Frequently Asked Questions
What have we learned as we’ve received feedback about how the district handled the COVID-19 crisis?
Interestingly, the same problems our parents experienced, we experienced as a district, specially, internet access, the amount of learning and instruction that can go on at home, and how to have help available if kids need it. Those are some of the things we know if we get put into this situation again next year, that we will improve upon. We are already working on plans to remedy those situations.
How will the COVID-19 situation affect next year’s school calendar?
At a special board meeting on June 8, the Board of Trustees made an adjustment to the 2020-2021 school calendar.
- We will now start school on August 17, two days sooner than originally scheduled.
- We changed a Professional Development Day for staff on Feb. 18 that will now be a holiday.
- The other big change will be adding 5 minutes to the end of the school day.
As we were looking to add additional minutes to the school year, since school district funding is contingent on minutes not days, adding two additional days and then adding five minutes to the end of the school day will allow us to take time off during the school year if we have to for any COVID-19-related issues. It will allow us to have 18 days off of school without having to make those days up next year. Our plan is to be very flexible about that time. If we see a spike in student absences or illnesses, then we will take a day or two off to clean the buildings and give people time away from each other.
Will there be school in June?
With the new calendar, we have 18 days that we can be out of school before we would need to make up extra days at the end of the calendar year. If we are more than the 18 days and we do not get waivers from TEA, then we would have to discuss going to school in June.
What will the start of the school year look like?
Currently, AISD is looking at three possible scenarios for beginning school.
- Scenario 1 - Students would not return to school in August, and we would continue distance learning similar to the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
- Scenario 2 - Everyone comes back as normal with social distancing guidelines and safety protocols in place.
- Scenario 3 - It is a blend of the first two. Not all students and staff will return at once but, instead, will come back at different times. Examples would be: at the elementary level having some students come in the morning while other students come in the afternoon; at the high school having an A/B day schedule. These are just possibilities that are being considered.
No plan is finalized. We are also considering contracting with a facility management company to discuss building capacities and possible schedules. The report will be done by the end of July. We hope to be able to communicate a finalized plan by the end of July.
Will you have safety protocols for students and staff?
AISD will have protocols based on TEA and district guidelines.
- Masks - We are not mandating masks for every person. If people choose to wear masks, they may.
- Temperature Checks - Yes. We will be checking the temperatures of all students and staff as they enter district buildings every day. AISD has invested in temperature scanners that will be powered through a laptop to do the scans as students and employees walk into the building.
- Temperature Checks on Buses - We are waiting for further guidance from TEA before making a plan for that.
How many times a week will the schools be cleaned?
The schools will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every night. This includes cleaning and disinfecting door knobs and desks. There will also be certain cleanings going on during the school day. Bathrooms will be cleaned at least three times a day.
What will lunches, PE, recess and Drop Off/Pick Up look like next year?
- Lunches - With the current guidelines from TEA, we expect lunches to be served in classrooms or in a cafeteria where social distancing is practiced (students will be spread out).
- Recess/PE - Current guidance is that we will be able to allow those times, but recess and/or PE will have to be very structured with limitations on how many students can be out at a time.
- Drop off/Pick up - Drop off and Pick Up times will likely be decided as we have a better plan for the school day. It is possible they will be staggered, but the district will release more information as we have it.
How will this affect transportation?
The district is still working on a plan to accommodate transportation with the guidelines given from TEA.
Will students still have field trips?
Most likely no, we don’t plan to have many field trips, if any. Student-reward activities will transition to activities held at school.
Will students be able to participate in UIL activities?
We currently have not received any guidelines from UIL on what will happen in the Fall. As we get close to the start of school, we will communicate any information we are given from UIL.
What possible financial effect will the COVID-19 crisis have on the school district?
We expect to give our school board a balanced budget, but we are planning to spend more than expected on custodial costs, both in personnel and supplies, as well as on transportation costs, especially if we are only able to put a certain amount of students on a bus. We expect additional costs for other personnel, including substitutes and aides. We are very lucky that the district has a healthy fund balance (savings account), and any expenditures related to COVID-19 will come from those accounts. The district will NOT be raising the school tax rate.
Will this affect the bond project passed in November?
