also be incorporated in the daily schedules. Each classroom will be provided with sanitation kits that will be used during transitions. Classrooms, and other common areas within the school will be thoroughly disinfected daily and deep cleaning schedules will be regularly conducted.
- Temperature Checks/Screening – Initial monitoring of symptoms begins at home. Individuals who are feeling ill, including symptoms like fever or feeling feverish, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, abdominal pain, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, chills, shaking or exaggerated shivering, or diarrhea should stay at home and consult with a medical professional regarding school participation.
- Screening of each student and staff member is conducted daily. Screening is accomplished by asking questions by phone or other electronic methods and/or in person. Screening questions will also be asked of student’s parents if parents are dropping off or picking up child from inside school. Screening will be done prior to entry or upon entry to the school for all students, teachers, or staff.
- Screening questions that will be asked of all individuals entering the building are as follows:
- Have you experienced any of the following symptoms (symptoms listed above) that may indicate a possible COVID-19 infection?
- Are you lab-confirmed with COVID-19?
- Have you had close contact with any individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Is anyone in your household experiencing any symptoms that may indicate a possible COVID-19 infection?
- Answering yes to any of these questions, will result in students/staff/teachers being sent home and will have to follow reentry requirements.Temperatures will be taken for each student/staff/teacher before entering building. For students who are dropped off by parents, temperatures will be taken before the student entering campus. Students temperature will be taken prior to students exiting vehicle. If a student’s temperature is at or above 100o , the student will not be allowed to stay in school and will be given a medical/safety informational form which, again, must be followed before he/she is allowed to return to school. Information for students to log in remotely will be given, as well to ensure students can continue to work from home to meet attendance requirement for the day. For students who ride the city transportation, temperatures will be taken before student is allowed on campus. If a student’s temperature is at or above 100o , the student will not be allowed to stay in school and will be given a medical/safety informational form which, again, must be followed before he/she is allowed to return to school. Students will wait in an area away from other students, teachers, and staff to give parent/guardian confirmation of symptoms and determine how student will get home. Once parent/guardian is notified, then student will either wait to be picked up by parent or with parent permission be allowed to leave.
- Social Distancing – Staff and students must maintain six feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings, to the maximum extent possible. Classrooms will be arranged to allow for six feet of space between seating areas, as feasible, and transitions will be limited as much as possible. Staggered school start and dismissal times, along with passing periods will be used. Students will be assigned to classroom and student cohorts to minimize their interactions with others.
- Personal Protective Equipment – Staff and students are expected to provide their own masks. If individuals need assistance with this matter, the district will have masks available.
- Students with Health Conditions – Parents and families know their child’s needs. While we are taking all measure to ensure each student’s safety, parents must place their child’s health needs first. Remote learning options are discussed later.
- COVID-19 Cases – Positive Solutions will take all safety precautions. However, if a student or staff member tests positive, then Positive Solutions will determine which group of students/staff will shift to remote learning for at least 10 days (includes weekends) with the guidance of local health officials. If a student or staff member has been in close and/or prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive, then Positive Solutions will determine which group of students/staff will shift to remote instruction for required length of time needed to stay home. Areas that have been deemed exposed with COVID-19 will close for a minimum of three days to allow for additional sanitation/disinfecting and monitoring. Staff and students who test positive and/or were directly exposed will not be permitted to return to school until they meet the reentry requirements. While this may cause an added burden on families, our goal is health and safety for all students.TEA Guidance on Individuals Confirmed or Suspected with COVID-19:Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
- In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
- at least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
- the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
- at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared. o
- In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.
- If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either
- obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or
- obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19.
- If the individual has had close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, as defined at the end of this document, and, if so, must remain off campus until the 14-day incubation period has passed.
- In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
Campuses and Classrooms
- Grouping – Positive Solutions will make every effort to minimize interactions between many groups of periods. The school will make every effort to keep groups of students together.
- Visitors, Drop-off, and Pick-Up – All campus visits must be scheduled via an appointment. Sanitizing will occur after each parent meeting. The number of visitors in the school will be limited to ensure that students are safe; therefore, alternative meeting options may be scheduled, including virtual meetings. This information will be communicated prior to the first day of school.Traditional campus events such as Family Night may be held virtually to keep all students/staff/teachers safe. Once the COVID situation has flatlined, we will reevaluate how to proceed with these activities. Campuses will use other means to keep parents and families up-to-date and engaged in their child’s learning, including online platforms.
