In-Person Learning - Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is Katy ISD offering two options to provide instruction for students for the 2020-2021 school year?
Governor Abbott has directed school districts to re-open for in-person instruction this fall, as well as offer parents the option for virtual instruction. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) further mandated that in-person instruction follow a Monday through Friday schedule. The Katy Independent School District will offer in-person learning with multiple safety protocols and COVID-19 prevention measures, and a virtual option via the Katy Virtual Academy.
2. When is the first day of school?
The first day of instruction for all students is Wednesday, August 19. Instruction provided to students electing in-person will be offered in a virtual environment through Friday, September 4. In-person instruction will resume on Tuesday, September 8. The virtual instruction provided to students beginning on Wednesday August 19 through Friday, September 4 will be provided by your child’s home campus teachers.
3. Has the 2020-2021 approved instructional calendar changed?
No. Both learning options, in-person and virtual, will follow the Board adopted 2020-2021 instructional year calendar.
4. Have the 2020-2021 campus bell schedules changed?
Yes. Due to enhanced cleaning protocols that require additional time between buses trips, please review adjusted bell schedule information.
2020-21 Proposed School Times
5. Will campuses implement enhanced safety protocols in preparation for the start of the school year?
Yes. Katy ISD will implement Return to School Phase 1 protocols through the end of the first six weeks (secondary) and nine weeks (elementary) grading periods. Enhanced safety phase 1 protocols will be reviewed and may be adjusted at the beginning of the next grading periods. Enhanced protocols comply with the Governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks. Campus Phase 1 protocols include:
Katy ISD asks all students and staff to provide their own face covering from home. Katy ISD will make every effort to provide a face covering to those unable to provide their own or should an individual’s face covering become ineffective during school hours. Katy ISD safety protocols for student masks/face coverings/face shields have been updated to ensure consistency and to maximum safety protocols and protections across all buildings and grade levels. Facial coverings required for all district staff.
- All staff are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield when in a Katy ISD facility.
- Students, grades 4-12 are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield upon arrival to school and dismissal, when riding buses, in hallways, common areas, and in classrooms.
- Students in grades PK-3 are required to wear a mask, face covering, or face shield upon arrival and dismissal, in the hallways, common areas, on the school bus and, when developmentally appropriate, in the classrooms.
- Katy ISD recognizes our younger students and their range of abilities, including the wearing of a facial covering during classroom instruction, may vary due to the child's stage of development. Alternative measures of safety are available for our younger students who may not be able to wear a facial covering at all times when inside the classroom. Parents of PK-3 grade students are encouraged to contact their child's campus principal or campus nurse with questions regarding the wearing of a facial covering within the classroom.
- Face coverings include non-medical and medical grade disposable face masks and cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), and face shields. Full-face shields may be used in place of a mask to protect eyes, nose, and mouth and must cover one's face, extending below the chin.
Instructional day temperature checks required for new enrollees and late arrival students
No outside food or gift deliveries will be accepted
Visitors, non-essential to school operations, will not be given access to the campus including on the first day of school and during scheduled meal times
Parents/volunteers required to conduct campus visits by phone, virtual or by pre-scheduled appointment
No student field trips during the instructional day
No large group gatherings or events will be held during the instructional day or evenings
To limit outside exposure for staff and students, the following Katy ISD Athletic Department Return to School Athletics “Phase 1” campus protocols are in effect through the end of the first six week secondary grading period (9/24/2020). Phase 1 protocols will be reviewed and may be updated in preparation for the start of the next grading period. We appreciate your support for the Return to School Athletics Phase 1 Safety Protocol to ensure campus staff have the flexibility to distance student/athletes in common areas.
6. Will Katy ISD provide required face coverings for students?
Katy ISD asks all students and staff to provide their own face covering from home. Katy ISD will make every effort to provide a face covering to those unable to provide their own or should an individual’s face covering become ineffective during school hours.
7. Will Katy ISD provide all required personal protective equipment (PPE)?
Yes. Katy ISD will ensure that adequate hand sanitizer, portable hand sanitizer stations, and sanitizing wipes for work stations will be provided.
8. What will the daily cleaning and sanitation protocols include?
District facilities will be cleaned throughout the instructional and work day by custodial staff with an emphasis on high-touch surfaces. The cleaning schedule will include cleaning between transitioning of student groups as demonstrated with summer student camps and practices. Deep cleaning and sanitizing will occur each day after school and office hours. Questions regarding cleaning and sanitizing may be directed to: 281.396.3714..
