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Employee FAQs

Am I supposed to report to work after Spring Break?

The District will operate with skeleton crews at each campus and all other district sites during the two week period that the District is closed (March 23, 2020, through April 3, 2020). Employees will be notified by their supervisors as to who will be asked to report to work. Employees who traveled during Spring Break to places that are considered “hot spots” or areas where several COVID-19 cases have been confirmed will be asked to work from home. Employees who are sick will also be asked to stay home. If you are not sure or have a question, you are encouraged to contact your supervisor for further guidance. 

Am I going to get paid even though I was not asked to report to work?

Yes. Regular employees who do not report to work will get their regular pay, however, you are still expected to work from home. You are encouraged to contact your supervisor to find out what work you can do from home. Hourly employees who are asked to report to work will get paid time and a half.


Note: Regular employees are those who receive benefits and are eligible to earn paid leave.

How long can we expect the District to be closed?

The District will be closed until further notice. We encourage you to stay abreast of the latest developments through our district website (donnaisd.net), our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and media outlets. Employees will also receive Blackboard messages (texts and emails) informing them of any updates.

How is the District preparing for COVID-19?

We are constantly monitoring the information coming from health officials and public health experts. Our district leadership participates in daily calls where the latest information is made available from local government entities and health authorities.

What is the District doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

All DISD schools are taking steps to assist public health officials as they work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the following measures that have been put in place:


• With our schools and buses taking priority, district facilities underwent deep cleaning and disinfection during spring break. 


• DISD custodial staff are routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces with a cleaner that helps to reduce multiple disease-causing viruses and bacteria.

Parent FAQs

How can I make sure my child stays current on school assignments during the District’s closure?

Donna ISD will continue its academic instruction through distance learning. We have placed academic instruction assignments online for our students. You can find that information by going to http://www.donnaisd.net/Academic-Instruction. 

What if I don’t have internet access at home for my child to complete his/her assignments?

We are preparing academic instruction packets at each campus for parents who wish to pick up the material. We will have a skeleton crew at each campus (9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) for anyone requiring assistance. We ask that you contact your school before stopping by.

What if I have an immediate question after hours?

The District has set up an email service for anyone who may have any school-related questions during the District’s two-week closure. You can send your questions to donnaisdclosure@donnaisd.net. Your questions will be answered within 24 hours. 

Will my senior be able to graduate?

We realize this is a difficult time for our students, however, as a District we want to make sure our students remain healthy. We are working to ensure our seniors continue on their educational plan towards graduation.     

Will my special needs child receive academic instruction at home?

Special education service providers (teachers, therapists, etc.) will be contacting parents through email, ZOOM, Google Voice, Jabber or other mode of communication this week to inform parents how student services will be provided. There may be a variety of service options (ex. virtual learning, ZOOM classes, packets, etc.) but it depends on a student's specific IEPs. The student's plan will be shared with parents by the special education service provider.


An ARD meeting or amendment may be required if there will be a change of service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ARD meetings may be conducted through ZOOM. Any services that cannot be provided at this time will be documented in the service provider's revised service log. This information will be reviewed once student returns to determine if compensatory services are owed.


How can I be sure the District is providing my Pre-K child with academic instruction at home?

We are currently working on a plan to put in place. 

Where can students pick up lunch during the District’s two-week closure?

We want to make sure that every child who depends on the District’s free lunch program will continue to receive their meals. We have strategically designated several locations where meals can be picked up. The meals will be available for pick up from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the following locations:

• Donna High School,

• Donna North High School,

• Arise Muniz Community Center,

• Arise South Tower Community Center,

• Aurora Valley Park,

• Nueces Circle,

• Boyce Memorial Park (Donna Little League Park),

• City of Donna Library,

• Iglesia Apostolica De La Fe En Cristo Jesus, and

• Rattler Road.


Will my migrant student be affected if the District remains closed for a longer period?

Our district has provided resources online and also in hard copy packets for those without internet access for all students.  Migrant students are to utilize the district resources provided to their grade level specifically.   Strategists will be making contact with migrant families in the middle school and high schools in the coming weeks to ensure that they have the resources needed as well as discussing their educational progress.  Elementary migrant students are to follow their campus guidance and planning.  If a migrant student is set to withdraw during this period please let the campus know upon withdrawing that your child is also a migrant student or email the migrant director at Rubicela.rodriguez@donnaisd.net .  This will assist in coordinating with the receiving district/campus.  As always, Donna ISD and the migrant department is working hard to ensure that our students and their education are top priority. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to email the migrant director at Rubicela.rodriguez@donnaisd.net.


