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Campus Reopening & Phase-In Plan

posted Sep 17, 2020, 10:13 AM by KMS Hornets

Hello Kealing Parents and Families,

Beginning on Oct. 5 and continuing through Oct. 30, Austin ISD will begin welcoming students back for on-campus learning. This will be accomplished through a phase-in approach for all students who choose to return to campus. During the four-week phase-in process (Oct. 5 - Oct. 30), the intentional phase-in of more students to on-campus learning will occur if health conditions continue to indicate that we can do so in a safe and healthy way for staff and students. 

To help inform your decision making regarding the recent family survey that you received, we are providing information about what the phase-in process will entail and what you can expect with regard to teaching and learning on campus.

Phase-In Process

The phase-in process during weeks five through eight is designed to align with the Austin Public Health (APH) Interim Guidance on Reopening for Austin-Travis County Schools and with the district’s commitment to the health and safety of all students, staff, and families in mind. 

The four week transition is planned so that, to the greatest degree possible, each facility remains at the same percentage of facility capacity for two weeks before increasing to the next allowable level based on guidance from APH. Facility capacity refers to the number of people (staff and students) that a facility can hold. In Austin ISD, we will phase in as follows:

  • Week 5: 25% of facility capacity (aligns with stage 4 of APH Risk-Based Stages and Dr. Escott’s recommendation that we continue to behave as if we are in stage 4)

  • Week 6: 25% of facility capacity (Up to 50% if needed)

  • Week 7: 50% of facility capacity (aligns with stage 3 of APH Risk-Based Stages, the current stage for Austin Travis County)

  • Week 8: 50% of facility capacity

For our campus, the above percentage represent the following:

  • 25% facility capacity = 367 people

  • 50% facility capacity = 733 people

  • 75% facility capacity = 1,099 people

  • 100% facility capacity = 1,465 people

We will plan for the return of students who choose on-campus learning following the facility guidance outlined above. In addition, students who have chosen on-campus learning will be welcomed back to campus in small groups over the course of the four weeks. Consideration for which groups of students to bring back each week will be based on factors such as support services being received, grade level, newcomer and refugee status, and status as a child of an Austin ISD staff member.

For all staff and students that return to campus, we are committed to strong implementation of hand hygiene, masking, and social distancing. Per CDC guidance, our goal is 6 feet social distance whenever feasible. 

On-Campus Learning Beginning October 5 and Beyond

The information gathered from the September Family Pulse Survey will allow us to appropriately plan for both on- and off-campus instruction. As we begin the intentional phase-in of more students to on-campus learning, BLEND will remain the common platform and access point for students who are continuing with remote instruction and will also be used by those who attend school on campus. 

At Kealing Middle School, students will be grouped into learning groups. Learning groups are groups of students that work to complete the same content lesson objectives as those students working remotely off-campus, in a designated learning space with safety measures in place while being monitored by a Kealing staff member. Kealing students, whether learning on-campus or off, will have the same virtual learning experience. 

We will continue to monitor updates from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and local health authorities to inform our decisions to keep students, families, and staff safe. Please know that the plans shared in this letter may change in the coming weeks. For the most updated information, please refer to our Open for Learning webpage. 

Thank you for your continued support,

Tim Estes