9. What are the symptoms staff (and students) should screen for prior to arriving to assigned work site?
All staff are required to conduct a daily self-screening for symptoms prior to arriving to work. The daily self-screening should include assessing for the following symptoms:
Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
Loss of taste or smell
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Significant muscle pain or ache
10. How many students will be scheduled into each class?
Katy ISD anticipates smaller class sizes due to the Katy Virtual Academy online option for instruction. It is difficult to confirm the number of students in each classroom until the KVA virtual commitment process that opens on Monday, July 20 through Wednesday, August 7 is completed. Once KVA enrollment is finalized, campuses will take the necessary steps to balance classes and ensure class sizes are reduced to ensure the wearing of facial coverings and social distancing maximize student and staff safety.
11. Will cafeteria capacity be limited for those students electing in-person instruction?
To minimize possible outside exposure and to allow for adequate physical distancing for students during meal times, Return to School Phase 1 protocols include no food/gift deliveries will be accepted and visitors non-essential to school operations will not be allowed on campuses or in cafeterias. Phase 1 protocols will be reviewed at the end of each secondary and elementary grading period.
Nutrition & Food Service Protocols
Katy ISD Nutrition & Food Service staff use face shields, facial coverings and gloves when performing job responsibilities and are trained to practice health and hygiene regulations
Katy ISD cafeterias are cleaned and disinfected daily
Katy ISD cafeterias, serving and eating areas are cleaned between uses
Grab N Go carts are utilized as needed at designated campuses to minimize cafeteria lines, increase the speed of service and enhance social distancing
Signage is located in cafeterias to reinforce social distancing
Students must wear ID at breakfast and lunch to ensure efficient scanning of ID for payment and minimize touching of ID by multiple staff
Students must follow social distancing signage displayed on the walls and floor markers
Students may be directed to eat in various locations throughout the building, including classrooms, to maximize social distancing.
Parents are encouraged to use the Pay N’ Go mobile app to provide student meal money instead of sending cash to your child’s campus.
Pay N’ Go mobile app information.
12. What are the enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing protocols the Katy ISD Maintenance & Operations Department will implement?
Campuses are cleaned throughout the instructional day with an emphasis on cleaning high traffic and multiple touch areas, including door handles, restrooms, large group transition areas, cafeteria between meals
PPE will be provided to district locations that includes hand sanitizer, portable hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, face shields and face masks.
Transportation personnel with the support of M & O personnel disinfect school buses between runs
Signage for proper hygiene practices is visibly posted at multiple locations
13. What are the enhanced cleaning, disinfecting and sanitation protocols the Katy ISD Transportation Department will implement?
Per TEA’s COVID-19 guidance regarding transportation, Katy ISD is implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures between each bus trip. Therefore, additional time is now required between bus trips. For the 2020-2021 school year, the instructional day start and end times have been adjusted to accommodate the enhanced hygiene protocols. Visit the
Campus Directory for the revised 2020-2021 bell schedule. Bus transportation is provided for eligible riders and every effort is made to ensure students ae able to socially distance. In addition, TEA encourages families to drop students off, carpool, or walk with their student to school to reduce possible virus exposure on a bus.
14. Will after-school programs still be available at the elementary campuses?
Yes. After school programs that provide care for students after the instructional day has ended may continue to reserve KISD facilities with required approvals. The non-KISD after school programs are expected to follow all CDC, state and local guidance.
15. Who can I contact regarding questions about?
16. Are there guidelines for students unable to wear a facial covering or a face shield?
If a student is unable to wear a facial covering or a face shield, a medical professional note must be submitted to the campus nurse for verification that it is “medically contraindicated” for the student to be able to wear a facial covering or a face shield in the school setting.
The nurse will notify the campus principal.
Special considerations for those students that are unable to wear a facial covering or face shield such as special seating in the classroom and/or desk barriers in order to reduce transmission of student respiratory droplets.
17. Immunization compliance for Texas public schools:
All students enrolled in Katy ISD are required to meet the minimum standards of state required immunizations. A student shall show acceptable evidence of vaccination to the campus nurse, prior to entry, attendance or transfer to a public school in Texas. Immunization requirements can be found at the Katy ISD Health Services website.
The District will offer an Immunization opportunity at Legacy Stadium from 9:00AM – 12:00PM on the following dates:
18. Are the class sizes being limited?
Due to students opting for the virtual learning plan, it is anticipated the student class sizes will be below the recommended student/teacher ratios Katy ISD maintains.
