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Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean if I received a letter about someone in my child’s class testing positive? Does my child need to stay home?

If you received a COVID notification letter, this means your child was in the same classroom or activity as someone who has tested positive for COVID. This could have been another student or a staff member. If you received this letter, you do not need to keep your child home, but you should, at minimum, monitor him or her for symptoms.

(Secondary) The COVID letter I received says my child shares three classes with someone who tested positive. Does this mean my child had classes with three infected people, or one infected person across three classes?

Letters to families of students at the secondary level include a list of classes in which the student shared a room with someone who reported positive. In the scenario in this question, for example, your child would have been in three classes where someone reported positive and that could be due to one or more person who tested positive.

I received a COVID letter. Should I quarantine my child and have them tested within 3-5 days even if they do not have symptoms? Can I send my child to get a COVID test from the school nurse even if he or she is not displaying symptoms?

You do not need to quarantine your child if you received a COVID notification letter, as the letter does not inherently mean close contact occurred. It’s possible your child could attend the same class as someone with COVID but not have close contact with this person. While you are welcome to have your child tested for COVID, the on-campus tests are reserved for students who display notable COVID symptoms. Without symptoms, a test will not be administered so nurses can make best use of available test kits. 

Why are some “traditional” school events being held while others are not?

Currently, we are limiting large indoor gatherings or gatherings with visitors, though exceptions are made for outdoor gatherings. Please be aware that some activities are being held in compliance with guidelines set by their governing body, such as UIL oversight of athletic and fine arts events.

If my child is out with COVID, is the absence excused?

COVID absences are excused with a parent or guardian’s note for the first 10 calendar days. If a COVID-related absence exceeds 10 calendar days, a doctor’s note should be provided for the absence to be classified as excused.
If my child is out sick, but we don’t know if he or she has COVID, can we come to the school to receive a COVID test?

No, please keep your child at home and find a different testing venue or an at-home testing option. Students who are sick should be at home to limit potential COVID spread.

Only students already on campus should receive a COVID test if they display any symptoms.

Do COVID absences still count toward the state’s compulsory attendance (“90% rule”) requirement?

Yes, all COVID absences still count toward the state’s compulsory attendance requirement. Students must attend at least 90% of days in a school year. All COVID absences will be taken into account if attendance conferences are needed.

Can my student take part in online school if they are not in K-6? If my child is in K-6, can I now enroll them in online classes?

No, our online learning environment is currently limited to students in kindergarten to sixth grade, since students within this age group do not meet the current criteria to be eligible for COVID vaccination. Additionally, the enrollment period for the online learning environment is now closed. Because of the complexity of changing environments and adequately staffing both online and in-person classes, additional students will not be enrolled in online learning at this moment.

I don’t know if the exposure qualifies as close contact. Can I receive additional information to help me make a decision about quarantining once I receive a COVID letter?

With guidance and requirements set by state entities, Northwest ISD is tracking the locations where students were to determine contact lists for COVID notification letters. These letters do not inherently mean close contact occurred, however. It is a parent’s choice whether their child should quarantine, though we recommend, at minimum, that families monitor their children for symptoms. Absences due to close contact will be counted as excused for up to 10 calendar days with a written note or email from the parent with the reason for the absence.

I want to help limit the spread of COVID, and I received a COVID letter for my child. What should I do?

Please monitor your child for any potential COVID symptoms in a way that is not normal for him or her. If you note symptoms, please keep your child home and consider having a COVID test completed. According to guidance from the state, whether a child should quarantine based on close contact is the decision of a parent or guardian.

I am curious about the reporting of closed classrooms at a school in the district. I see there is a dashboard for the number of cases, but I do not see anything regarding closed classrooms. Are campuses required to share this information?

Direct information about COVID cases in a classroom are only shared with the families in that classroom, whether it is a single case or classroom closure. If the students in these cases also shared common areas with others, the families of those individuals will also receive notifications.

What are my child’s learning options if we should choose to quarantine him for the 10 days after exposure?

Students who are quarantined are essentially treated as they would be if they were out sick. In other words, the student or family can check with the teacher for updates about class. At the elementary level, if a classroom is closed, the class will enter into online learning for a temporary period.

Why are we receiving more information about a COVID positive case from the middle and high schools? Middle school COVID letters tell us the exact class.

At the secondary level, because students attend several different classes with different individuals, Northwest ISD informs parents of the class(es) your child is enrolled in that has a person who has tested positive for COVID. Because elementary students have one common class and special classes, COVID notification letters are more streamlined in the information provided. These letters state a grade level or shared activity but do not provide additional identifying information to protect the private medical records of those who tested positive.