MISD discussed their COVID-19 protocols today in their community update. Dr. Heathcote provided clarification on COVID protocols on exposure and contact tracing. She says TEA confirmed they are following the correct protocol. Furthermore, Dr. Heathcote points out Midlothian ISD, works with health officials of Ellis County and their requirements go above and beyond. See her update below:
MISD Board Meeting COVID-19 Recap 10/6/2020
Tonight Midlothian ISD school board had a special meeting to (a) Receive an Update Related to GPA and Class Rank and (b) Receive an Update on Protocols and Procedures Relating to COVID-19.
Prior to this evening’s meeting the public learned of a new rule, “If you desire to share any public comment, it must be made in person, administration is no longer able to accept it virtually.” The irony was not lost on us that at if you want to make a public comment at a meeting to discuss COVID-19 protocols, you must physically attend the meeting. There wasn’t an explanation of why this rule was being applied even though MISD Board meetings are still being live streamed. Also, COVID-19 is still active in our community.
Dr. Heathcote presented the Board with MISD COVID-19 protocols to include student and staff screening, talking points available to office staff, and the tracking process of active cases in students and staff. She said all campuses and buildings remain closed to non-essential visits. For example, parents can’t drop in to join their children for lunch and there are no concerts, assemblies, etc.
COVID-19 Student Protocols Seem To Be At Odds With CDC Guidelines
However, as a parent, the most shocking moment of the COVID-19 update occurred when Dr. Heathcote was discussing student protocols. She said “if a student is exposed to COVID-19 in the community, (as in outside of a school facility, campus or activity) they can not force a student to stay home and quarantine.”
So, for example, let’s say we have siblings we’ll call them Brian and Jill. Brian is a student at an elementary campus, his older sister Jill attends the high school in MISD. Brian becomes ill and is lab confirmed positive with COVID-19. As siblings, they live in the same house and ride in the same car. Jill, therefore has, by definition been in close contact with a COVID positive individual but, doesn’t feel sick. According to tonight’s presentation, Jill is not required to stay home, nor can the District require Jill to quarantine.
However, the CDC says, “Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms.”
Furthermore, the CDC states that people who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
According to the MISD Health & Safety Summary Plan to Mitigate COVID19 Spread in Schools, all staff, visitors, and K-12 students are required to wear a mask when on campus or have a medically-exempt approved mask waiver.
If the student refuses to wear the mask or wear it correctly, the following protocols will be followed:
- Verbal correction by the teacher
- Conference with the student by an Administrator
- Conference with the student by an Administrator with a Parent Phone Call
- ISS for the remainder of the current school day if compliance is refused
If the behavior continues over multiple days, virtual Instruction for Health-Related Operational Reasons will be required for the remainder of the grading period.