Tiger Talk

8/31/21

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Dear staff, parents, and guardians,


This has been a tough start to the week. As you are aware, we are experiencing an increase in COVID positives. First, I want to say thank you. While these have not been easy conversations, I appreciate your understanding as well as your candor. During my conversations, it was clear that more information may be needed to help understand the protocols we are following.


The West Cypress Hills Elementary community has always been one that is built on collaboration, understanding, partnership, and grace. While we may not all have the same views when it comes to the protocols, we have to band together to support our students.


As you can imagine there has been a high volume of emails coming my way, and I want to give each of them the attention they deserve. Please be patient with me as I work through your emails. I am hoping the below information may answer some of your questions, but if not please don't hesitate to reach out.


Melanie Beninga

WHAT HAPPENS AT SCHOOL WHEN THERE IS A COVID POSITIVE CASE?

  • If the individual is on campus, that individual is sent home.
  • The classroom is deep cleaned.
  • Mrs. Beninga will send a Self-Isolate letter to the Family of the COVID positive student as well as the Classroom Notification Letter to the parents of the students in the class with the COVID positive case
  • The district will send the Campus Notification Letter of a COVID positive case.
  • If you receive the campus notification letter and have NOT received a classroom notification letter, then the COVID positive case was NOT in your child’s classroom.
  • If you do receive the Classroom Notification Letter, you have the choice to quarantine your child for 10 days or keep them in school and monitor them for symptoms, as outlined on page 5 & 6 in the LTISD Safe Return to in-Person Protocols.
  • PLEASE do NOT send your child to school if they are exhibiting symptoms on the list.

How does my student get their work when they are quarantined?

A virtual option is not available for our students as it was last year. Students will work asynchronously and teachers will provide work either through their Schoology page or a hard copy can be provided.

Can I know who the individual who tested positive is?

Due to privacy laws, we are unable to release that information or give any identifiable information.

There are students/teacher absent today. Are they positive?

There are many reasons why someone may not be in school. Teachers have personal and sick days that they take for a variety of reasons. Students are also out for a variety of reasons. Due to privacy laws, I cannot share personal information about students or staff.

Was my child in close contact with the COVID positive individual?

Schools are not contact tracing in the same manner that we did last year. Our ability to socially distance is limited, and wearing masks is optional. Parents can use this information to determine if you choose to quarantine your child for the 10 days if you are notified that there was a Covid positive in the classroom. If you DO choose to quarantine due to a Covid positive in the classroom, please put that information in SMART TAG. This change in practice is required by the Texas Education Agency. It was not a local decision.

MY CHILD'S TEACHER WAS ABSENT WITH NO SUB. WHAT HAPPENS THEN?

We have two year-long subs in the building that fill emergency vacancies. So far we have been able to secure substitutes for our teachers who are out and we are hoping to continue, however; in the event we are unable to find a sub for a teacher that is absent, the students in that class are divided into the other classes on the grade level so that they do not miss instruction.


We are always looking for substitutes and encourage parents who are interested to take a look at the Human Resource page for information.

Many have asked about the number or percentage of COVID cases in class that would call for a class to be quarantined.

We report all COVID positives to the district who then report to Austin Public Health. From my understanding, APH has not set a specific number or percentage but is monitoring our numbers. Our dashboard is updated daily to reflect the most current COVID positive cases.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

We hope all of our Tiger families will enjoy the first holiday of the school year. We shall observe the Labor Day Holiday on Monday, September 6.


Classes resume Tuesday, September 7, at 7:40 am.


Enjoy the holiday!

No School Monday, September 6!

Limited Visits to Campus Until Further Notice

Dear Lake Travis ISD Staff, Parents and Guardians,


After approximately three hours of public comment, the Lake Travis school board received several updates from senior staff and me regarding mask orders and pending litigation, COVID-19 positive cases in our schools, and a status report on our transportation services during a special called meeting held Thursday evening August 26. Upon returning from closed session, no changes were made to the District’s current mask optional protocol.


Perspective and emotions as they pertain to face coverings and the District’s response to COVID-19 varied greatly among our community as evidenced by the more than 100 public comments received during the meeting. As previously communicated, we are awaiting the results of legal proceedings challenging the authority of state, county and local officials who have issued conflicting orders regarding face coverings. In the meantime, we believe we are legally mandated to follow Governor Greg Abbott’s current executive order.


While we will continue to respect and support personal choice, we strongly encourage all staff, students and families to wear a mask while inside and on campus in an effort to mitigate current community spread of the virus. Furthermore, in accordance with our safety protocols, we encourage you to keep your child home if he or she is exhibiting COVID-like symptoms and consider getting him or her tested. Should your child test positive, please contact your campus accordingly. We have asked the same of our staff.


Additionally, in an effort to maintain a safe environment for our staff and students, we will continue to limit visitors from coming on campus. This will be re-evaluated following each change in our current stage under Austin Public Health’s COVID-19 RIsk-Based Guidelines. The health of our school community is of utmost importance, and we hope these measures will help to keep our schools safe and operational. We will continue to evaluate local conditions and trends frequently and may adjust our protocols accordingly.


On behalf of our school board, administration and staff, I appreciate your understanding and support.


Sincerely,

Paul Norton

Superintendent of Schools

Curriculum Night - Asynchronous Event September 16

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LTISD will be providing parents with an asynchronous Elementary Curriculum Night. In lieu of an in-person meeting, your child's teacher will send out communication on September 16, about curriculum, grading policies, contact information, class schedule, etc. Within the communication you receive, there will be a google form in which you can ask questions.

Visitors/Volunteers Are Not Permitted on Campus During the School Day

Yesterday was supposed to be our first day for parents to join us in the building. However, as you have read in Mr. Norton's email, we are not allowing visitors during the school day for the time being.


We apologize for the inconvenience, and we are looking forward to welcoming our volunteers and visitors when we are able to do so.

Cavalette Jr Dance Clinic, Saturday, 9/18, 1 - 4 pm

Preregistration is required for students K-8th grade to attend. The dance clinic will be at Bee Cave Middle School. Be sure to register by Wednesday, September 15!

Upcoming Events

09/06/21.................No School - Happy Labor Day!

09/07/21.................Registration for Fall After School Enrichment Opens @ 10 am!

09/09/21.................LTCL Bookmobile @ WCH Amenity Center 3 - 4 pm

09/11/21.................Patriot Day

09/12 - 09/18/21....National Arts in Education Week

09/13 - 09/17/21....Celebrate Freedom Week

09/16/21................Asynchronous Curriculum Night - Watch for email @ 4 pm

09/18/21................Cavalette Jr Dance Clinic @ BCMS 1 - 4 pm. Sign up here! by 9/15!

09/15 - 10/15/21....Hispanic Heritage Month

09/23/21.................LTCL Bookmobile @ WCH Amenity Center 3 - 4 pm

09/24/21.................Student Holiday! No School for Tigers!