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Health & Safety InformationOur mission is to provide districts and charter schools with technical assistance, timely and relevant trainings, and pertinent resources to promote safe and healthy schools.

Health & Safety Information updated April 1, 2020, 4:54 p.m.

Stay Well, Texas Campaign

Texas Division of State Health Services and Texas Education Agency are rolling out the “Stay Well, Texas” public health campaign. This campaign is made available so that all school districts and broader communities have access to a comprehensive set of information resources about COVID-19.

You are encouraged to share daily over the next two weeks. The campaign will include ready-to-share messages for use in social media, text messages, emails, and all-calls to Texas parents and district staff.

If you join us in getting these resources out to the ten million-plus people in this state who are directly involved with public education, we will be able to keep Texas residents from the smallest towns to the largest cities healthier and safer as we battle the spread of novel coronavirus.

To make this easy, TEA will package this information and make it available by 4 p.m. every day during the conventional school week (that means that on Friday, you will receive the Saturday, Sunday and Monday messages so that you can schedule those for distribution over the weekend).

This information may be accessed at: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/public-health-resources

The most recent resources will be added as they are received.

Employee Rights Poster - Paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the families first Coronavirus Response Act (04.01.20)

TEA Instructional Continuity Planning Guide (03.30.20)

TEA Letter for Presumptive COVID-19 Exposure - Student (03.30.20)

TEA Letter for Confirmed COVID-19 Exposure - Student (03.30.20)

TEA Letter for Presumptive COVID-19 Exposure - Staff (03.30.20)

TEA Letter for Confirmed COVID-19 Exposure - Staff (03.30.20)

TEA Fitnessgram Assessment and Reporting (03.30.20)

TEA Grants and Federal Funding (03.30.20)

TEA School Board FAQ (03.27.20)

TEA Reading Academies (03.27.20)

TEA Residential School Program Guidance (03.27.20)

TEA COVID-19 and Special Education in Texas (03.26.20) 

TEA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance and FAQs (03.12.20)

TEA Update: COVID-19 Initial Guidance and FAQs (03.12.20)

DSHS COVID-19 Email Update (03.12.20)

DSHS COVID-19 Talking Points (03.10.20)

COVID-19: What to Do (03.10.20)

KBS Legal - FERPA Health & Safety / Requesting information on student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 (03.11.20)

Novel Coronavirus - Fighting Products (03.09.20)

COVID-19 Epidemiology Info Sheet (03.09.20)

COVID-19 Local Preparedness Considerations (03.09.20)

Pandemic Flu Checklist: K-12 School Administrators (03.09.20)

TASB Responding to the Risk of Infectious Disease in Public Schools (03.06.20)

Centers for Disease Control—Get Your Workplace Ready for Pandemic Flu (03.06.20)

NSPRA COVID-19 Response Guide (03.05.20) 

EPA’s Registered Antimicrobial Products for Use Against Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Cause of COVID-19 (03.03.20)

ISD Response to the Threat of Coronavirus Outbreak (03.03.20)

TAA Coronavirus (02.28.20)

Coronavirus ISD Template Letter - English (01.29.20)

Coronavirus ISD Template Letter - Spanish (01.29.20)

Coronavirus Statement Template Letter - (01.29.20)

TEA Resources:

TEA Update: COVID-19 Initial Guidance and FAQs

TEA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance

TEA Influenza Virus (with attachment "Coronavirus ISD template letter")

Statement from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on the Temporary Statewide Closure of Schools

Statement Regarding the Administration of State Assessments

 

CDC Resources:

 
 

 

Texas Health & Human Services:

Guidance to Child Care Facilities

 
 

Additional Resources:

TASBO: COVID-19 Response Forum

TASBO: Education Guidance on COVID-19

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Communicating About Coronavirus

Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus

Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Global Map

March 20, 2020

MealFinder Map for Texas Students Now Live — Visit TXSchools.gov to find more than 1,000 sites for free school meals

Texas parents can now visit the TXSchools.gov MealFinder Map to find locations near them where local school systems are offering free school meals—both breakfast and lunch—for pick-up while school buildings are closed because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  Launched by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), in partnership with the Office of the Governor and Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), the TXSchools.gov MealFinder Map is designed to help parents and students easily find school meals during the unprecedented disruption to schools caused by COVID-19.

Once parents go to the site, they click “Meal Pick-Up Locations” to bring up a map of locations.  Parents can type their address, and the map will zoom into meal pick-up locations that are up and running near them.

School systems around the state have responded to coronavirus with an outpouring of compassion and operational excellence. In less than 8 days since the first school closures were announced, more than 1,000 schools have launched Meal Pick-Up Locations. That number is expected to rise daily, so parents should check back on TXSchools.gov next week and the week after as more and more meal locations are launched.  

In terms of terms of eligibility, TDA has provided extensive guidance to help school systems, based on federal rules. In locations where more than 50 percent of students are eligible for a free or reduced-price lunch, free meals can be made available for every child who visits the meal site. In places below that threshold, closed enrolled sites can be established to target individually eligible students.

With Governor Greg Abbott’s issuance of an Executive Order on Thursday to temporarily close schools statewide through April 3, Texas is taking the lead to ensure that our students will continue to have uninterrupted access to meals, no matter how long school campuses are closed. We all remain committed first and foremost to the health and safety of our students, families, and communities.

 


 

March 19, 2020

Message from Region 7 ESC Child Nutrition Team

If you are serving meals during your school shutdown, please complete this form from Squaremeals before you file your first claim

The form is also located at:

  • Squaremeals.org
  • Click F& N Resources
  • Click Coronavirus Updates from Contracting Entities
  • Click NSLP Resources
  • The JotForm is located in the Next Steps for School Closures paragraph

 

Please refer to this Coronavirus Updates page (on Squaremeals) regularly for the most up to date information from TDA.  Call any of us if you have issues or questions.

If you are NOT serving meals during your school shutdown then you do NOT need to do this form.

Lastly - if you leave us a message or email us please include your cell number in case we need to contact you by phone and can't reach you at your school.

We are grateful to each and every one of you for the work you are doing to meet the needs of our kids.  When this is over we will all breathe a sigh of WHEW!!! With Help Everyone Wins!!

Thank you,
Region 7 ESC Child Nutrition Team

Food Safety Tips
Map
Region 7 Child Nutrition Team

Elaine Revell
Child Nutrition Coordinator
erevell@esc7.net
(817)944-9477

Laurie Stamper
Child Nutrition Specialist
lstamper@esc7.net
(903)988-6764

Cathy Brady
Child Nutrition Specialist
cbrady@esc7.net
(512) 699-2790

Geri Barrett
Child Nutrition Technician
gbarrett@esc7.net
(903) 988-6832

Tracie Vineyard
Child Nutrition Administrative Assistant
tvineyard@esc7.net
(903) 988-6802

The CDC has called upon communities to plan in advance of a potential COVID-19 pandemic declaration. The fact that this disease has caused illness, including illness resulting in death, and sustained person-to-person spread is concerning. These factors meet two of the criteria of a pandemic. As community spread is detected in more and more countries, the world moves closer toward meeting the third criteria, worldwide spread of the new virus.

 

For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. It is likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur, including in the United States.
 

  • Certain people will have increased risk of exposure to COVID-19.  For example, healthcare workers and close contacts of individuals with COVID-19 would be more vulnerable. CDC has developed guidance to help in the risk assessment and management of people with potential exposures to COVID-19.
     
  • Widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States would translate into large numbers of people needing medical care at the same time.
     
  • Schools, childcare centers, workplaces, and other places for mass gatherings may experience more absenteeism.
     
  • Schools can help curtail illness and panic by reminding employees, students, and families to:
    • Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
       
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
       
    • Cover coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover coughs and sneezes, then dispose of the tissue.  When a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
       
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, especially when someone is ill. CDC has additional resources on how to clean and disinfect schools at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm.
       
    • Wash hands for 20 seconds. Washing hands often under clean, running water can help prevent the spread of germs. For more guidance see the CDC: When and How to Wash Your Hands. If you cannot wash your hands, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60-95% alcohol.
    • Consult with primary care provider, local, and state health departments if they experience symptoms or circumstances that seemed to match those related to exposure to COVID-19.

AASA has provided some information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other communications measures to keep you abreast of strategies, tools, and recommendations.

At this time, while there is no anti-viral treatment that attacks the coronavirus, individuals are being treated with pain relievers, cough syrup and other medications for the symptoms.  So, it is important that we rely on prevention, as we did when advising superintendents about the "swine flu" (H1N1) in 2009.

As we await guidance from CDC on specific strategies for schools, you are encouraged to follow common-sense strategies for preventing the spread of communicable diseases:

INDIVIDUAL LEVEL

  • Practice social distancing when ill.
  • Ask parents to keep children home who exhibit cold and flu-like symptoms.
  • Encourage staff to refrain from coming to work if they have cold and flu-like symptoms.
  • Handwashing
  • Encourage all students to keep unwashed hands out of their mouths, eyes, etc.
  • Encourage all students to use anti-bacterial soap. 

CLASSROOM/SCHOOL LEVEL

  • Have teachers review hand-washing techniques with students.
  • Discourage the sharing of food.
  • Provide anti-bacterial soap rather than hand sanitizers in classrooms and bathrooms.
  • Encourage maintenance and classroom staff to use anti-bacterial products on all high-touch surfaces daily.
  • Increase frequency of school building cleaning by maintenance staff and upgrade via the use of more effective cleaning products.
      

SYSTEM/DISTRICT LEVEL

  • Provide clear and transparent communication to your communities especially around any suspected or confirmed cases.
  • Ensure that your school nurses are vigilant in monitoring the student body, especially in cases where students exhibit symptoms associated with the virus.
  • Establish a process for determining whether students are contracting the virus and a system for reporting updates to health officials.
  • Share overall school strategies for dealing with the spread of the virus should school/district be impacted.
  • Currently, public health officials are not recommending the use of masks or gloves in public settings.
  • At this time, federal health authorities are not recommending that schools cancel classes. Refer to your district policy on school closure should closure or dismissals become necessary.
  • Take action without stigmatizing any students/families/populations.
  • If you have planned out-of-district trips overseas or within the United States (if there are reported outbreaks at the U.S. destination), consider cancellation.                  

 

And remember, while the Coronavirus news is concerning, it is important to point out that there are other respiratory viruses like influenza currently circulating in schools. Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them. Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19.

Region 7 Health & Safety Contacts

Katie Chenoweth
Assistant Deputy Executive Director
kchenoweth@esc7.net
(903) 988-6778

Viki Sparks
Federal Programs Director
vsparks@esc7.net
(903) 988-6840

Sherri Wright
Federal Programs Coordinator
swright@esc7.net
(903) 988-6809

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