Northwest ISD Health and Safety Protocols
Updated: August 10, 2021

PLEASE NOTE: The details in this document are subject to change as NISD receives guidance from state and local authorities or as conditions change.

There are 4 key areas that focus on the general health and safety of our staff, students, and visitors. These areas are as follows and further defined throughout this document:

  1. Promoting Healthy Behaviors

  2. Maintaining Healthy Environments

  3. Maintaining Healthy Operations

  4. Preparing for Illness

1. Promoting Healthy Behaviors

Health Pre-Screening for Staff & Students  


Arriving at School 

  • Students should not arrive at school any earlier than the times listed below. 

    • Elementary school is at 7:20 a.m.

    • Middle school is at  8:20 a.m. 

    • High school is at  8:00 a.m.

  • Students arriving at school early should social distance and follow campus protocols for arrival until school begins.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 

  • The district will provide each teacher, when requested, with their own clear desktop divider.

  • Masks

    • NISD strongly encourages the use of masks while inside the schools and district buildings. 

    • Staff, students, and visitors must respect the decisions of others regarding their personal choice on mask usage. Anyone not respecting others may be subject to disciplinary action or may be asked to leave. 

    • Masks designed to protect against the spread of COVID are optional for all students and staff. Per Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, schools cannot require students or staff to wear masks.

    • Students who present to the clinic with symptoms that could be COVID or another influenza-like-illness may be offered a face covering or mask, if they cannot be isolated from others and for the health and safety of others, until a parent or guardian can take them home.


Handwashing & Hand Sanitizers 

  • Students and staff will be trained in proper hand washing protocols to aid in the prevention and spread of germs.

  • All students should wash their hands for 20 seconds at least two times each day. Additionally, all students will be encouraged to wash hands after using the restroom and before eating.

  • Handwashing stations are available in restrooms and some classrooms.

  • The following five steps are recommended hand washing practices:

    1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

    2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

    3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.

    4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

    5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

  • Hand sanitizer stations have been added in every classroom, playground, and common area throughout schools.

  • Staff and students are allowed to use their own hand sanitizer; this personal sanitizer should not be shared with other students or staff. 


Social Distancing Protocols 

  • Students and staff should practice social distancing when feasible.

  • Social distance processes are a personal responsibility of each individual attending school or coming to a NISD facility. 




2. Maintaining Healthy Environments

Classroom Environment

  • Students should be encouraged to keep as much distance between themselves and others as feasible.

  • Personal furniture shall be removed from all teaching areas and taken home or disposed of properly. The intent of removing personal furniture is threefold:

  1. Clear out space for separating desks

  2. Remove furniture that encourages shared seating, either at the same time or one after another (such as loveseats, couches, beanbags, etc.)

  3. Remove furniture that is difficult to clean or is made of a porous material


Playground Environment

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after being on the playground. 

  • Children should utilize the district-provided hand sanitizer while actively playing on playground equipment.  


Cleaning & Disinfectant Protocols 

  • Cleaning will occur nightly in every classroom, restroom and commons area. 

  • Disinfecting will occur multiple times weekly in every classroom, restroom, and common area. 

  • Routine checks will occur daily to refill hand sanitizing supplies. 

  • Tissues will be provided in classrooms and common areas to encourage students and staff to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if not available, to cover with their elbows. Used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water or hand sanitizer should be used.


Food Service Safety 

  • Cafeteria staff are trained in safety protocols.

  • Seats, tables, door handles, and high-touch areas will be cleaned between lunch periods/use.

  • Middle school and high school students will be given a pre-order option to minimize face-to-face contact in the cafeteria line. 

  • When possible, food items will be pre-packed and boxed to minimize face-to-face contact in the cafeteria line.

  • Elementary campuses will have 2 choices and be directed to either line to help expedite and space out students while in line. 

  • Hand sanitizer will be available for use upon entry into the Cafeteria line.

  • When possible, cafeterias will set aside room for students who wish to social distance while eating lunch. 


Campus, Class, and Program Closures 

  • District-wide closures should occur under only the most extreme circumstances. Unless the state, county, or a local executive order requires the district to close, Northwest ISD has outlined the circumstances that could be considered for a school or district closure. Understanding that things can change rapidly, decisions may be adjusted as needed in response to the health, safety, and welfare of our students and staff.  If cases are isolated to a specific grade level or program a more localized approach may be considered.

  • In addition to COVID positive cases, increased absences related to COVID-like symptoms may also be assessed for widespread transmission control. 

  • Northwest ISD will consider a closure of a campus when the active test-confirmed cases at or above 3% of the student and staff population at any given campus. Tarrant County Public Health Department’s metrics for safer in person instruction cites that the positivity rate should ideally be less than 5%. 



3. Maintaining Healthy Operations

Staff Training 

  • Campus staff will be trained in safety protocols and students will engage in lessons focused on hand washing.

  • Students, teachers, and staff will be encouraged to sanitize and/or wash hands frequently following proper practices. 

  • Teachers will encourage students to wash their hands at a minimum of twice a day while on campus. For the classrooms that have access to sinks within their room, students may utilize these sinks for handwashing. If a teaching space does not have a sink within the classroom then the teacher will need to encourage students to wash their hands at the restrooms or other areas with sinks. 


Bus Transportation Protocols 

  • Hand sanitizer will be available on all buses to be used by students when entering or exiting a bus.

  • Seats, handles, and high-touch areas will be disinfected routinely through the use of electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. 

  • When possible, bus windows will be opened to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.



  • No visitors will be permitted on campus, during the school day, for the first 4 weeks of school. 

  • Northwest ISD is developing a tiered system for visitors in our buildings based on the community spread level as reported by the local public health departments. Once this has been developed, it will be shared with all staff, students, parents and community members. 

  • All visitors must screen themselves for COVID symptoms prior to entering a NISD facility. 

  • NISD strongly encourages all visitors to wear a mask and socially distance when on district property. 

  • Main school entrances will be locked immediately after arrival times and remain that way throughout the day to help ensure effective management of visitors. Visitors will continue to utilize the outdoor buzzer system located at the entry of every school building. Hand sanitizer will be available upon entering the building.

  • The number of volunteers may be limited to essential needs, and approved by school personnel prior to arriving at the school. 

4. Preparing for Illness

School Health Clinic Procedures 


Protocols for Lab-Confirmed Case of COVID-19 at School 

Responding to a Lab-Confirmed Case

  • If an individual who has been in a school is test-confirmed to have COVID, the school will notify the local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. 

Notification of a Lab-Confirmed Case

  • Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, NISD will notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on-campus activities. These notifications will be issued as follows:

    • All campus and building notifications will be posted on the district webpage with a dashboard reflecting the date of the most recently confirmed COVID case and total number of active cases at each NISD facility. 

    • Upon confirmation of a lab-confirmed COVID case, communication will be sent out to all teachers, staff, and families of students, who are enrolled in any class with the individual who has the lab-confirmed COVID case. Teachers, staff and students sharing a room with the lab-confirmed COVID case may meet the definition of having close contact with the case. Those receiving this letter will be required to monitor themselves and if they begin to have any COVID symptoms should visit with their doctor and get a COVID test. 

Returning to Campus after Recovering from a Lab-Confirmed Case

  • Any individual – including teachers, staff, students, or other campus visitors/volunteers – who themselves have reported a test-confirmed COVID diagnosis:

    • Parents of test-confirmed COVID students will receive a letter outlining the student’s return to school instructions. 

    • Must stay at home throughout the infectious period.

    • May return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:

  1. At least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications) 

  2. The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath) 

  3. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

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