Plan & Procedures
On this page you will find information about Lake Dallas ISD's 2020-21 Plan & Procedures. To download a PDF version of the information on this page, click here. Please be aware the information on this page is subject to change because of the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and related guidance.
I. Superintendent's Letter
Dear Falcon Families,
We are excited to begin the 2020-21 school year, and our first priority is reopening schools in a safe and health-conscious manner. A safe environment is necessary for learning to take place, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that is more important now than ever.
While our physical buildings will be open for students able to return, we also understand that some families may be reluctant to send their children back to school buildings because of medical conditions or other concerns. For these families, we will have an online/virtual learning option that covers all the same material students will learn in school, with the exception of a limited amount of courses that cannot be conducted virtually because of physical or material requirements.
The upcoming school year will look different from a traditional school year in many ways, as health protocols and safety measures will be in place to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19. Though there will be social distancing measures in place, rest assured that students will still have social interactions with one another as is necessary for a child’s development. Extracurricular activities will also continue under the guidance of procedures outlined by the Texas Education Agency and University Interscholastic League.
In this document, you will find wide-ranging information about our plans for the 2020-21 school year, which we hope you will find both informative and reassuring. If you don’t see information on a specific topic and need more details, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I speak for all of our Lake Dallas Independent School District staff when I say we’re eager to see your children’s smiling faces again, and we will have an excellent 2020-21 school year. Go Falcons!
Gayle Stinson, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Lake Dallas Independent School District
II. Calendar & Scheduling Updates
To best serve students and families, the 2020-21 calendar has been modified to begin two weeks later than originally planned while retaining the previously approved end date. Additionally, 5 minutes have been added to the school day schedule at all levels to ensure the district can meet state requirements in the event of intermittent school closure.
- Later School Year Start:
- The 2020-21 student school year will now begin on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.
- The 2020-21 school year will end on Thursday, May 27, 2021, the same date as previously planned.
- Some days were adjusted to meet state minute requirements.
- To view the new calendar, click here.
- Hybrid Virtual Start:
- Based on the recommendation of the Denton County Public Health Department, Lake Dallas ISD will begin the school year with a hybrid virtual start.
- Students will begin the school year using virtual learning through Monday, Sept. 7. They will then begin their parent- or guardian-decided choice of In-Person or Virtual Learning on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
- Schools will have a limited number of students on campuses in learning groups for families who need in-person support.
- Learning groups will be kept as small as possible to best implement social distancing. Learning groups will include students who lack internet access, students of families who lack childcare and students with special needs who require in-person support.
- These groups will be based on information from families as submitted in their learning environment choices. Those who need to make adjustments should contact their campus front office or principal.
- New School Schedules: Students will attend class at the following times, based on campus level. When doors open and the first bell rings, students will have the opportunity to purchase grab-and-go breakfast and enter tutorials.
- Elementary School: Doors open at 7:25 a.m., tardy bell rings at 7:45 a.m., students dismiss at 3:10 p.m.
- Middle School: Doors open at 8:05 a.m., tardy bell rings at 8:25 a.m., students dismiss at 3:50 p.m.
- High School: Doors open at 8:00 a.m., tardy bell rings at 8:20 a.m., students dismiss at 3:45 p.m.
- Later School Year Start:
III. Learning Options
Students in Lake Dallas ISD will have the option to choose to receive instruction either in the traditional in-person method at campuses or by learning virtually with online resources. Prior to the start of the school year, each family will be sent a message to denote which method of learning their student will use. Students will only be able to switch between the two options between nine-week grading periods.
Extracurricular activities in Lake Dallas ISD will be governed by guidance from the Texas Education Agency and the University Interscholastic League. For information on UIL policies and procedures or any updates to the planned extracurricular schedule, visit www.uiltexas.org.
Students who select virtual learning may participate in extracurricular activities if they meet all UIL requirements, are enrolled in the applicable extracurricular course section, and are able to attend on-campus practices and competitions. Students must have their own transportation to and from scheduled classes, practices, rehearsals, etc.
Students with special accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act or those who have Admission, Review and Dismissal – or ARD – committee plans will have all appropriate requirements met whether through in-person or virtual learning. Parents and guardians who have questions or concerns should contact Dr. Mark Ruggles, director of special programs (including 504, counseling, dyslexia and special programs), at email@example.com.
