Students and staff at Lancaster ISD returned to classes after winter break, but not to the actual classroom. The school district decided to spend the week after the holidays, teaching virtually, in an effort to give students and staff time to get COVID tested, boosted or vaccinated. Tomorrow, students and staff will return, but they’ll be required to wear masks despite Executive Order GA-38. Visitors are also prohibited at this time.
On Friday Lancaster ISD issued the following communication:
Friday, January 7, 2022
This week, our district was proactive and invested in various safeguards to create layers of protection within our campuses to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Those safeguards included halting our students’ return to in-person learning and launching our instructional pivot process. Our pivot allowed our students to remain home for this week, and engage in virtual learning while the Lancaster ISD Health Services department simultaneously hosted four COVID-19 testing clinics and two COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Our clinics provided more than 1,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccines to our school community. Our health services department administered more than 580 COVID-19 PCR tests to Lancaster ISD employees, students and parents. We thank our health services department and campus nurses for providing our community with testing and vaccine options. Their efforts this week have proven to be highly beneficial.
Our district leadership team and health services department evaluated our district’s current COVID-19 numbers this morning. We are happy to report that after this intense week of COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, we are now in a better position to return to in-person learning next week. Therefore, we will welcome our students back to school for in-person learning Monday, January 10, 2022. Students with checked out technology are asked to return their devices and power cords on Monday to their homeroom or first period teacher.
We appreciate your flexibility and patience as we continue to work through the challenges presented to us by this pandemic. Specifically, to our parents who have expressed their desire for our district to continue a virtual learning option for students, we hear you. Unfortunately, at this time, our district is unable to provide a universal virtual learning option due to a lack of funding from the state. We understand this is a huge request from our community. If and when we receive guidance from the Texas Education Agency on providing a universal virtual learning option for students, we will provide updates.
As we prepare for our students to return on Monday, we will continue to lean on our valued parent partnership to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our schools. If your child is sick, please do not send them to school. (Lancaster ISD return to school criteria) We will continue to enhance our Operation Safe Tiger Return plan.
We will maintain our current required mask mandate, and continue to prohibit outside visitors to campus. We will proceed with our daily on-campus COVID-19 testing option for students with parental consent. (Parents may contact their child’s campus nurse directly to provide on campus COVID-19 testing consent.) Additionally, we will maintain our established COVID-19 quarantine protocols for students and staff and report campus COVID-19 cases daily to our district COVID-19 dashboard.
Furthermore, we want to acknowledge our district’s custodial staff and the vital work our custodians have always done to ensure our campuses are sanitized and clean. Each campus building was thoroughly deep cleaned and sanitized during the holiday break in preparation for our students’ return. In addition, all campuses have been restocked with hand sanitizer and PPE. As students return to school, our custodial staff members will be working throughout the day to clean and sanitize high-traffic areas on all campuses.
The impact of COVID-19 in our community is ever-changing. Therefore, we will continue evaluating daily campus COVID-19 data collected from our Lancaster ISD Health Services Department. Please note that we will welcome students back to school for in person on January 10; however, if there is a need to pivot a campus to virtual learning due to a high number of COVID-19 cases, that decision will be communicated directly with parents on a case-by-case basis.
As we return to in-person learning this week, please remember the following:
- All Lancaster ISD employees and students must wear a mask/face covering inside district buildings, campuses, and school buses.
- When feasible, everyone should social distance, wash their hands, and regularly use hand sanitizer. This is more important than ever due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our community.
- Continue to monitor your child for symptoms daily. If symptoms develop, keep your child home and notify your primary care doctor for instructions.
- Parents should directly report positive COVID-19 cases to their child’s campus nurse.
- Lancaster ISD Campus Nurse Directory.
- Please perform a daily health screening on your student before they enter any Lancaster ISD bus, campus, or building to ensure they are free of all COVID-19 symptoms. And review the Operation Safe Tiger Return Plan for all safety and entry criteria.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s health, please contact your child’s primary care doctor for instructions.
- To report a positive COVID-19 diagnosis after hours or over weekend, please call 214.315.1726.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding virus prevention, please seek additional information from Dallas County Health Department, the CDC, your family pediatrician, or feel free to speak with your school nurse. Also, please feel free to submit your questions or concerns here, and we will follow up with you.
Thank you for partnering with our district to keep our students and staff safe.
Note: Lancaster ISD maintains a COVID-19 Dashboard where they report active daily cases.