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School closure FAQs - COVID-19 and how it affects academics

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SAISD schools will remain closed through Friday, May 1. We join school districts across Bexar County in complying with Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement to extend the state's closure through May 1.


Be assured, we are even more committed than ever to providing excellent learning experiences for your children and to continue to meet the diverse needs of our students.


The following Frequently Asked Questions provide a basic framework for how we will operate during this school closure. It is important to note that the circumstances surrounding school closures are evolving. We ask that you please notify your campus if your contact information has changed. 


General FAQ:


1. When does my child’s online classroom begin?
Online classes began Monday, March 30. For additional questions, please contact your child’s school.


2. What if my child does not have a computer?
Please contact your school. Principals are working with families to ensure all students have access to a device. We are still in the process of distributing laptops and iPads. Families that still need devices should check the campus webpage for distribution dates and times. Each campus web page will communicate the deadline for device pick up. After this date, teachers will begin taking grades for the 4th 9 weeks.


Keep in mind that many devices are on order and are not yet at the school. If the devices are in transit, this will be indicated on the school’s web page.


3. Is my child required to attend online classes?
Yes. School will be in session through online classes beginning Monday, March 30. The majority of classes will be done by students independently. There may also be time when teachers will connect with students online at a specific time of day. Students are encouraged to attend these class meetings. Students who are unable to attend may view the video in the online classroom at a later time.


Parents should contact the teacher or school if students are unable to connect to the online classroom or if students had previously had an attendance contract.


4. Will the District keep track of students who are attending online classes?
Yes. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires school districts to track student participation in online classes. SAISD will use a Student Interaction Tracker to collect information on the multiple ways students may participate in online learning, whether this is through online classes, phone calls from their teacher, using Classlink to access digital resources, or other ways of connecting.


5. Will assignments be graded?
Yes. Teachers are required to take grades and students will receive a final semester grade as usual.


6. Does my child have to turn in work at the school?
No. For the safety of our students and staff, we are asking that all work be submitted online according to the teacher’s direction.


Students who must work from hardcopy packets may send pictures of their work to their teacher or may be assessed over the telephone, as outlined by the teacher.

7. What if my child needs help and I don’t know how to help?
You or your child can contact the teacher who can provide support on assignments.


8. Will my child receive a progress report?
Texas Education Code, §28.022(a)(3) requires districts to, at least once every three weeks, or during the fourth week of each nine-week grading period, give written notice to a parent or legal guardian of a student's performance in a foundation subject if the student's performance in the subject is consistently unsatisfactory.


9. Will my child receive a report card at the end of the semester?
Yes. Texas Education Code, §28.022(a)(2) requires school districts, at least once every 12 weeks, to give written notice to a parent of a student's performance in each class or subject.


10. Will my child take the STAAR or STAAR EOC in Spring of 2020?
No. The Texas Education Agency has canceled all administrations of STAAR testing for Spring 2020


Pre-K - 8th Grade FAQ:


11. Will a checklist be used for ECE through 1st grade?
The checklists are designed for a regular face-to-face classroom experience. Teachers may focus on a portion of the checklist. If sections on the checklist are left blank, it means that this was not an area of focus, but students will default to passing for any standards left unmarked.


12. What happens if my child missed assignments because they did not have a device?
Students will not be penalized for work missed while trying to secure a device and/or internet connection.


High School FAQ:


13. What happens if my child missed assignments because they did not have a device?
Students must make up work missed while trying to secure a device and/or internet connection. Students should work with their teacher to determine what was missed. 


14. My child was in the process of making up credit. What should we do now? Are we allowed to continue that process?
Yes. Students who were in credit recovery programs will be allowed to complete them. For questions regarding student schedules contact your child's teacher.


15. How will my child earn credits for 2nd semester?
Credits for 2nd semester will be earned by considering performance for both 3rd and 4th 9 weeks.


16. My child is enrolled in an AP course. How will my child take the AP exam?
The AP Exam will be offered online. Dates are yet to be determined. Students will only be assessed over content taught through mid-March. Students will have 45 minutes to complete their response and will be able to use notes, books and other resources. The College Board is providing resources for students through the AP Classroom online. All students who registered for the AP exam have access to this resource through their AP teacher, including access to a revised syllabus and other resources.