19. How is the transitioning between classes handled at Junior High and High School?
There are multiple measures secondary campuses can do to minimize student and staff exposure. Examples include increasing the number of lunches and monitoring hallway transitions to ensure social distancing can occur, ensuring student’s facial coverings are in place prior to each transition and staff monitoring of students during transition periods. COVID-19 signage will be posted throughout the campus reminding students of the required COVID-19 safety protocols including minimal contact with others when transitioning between classes.
20. Is there discipline for a child who keeps taking their masks off?
Katy ISD is offering parents the option of virtual or in-person instruction. Students who do not comply with safety protocols in place for in-person instruction will be transitioned to Katy Virtual Academy for the duration of the grading period. KVA students participating in in-person school related activities before and after the start of the instructional day must also follow the same safety protocols. Students who do not wear masks/face coverings as required by District safety protocols will not be allowed to participate in school related activities. Should a student have a medical condition that would preclude him/her from wearing a mask, the parent is requested to provide the campus nurse documentation from their medical provider.
21. Teachers say that they have trouble making kids put their phones away. What will be the discipline?
Students will be required to follow all Campus Phase 1 protocols while they are in effect. Failure to abide by the Phase 1 safety protocols may result in the student unable to attend school in-person and provided the virtual learning option.
22. How are children going to be socially distanced on the playground?
Teachers will have various activity stations spread out on the playground and other areas so students are in assigned groups for more structured activities. Additionally, during campus Phase 1 safety protocols, access to the playground equipment will be restricted.one
23. How will kids eat lunch?
Secondary campuses are increasing the number of lunches to help with social distancing. They will also be utilizing markings and signage to help with social distancing. Allowing for a larger number of spaces to eat lunch around the building in some campus as well. Elementary campuses will distance students and mark seats so they are spread out in while eating at cafeteria tables, standing in line and dismissing. Additionally, tables will be spread apart so there is more space for social distancing. It might be necessary from students to eat in their classroom on certain days to maximize the ability to social distance. Hand sanitizer will be available during lunch as well.
24. How will students fulfill requirements of endorsements for classes only offered in class?
If a KVA student does not wish to attend in person instruction for designated courses that require it, KVA students may request a schedule change to a course that does not require in-person participation to fulfill course requirements.
25. The FAQ's say that if a student is enrolled in KVA, they cannot come to school during school hours, but that they can come before and after school.
KVA students participating in co-curricular/extracurricular courses may participate in their program’s activities and practices before the start or at the end of the instructional day.
26. Will their lab or CTE course or Fine Arts course, or whichever, be offered before or after school?
Due to the Campus Phase 1 Safety, protocols in effect through the end of the first grading period or longer if necessary, KVA students may not participate in-person with any KVA course during the instructional day. Participation may occur before the start and at the end of the instructional day.
27. Is it true that the student cannot touch any books? Will we repurpose the libraries?
Library books are available for checkout. Library books will be cleaned and sanitized prior to
Students checking out books and upon return of all library books.
28. What is being done to help our Special Needs students and our ESL students?
Students with Special needs and students receiving ESL services will continue to receive services in the virtual environment. Special education is a service that layers on top of general education to specially design instruction based upon the unique needs of a student. As such, all general education guidance applies to students who receive special education services. The answer to this question is incredibly complex as every student’s instruction is uniquely designed. Katy ISD will be providing services as outlined by the student’s IEP. Should a change to those services be required to accommodate the instructional model selected by the parents, an ARD committee meeting will be convened to discuss needed supports. Procedures related to requests for evaluations, etc. will remain the same though virtual methods will be employed where practicable.
29. Why are athletes allowed to huddle at SAC camps, but all other students have to be socially distanced, i.e. band?
Competitive drills involving one or more students on offense against one or more students on defense may be conducted beginning July 13, 2020. While conducting these drills, schools must require all students not actively exercising and staff to wear face coverings as described above.
30. How will kids eat lunch?
Some secondary campuses are increasing the numbers of lunches to help with social distancing. They will also be utilizing markings and signage to help with social distancing. Allowing for a wider variety of spaces to eat lunch around the building in some campus as well. Elementary campuses will distance students and mark seats so they are spread out in while eating at cafeteria tables, standing in line and dismissing. Additionally, tables will be spread apart so there is more space for social distancing. It might be necessary from students to eat in their classroom on certain days to maximize the ability to social distance. Hand sanitizer will be available during lunch as well.
The following links to national, state, and local county COVID-19 support are provided to further assist you to contend with this pandemic.