Health and Safety Protocols
Health and Safety Protocols

Northwest ISD continues to review our protocols to safely return to In-Person Learning this fall. As soon as updates are available, they will be added to this page. Under current orders from the local health and human services department requires us to start the school year with Remote Learning through September 25.


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General Health & Safety Protocols
  • Campus staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols and students will engage in lessons focused on hand washing and social distancing practices at the beginning of the school year.

  • Medical-grade, CDC-approved disinfectants will be used for deep cleaning campuses on a regular and ongoing basis.

  • Students, teachers, and staff will be encouraged to sanitize and/or wash hands frequently following proper practices.

  • Tissues will be provided in classrooms and common areas to encourage students and staff to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if not available, to cover with their elbows. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or hand sanitizer should be used.

  • Sneeze Guards and Plexi-glass will be added to public reception desks and point of sale registers in the cafeteria check out lines.

  • Social distancing and safety signage will be added and visible throughout school facilities.

  • Visitors to campuses will be limited to essential needs on the campus. Lunch visitors will not be permitted.

  • Main school entrances will be locked immediately after arrival times and remain that way throughout the day to help ensure effective management and safe screening of visitors. Visitors will continue to utilize the outdoor buzzer system located at the entry of every school building. Hand sanitizer will be available upon entering the building.

  • Volunteers will be limited to essential needs, and approved by school personnel prior to arriving at the school. Any volunteers scheduled for work at a campus will complete a pre-screening survey prior to entering the school.

  • Northwest ISD is permitted to prevent any individual who fails the health screening criteria from being admitted to the campus until they meet any of the criteria for re-entry to the campus.

  • Students will be encouraged to use backpacks instead of hallway lockers and cubbies to help ensure social distancing/space between students.

  • Currently, all locker rooms and shower rooms are "CLOSED" per the Texas Education Agency. This could change by the opening of school in August.




Health Pre-Screening for Staff & Students

- Parents/Guardians of students and staff will be required to self-screen daily before arriving at school. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher should not come to school or a NISD facility.

- Students and staff should also prescreen themselves for any of the following symptoms prior to coming to school:

  • Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth;
  • Sore throat;
  • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.

- If you suspect that your child may have symptoms of COVID-19, please make sure the child sees a health care provider immediately. Children’s Health℠ is offering a free virtual health screening. Free screenings are being offered 24/7 with code: COVID19 through their Virtual Care program. Through a virtual visit, families can video chat with a health care provider right from home through a smartphone, tablet or computer about illnesses, injuries and mental health. You can use Virtual Visit to address common conditions such as coughs, respiratory infections, colds, sinus infections, fever, flu, headaches, diarrhea, strep throat and pink eye. Virtual Visit is not for serious or life-threatening conditions. If you have an emergency, go to the emergency room or call 911. Visit childrens.com/virtualvisit for more information.

- Students and staff may be subject to temperature checks for verification, especially if they are feeling ill or suspected of having a fever during the school day.

- All staff will monitor students and refer to the clinic if symptoms are present. According to the assessment of the clinic staff, a treatment plan will be determined. Parents will be contacted to pick up students who are unable to remain at school, and the students return to school plan will be discussed. Students should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the campus contacted the student’s parent/guardian.

- Students and staff will be required to report to Northwest ISD if a) they have come into close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19; or b) they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms.

- Northwest ISD requires all outsourced vendors (i.e. food service, transportation, custodial, etc.) to pre-screen and check the temperatures of all contracted workers and essential volunteers before they are allowed entrance on campus or on a bus.
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School Health Clinic Procedures
  • Clinic staff and substitute clinic staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.

  • Minor health needs will be handled in a designated area determined by the campus, by trained staff to reserve the health clinic space for students experiencing COVID symptoms.

  • Attendance clerks will be trained to collect information from parents that report their child is sick with identified COVID symptoms. The NISD District Health Coordinator will follow up with the family to discuss the protocol to return to school.

  • Students who come to the school health clinic showing COVID symptoms will be required to put on a face covering/mask until their parent arrives to take them home.

  • Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the campus contacted the student’s parent/guardian.

  • School Health Clinics will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.




Protocols for Lab-Confirmed Case of COVID-19 at School 

Responding to a Lab-Confirmed Case
  • If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school will notify the local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • We will close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, (unless more than 3 days have already passed since that person was on campus, per state guidelines).

Notification of a Lab-Confirmed Case
  • Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, NISD will notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate on any on-campus activities.

Returning to Campus after Recovering from a Lab-Confirmed or Suspected Case

Any individual - including teachers, staff, students, or other campus visitors/volunteers - who themselves either a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 or b) experience symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to the campus until the school system screens the individual to determine if the following conditions for campus re-entry have been met:

In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
  1. at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (including no fever for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications) .
  2. the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath); and
  3. at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.