17. My child is enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme (DP) at Burbank or Jefferson High School. Will my child take IB exams and will they still be able to earn their IB Diploma?
The May 2020 IB examinations will not be administered. The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has canceled the 2020 administration of IB exams and will move forward with a plan to award a Diploma for the work students have done throughout their program.


The IBO will be taking the following actions for the 2020 May Examination session:
- The May 2020 examinations scheduled April 30 through May 22, for Diploma Programme will no longer be held.
- Depending on their registrations, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on the student's coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programme.


IBO has sent full details and FAQs to Burbank and Jefferson IB Coordinators on March 27, 2020. FAQs regarding testing cancellation may be found on IBO’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update page.


18. Will my child be able to take the TSI, SAT and/or ACT for college placement and/or entrance?
Our testing department and our college partners are working on a strategy for students to be able to take the TSI assessment, the exam that many colleges require to be completed before students take courses for college credit, including dual credit classes in high school. Please stay in contact with your school counselor for updated information.


College Board and ACT will offer additional opportunities to take the SAT/ACT as soon as large convenings are allowed. Students who are completing college applications should remain in touch with their chosen college/university and/or their counselor and/or their college bound advisor for updates on admissions/application completion.


19. Will my child be able to complete their certification exam for Career & Technology Courses?
Yes, your child should contact the course teacher to arrange to take the certification exam. Please note that some certification exams may be delayed until teachers and students are allowed to return to campuses while others may be done online or at home.


Seniors 2020 FAQ:


20. If I have a senior, will my child graduate in May?
All students who complete graduation requirements will receive a diploma.


21. Will there be a graduation ceremony?
We have not made a decision regarding graduation ceremonies; however, we will be following the guidance of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District regarding large convenings.


22. Will there be prom?
We have not made a decision regarding prom; however, we will be following the guidance of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District regarding large convenings.


23. Will class rank still be calculated?
In accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §51.803, Districts must identify junior and senior students in the top 10% of their class for the purposes of eligibility for automatic college admission to a Texas institution of higher education.


24. If the District remains closed for the remainder of the year, will credits be awarded for graduation?
Yes. Credit for courses for high school graduation will be awarded based on a student's demonstrated proficiency in the essential knowledge and skills for the course based, in part, on work completed in online courses.


25. What if my senior does not currently have enough credits to graduate?
Students must complete credit requirements to graduate. Students who successfully complete the 4th 9 weeks and have a passing semester average will receive credit for the semester. Students who are short credits to graduate may continue to accumulate credits in their credit recovery courses.


26. What if my senior has failed an EOC required for graduation?
Seniors in the 2019– 2020 school year who have not yet met assessment requirements for graduation may be eligible to graduate as a result of an individual graduation committee (IGC) review. The school counselor will contact parents if this is the case.


27. What is the Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) process?
A student who has failed the EOC assessment graduation requirements for no more than two courses may receive a Texas high school diploma if the student has qualified to graduate by means of a special process of obtaining an individual graduation committee (IGC) determination.


According to the requirements, as part of the IGC, each student will:
- Participate in the IGC process to ensure that alternate graduation requirements and expectations are clearly understood
- Attend additional hours of remediation as outlined by the IGC
- Complete an approved project or portfolio per EOC that exhibits proficiency in the EOC area(s)


28. Are all students eligible to receive an IGC review?
Seniors who were enrolled in the district during the 2019–2020 school year may graduate via an IGC determination, regardless of the number of EOC exams they still need to pass. In accordance with TEC, §28.0258, students must successfully complete the curriculum requirements for high school graduation as identified in Title 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 74, Subchapter B. Districts and charter schools must determine if a student has met all other graduation requirements under TEC, §28.025(c), including successful
completion of all curriculum requirements or an individualized education program.


A student who is on schedule to complete graduation requirements in Spring 2020 but does not have the opportunity to retake a STAAR EOC assessment prior to graduation is not required to pass that specific test to fulfill graduation requirements but will need to successfully complete the IGC process to be eligible to graduate.


A student who is on schedule to complete graduation requirements in Spring 2020 and was scheduled to take a required EOC for the first time in Spring 2020 is not required to pass that specific test to fulfill graduation requirements. An IGC is not needed in such circumstances.


