Cowboy Parent Courier-Special Issue

August 28, 2020

This Newsletter is Specific to Procedures for In-Person Instruction Beginning September 3rd

Message from Dr. Epperson

We look forward to welcoming many of our students back for in-person instruction on September 3rd. There are new routines and procedures we will implement when students return. Our goal to is to keep staff and students healthy and to keep us all in school. The more structure we can provide, the more likely it will be that we can accomplish these goals.

Please keep in mind that we are planning with best intentions in mind. If we see that something needs to be changed, we will adjust as we go. Plans can look great on paper and inevitably look different when you invite actual teenagers into the processes. We will also make adjustments as the CDC, TEA, and UIL guidelines change. Everyone has been so great to work with us through challenges the past few weeks and to celebrate with us when things go well. September 3rd will be the first day of school all over again for our teachers and students. Even students who remain in the virtual setting will need to learn some new procedures as teachers adjust to having students in the classroom while also managing a zoom meeting. We are committed to making this great for everyone, but it will take a bit of time for teachers and students to find their comfort zone again.

Students need to bring their schedules to school on a phone or a paper copy and their charged laptop. Students can also access their own schedule in HAC on their MacBook.

Thank you,

Dr. E

Welcoming 6th Graders

We will have staff ready on September 3rd to welcome 6th graders and new students and direct them to the correct locations. Our teachers do this as long as it takes to help students be comfortable. Teachers are prepared to review schedules and class locations with them. Every student will receive a campus map and teachers will help students find classes. We will provide directions each period to keep everyone comfortable and on track. The 6th grade areas of the building are fairly small so they learn very quickly. We welcome 6th graders every year and they leave on the first day happy and excited about their experience at Cockrill. This year we expect no different. I know some students (and parents) are nervous, but I am really confident we will have a great day together.

Health Services (Nurse Jessica)

Click image to access the PDF of image below

Medication Drop-Off

Due to COVID-19, if your student will require prescription medication in the clinic for the 20/21 school year please schedule an appointment before September 1 with Nurse Jessica to bring in medication. You may call 469-302-7906 to schedule your appointment. Please have all forms filled out and signed by your physician before scheduling the appointment. If you are wanting your student to self-carry an inhaler or epipen, please bring your student with you for the appointment. All inhalers will need to have a spacer with it to be used this year. Medication will not be accepted during the first two weeks of face to face learning starting September 3

Just as a reminder: 7th grade parents, please turn in your student’s immunization records.

Thank you!

General Procedures and Rules

Masks are to be worn by students at all times, except the lunch period or a designated snack time. Students may remove their masks when seated to eat.

Lockers are not being assigned, so students need to be able to carry belongings in a backpack during the day.

Students need to charge their laptops each evening and bring them to school each day.

Students may not eat or drink (with the exception of a water bottle or during a designated snack time) in classrooms or hallways. Student should bring a water bottle that can refilled at the water bottle filling stations located on campus. Students should not enter the building with coffee or other drinks.

Third party lunch deliveries (Ubereats, restaurant delivery, etc) are not permitted. Parents may deliver lunch and place it on the shelf in our front foyer. We ask that parents notify their students if lunch has been delivered. Students need to pick up lunch at their designated lunch period.

Water fountains will be closed. Water bottles are important.

Signs will be posted in various locations to remind students to social distance when possible and to use proper hand washing techniques.

Restroom capacity will be at 50%. Restrooms will be closed during passing periods, but students will be permitted to use the restroom during class with a restroom "pass". This will allow us to monitor the number of students excused from class to use the restrooms at any given time.

Please note a change made to the original MISD protocol.

TEA states that “regularly performing a forehead temperature check of otherwise asymptomatic students in school is not recommended, but the practice is also not prohibited by this guidance.” MISD will not be doing temperature checks on every student, rather, teachers will have thermometers and will take the temperatures of students who state that they don’t feel well. Also, if there is a confirmed case in a classroom, staff members may take temperatures of students in that classroom as a mitigating measure to closely monitor. See the letter from MISD health services below for additional details.