If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay-at-home period, the individual must either a) obtain a medical professional's note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID-19 via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19/.

Individuals - including students, teachers, staff, or other campus visitors/volunteers - who have had close contact with someone who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, as narrowly defined in this document and as determined by the appropriate public health agency, should stay at home through the 14-day incubation period and should not be allowed on campus.

Northwest ISD clinic staff will screen individuals after the incubation period has concluded, and if the individual did not experience COVID-19 symptoms during that period, the individual can be allowed back on campus. If the individual experienced symptoms, they must stay at home until the conditions outlined above have been met.




Arriving at School
  • Parents are encouraged to drop their child off at school, or walk with their child to/from school, to allow for more space on buses for students who don't have options for arriving to school.

  • Students arriving at school early will be expected to social distance and spread out in larger common spaces (pre-designated by the campus, like the gym, library, and cafeteria) until the bell rings to report to class.

  • Bus riders will be taught to space themselves out from others as they exit the bus and walk into the school building.

  • Students will be expected to use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the building.
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Bus Transportation Protocols
  • Northwest ISD will provide bus transportation for all students who register for transportation services and meet the eligibility requirements for transportation.

  • Bus drivers will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.

  • Each student will be required to wear a mask at all times while on the bus.

  • Bus riders will be encouraged to sit apart from one another and will be required to sit facing the front of the bus and keep their hands to themselves.

  • Drivers will be required to wear a face covering/mask.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available on all buses and are to be used by students when exiting the bus.

  • Seats, handles, and high-touch areas will be disinfected after every trip per TEA guidelines, utilizing CDC-approved disinfectant through Electrostatic Disinfectant Sprayers.

  • When possible, bus windows will be opened to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.

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Lunchroom Safety

  • Northwest ISD plans to utilize the school cafeteria for student meals. NOTE: No parents/visitors will be allowed during lunch.

  • Cafeteria staff will be trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.

  • Classes will go to lunch on a staggered schedule to minimize the number of students in the cafeteria each period. The campus may add a lunch period to reduce the number of students in each lunch period as well.

  • All cafeteria staff will be wearing masks and gloves while serving students.

  • Seats, tables, door handles, and high-touch areas will be disinfected between lunch periods/use.

  • Middle school and high school students will be given a pre-order option to minimize face-to-face contact in the cafeteria line.

  • When possible, food items will be pre-packed and boxed to minimize face-to-face contact in the cafeteria line.
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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Masks

  • Given the current state of COVID cases in our area, there will likely be times throughout the school day that students and staff members will be asked to wear a face mask when social distancing is not feasible. These times could include entering and exiting the bus, walking during passing periods at school, before-school areas of congregation, etc.

  • The Texas Education Agency recently announced that some PPE would be purchased and provided to each district for use as needed.

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Handwashing & Hand Sanitizers

  • Students and staff will be trained in proper hand washing protocols to aid in the prevention of COVID-19 and the spread of germs.

  • All students will be expected to wash their hands for 20 seconds at least two times each day, in addition all students will be encouraged to wash hands after using the restroom and before eating.

  • Handwashing stations are available in restrooms and some classrooms.

  • Hand sanitizer stations have been added in each elementary classroom and commons areas.

  • Hand sanitizer stations have been added in all common areas throughout all middle schools and high schools.

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Social Distancing Protocols

  • Students and staff will be trained in proper social distancing.

  • Signage will be provided to help assist students and staff with social distancing in common spaces and hallways.

  • Social Distance processes are a personal responsibility of each individual attending school or coming to a NISD facility. Anyone causing a disruption or unwilling to follow NISD safety protocols, putting students/staff at unnecessary risk may be asked to leave the premises immediately.

  • We understand that all students have different needs, but whenever possible throughout the day, students and staff will remain six feet apart. NOTE: it isn't always feasible for staff and students to maintain six feet of social distancing at all times, especially in classrooms.

  • Campuses will develop schedules and protocols for the use of common areas, including how to sanitize space between use. When needed, students will bring personal supplies from the classroom. All students and staff will be expected to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting common areas. 

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Cleaning & Disinfectant Protocols

  • NISD custodial employees have been trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting will occur nightly in every classroom, restroom, commons area, and on high-touch surfaces.

  • Every classroom and office area will have disinfectant in a spray bottle with appropriate cleaning cloths provided for employees and students to use on high-touch areas throughout the school day.

  • The state recommends that each school district provide students the opportunity to clean their own spaces before and after they are used in ways that are safe and developmentally appropriate.

  • Restrooms, cafeterias, and playgrounds (when allowed for use) will undergo extensive cleaning each day utilizing Electrostatic Disinfectant Sprayers.