If the COVID-19 alert reaches “high” level VISD may consider campus shut downs

Parents have three more chances to change their preference for in-person or remote learning

VICTORIA, Texas- In-person instruction began at the Victoria Independent School District on Tuesday, September 8.

Since then, there has been an uptick of community spread of COVID-19 cases at eight campuses across all grade levels.

The district reported O’Connor Elementary with 15 percent of students and seven percent of staff out due to COVID-19 exposure.

This has put the elementary campus into a “moderate” alert level for monitoring. 

Read more: 42 students and 4 staff members from O’Connor Elementary asked to quarantine

Newscenter 25’s Ozzy Mora spoke with Shawna Currie, the Director of Communication for Victoria ISD about how the district plans to respond to the uptick in cases at some schools in the district.

“We are currently continuing with our plans that are in place, while monitoring positive cases within the school community, community spread in the general community, and absentee numbers for both students and staff,” said Currie.

Some parents have taken to social media to voice their concerns about their children being sent home after displaying only one symptom.

Currie said, “any student who has one or more symptoms of COVID-19 will be sent home.”

VISD requires that if a student has not tested for COVID-19 then he or she are not permitted to return to campus until one of the following;

  • at least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications;
  • the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); AND
  • at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

For now, the district will continue performing contact tracing and asking individuals who may have been exposed to quarantine at home for 14 days.

Currie said that if an individual wants to return to school before completing the 14-day quarantine the individual must either:

  1. Obtain a doctor’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis; or
  2. Obtain an acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19

In response to the question if the district is considering a shut down due to students and staff needing to be quarantined — Currie explained that “various alert levels have been designated based on student absence rates, staff absence rates, community transmission rate, and other variables —  once the level reach[a] ‘high,’ the district administration will consider a campus closure.”

When parents registered their children for school during the summer they had the opportunity to select their preference for remote or in-person learning for the first nine weeks.

The deadline was on August 25, and Currie said that, “prior to that date, more students changed from remote learning to face-to-face.”

After each nine-week grading period, parents will have the opportunity to change their preference from in-person to remote or vice versa.

Currie said that there are three more opportunities to do this. The upcoming dates are as follows:

  • Friday, October 2 for a change in setting beginning Monday, October 19
  • Submit this request by Friday, December 4 for a change in setting beginning Tuesday, January 5
  • Submit this request by Friday, February 26 for a change in setting beginning Monday, March 22

If you or your child develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, you are encouraged to contact your school right away.

You can reach the district at 361-576-3131.

To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, email staff@newscenter25.com.

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