 

Given the absence of STAAR, what other opportunities does my child have for progress monitoring?

The TEA is working on additional options that will be useful for local districts. These can complement the tools that local districts have developed or are planning to develop on their own.

My child still has one or more End Of Course (EOC) tests to take, how will it affect his credit?

The required performance on academic assessments under TEC, §28.025(c) and §39.025(a) is being waived for spring 2020 only. This means:


  • -  If the student is not graduating and is currently enrolled in an EOC course, the EOC passing requirement will be waived if the student receives credit for that course.
  • -  If the student is not graduating and has an outstanding EOC assessment that they have not passed from a previous year, they will still need to retake and pass that EOC assessment prior to graduation.

Will TELPAS and TELPAS Alternate window be extended?

The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) and TELPAS Alternate administration windows are currently open and are being extended to remain open through May 29, 2020, for a district to complete optionally if it chooses. Scoring data will be provided for each TELPAS domain a student completes. TEA is looking at exit criteria for English learners to determine what adjustments may be made this year for this determination. These discussions are ongoing, and more information will be provided the week of 3/23.


Will schools and districts be held to federal testing and accountability requirements?

TEA is working with the United States Department of Education to request waivers from federal testing and accountability requirements for the 2019–2020 school year.


What assessments have been cancelled for this school year?

Academic assessment requirements are suspended for the remainder of the 2019–2020 school year. This includes all STAAR assessments including tests for grades 3-8, End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments, and STAAR Alternate 2 tests.

Will my senior graduate despite having to compete EOCs to graduate?

Most students have already completed courses that have corresponding EOC assessments before their senior year. Normally, a student who has not passed up to two of his or her required STAAR EOC assessments may graduate through the individual graduation committee (IGC) process. For students who are still working to meet assessment graduation requirements as seniors in the 2019 2020 school year, required performance on academic assessments to graduate under TEC, §28.025(c) and §39.025(a) is being waived for spring 2020. Effectively, this means that current seniors may graduate through the IGC process regardless of the number of EOC assessments they still need to pass. 


Health related FAQs

What is social distancing?

It means minimizing contact with people and maintaining a distance of at least six feet between you and others. Avoid public transportation, limit nonessential travel, work from home and skip gatherings. 

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How long will we need to practice social distancing?

That is a big unknown, experts said. A lot will depend on how well the social distancing measures in place work and how much we can slow the pandemic down. But prepare to hunker down for at least a month, and possibly much longer.

I’m young. Can I continue to socialize?

Please don’t. There is no question that older people and those with underlying health conditions are most vulnerable to the virus, but young people are by no means immune. 

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Can I go to the supermarket?

Yes, buy as much as you can at a time to minimize the number of trips, and pick a time when the store is least likely to be crowded. Be aware that any surface inside the store may be contaminated, especially the handle of the cart.

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Can I go out to dinner at a restaurant?

In general, avoid going out to restaurants, Opt for takeout.

Can family come to visit?

That depends. If everyone in the family is young and healthy, then some careful interaction in small groups is probably OK. Elderly relatives and others at risk should stay away, at least for now.

Can I take my kids to the playground?

Serious illness from this virus in children is rare. But children tend to touch their mouths, noses and faces constantly so parents, especially in higher-risk areas, may want to reconsider trips to high-traffic public areas like the playground.

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Can I leave my house?

It’s O.K. to go outdoors. The point is not to remain indoors, but to avoid being in close contact with others. When you do leave your home, wipe down any surfaces you come into contact with, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.

How do I get tested?

If you’re sick and you think you’ve been exposed to the new coronavirus, the C.D.C. recommends that you call your healthcare provider and explain your symptoms and fears.

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Is there a vaccine yet?

Not yet. But in mid-March, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced it was beginning the first testing in humans of an experimental vaccine. Such rapid development

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Do I have access to virtual doctor visits?

The District, through Blue Cross Blue Shield, provides you and your covered dependents access to care for non-emergency medical issues through MDLIVE. Access to a board-certified doctor is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The number to call is 888-680-8646.

