Dimmitt ISD News

July 10, 2020

Dimmitt ISD Reopening 2020-2021

DISD teachers and staff are excited to welcome everyone back to school in August, whether we see students in-person or virtually. The District is working to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for all. Below you will find current information regarding plans for reopening schools.

Please note that details are subject to change based on guidelines from local, state, and federal authorities.

Two Learning Options for Students

Dimmitt ISD families will select from two options for their children. We will communicate the process for making the choice soon.

  • Option 1: Full-time in-person on campuses, with heightened hygiene and disinfection protocols

  • Option 2: Full-time virtual learning with district-provided technology in grades 3-12. Virtual learning in grades PK - 2 will be paper based.

School Year Calendar and School Minutes Change

  • The school year calendar has been revised. See the DISD 2020-2021 Calendar page for details.

  • Our NEW START DATE will be August 17th, 2020

  • School hours have been revised to reflect the following:

DHS 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 15 additional minutes

DMS 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 15 additional minutes

RES 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 15 additional minutes

First Steps 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. no change

These changes will provide the District approximately 12 days for inclement weather and other crisis related closures.

  • Information will be coming soon about the process for parents to choose in-person or virtual learning.

DISD will be:

  • Providing a Chromebook for all students in grades 3-12

  • Working to provide a temporary solution for broadband internet for those students who do not have internet service at home

  • Developing instructional models that support both in-person and virtual learning

  • Continuing to closely monitor the potential impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Castro county and follow guidance provided by local health organizations

  • Using a preventive, antimicrobial misting system at all facilities and on our buses to thoroughly and widely disinfect.

  • Developing social distancing strategies for in-person learning

  • Installing hand sanitizer stations in every classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I choose one option and want to change the choice later in the year, can I make a switch?

If you choose in-person you may switch to virtual at any time.

If you choose virtual learning for your child, you will be allowed to switch back to in-person learning at the end of a 6-weeks grading period.

What if most families choose the in-person option? Would there have to be changes to accommodate social distancing or will there be a limit of how many students can select the in-person option?

We will continue to work closely with TEA and local health authorities to ensure the safety of our students. We believe we will be able to provide instruction to students in whichever format their families choose. Keep in mind, DISD will comply with all mandates regarding social/physical distancing as well as health and hygiene protocols.

How will you address social, emotional, or mental health concerns?

Counselors are available to support students academically, socially, and emotionally and can provide mental health support or resources for families who may be struggling emotionally. To ensure staff is equipped to address social and mental health concerns, Guidance and Counseling will continue to host training opportunities including trauma informed care, Mental Health First Aid, and social emotional learning.

What precautions will be in place on campus?

We will implement increased signage around campuses promoting disease mitigation strategies, increased cleaning and sanitation practices, as well as frequent reminders of hand hygiene and social distancing. DISD will comply with all health and safety recommendations established by the health department and Texas Education Agency. Classrooms will be arranged to maximize space between students.

We encourage students and staff to provide their own PPE. However, in an effort to get school started, with the support of the State, DISD has secured the following:

Disposable Face Masks 11,832

Re-Usable Masks 2,958

Gloves 8,364

Thermometers 30

Hand Sanitizer 139 gallons

Adult Face Shields 246

Will students and staff be required to wear masks?

DISD will follow the Governor's order requiring face coverings for everyone 10 and older as appropriate.

Will buses run?

Yes, transportation will continue to be provided for all who qualify. Bus transportation is provided for all ARD approved special education students, homeless students, and eligible general education students who live two or more miles from their designated home campus.

Will social distancing be observed on buses, and how will seating arrangements be determined?

Students will be instructed with specific safety protocols. The bus driver and students will be strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and use hand sanitizer that will be provided. Students will remain seated, keep hands, feet and personal items to themselves while on the bus. School buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Will CDC social distancing guidelines be observed?

All areas of the campus will be monitored frequently to encourage social distancing. Social distancing will be observed as much as possible, but at times students will be closer than the recommended 6 ft. apart. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained, such as class change times, lunch, etc. students will be strongly encouraged to wear face masks. Signage reminding students and staff about hand washing, social distancing, and infection prevention will be posted throughout the school and in areas mentioned above.

What precautions will be in place for athletics, fine arts, and other extracurricular activities?

Safety guidelines have been developed for conducting summer workouts, rehearsals, and practices. The district will continue to follow all guidelines provided by UIL, TEA, and the state.

Will students have recess or the ability to play and socialize with other students?

We are awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency on recess activities. However, we anticipate elementary students will have recess time with restrictions that reinforce social distancing.

What happens if a student or a teacher tests positive for COVID-19? Will the entire classroom have to quarantine and enroll in virtual school? What if multiple classrooms and students/staff are impacted?

When notification of a possible exposure occurs, DISD, in coordination with local health authorities, will begin contact tracing and complete a thorough risk assessment. Based on this assessment, a determination as to whether an entire classroom or multiple classrooms are required to quarantine will be made. Students will have the opportunity to access virtual content during the quarantine period.

How will we register for school?

In late July parents will be asked to make a firm commitment to virtual or in person school in order for schools to staff accordingly. All parents will be required to enroll their child in either virtual or on campus school. Online registration will begin in late July.

Can students who select virtual school still participate in athletics and extracurricular activities?

Students who choose to participate in extracurricular activities will need to choose the on campus option.

Will students remain enrolled at their school if they choose virtual school?

Yes. Students will remain enrolled at their home school.

Will meals be provided for students who select virtual school?

Yes. Meals will be provided to all DISD students.

How will virtual school be different from at-home learning during the closure last spring?

Students who select virtual school will be required to attend and participate in class daily during regular school hours, and instruction will be led by a teacher. In the spring last year, students’ assignments were limited. Virtual school this year will be a full course load of instruction and assignments that is equivalent to what students who are attending school in-person will be required to complete. Teachers delivering virtual instruction will receive additional training and support in digital teaching strategies and using online curriculum.

Who will be accountable for State assessments?

Students participating in both in-person and virtual learning will be required to participate in state (STAAR/EOC/TELPAS, etc.) testing.