Hard surfaces will be disinfected daily during times when students are not present (lunch and teacher's conference period)

30 hand sanitizing stations are available in high traffic areas around the building. Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms.


Students riding a bus will need to wear a mask for the duration of the trip. Students on buses will enter through the back cafeteria doors. Each bus will be unloaded individually. You can find the full list of procedures on the MISD Website.

Students arriving in cars, students who walk to school, and bike riders will enter through the front school doors.

All 6th graders will proceed to the 6th grade hallway (downstairs) where they will be seated along the hallway distanced to the greatest extent possible.

All 7th graders will proceed to the two gyms where they will sit around the perimeter of the gyms and bleachers, distanced to the greatest extent possible.

All 8th graders will proceed to the upstairs hallway where they will sit around the perimeter of the hallway, distanced to the greatest extent possible.

Students who need to drop off an orchestra or band instrument will proceed through the back cafeteria doors and enter the fine arts hallway from the back porch.

Students who wish to eat breakfast will follow the procedures below.

Designated Snack Times

We will designate a snack time each day. This is intended to help students who have early or late lunches. A snack is not required, but we want to offer the opportunity for those students who need this. Once the snack is completed or the teacher indicates that the snack time is over, we need students to put masks back on.

6th Grade Snack Time: 5th Period

7th/8th Grade Snack Time: 3rd Period

If students want a snack, they need to bring something that can be eaten in a less than 10 minutes and isn't messy. This needs to be a dry snack that can be eaten while they continue to work and learn. (Ex: granola bar, crackers, cheese sticks, grapes, apple slices) Nothing that can spill into a MacBook please.


Tables will be seated at half capacity, with seating on only one side of the tables. Round tables will be limited to 3 students per table. Students will be seated as they enter the cafeteria, and then will be invited to get in line as space is available. Lines will be social distanced by 6ft to the extent possible. Breakfast is available as either a cold or hot option and all will be ready to take as a packaged unit, with milk and juice available as an option if the student wants to grab those as well.


Students will be seated in rows facing the same direction according to a teacher developed seating chart. Desks will be separated to the greatest extent possible. A mask break area will be available that is more than 6 ft. away from classmates. This may be inside the classroom or just outside the classroom, depending on space available in each room.

Learning Commons (Library)

Students will have access to the library using a pass from their ELAR teachers. The library will not be open before school. Returned books will be quarantined for 3 days prior to being reshelved.

Students are encouraged to use our digital library, Sora, to access eBooks and audiobooks to read from either their MISD computer or personal device. Students can also place books on hold through the library catalog that will then be delivered to their ELAR classrooms daily.


Students will be seated in the cafeteria according to a seating chart. Students will be assigned to a colored zone according to alpha groups. The graphic below illustrates the colored zones. Students will have several days to move within the assigned zone and then we will ask students to select their "permanent" seat. At that point, we will make a seating chart. We will manage the cafeteria line and dismissal from the cafeteria according to these colored zones. Tables will be seated at half capacity, with seating on only one side of the tables. Round tables will be limited to 3 students per table.

Lunch for middle schools has one hot option every day and 2 cold options every day: a sunbutter and jelly sandwich and a sub sandwich. The cold options will be available from the separate grill area only, the hot options from the main lines only.

The streamlined menus should help speed up service for schools to offer more dining arrangements and flexibility. In order to focus on ensuring all students are fed in a timely manner, no snack or a la carte options will be offered for the first two weeks of in-person instruction. We will have only full meals available to pick up.

All the trays will be disposable and all the plasticware will be individually wrapped.

USDA policy requires that we must continue to accept cash as payment, but will encourage use of the MySchoolBucks online payment system to reduce time spent loading funds into accounts and reduce cash handling. In order to pull up a student’s account at the POS machine, we will enter the number for them on the computer to prevent multiple people from touching the same keypad.