What do I do if I or one of my family members start to not feel well and has symptoms of COVID-19?

First, if you or one of your family members are experiencing respiratory issues, have a fever, or are generally feeling unwell please stay home. Please be thoughtful and help us keep others safe by staying home until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. 

Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than in adults?

No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs. There is much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children.

How can I protect my child from COVID-19 infection?

You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.

  •     - Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  •     - Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
  •     - Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19?

Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. You can learn more about who is most at risk for health problems if they have COVID-19 infection on CDC’s current risk assessment page.

How is it different from the flu?

The flu and the coronavirus can cause similar symptoms — a whole-body malaise, with a fever, a dry cough and a noticeable shortness of breath — but there are differences. Because the symptoms 

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Should I wear a mask?

No. Unless you’re already infected, or caring for someone who is, a face mask won’t help. And stockpiling them can do more harm than good, making it harder for nurses and other workers to access the resources they need to help on the front lines.they’ll work yet.

Tips for creating a positive and successful learning environment at home

1. Hold a family meeting

Talk to your children about this 'new normal,' and communicate with them that while they may be at home, there are still assignments that must be completed in a timely manner.

2. Create a daily schedule

It's important to have set hours for school work, meals, chores and other daily activities. Many routine activities are now disrupted, and that's going to be an emotional process for everyone. At home, there are not bells ringing to tell students when it’s time for their next class. But apportioning time and sticking to plans are valuable life skills children can learn while school is canceled. Families can 

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3. Ask your campus for help

Reach out to your campus if you have questions about what resources, in terms of curriculum, online learning platforms, supplies, etc. are available for your child. Communicate with your child's teacher and find out exactly what is expected from them in terms of assignments and school work during this time.

4. Help your child create a learning environment

It's important to remember that each child learns differently and may perform better in a different work environment. Help them create their own work space — at the kitchen table, on their bed, in a comfy chair in the living room — and know that you may find a rotation works well for different subjects, especially for those students accustomed to visiting a different classroom and teacher for math, English and electives.

5. Don't be afraid to bribe 'em

Some students are self-motivated, but some may need time limits or incentives like, 'You need to finish ABC before you can XYZ.' Not every student is a morning person, but it's much easier to accomplish what you need to first thing, before the whole day slips by, so that's a great case for building incentives into your new routine — just as we encourage our children to eat their vegetables before they can have a slice of cake. Suggest incentives like time with electronics or playtime once schoolwork is complete, and make expectations clear to your children so there is no confusion about what they need to get finished to earn their reward. For younger children, a dry erase board, where you can list out all assignments and chores for the day and then check them off as they go, may be most effective.

6. Schedule breaks

Downtime is just as helpful in getting through the school day as a schedule.Whether it's while they're changing classes or while they're waiting for other students to finish their work, your child has several moments of downtime throughout a normal school day. Remember to give them the same while they're at home. When your child is struggling through a math assignment, a quick 15-minute break can do wonders for their ability to get through the material.

7. Make it fun

Grocery shopping can be lessons on everything from color, shape and sizes for the young ones to multiplication and percentages for your older ones. If  you have an opportunity to stay home with your child, taking a long walk can be a lesson in botany or biology. And those experiences that you seek out become field trips that will be a blast and something special because you are are helping school your child. Recommend taking lessons outdoors.

8. Give your child the reins

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter all that much if they finished their math work before their science. Let them decide which subject they'd like to dive into first, or better yet, grab a spiral notebook or a piece of paper and simply write out the assignments they need to finish for the day. Let them work through the list in whatever order they'd like, checking them off as they go.

9. Do your own homework

You need to do your homework so you can show them how to do theirs. Schedule out lessons and read their textbooks before they do. Have a good lesson planner as a scheduling tool — that's a must.

10. Hold a daily wrap-up meeting

It’s recommended to have a 10-15 minute daily wrap-up meeting at the end of the school day or when you home from work to go over your child’s work. Pick a time slot and sit down with them one-on-one. Discuss any questions that they had, and check to make sure everything was completed. Daily meetings will help you stay on top of your child’s assignments.  And, it helps your child get a clear sense of accomplishment for today and know what will be required tomorrow.

11. Give yourself grace

You've been thrown into a situation that is unfamiliar and somewhat scary. School day will not be perfect, and that's OK. Just try to remember that you're both adjusting to something new and there will be some bumps along the way.