Q: Is there a target number at which the District would close a campus to learning in-person and shift temporarily to all-remote?
A: Although we do monitor case counts very closely, each situation is reviewed individually rather than subjected to a universal threshold; this is because different job duties, learning settings, and viral spread are important considerations when we examine the impact of a quarantine.
BCISD leaders consider many factors when evaluating quarantine situations within our staff and/or students. Below are example questions we ask as we assess the situation:
Is there evidence of viral transmission at the campus, or are the individuals known to be ill / quarantined due to outside events?
Are the ill / quarantined individuals members of small groups or departments, or did they interact with a large number of others on campus?
How many adults are absent due to illness / quarantine? Can the campus secure sufficient substitutes to safely supervise students in-person?
How many support or auxiliary staff are absent due to illness / quarantine? Can the District still safely clean buildings, continue operations, and transport and feed students?
After reviewing the answers to questions such as the ones above, we may decide to modify operations in an effort to keep campuses operating. Although modifications are inconvenient and challenging for everyone involved, they may be temporarily necessary to keep in-person learning available for as many students as possible. Examples of operational adjustments could include:
Classes could be combined in large spaces if teacher substitute coverage cannot be secured.
Bus drivers could run additional routes if substitute drivers cannot be secured. This would result in some routes starting earlier and some routes getting home later. If we experience a significant bus driver shortage, we could cancel certain bus routes. In this case, families would either provide their own transportation or switch to remote learning until route service is restored.
Food service could change out planned menu items and serve items requiring less preparation, or food could be prepared in one location, and served at another location.
Specials or intervention schedules could be modified as our specialized teachers and
Instructional Partners help to cover absences in core academic areas.
If a campus has so many absences that it could not safely supervise students in-person, then the entire campus could move to remote learning temporarily.
Our hope is that the actions above would be the rare exception as we operate in extraordinary conditions. The best way to ensure that we have the fewest number of ill / quarantined staff and students is for everyone to follow health and safety protocols all of the time. It may be uncomfortable or unpleasant to wear a face covering, but the evidence so far shows that mask-wearing is the most reliable way to keep from becoming quarantined.
Thank you for your trust and partnership as we work to provide a safe learning environment. We are grateful for the support of our parents and community.