Reopening Update from Clear Creek ISD

Reopening Update from Clear Creek ISD
Posted on 07/29/2020
Update

The Clear Creek Independent School District, which proudly serves 42,200 students who live and learn in Galveston County and Harris County, will proceed with its plans to reopen schools virtually on August 24, welcome small groups of students into Brick and Mortar on August 31, and then open the physical doors of schools to all students who elected Brick and Mortar on September 8, 2020.

As a school district located in dual counties, we rely on guidance from both health authorities and will continue to do so. On Friday, July 24, 2020 a Joint Control Order of the Local Health Authorities for Harris County and the City of Houston Regarding Public and Non-Religious Private Schools was issued, applying to schools within Harris County and the City of Houston for the 2020-2021 school year, prohibiting the re-opening of schools for on-campus, face-to-face instruction and school sponsored events and activities until after September 7, 2020. Clear Creek ISD immediately complied with this order for Harris County schools.

On Tuesday, July 28, 2020, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton published a legal opinion concluding “local health authorities may not issue blanket orders closing all schools in their jurisdiction on a purely prophylactic basis.” Attorney General Paxton stated, “the decision to close schools on such a preventative basis- whether public or private- remains with school system leaders who should consult with relevant public health authorities, including the Department and local health authorities.”

Our Safely Reopen plan and subsequent protocols are rooted in CDC guidelines and best health practices. On Monday, the school board unanimously approved funding to hire 24 additional custodians, bringing each campus to a team of four custodians as well as authorized 42 additional staff members to support the nursing team across Clear Creek ISD campuses. The enrollment numbers for students who have elected Brick and Mortar and of those students who elected Clear Connections Online Learning Program will naturally reduce the student population within the schools by almost 40%, if current trends remain the same on the back-to-school forms.

We do monitor the active cases of COVID-19 in our service area. As of July 28, 2020, the total number of active cases is approximately 2,035 within the 13 municipalities and two counties which encompass CCISD. The test positivity rate in Harris County is at 18% as of July 27 and Galveston County is at 12% as of July 29. These positivity rates are determined by the number of persons who were tested for COVID-19 and came back positive. These positivity rates are not reflective of the percentage of the population. We will continue to do our part and promote the need to wear a face mask, maintain a social distance, wash hands frequently, and stay home if ill to bring the county totals down. CCISD Health Services Department has a tracking system in place to monitor any COVID-19 cases that may arise when school resumes as well as a contact tracing process. These protocols extend to extracurricular activities, which are currently operating under specific guidance from the UIL and Texas Education Agency.  In the event of a COVID-19 spike in cases, Clear Creek ISD will follow the COVID-19 Standard Response Protocol.

We consider the health and well-being of students and staff in all we do in Clear Creek ISD which is why the school district has crafted a reopening plan that has been supported by Galveston County Health Department and area physicians. We will work with Harris County Health Department to seek their input and support as well.

For families who are not comfortable sending their children into a Brick and Mortar learning environment, Clear Connections Online Learning Program is a great option to continue to learn from CCISD teachers, engage with classmates, and even participate in extracurricular activities at your home campus. Families are strongly encouraged to make their selection today for us to staff appropriately. Please log into your Skyward Family Access account and complete the 2020-2021 Back to School Forms which includes a selection of Brick and Mortar or Clear Connections no later than August 10, 2020.

We remain united and excited about learning in CCISD this fall. Please visit ccisd.net/reopen to learn about our reopening plans and clearconnections.ccisd.net to receive information about Clear Connections Online Learning Program.

 

Thank you,

Greg Smith, Ph.D.                              Laura DuPont, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools                  CCISD Board President

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