Further guidance regarding in-person and virtual learning will be provided to aid families in making their choice between learning options. Each family will receive a survey via email regarding their preferred learning option no later than the end of July.
- In-Person Learning:
- In-person learning will retain the traditional learning environment at Lake Dallas ISD.
- Health and social distancing measures will be put in place for the safety of students, staff and the LDISD community. For information on these measures, please view the appropriate sections of this document.
- Virtual Learning:
- LDISD respects the ability of a family to choose the platform that best suits the needs of their child.
- Lessons and content covered in virtual learning will mirror face-to-face classes, with the same lessons and content covered through online methods.
- Overall progress on learning outcomes will be communicated in a “traditional” format using numeric grades for grades 2-12 and standards-based grading for PK-1. Assignments and grades will be entered into Skyward. The expectations for coursework and guidelines for grading for in-person learning and virtual learning will be the same.
- Learning at home will have the same grading guidelines, rigor and relevance as face-to-face learning and will be part of a student’s G.P.A. and class rank calculation as outlined in board policy EIC(LOCAL).
- Some courses, particularly at the secondary level, are not possible through virtual learning because of physical or material constraints. Many career and technical education and extracurricular courses cannot be taken virtually. A list of these classes will be available prior to families opting into virtual learning. In these cases, students will have the option to take the course on campus or pick a different course.
- Some specialized courses that are offered virtually may require in-person learning experiences. A listing of these specialized courses is being developed and will be placed on the district website.
- Virtual learners will be responsible for their own transportation when attending an on-campus course.
- To remain in the virtual environment, students must pass and regularly attend classes in order to advance from the current grade.
- Any student who is failing a class (or classes) or is chronically absent will be returned to the in-person environment unless he or she meets the requirements of and submits a medical exemption form.
- Any student being returned to the in-person environment can request a transition meeting with the teacher(s) for class(es) the student is failing or chronically absent from. These meetings can be held virtually and will occur no sooner than 3 days after requested. The family’s child may continue virtual learning until the meeting is held.
- In-Person Learning:
IV. Health Protocols
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, health protocols will remain a priority for the 2020-21 school year for both students and staff. While LDISD believes the school environment must remain as traditional as possible, several modifications will be made for the safety of everyone on campuses as well as families in our community.
Decisions regarding health procedures will follow guidance from the county and state. The state determines recommendations based on the most current science with input from: Governor Greg Abbott’s Coronavirus Medical Advisory Team, the Governor’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas, Texas school system leaders, ongoing global analysis of school operational practices, ongoing global analysis of research on viral spread in schools, and the latest peer-reviewed viral research studies.
- Face Coverings:
- • Guidelines for when face coverings should be worn are subject to change based on potential expert guidance. Face coverings must be worn by anyone ages 2 or older in schools or district facilities to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. These coverings are required for students of all grade levels based on CDC guidance.
- All students must wear face coverings when riding in a school bus.
- All LDISD students and staff will be provided with pull-up, Falcon-themed gaiter face coverings furnished by the school district.
- According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies, COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets exiting an infected person’s mouth. Face coverings significantly block the transmission of these respiratory droplets.
- Screening for Students and Staff:
- All students and staff should self-screen for symptoms, and anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to a Lake Dallas ISD campus or facility.
- Staff will be required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to reporting to work each day.
- Parent and guardians are expected to screen their students for COVID-19 symptoms each day prior to sending their students to school.
- Teachers will monitor students and refer to the nurse if symptoms are present.
- Screening for Parents and Visitors:
- All visitors are required to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Virtual meetings will be available when possible.
- Visitors and staff will maintain physical distancing for ARDs and other meetings in conference areas.
- Additional information for visitors is located in the Facility Safety Measures section of this document.
- Social Distancing Plans:
- Whenever possible, students, staff and anyone on campus will maintain distances of 6 feet.
- To meet this recommendation, some furniture and items will be moved to different areas in schools and classrooms.
- To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus associated with COVID-19, use of the cafeteria will be limited to a smaller capacity of students at a time, and students will be able to purchase grab-and-go meals.
- Visual markers will be installed in common areas as a reminder of social distancing requirements.
- Face Coverings:
V. Facility Safety Measures
All Lake Dallas ISD campuses and facilities will implement new safety measures to limit the amount of people on campus and protect those who are in attendance. Only students and staff members will be allowed on campus during the school day except for special circumstances, such as if emergency personnel are called and enter a campus. Additionally, new items such as front-office partitions may be in place at campuses and new routines will be implemented to maintain social distancing recommendations.