Food Service Staff will wear a mask while serving and cashiering.

Big picture
Students who are returning to CMS will recall that we had split lunches last year. This will continue for the 20-21 school year and will begin on September 3rd. This allows us to offer 6 smaller lunch periods rather than the 3 lunch periods we have in our current virtual schedule. This schedule alternates daily.

A Lunch will eat at 11:04am-11:34am OR 11:36am-12:06am

B Lunch students will eat at 12:06pm-12:36pm OR 12:38pm-1:08pm

C Lunch students will eat at 1:08pm-1:38pm OR 1:40pm-2:10pm

The teacher who sends them to lunch will give them their rotation schedule and this remains consistent throughout the year. Students should never have to navigate this. They go to class as normal, and the teacher will dismiss them to lunch at the appropriate time. After lunch, the students will return to the same class or go to their next class period. The teacher will give them instructions daily.

Hallways and Stairwells

We have designated one way hallways throughout the building to avoid students crossing paths to the greatest extent possible. We encourage students to use the maps provided below to identify their path to each class of the day. Students will sometimes need to take extra steps to get to the next class. Our front main hallway must remain a two-way corridor, so we will tape the center of the hallway to remind students to stay to the right.

All stairwells will be one directional as well which will avoid cross traffic and allow students to spread out on the stairwells.


Students must follow one way signs. Students may not stop in hallways and must enter classroom immediately upon arrival. Students should not walk multiple laps around the hallways.

Click on map images to access PDF


At 3:52, we will dismiss school.

Bus riders will exit the building through the back cafeteria doors. Buses will load from back to front so space is utilized most efficiently. Students will wear masks.

Car riders will exit the building through the main front doors. Students will proceed to the fire lane carpool waiting area (front porch) or they will cross the front crosswalk and wait in the parking lot line. See additional details in the carpool section below.

Students needing to take home an orchestra instrument should enter the fine arts hallway through the back porch door (they will need to go through the cafeteria). No students will enter the fine arts hallway from the main hallway.

Students needing to take home a band instrument will exit the building through the back 6th/8th grade stairwell and enter the band hall through the exterior band doors. They will then proceed to the bus line or through the fine arts hallway to the front exit of the building.


  • All carpool traffic goes through the front drive of the building. The back of the building is reserved for bus traffic only.
  • Please read signs and drive to the end of the building when dropping off. You may pass the front door.
  • Be patient with one another to start the year. Our first priority is student safety, not speed, but carpool generally works quickly once the students and parent learn the routine.
  • Please allow traffic to merge in carpool so everyone can access the carpool line.
  • We discourage traffic pick-up in the parking lot because it is not safe for students to cross through parking lot traffic.
  • Our staff monitors the designated carpool line at the curb. We can not monitor the parking lot. The parking lot is not the safest drop off and pick up location.
  • Only use the designated crosswalk at all times to cross traffic when entering or exiting the building.
  • The city has designated “no right turn on red” at the light where you leave carpool. This is in effect at all times and it is monitored by McKinney Police frequently.
  • Cell phone use is prohibited in school zones, including the carpool lane.
  • Ask your child to be looking for you, so we can keep cars moving.

PE Guidelines

Both students and staff will sanitize their hands before and after PE.

Social distancing will be implemented to the greatest extent possible.

Masks are required at all times except when actively exercising.
Equipment use will be limited.
Coaches will clean equipment between classes.

PE will be conducted outside as much as possible.

Access to the locker rooms will be staggered and monitored to maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible.

School Supplies

If you picked up your school supply box and plan to return on Sept.3rd, your student needs to watch for announcements from the teachers about what to bring on the 3rd. We will try to spread out the supplies to be brought each day to make this manageable for the students. Some supplies will be collected and stored at school and others will travel back and forth each day.

If your school supply box is still at school, it will be available in 1st period or Club CREED, depending on your schedule. The teachers will help students distribute items in the boxes.