Hello, Duncanville ISD family.
Today we completed our first full week of the 2021-2022 school year, and we are off to a great start. I have visited several campuses and I am impressed with the quality of classroom instruction and the way students are engaging.
School began earlier for us this year with the goal of providing more classroom time to accelerate learning and address instructional challenges we faced during the past 16 months. We know that COVID-19 is still very active, which is why we continue to emphasize the protocols in place to provide a safe and healthy school environment.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released new safety guidelines yesterday that will impact some of our protocols moving forward. Since we have already started school, we will maintain our current safety protocols. After Labor Day we will adjust some elements to meet the TEA guidelines.
Continuing safety protocols include the following:
- Students, staff and visitors to school facilities and on school buses are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings. Based on state orders, we cannot require face coverings but wearing them is encouraged.
- Facilities will be e-misted routinely with sanitizing spray.
- Each classroom teacher and additional departments have been provided handheld e-mist devices and sanitizing spray for use in high traffic areas as needed during the day.
- Students will be required to routinely use hand sanitizer and wash hands throughout the school day.
- When possible, we’ll strive to maintain a social distance of 3 feet (6 feet when appropriate and possible). Face coverings, face shields and desk shields will be made available.
- School buses will be cleaned and sanitized daily and equipped with hand sanitizer.
- Students and staff should self-report if they have tested positive or have been exposed to COVID-19.
- The district has hosted two on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinics in addition to partnering with local hospitals to welcome staff and students who qualify for the vaccination. We are in the process of organizing additional vaccination clinics.
- Staff have rapid COVID-19 testing available at each campus.
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, contact tracing will be conducted through the self-reporting process. Students and staff will have the responsibility to self-report if they have tested positive for COVID-19. If there is a positive test, the person will be required to quarantine for up to 10 days or until the person has a negative COVID-19 test.
Based on TEA guidelines contact tracing is no longer required; however, in Duncanville ISD, we are empowering our staff members and families with the ability to care for one another by self-reporting their status to keep others safe and healthy.
Thank you for your patience and understanding. I am looking forward to a productive school year of #UnstoppableExcellence.
Dr. Marc Smith
Superintendent of Schools