- Visitor-Free Campuses:
- Visitors will be discouraged from entering campuses to limit the amount of potential exposure to COVID-19.
- Parents and other caregivers will be limited to accessing a school front office and are not allowed entry into further areas of the school except when required for an appointment.
- This procedure is not permanent and is being implemented as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
- Families will still be able to contact school front offices via phone or email to provide information relating to their children.
- Facility Health Updates:
- Clear partitions will be in place at school front offices to provide social distancing and create another barrier to prevent potential COVID-19 transmission.
- Hand-sanitizing stations will be available throughout all district facilities.
- Increased daily cleanings of classrooms, restrooms and common areas using CDC-recommended solutions designed to disinfect the novel coronavirus associated with COVID-19.
- Custodial crews will clean heavily touched areas multiple times a day to disinfect items that students or staff may commonly contact.
- Traffic patterns will be established throughout campuses that separate individuals to the greatest extent possible.
- Increased signage and awareness campaigns will be added throughout schools reminding students and staff of social distancing procedures.
- Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers will be used to clean campuses daily.
- Student Morning Routines:
- To prevent large group gatherings, elementary students will now report to their classrooms when arriving at schools instead of gathering in a school’s gym or cafeteria.
- Students will be able to purchase breakfast in a grab-and-go format at all campus levels to prevent social gatherings in the cafeteria.
- Parents and caregivers must remain in their vehicles when dropping off or picking up their children.
- Visitor-Free Campuses:
VI. COVID-19 Positive Test or Suspected Case Response
When a case of COVID-19 is verified by a positive test, the students and staff of the appropriate classroom or area will be notified of the result. No information will be provided regarding the identity of the individual who tested positive to protect an individual’s privacy. Areas where individuals who tested positive had prolonged access to will be cleaned before others are allowed to return. Specific steps for positive test results can be seen below.
- Response Plan:
- When a student has displayed symptoms of COVID-19, the school nurse will provide a clinical assessment to determine if and when a student needs to be sent home.
- Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the campus contacted the student’s parent/guardian.
- Other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on campus (e.g. go on a walk outside, move to a different classroom, etc.) so that the classroom can be disinfected.
- District communication will be provided to the parents of students who come in contact with a COVID-19 positive student or staff member.
- Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow district protocols including isolation from students and other staff members. The details in this document are subject to change as directives are provided by governing authorities and/or health officials or as environmental conditions change.
- Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to submit a letter of good health from a physician's office prior to returning to school.
- Return to School from Positive Case or Having Symptoms:
- Any teacher, staff member or student returning from quarantine or a positive case of COVID-19 should meet the conditions listed below following self-isolation.
- In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school/program 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).
- At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
- In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19
- The individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above.
- If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to the school program before completing the above self-isolation period,
- The individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.
- If the individual does not obtain the note described above, he or she may obtain an acute infection PCR test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19.
- Any student, teacher, or staff member living in close contact for an extended period of time with someone who experiences any of the symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health care provider to seek guidance.
- COVID-19 Symptoms for Screening: These symptoms apply when exhibited in a way that is not normal for the individual experiencing them.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
- A temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
- Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
- Response Plan:
Lake Dallas ISD students will continue to receive transportation services, though some social distancing requirements will be implemented. Additionally, the district will adhere to the state guideline of living outside of a 2-mile radius from the zoned school or along a hazardous route to receive bus service. Families are encouraged to drop students off, carpool or walk with their student to school whenever feasible to reduce possible virus exposure on buses.
- Social Distancing Implementations:
- Face coverings must be worn for the duration of a trip by both students and bus drivers.
- Buses carrying elementary students will operate on a student to bus driver ratio of approximately 24 to 1.
- Buses carrying secondary students will operate on a student to bus driver ratio of approximately 48 to 1.
- Whenever possible and when weather permits, windows can be rolled down on buses to allow more air to flow outside of the bus to prevent the possible spread of novel coronavirus molecules.
- Bus Cleaning:
- Because school buses are a heavily trafficked location, each vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned daily. Cleaning will be conducted using CDC-approved solutions that disinfect the novel coronavirus associated with COVID-19.
- Social Distancing Implementations: