Friendswood ISD classrooms switch to virtual learning after COVID-19 outbreak
As of the afternoon of May 6, there were a total of 21 active cases at Friendswood ISD, including 13 on the same campus. (Courtesy of Adobe Stock)
Two classrooms of students at Bales Middle School at Friendswood ISD switched to virtual learning on May 6 after more than 10% of people in those classes tested positive for COVID-19, officials say district and FISD’s COVID-19 dashboard.
As of the afternoon of May 6, there were 21 active cases in total across the district, 13 of them in Bales. The district moved to level 3 of the four levels of its response protocol after crossing the 10% positivity threshold.
Affected classrooms will learn remotely for the remainder of the week, according to a communication sent to families in Bales.
While the Level 3 status indicates “evidence of community spread in the classroom,” the positivity rate for the entire Bales campus is just under 2%, the executive director said. of FISD communications, Dayna Owen, in an email to Community impact journal. A campus can remain open as long as the number of confirmed cases does not exceed 5% of the population.
The Texas Education Agency limits the number of virtual days allowed to five in community allocation scenarios, per FISD. Click on here for more information on each level of the district’s COVID-19 response protocols.
A statement sent to Bales families on May 5 said four Bales students, all of whom were on campus on April 29, April 30 and May 4, had been tested with COVID-19. Teachers called parents to let them know about the move to virtual, Owen said via email.
Students in both classrooms can return to school on May 10 as long as they pass the COVID-19 health screening, according to the email sent to families in Bales. Anyone found in close contact with people with COVID-19 will be warned by the campus nurse to quarantine them for 10 days.
Members of the bullet community are urged to inform nurse Randi Pipes at the [email protected] or 281-482-8255 if they test positive for COVID-19. Questions and concerns can also be directed to Executive Director of Security and Operations Erich Kreiter at [email protected].
The outbreak comes as FISD officials prepare to make decisions on protocols for the next school year. The board will discuss all options regarding virtual learning and masks for 2021-2022 at its regular meeting on May 10.
“One thing we’ve learned is that these policies are always subject to change,” Owen wrote.