No. The district plans to stay within the budget given. All projects are currently on schedule and within budget. The district will NOT need to raise the school tax rate.
Can you elaborate on how the bond would be affected in the event that the tax abatement would not go through due to economic uncertainty?
We have done the research on this. The bond will not be affected, and tax rates will not be affected. When we were promoting the bond, the district committed to tax rates not increasing, and that hasn’t changed; the school district tax rate will not go up. Our analysis is that even if those economic conditions hit, the tax rate will not be affected, and in the next couple years, we will even see a decrease in the tax rate.
How does the district plan to help students with their social and emotional needs as they come back from the crisis?
We are committing more than $200,000 to counseling and social service needs for our students given the current situation we’re facing. We know students will have a tough time coming back to school. We’ve seen this before with shutdowns for things like hurricanes, and we recognize that shutdowns affect students. The district plans to hire a second licensed professional counselor for the district as well as two new social workers who will be able to help students in our schools.
How and when can I register my child for school?
Parents can register Pre-k and Kindergarten students online at www.angletonisd.net/prekandkinder. If you need assistance, you can contact 979-864-8000. Registration for 1st-12th grade will take place online this year and will go live in July.
If I have a high school student who was supposed to get a certification through a class, how will he/she be able to make it up?
If a student is working toward a certification in class and has not heard more from the teacher, the student needs to contact the high school at 979-864-8001 so we can help get that taken care of.
Will class sizes be reduced to eliminate over-crowded classrooms?
The district will follow TEA guidelines as to how many people can be in a classroom at one time. Right now, the guidelines say there can be no more than 22 people in a classroom at one time. We will have to come up with schedules to meet those guidelines. These guidelines may affect what the school day looks like. Some options include having some students coming in the morning and others in the afternoon or possibly A/B days. Once TEA gives us more guidelines, we will spend the next 4-5 weeks figuring out all the details.
What happens if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in Angleton ISD?
If there is a positive case of COVID-19 in Angleton ISD, district staff will follow all directives from the Brazoria County Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services as guided by the CDC and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The district will also communicate with all Angleton ISD families via the district's notifications channels and social media platforms as directed by local, state and federal authorities.
What happens if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in a neighboring school district?
If there is a positive case of COVID-19 in a neighboring school district or a school district that our students visit through extra-curricular or co-curricular activities, district staff will follow all directives from the Brazoria County Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
What is the district doing to clean and sanitize buildings, buses, etc?
Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to preventing infectious diseases in schools. As recommended by the CDC, performing routine environmental cleaning will safely disinfect school facilities. Angleton ISD Custodial staff will continue with daily cleaning and disinfecting of all commonly touched surfaces in all district facilities. If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19, the Custodial Staff will deep clean all district facilities and school buses at the affected campus or campuses. The district staff will be following CDC and Brazoria County Health Department guidelines on deep cleaning of school buildings.
How do you determine if school needs to be closed?
To make a determination of school closure, we would await instruction from the Houston Health Dept. School closures due to illness are not novel. In fact, several schools in Texas have closed for some amount of time nearly every year due to excessive absenteeism as a result of flu or other illnesses. In this case, Angleton ISD will follow the direction of local, state and federal authorities should it be deemed prudent to close schools to limit the spread of infection.
If school does close, what factors will be used to reopen?
Again, we would await guidance from the Houston Health Dept. to provide the timeline and reopening instructions.
Is the district prepared for long-term closure?
In the event of a long-term closure, efforts would be made for the provision of distance-based learning for students (i.e., Internet instruction, community channel broadcast) to maintain continuity of education.
What is Angleton ISD currently doing to keep students, staff and the community safe?
Our District’s efforts to keep our students safe includes collaborating with campuses and working daily with campus Health Service Staff to ensure our District’s policies and procedures, which remain in line with guidelines provided by the Brazoria County Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The district will continue to utilize the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a primary source for evidence-based information and recommendations.
What can families do to keep students, staff and the community safe?
As health and wellness continues to be a focus in our community, we ask our parents and guardians to partner with us to best ensure the health and safety of our students and staff. Continue to monitor your child’s health and keep them home if they have a fever, have had a fever within the last 24 hours or may have an illness that could be contagious to others. It is Angleton ISD policy that students and staff with a fever of 100 degrees or greater must stay out of school and not participate in afterschool activities until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the aid of fever-reducing medication. By doing this, the exposure of illness and the possibility of it spreading to other students and staff are minimized.
