The Duncanville ISD COVID-19 dashboard provides data on active cases, which is the most valuable detail for staff and families. Providing active cases also mirrors that information that TEA is interested in with their statewide data along with Dallas County Health and Human Services Because the dashboard reports active cases, the numbers will change as new cases are reported and people who have been quarantined due to a positive COVID-19 case returns to work and is removed from the dashboard. The dashboard is updated each day, which means new cases are added and prior cases are removed as employees return to work.
The employee screening process starts with a staff member receiving a lab-confirmed positive case of COVID-19 and reporting that to Human Resources. A Human Resources employee talks to that person to verify information and provide information about being on leave. If there are others who are possibly exposed, those individuals receive a notification with directions on how to proceed. The final step is that a campus-wide notification is sent by email.
In addition to positive cases, there are employees who have been in "close contact" with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is required to quarantine as a precaution. In that case, they would not be an active case noted on the public COVID-19 dashboard on the website.
The information is being maintained in the same manner for students on the COVID-19 dashboard.
When we first started planning to come back to school, we discussed having teachers dedicated to face-to-face instruction and a set of teachers for just remote or virtual learning. When we began to break down the logistics and develop a process, this plan did not work for us constantly districtwide. Staffing was a challenge. It was most difficult at the high school level with A days and B days, and specific subject areas. We looked at doing so at some of the lower grade levels, but staffing continued to make that difficult across grade levels.
In addition, the majority of our students chose virtual learning to start the school year. It takes almost everyone we have to support our virtual learners as well as in-person learners.
We are proactively seeking ways to provide some relief, which is why Friday, Dec. 18 became an asynchronous day districtwide. It is also the reason Jan. 29 and Feb. 1 were asynchronous for all virtual students. This was aligned with the end of the second 9-week grading period and the start of the third 9-week grading period to provide teachers with time to contact parents and welcome new students to the classroom.
In December, the Swivel and iPads that had been purchased arrived and were distributed to some campuses and the Instructional Technology Coordinators to demonstrate best practices with remote teaching, provide training for teachers and give teachers more mobility with virtual learning sessions.
The district will continue to evaluate other possibilities for relieving the stress of teaching in-person and virtual students simultaneously.
In January 2021, Duncanville ISD began offering free rapid COVID-19 testing for employees in partnership with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of Emergency Management
All district employees are eligible for testing, but priority will be given to employees experiencing symptoms or who have been exposed to the virus.
Testing occurs at the new Duncanville ISD Police Station located at 802 S. Main Street in Duncanville, which is next to Merrifield Elementary School. The door on the northwest side of the building leads to the Main Street Training Room and is the location where employees will be able to take a self-administered COVID-19 test. Appointments are required. The hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Tuesday and Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.