29. What is the timeline for the IGC if I have a senior?
The IGC process has begun at all high school campuses. Counselors will be contacting families. Administrative rules specify that a school district may not establish an initial IGC for eligible students after June 10.


In accordance with 19 TAC §74.1025(d), an IGC must make a decision to award a diploma no later than August 31 of each school year in order for the student to be included as a graduate in the district or charter school's graduation data in the school year in which the student meets the requirements. Please note that a decision to award a diploma via an IGC determination can be made after this date. In such cases, a student would be reported in the subsequent year's graduation data.


30. My senior is in special education. Will requirements be waived so that my senior is able to graduate?
The ARD committee will discuss the graduation plan for your child which may or may not include the IGC option, based on the collaborative decision of the ARD committee. Unless otherwise indicated in the ARD, students must meet all graduation requirements.


31. How will I know that my child will be college ready by the end of the year?
All high schools are continuing to ensure structures are in place for students to be on track for college readiness no later than the fall semester of their senior year.


32. My child does not have a computer or internet. Will my child still graduate?
All seniors will be provided a device and internet if needed. Please contact your child’s school.


The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority, and we wish to provide you the most current recommendations of city and federal health authorities regarding health risks associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).


What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a new virus that causes respiratory illness in people and can spread from person-to-person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the risk of COVID-19 to the American public is low.

There are many viruses in the coronavirus family that can cause illness in both humans and animals. Many are among people all of the time, and cause mild to moderate illnesses, such as the common cold.

Risk is based on exposure. When a new disease is circulating, it is natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families.

What are the symptoms? 

• Fever
• Cough
• Difficulty breathing
• Chills
• Repeated shaking with chills
• Muscle pain
• Headache
• Sore throat
• New loss of taste or smell

How is it spread?

• Through coughing and sneezing
• Close contact (within a six-foot radius) with others who are sick
• Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
• Because COVID-19 is new, we are learning more each day about the transmission patterns and incubation periods

What can I do?

• Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
• Help young children wash their hands well
• Refrain from touching your face
• Do not drop off a sick child at school
• Stay home when you are sick
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing
• Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

Should I wear a mask to protect myself from COVID-19?

The CDC generally suggests that masks should be reserved for healthcare workers and people who are already sick with a respiratory illness and need to visit a doctor. The CDC doesn't recommend that people who aren’t sick wear masks to protect themselves from respiratory illness while out in public.

Generally, in cases where you are not ill, the best way to protect you and your family members is to follow preventive measures such as washing your hands often, not touching your face, and avoiding people who are sick. These precautions are still considered the best mode of protection.


What is SAISD is doing to reduce the spread of viruses?


We are in regular communication with the city’s Metropolitan Health District who, in turn, receives regular updates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any local response to COVID-19 will be coordinated through Metro Health. 


Currently, the CDC recommends that schools follow its National Pandemic Influenza Plan, which the CDC updated in 2017. SAISD is following this plan, which includes as the first course of action standard prevention measures for any respiratory disease, including hand washing, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. Posters on health hand-washing habits are being distributed to all campuses.


Additionally, high-touch surfaces are being cleaned more frequently, using approved hospital-grade virucidal wipes. During spring break, all campuses, administrative offices and school buses will receive a deep cleaning. Entire spaces including all horizontal and vertical surfaces will receive a treatment with the hospital-grade germicidal solution.


When there are respiratory or gastrointestinal outbreaks, SAISD school nurses and school leaders will use the existing illness outbreak processes to track illnesses, notify health department officials, disinfect schools, and notify staff and parents. 


We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and report any updates to the SAISD community.



How does the March 16-20 school closure affect the STAAR assessment?


TEA canceled the STAAR assessment requirement for 2019-2020. 


Are there any current cases in San Antonio?


Yes, at this time there are cases in San Antonio. 




SAISD Cleaning Protocols (English)
City of San Antonio Mayor's March 8 update (Facebook) (Twitter)
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Fact Sheet (English) (Spanish)
City of San Antonio Reduce Your Risk (English) (Spanish)
City of San Antonio COVID-19 Poster (English) (Spanish)
Texas Department of State Health Services information on COVID-19 (English) (Spanish)
CDC information on COVID-19 in the United States (English) (Spanish
CDC information on COVID-19 in Children (English)
CDC travel advisories (English)


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