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SAISD releases tiered plan for student return to campuses

Four levels of occupancy based on safety and science

levels matrix

See current level


San Antonio ISD shared last week with employees and parents its plan for re-opening campuses safely, based on four levels of student occupancy that are directly linked to health metrics. 

The District has been working closely with the city and Metro Health to ensure its decision-making around starting school is being driven by safety and science, using the most current health data. In consultation with Metro Health, SAISD has developed health safety criteria to determine how it will advance to increased levels of student occupancy as local COVID-19 conditions improve over time.  

“Metro Health sees our data-based decisions as aligning well with their health and safety recommendations, and this gives us reassurance we are on a safe path moving forward,” said SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez.  
Movement between levels is based on three statistics: The positivity rate in Bexar County, the number of days it takes for the local case count to double, and whether numbers are trending upward, downward, or flattening based on data for a certain number of days.   
SAISD is implementing one additional level beyond the city’s plan, as outlined below: 
Level 1 Red – No in-person learning  
• Positivity rate is greater than 10%  
• Doubling time is 12 days or less   
• Not flattening or not a consistent downward trend in positive cases for at least 14 days  
Level 2 Yellow – Up to 25% in-person learning  
• Positivity rate of 10% or less  
• Doubling time is 13-18 days or more  
• A flattening of positive cases for at least 14 days  
Level 3 Green – Up to 50% in-person learning  
• Positivity rate of 5% or less  
• Doubling time of greater than 18 days  
• 14-day downward trend in positive cases or flat at a low level  
Level 4 Blue – More than 50% in-person learning, phasing up to 100%  
• To be determined in consultation with Metro Health  
Note: Criteria may change over time based on Metro Health guidance adjustments.

Parents and staff will receive at least one week’s notice of a change to Levels.    
Currently, SAISD is in Level 1 Red and will start the school year on Aug. 17 with 100% remote learning. The District anticipates moving to Level 2 Yellow sometime after Labor Day.  
In Level 2 Yellow, when up to 25% of students are on campuses, the children who comprise in-person learning will be prioritized among those who will most benefit from it – such as students who are struggling academically or students who need services in the area of special education. Campuses will have the authority to engage families proactively and bring in small numbers of students with parental permission.    
SAISD expects Level 3 Green of up to 50% of in-person learning to become its new normal during the first semester. However, if local health metrics do not meet the criteria for Level 3 Green before the end of the eight weeks of flexibility granted by the Texas Education Agency, the District will request a formal waiver from the state to continue at Level 1 Red or Level 2 Yellow.   
While Metro Health’s Green Zone has all students being able to return, adhering to social distancing and mask requirements, SAISD is limiting student occupancy to up to 50% of its students in its Green Level, in order to achieve the necessary social distancing.
SAISD does not envision meeting criteria for its Level 4 Blue – the uppermost tier of more than 50% of in-person learning and phasing up to 100% – until potentially at some point in the spring semester. 
For more information about the SAISD Safe School Start plan, visit


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