Eanes ISD

COVID Protocols 2021-22

As of Oct. 22, 2021*
* we will continually update this website as conditions warrant


On August 20, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) stated that Gov. Abbott’s Executive Order GA-38 - which prohibits local health authorities such as Austin Public Health and Travis County from requiring masks in schools - will not be enforced while ongoing litigation proceeds.

The new Travis County Order and the Austin Public Health (APH) rules specifically state school districts must now require masks in school, with administrative discretion allowed for not requiring masks during outdoor activities, outdoor physical education, band, extracurriculars, for children with special needs, and while eating/drinking.

We know many in our community are in different situations with different medical conditions and we are understanding and empathetic of their needs. If we had a choice, we would let everyone pick an option that would make them feel as safe as reasonably possible. Under the current regulations in which we operate, our ability to provide what some have asked for is limited.

We will continue to monitor and reassess as conditions dictate. The District may need to change protocols at any time to address specific needs and circumstances in order to protect the health and safety of students, employees and the community. The following guidelines are in accordance with direction from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the State of Texas.

Face Coverings
In compliance with the Travis County Order, based on Austin Public Health regulations,  all students, staff and visitors inside Eanes ISD facilities or on buses must wear masks.

Vaccinations
Per Gov. Abbott's order, Eanes ISD cannot require students or staff to get vaccinated. At this time, the State of Texas has not added the COVID-19 vaccination to the required immunization list for students. Further, Eanes ISD cannot require students or staff to report vaccination status. 
 
COVID-19 Reporting/Tracking
As partners working together to maintain a healthy school environment, we ask parents and employees to report confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 to the school district. Parents should report positive cases to the school nurse; employees should report to HR.

At this time, the District will administer a COVID-19 Dashboard showing cases that are reported. The District is required to report positive cases to Austin Public Health. Physical distancing of 3 feet or more will take place when feasible, per CDC guidelines.

Contact Tracing
Recently the Eanes ISD Board recommended campuses resume contact tracing to the extent possible following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. TEA does not allow school districts to quarantine students; however, Eanes ISD will inform families of possible exposure and if/when we can determine if a student or staff member is a close contact (per the CDC’s definition).
 
Once a positive case is reported to Eanes ISD, the campus COVID team will identify and send notification to suspected close contacts.

  • For a positive case at the elementary level, students assigned to the same homeroom will be considered a possible close contact due to the nature of recess, transitions, collaborative work and movement in the elementary setting;
  • Secondary school COVID teams will identify close contacts when possible and send notifications to individuals where a positive case is confirmed in a classroom and/or extra-curricular group. When it is not possible to confidently determine a close contact, we will notify the whole class;  
  • Now that bus seating charts have been assigned, notifications will be sent to riders on the bus who are identified as close contacts.

COVID-19 Positive Cases
If a student has a confirmed case of COVID, please contact the school nurse. Please refrain from sending symptomatic or sick students to school. If staff have a confirmed case of COVID, please contact Human Resources. Staff should not report to work if they are sick or symptomatic.
 
Per CDC, those who are symptomatic and tested positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least 10 days since the symptoms first appeared and at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms are improving. Those who are asymptomatic must isolate for 10 days since the positive test. See “Absences” below.
 
Eanes ISD school nurses will continue to send students home who have a fever, diarrhea, are vomiting, lose sense of taste or smell, or display significant symptoms of illness. Please refer to the EISD Health Website
 
If an individual has tested positive for COVID and believes the test was a false positive and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must obtain two PCR acute infection tests (at a physician’s office, approved testing location, or other site) at least 24 hours apart that come back negative for COVID.
 
Absences
If a student must isolate after testing positive for COVID, the school/teacher will implement the following:

  • The teacher will work with the student and parent to provide make-up work to the student, understanding there is not a remote instruction option available
  • Teachers will utilize the appropriate LMS (Seesaw, Showbie or Google Classroom) to provide students with work to be completed
  • The student will submit make-up work as noted in the student handbook (one school day per day of absence) after returning to school
  • iPads will be sent home with isolating elementary students

Employees must use personal leave time or comp time while they are isolating. 

COVID-19 Testing
At this time, the District is not offering COVID-19 testing. We are looking into holding a clinic later this Fall. More info will be sent when it is scheduled.
 
Visitors & Meetings
As Austin has moved into Stage 3, the District will begin to ease COVID-19 protocols in schools. 

At elementary schools, visitors will be welcomed back on campus, including during lunchtime and schools will begin grade-level staggered assemblies. However, due to logistical challenges, elementary schools will hold virtual Veterans Day celebrations along with an in person, outdoor event to honor veterans, as determined by each campus.

Both Hill Country and West Ridge middle schools will host respective Veterans Day assemblies Nov. 11, during which fine arts groups will perform and select visitors will be invited to attend. Westlake High School will host its annual Veterans Day assembly Nov. 11 with one event for senior students and guests.

Booster Club/PTO meetings may resume on campus while district committees composed of staff and community members will resume in-person
meetings, with a virtual option if requested and feasible.

The regular series of performing arts concerts for middle school and high school will resume in October.

Cleaning/Sanitation Protocols
Frequent cleaning and disinfection will support a healthy learning and work environment for students and staff. Eanes ISD will continue with cleaning and sanitization protocols in its buildings and campuses. Sanitization stations (Including disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer) will remain throughout all buildings.

The District has Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available for students or staff upon request. Throughout the last school year, upgrades were made to facility HVAC systems including increasing air filter efficiency and installing iWave air treatment units, which helps clean the building air.
 
Extra- and Co-Curricular Activities
All extra- and co-curricular activities will resume with no capacity or participation restrictions. Masks will be required for spectators inside Eanes ISD indoor athletic facilities.
 
Resources & Support
Eanes ISD is committed to supporting our students and staff in their learning and working environments. 
 
For social-emotional support, please contact your school counselor
 
If a student has a health-related issue, please contact the school nurse or Molly May, Chief Student Support Officer, at mmay@eanesisd.net. Employees should contact HR.