Safety, sanitation key at FISD


With the return to campus only two weeks away, Fairfield ISD continues to prepare for students in both virtual and in-person classrooms, with scores of new safety and sanitation procedures to learn and perfect before August 19.

Teachers officially go back to campus Thursday for two weeks of preparation and training, though many have spent time at the school and at home preparing for the upcoming year of remote and in-person instruction. They have not seen students in their actual classrooms since March 5 - all schools in Texas changed to remote instruction shortly thereafter due to the arrival and spread of the coronavirus.

FISD also announced last week that the district is purchasing some school supplies for all students, though they will not cover the complete list needed.

“We felt with the impact the pandemic has had on our local economy, some of our parents and students could use some assistance,” Superintendent Dr. Jason Adam said. “We did not want our kids to be without!”

Items provided by the district will include:

Elementary - Nylon zipper pouches (7” x 9.75”), jumbo pencils, #2 Ticonderoga pencils, jumbo plastic tweezers, glue sticks, dry erase markers, boxes of crayons, purple plastic folders with pockets, orange plastic folders with pockets, and a pair of 5” scissors;

Intermediate - Wide-ruled composition notebooks, plastic folders with brads and pockets, plastic folders with pockets, boxes of crayons, Expo markers, #2 Ticonderoga pencils, colored pencils, erasers, scissors, glue sticks, Post-Its, wide ruled notebook paper, and highlighters.

Junior High - Colored pencils, scissors, composition books, pens, and #2 pencils.

High School - Folders with prongs, folders with pockets, composition notebooks, pencils and pens.

Students who plan to ride the bus to or from school need to go to the school’s Facebook page or website and fill out a form for bus rider sign-up.

If a form is not submitted, the transportation department will assume a student is not riding the bus this year, and will adjust accordingly.

According to the district plan, parents are highly encouraged to provide their children with transportation to and from school, though the capacity for student ridership will remain at typical levels.

Any restrictions which disrupt the daily classroom schedules or transportation schedules will be adjusted for.

Students and drivers will be required to wear face coverings while on buses, and all buses will have hand sanitizer at the entry doors. Students will utilize hand sanitizer when they enter and exit the bus.

Additionally, students will have assigned seats, and a seating chart will be maintained.

Policies and procedures for athletic practices and contests are set as well, according to safety protocol provided from the district, UIL and TEA, including topics such as COVID screening, group sizes, sharing and sanitizing of equipment, locker room usage, etc.

Locker room usage has yet to be determined by TEA and UIL. If locker rooms can be accessed, social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Hand sanitizing stations will be provided in gy, and equipment will be sanitized on a regular basis.

Perhaps most of interest, spectator attendance at games and contests will be limited to 50 percent based on state and UIL guidelines. Ticketing for events will be utilized to control the capacity requirements for FISD facilities.

Separate entrances and exits may be utilized, and event doors may be propped open to minimize physical contact with handles. Spectator seats may be marked or configured in a way to enforce social distancing.

Event procedures will be in place to minimize face-to-face interactions, and concessions and concession sales may be limited to encourage social distancing and to follow health and safety guidelines.

Cheerleading practices and performances will be conducted following safety protocol provided by the usual sources, and include COVID screening, group sizes, sharing and sanitizing of equipment, locker room usage, etc.

Band and other fine arts performances, and large group practice sessions, sectionals and rehearsals, will maintain social distancing guidelines, and off-campus fine arts performances will only be conducted if specific guidance is provided by an authorized entity.

Concerts and performances may be adjusted based on health and safety guidelines provided by an authorized entity, including but not limited to transportation procedures, number of attendees, and the orientation of concerts.

All fine arts performances will be streamed online when possible.

Additionally, due to possible exposure and transportation obstacles, there will be no out-of-district field trips until the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Student meals have also required new guidelines. Depending on the number of students at individual campuses, students may have meals in the cafeteria, or in alternate areas. The cafeteria capacity will be determined based on current guidelines, with physical distance provided as much as possible.

Staff will circulate and reinforce physical distance and traffic patterns in the cafeteria.

In the past, microwaves have been provided in some cafeterias, but this year they will not be available due to the opportunity for cross-contamination with a high-touch device.

Plated meals will be available for breakfast and lunch, and only students eating school breakfast will be allowed in the cafeteria seating areas in the mornings.

Parents and students need to be aware that no outside food deliveries will be accepted for students.

Call campus visitors will be limited to required educational purposes only, and all individuals entering the building will be required to wear face coverings, and will be subject to screening by way of a symptom checklist and form.

The policy states that virtual meetings will be utilized as much as possible, and visitors and staff will maintain physical distancing for other meetings in smaller conference areas.

During the course of the day, staff will have access to disinfectant spray to regularly sanitize high-touch and working surfaces and shared objects.