Will classes use more of a hybrid teaching method?
AISD expects that TEA guidelines will encourage hybrid learning. We are training our teachers and staff to teach in the classroom as well as online, and we’re also working on ideas and plans to make sure that all of our students can work remotely from home and do away with the “paper and pencil” model that we had to do this year. Our goal is that we want every kid connected through the internet and to have the ability to do some learning at home next year if it becomes necessary.
Will teachers be simultaneously teaching online and in-person?
We do not expect that to happen. We may have to have some staff dedicated to exclusive online learning and others who are dedicated to in-person instruction. Again, once we receive the guidelines from TEA, we can finalize our plans.
Should I plan to get all of my children their own laptop or learning tool so that they can work from home?
That’s a determination that each household will have to make. The district’s goal, if we have to do remote learning from home next year, is to equip all students with Chromebooks, and they will be able to bring them back and forth to school.
Will there be restrictions on visitors to campus like those wanting to come for lunch?
Most likely yes, there will be restrictions. Unless it is a necessity, like teacher meetings or academics, we will not have outside visitors or parents on campus.
How will we address the transition back to classes for students after the COVID break? Some students might be behind in classes. Are you prepared to handle those students?
When students come back, we will take the first couple of weeks to do two things:
- First, we understand we will be incorporating all students back into the classroom. We know we will need to teach them the procedures that we need them to follow, which includes the things they normally learn and also new procedures like washing hands, staying six feet away from each other, etc.
- Secondly, we will give students an assessment, particularly paying attention to reading and math, so we can figure out what level they are on, where the gaps are, and what we need to teach to fill in those learning gaps. We will spend the next three to four weeks teaching this before we start the actual grade-level instruction they are in. These assessments will be very individualized to each student. What we have to remember is that it may take more than a month or a year to close those student learning gaps. It may take a couple of years to get everybody caught back up. What’s very important is that we’re going to assess all students when they return and work to fill in those gaps for each student.
If we have alternate scheduling, will you work with families to have siblings on the same schedule?
We will do our very best to have siblings scheduled at the same time. That will be at the forefront of our decision making.
Would it be possible for a student who has an auto-immune disorder not to attend school physically but do remote learning for high school classes?
We expect to get guidance on that from TEA soon. We believe the answer will be yes. If a parent or student decides not to return after the COVID-19 crisis, we will be expected to provide them remote learning opportunities full time. As part of our return to school plan, we are working to meet the needs of all our students whether or not they are in our buildings.
Can we continue distance learning if we do not feel comfortable sending our child back?
TEA will give us guidance on that, but we expect the answer to be yes.
What considerations are being made for special needs students in respect to wearing masks?
No students will be required to wear masks.
Will there be shields around desks?
The district is looking into adding shields around desks. Every school district in the nation is looking into adding these, and shields are not in supply right now. We will continue to explore options into desk dividers as we go through the summer.
Will there be a parent preference if the student will be taught by a teacher or teacher’s aide?
All AISD students will be taught by certified teachers. There may be certain times during the day when students could be pulled out to work with an aide, but they will be directed by a certified teacher.
Will there be a freshman orientation for students to learn the campus, find classrooms, etc.?
Campuses are working on plans for Meet the Teacher Night, schedule pick-up, and Freshman orientation. Parents will get more information about that in the coming weeks.
Will there be COVID testing in order to return to school?
At this point, we have not heard that this will be a requirement. We have heard that some of our state leaders would like it to happen. We are still waiting on the guidelines from TEA about what needs to happen.
*Updated as of 6/22/20
What are everyday steps that everyone can take to help minimize the spread of illness?
- Cover your nose and mouth with the crook of your elbow or upper arm when you cough or sneeze. This will block the spread of droplets from your mouth or nose that could contain viruses.
- Proper and consistent hand washing is essential. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet if it is not automatic.
- If soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as germs spread this way.
- If you or your child gets sick with a respiratory illness, limit contact with others as much as possible to help prevent spreading the illness. Stay home (or keep your child home) for at least 24 hours after fever is gone except to seek medical care. Fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.