SMART START 2020-2021
As we start this new chapter of responding to COVID-19 while providing a safe, quality, engaging learning environment for students, we do not take lightly the trust you are placing in us. Because we know each family’s circumstances are different, families may choose between an on-campus or virtual school option for the 2020-2021 school year.
We want you to know what you can expect from Snyder ISD and what Snyder ISD needs from families in order to make this school year as successful and as safe as possible. You will find information on Virtual and On-Campus learning options, district-wide COVID-19 protocols, and ways your family can help us to maintain healthy schools.
Plans and protocols are subject to change as we receive new information and guidelines form local, state, and federal officials.
For information on health and safety protocols, arrival and dismissal modifications, bus safety, and more, please review our Smart Start Guide and the FAQs, linked below.
- SMART START 2020-2021 GUIDE
- This guidebook covers everything arrival and dismissal, electives, cleaning practices, meals, and more!
- En Español
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- You asked, we answered! Here are the frequently asked questions you submitted regarding our back to school plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Extensive plans have been made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep the school as sanitized and as safe as possible. These plans were shaped locally by surveying our families, staff, and healthcare experts in addition to guidance from Governor Greg Abbott and TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. The 2020-2021 Smart Start Guide outlines our plan to mitigate and respond to COVID-19.
Families and staff,
Thank you for your cooperation and patience this past month. After reviewing data, conducting campus walkthroughs, seeking input from school administrators, nurses, and our local health authority, we will make additional adjustments in screening for and responding to COVID-19.
Campuses will discontinue temperature checks prior to school entry. Families are doing a great job by not sending students with fever to school. This screening takes time and resources from our staff that we can use more effectively elsewhere. Nurses will continue to take a student's temperature if they are not feeling well. Please continue to screen your children daily for temperature and symptoms prior to sending them to school.
Masks play an important role in controlling this virus. If your student does not have a mask that fits properly over their nose and mouth, it is ineffective. The district has a supply of masks in different sizes and fits. Each morning, staff will ensure masks fit properly and, if needed, provide students an alternate mask.
Close Contact / Quarantine
Campus staff will conduct contact tracing utilizing TEA's definition of a "close contact," which indicates the individual was:
- directly exposed to infectious secretions of the positive individual (e.g., being coughed on) or
- within 6 feet for approximately 15 minutes or more to the positive individual.
Additionally, as outlined in the TEA criteria, we will investigate whether or not the positive individual and the potential close contact were properly and consistently masked. If students were not properly and consistently masked and meet the criteria above, they are considered a close contact. They will need to quarantine for 14 days after the last day of exposure to the positive individual.
Before your child comes to school, please check for fever or new symptoms.
- If your child has a fever of 100ºF or higher, they cannot come to school.
- If your child has any of the symptoms below in a way that is not normal for them, they cannot come to school:
- loss of taste or smell
- body aches, chills, or headache
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- cough, congestion, runny nose, or sore throat
If your child suffers from any of these symptoms due to a chronic or seasonal health condition, contact your school nurse and/or healthcare provider. If a student becomes ill on campus the campus nurse will assess the student for symptoms then call the parent/guardian.
Thank you again for your cooperation. Your feedback is helping us shape how we operate in these unprecedented circumstances. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach and call the district office at 325-574-8900 or your child’s campus You may also email email@example.com.
Eddie Bland, Ed.D.
Snyder ISD Superintendent of Schools
Keeping you informed on current COVID-19 developments in our schools is important as we work together to keep our schools open, help healthy individuals stay well, and allow sick individuals time to recover. In order to provide you with timely and relevant notification regarding COVID-19 cases, we have made a few adjustments to our reporting processes.
- Close contacts will be identified and notified directly by a nurse or other designee to quarantine for 14 days after the last day of contact. A close contact is defined as any individual who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, patients with no symptoms, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. We will make every effort to make this contact by phone. If the individual is not able to be reached, a message will be sent via ParentSquare.
- A classroom notification will be sent out (if applicable) via ParentSquare to notify families that an individual who has been in your child’s classroom has tested positive for COVID-19. Those who were not identified as close contacts do not need to quarantine but should watch for any possible symptoms. If symptoms occur, stay home and contact your healthcare provider.
- Parents, staff, and community members can remain informed on the most up-to-date school and district COVID-19 developments and statistics by visiting this page.
Please remember, just because a student or staff member is absent, does not mean they have COVID-19. There are a variety of reasons an individual may be absent including close contact quarantine or other illnesses. Although we have approximately 10% of students absent from on-campus instruction, and therefore, attending virtually, we only have about 1% of our SISD population that currently has COVID-19.
PRESS RELEASE 9/22/2020
Four new cases of COVID-19 at Snyder Primary School led to the decision to move three classrooms to virtual learning temporarily. “After monitoring illness trends in these three classes, we believe this is the best option to keep our healthy kids well and allow sick kids time to recover,” stated Canita Rhodes, SPS Principal. All other classes are meeting as planned.
Governor Abbott’s order indicated that masks aren’t required for individuals under 10. Therefore, Snyder Primary School is the only campus where masks aren’t mandatory but highly are encouraged. Although the district has made many changes to prevent COVID from entering the classroom, the lack of masks leaves the primary campus more vulnerable if a case does occur. Mrs. Rhodes stated, “We are asking parents to please have your child wear a mask to school. Most kids are adapting quite well. Teachers will remind students who wear masks to wear them properly and throughout the day.”
Snyder ISD nurses have been encouraging parents to keep sick kids at home. If a child becomes sick during the day, the parent is called to pick up the student. “We know this is hard for parents. Current guidelines require us to send a student home if they exhibit one of the COVID-19 symptoms. The list of symptoms is similar to symptoms one might experience with cold, flu, strep throat, or seasonal allergies. Our school nurses have been working tirelessly to care for our students and abide by CDC, TEA, and local guidelines,” states Dr. Eddie Bland, Superintendent of Schools for Snyder ISD. “With the uptick in cases in Scurry County and within the schools, we believe it's best to err on the side of caution to protect the health and safety of our students and staff.” According to Bland, many parents communicate with the school throughout the day if their child has been kept home due to symptoms, had close contact with someone with COVID-19, or tested positive for COVID-19. “That information is essential. We can switch the student to a virtual learning environment so they can continue their education. It also allows us to monitor illness trends, and in the event of a positive case, conduct contact tracing as quickly as possible.”
As of 2pm today, a total of twenty-one staff and students have tested positive for COVID-19:
- Snyder Primary: 4 students and 3 staff members
- Snyder Intermediate: 3 students and 1 staff member
- Snyder Junior High School: 0 students and 4 staff members
- Snyder High School: 2 students and 2 staff members
- Other Staff members: 2
The district is pleased to announce that one staff member has recovered.
Persons identified as close contacts have been notified, instructed to quarantine during the 14 day incubation period, and follow up with their primary care provider. The district also notifies any possible classroom contacts to closely monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19.
Due to the number of students and staff that have tested positive for COVID-19, Snyder ISD states all 4 campuses are in phase 2 of their response protocol and three classrooms at Snyder Primary School are in phase 3. The COVID-19 response protocol is located on the Snyder ISD website under the families and students tab. Just under 1% of its student and staff population is confirmed to have an active case of COVID-19.
“We knew having COVID-19 cases in the school was inevitable. We have prepared for this scenario and are actively evaluating our plans and protocols and are making adjustments as needed,” states Bland.