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This week the NBISD Board of Trustees met and discussed our most recent recommendations regarding updates to the COVID-19 procedures and guidelines with regards to proper masking and quarantine procedures.
The recommendation came after gathering information from our administrators, area superintendents, employees, parents and input from our local health officials. During the first grading period, we have been collecting data regarding our positive exposures and those considered “close contacts.” We have seen frequent reports of cases involving our students and employees and in turn, quarantined nearly 700 students and staff across multiple campuses. The large numbers of students who met the CDC Recommendation for “close contact” and were quarantined just in the last two weeks were alarming.
Through the tracking and tracing process, the district has kept detailed records of positive cases, close contact numbers and numbers of individuals who have contracted COVID-19. This type of data is relative to each individual district and is not necessarily applicable or comparable to any other districts due to multiple variations within each district, such as school start date, percentages of students On-Campus and Remote, mask guidelines, etc.
In reviewing our own data, you will see that only 5 individuals out of a total of 689 who were quarantined, contracted COVID-19 from exposure at school. Four of the five individuals had “close contact” in athletics, where masks were not being worn. The fifth individual had “close contact” at lunch, again where masks were not being worn.
Our data indicates that when all students are wearing a mask, students have not contracted COVID-19 while at school.
Based on this data, we are adjusting to how we define a “close contact” to a lab-confirmed positive. Under the change, an individual will be considered a “close contact” if:
• they are directly exposed to infectious secretions (e.g., being coughed on); or
• they are within 6 feet for a largely uninterrupted period throughout the course of a day totaling approximately 15 minutes. If both individuals are properly masked, they will not be considered to be in “close contact.” Please note that we will no longer allow gaiters of any type to be worn at school or during school-related activities.
This new protocol will be implemented during the next nine-week school period that begins on Monday, October 19, 2020, and reevaluated frequently with regards to community spread indicators and district COVID positive cases. All tracking and tracing of students will continue and notifications will go to all parents when a student is in “close contact.”
Based on these changes we would like to give parents one last opportunity to make a Learning Environment Change Request. Parents will have up until 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 15, 2020, to submit their request. Please note that this may delay the notification of your child’s teacher assignment or schedule. The new grading period begins on Monday so we ask for your patience as we make arrangements for their requests.
CHANGE REQUEST LINK - https://forms.gle/59MAYnEAEWFCrQzp6
If you need any additional information regarding our COVID-19 plan, please visit our Roadmap to Reopening website at https://bit.ly/34XtBBw.
If you had questions about bus service, school supplies, start/release times or menus, visit our Back to School website at https://bit.ly/3nJcgFn.
If you need resources for your Remote-Learner, go to https://bit.ly/2SSMDU8.
We appreciate your cooperation as we navigate this school year and are thrilled to have each of your children as part of the NBISD family.
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