- Classroom Configurations – Positive Solutions Charter School will arrange student learning spaces six feet apart, as feasible. In some instances, common areas may be used for instruction with similar distancing.
- Restrooms and Water Fountains – Students’ physical needs are extremely important. Social distancing and hand washing will remain the priorities during restroom breaks. Because water dispensers have shared surfaces, these will be disabled/turned off. Students will be provided with other options for hydration. Students will be provided with bottled water, if needed as they walk into the school.
- Materials and Supplies – Students will be expected to use their own materials and supplies which will be kept in individually-assigned boxes. Sharing of materials will not be allowed. In instances where technology, books, calculators, etc., are used by multiple students, proper sanitation protocols will be enforced.
- Backpacks and Other Personal Items – No backpacks and/or other supplies will be allowed on campus. Purses are allowed, but may not be larger than 8.5 X 11.0 (size of a letter sized sheet of paper). Laptop/Chromebook cases assigned to students by schools will be allowed on campus but will not be allowed to have additional items in the case other than the items assigned (Chromebook/laptop, mouse, and charger.) Cases are not to be used for personal items. These assigned items will need to be cleaned when arriving at school. All other supplies will be kept in the classroom to minimize contact.
- Additional Instructors in Classrooms – In certain instances, additional staff members may be assigned to classrooms to instruct specific students. These individuals will sanitize prior to entering and exiting the classroom, and masks will be required as they interact with students using social distancing.
- Face-to-Face Instruction and Remote/Virtual Learning – Positive Solutions Charter School is taking multiple precautions to protect both students and staff in school operations. We will offer parents the option for either face-to-face or remote/virtual learning. In both instances, students are expected to participate and remain engaged in high quality instruction. Each of these options is described below:
- Face-to-Face Instruction – Students attend school daily for 4 hours, as with the regular school year, and follow safety, sanitation, and social distancing expectations. In this setting, teachers will provide face-to-face instruction utilizing Google Classroom for STAAR tested courses (English I, English II, Biology, Algebra I, US History) and Edgenuity for all other courses. Teachers will plan instruction that is quickly and easily transferrable from face to face to remote in the event of a temporary school closure due to COVID-19 spread.
- Remote/Virtual Learning – Students participate in classroom instruction via remote/virtual learning and are expected to complete and submit assignments as communicated by the remote/virtual learning teacher(s). This home-learning model is an extension of the classroom and includes the same high-level expectations for participation and assignments as face-to-face. Students in this model must also be engaged for 4 hours. In this setting, teachers will provide remote/virtual instruction utilizing Google Classroom for STAAR tested courses (English I, English II, Biology, Algebra I, and US History) and Edgenuity for all other courses. Parents will support students by ensuring they have access to the device, a place to work, and engaged in virtual learning activities for the 4 hour time frame.
- In both models, the school will provide instruction in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for the required grade level/subject/course. Monitoring student learning and progress remains integral to the success of the students. This includes attendance, grades, formative/summative assessments, and other monitoring systems that help teachers know how students are making progress. Both the remote/virtual learning and face to face instruction will utilize Google Classroom, Edgenuity, provide similar expectations around coursework, and follow same grade guidelines.Unless otherwise noted by the campus administrator, once a commitment to the instructional model has been communicated by the parent/family, a request must be submitted in writing to shift to the other model. These transitions must be approved and processed by the school and may take up to two weeks. Attendance in the model chosen by parent is mandatory until changes can be made.Remote/virtual instruction will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.TEA Guidance on Remote Synchronous and Remote Asynchronous Instruction is as follows:
Remote Synchronous Instruction – Two-way, real-time/live, virtual instruction between teachers and students when students are not on campus. In this method, the required amount of instructional time is scheduled each day, and funding is generated when attendance is recorded daily at a locally selected snapshot time. Synchronous instruction is provided through a computer or other electronic device or over the phone. The instructional method must address the required curriculum, per TEC, §28.002.
Remote Asynchronous Instruction – Instruction that does not require having the instructor and student engaged at the same time. In this method, students learn from instruction that is not necessarily being delivered in-person or in real time. This type of instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, such as prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper. The instructional method must address the required curriculum, per TEC, §28.002.
Based on the guidance provided by TEA, school districts must develop an Asynchronous Plan for students working remotely. The plan must be followed to earn credit and attendance.
For the remote synchronous instruction, students must be engaged in real-time/live instruction. Attendance will be taken at a locally developed time. Students must engage in the real-time/live instruction during the students selected session (AM/PM). For example, upon registration, student has selected AM as his/her session. Student has also determined that he/she will be engaging via remote learning instruction, then the student will engage with virtual learning in the session student has chosen. If student has any direct teach courses, then he/she will have to connect live via computer and engage in work in order for teacher to count student present. Students must engage in class for the length of the class period that is synchronous learning and must submit the work required.
Positive Solutions Charter School expectations for synchronous learning:
Students attend class on time, per their class schedule.
- Students will follow the dress code.
- Students are ready to engage and learn.
- Students should have a designated, distraction-free workspace to engage in learning.
- Students will show their face on the screen to engage with the teacher virtually.
- Students will participate in the class activities, discussions and assignments.
- Students will complete all assignments.
- Students will be engaged for each period that is synchronous learning.
- For the remote asynchronous instruction, students must engage in instruction that is not necessarily delivered in real time. The students are engaged in online learning. Students complete the work on their own. Students must engage and complete work daily to account for engagement and attendance. Students are expected to work in each subject daily for the required length of the period during the time that the session and the course is scheduled.Positive Solutions Charter School expectations for asynchronous learning:
- Students will complete asynchronous activities assigned per their class schedule.
- Students will show proof of participation in daily virtual instruction by satisfactorily completing assignments and showing progress to demonstrate evidence of learning.
- Students and parents will communicate with the teacher when needing additional assistance, tutoring, etc.
- Students will be engaged in asynchronous learning during their scheduled session.
- Students will engage with the mentor teacher at least weekly to check on student progress.
- Schedule for Remote/Virtual LearningWhile in remote learning environment, time management is critical to success. Students and teachers must remain in communication regarding daily schedules and assignments. As with any course in face-to-face instructions, students in remote instructions are at risk of receiving a lower grade if student falls behind. If students are struggling with time management, then the parent or student should contact the teacher for additional assistance.Students who have not engaged in all their synchronous or asynchronous learning by the end of their session 11:53 A.M./4:53 P.M. will be marked absent for the periods students have not engaged in. This absence can be resolved if the student engages in daily learning assigned for the periods not engaged by the teachers on Google Classroom and/or Edgenuity by 11:59 P.M. that same day. In order for students to be marked present, student must be engaged.Please note that students will be required to engage, complete work, and show progress for each of the periods in the session registered. If students have questions after 5:00 P.M., teachers may not be available; therefore, it is important for students to complete work during their scheduled session and during the Synchronous Instruction when offered for the direct teach courses.
In addition, per Texas Education Code (TEC), §25.092, students must attend 90% of the days a course is offered in order to be awarded credit for the course. This requirement remains in force during the 2020-21 school year. This requirement applies to both face-to-face and remote/virtual instruction.
- Grading – State law requires each district to adopt its own grading policies. This policy must require a classroom teacher to assign a grade that reflects the student’s relative mastery of an assignment. Positive Solutions Charter School grading policies are published annually in the Student Handbook. Progress reports and report cards, along with parent conferences, will be used to communicate each student’s progress and performance. Students must receive a grade average of a 70 or better to receive a passing grade and to earn credit for the course.
- State and Local Testing = All students are expected to follow state and local testing requirements. More information will be given at a later date.
- Even though Positive Solutions Charter School is not part of the School Lunch Program, the school does offer a light breakfast/snack Meals. Light Breakfast/snacks will be individually wrapped for students. Students will also be given bottled water, if needed. No outside food or drinks will be permitted.
- Program Participation and Services – Students currently participating in special program services, e.g., special education, 504, Bilingual/ESL, etc., will continue to receive services whether through face-to-face or remote/virtual learning. Parent meetings may be held using virtual meeting platforms.
- Evaluations and Testing – District protocols have been established to evaluate students who have been referred for special programs. Social distancing and/or personal protective equipment (PPE) will be used, as appropriate.
TEA Requirement: Respond
Positive Solutions Charter School must identify and implement responsive actions to address the situation if there are lab-confirmed cases in a school.
Below are the required actions, that must be taken per TEA:
- If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than 7 days have already passed since that person was on campus.
- Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate on any on campus activities.