The Texas Education Agency (TEA) requires districts to screen teachers, staff, and visitors before coming onto campus each day to prevent COVID-19 from entering schools. The agency also suggests that districts consider screening students each day, as well. These requirements became effective July 7, 2020, for summer school instruction and for the 2020–2021 school year
Districts must establish a process to hold individuals accountable for daily self-screening. Guidance, including phrasing of questions for conducting the screening, is outlined in TEA’s Public Health Planning Guidance. Sample questionnaires incorporating these guidelines are available in the Epidemic Response section of the HR Library, including:
Daily temperature screening on campus is not required, but employees should be required to take their own temperatures. TEA doesn’t recommend regularly performing a forehead temperature check of otherwise asymptomatic students in schools, but the practice is also not prohibited. For adult visitors, screening questions could be supplemented with temperature checks.
Screening can be done through an online survey using existing systems (e.g., employee self-service features in the Human Resources Information System), submission of a paper form, or commercially available platform or application.
TEA is planning to publish a list of mobile and web-based software applications that can be used to screen for COVID-19 symptoms. An informal selection process to identify vendors was initiated on July 14, 2020. The selected vendor list is slated for publication on the TEA Coronavirus website on July 23, 2020. Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are responsible for contacting vendors directly. LEAs are under no obligation to use vendors from the list and may use other vendors or no vendor.
HR Services continues to monitor TEA and other sources to update and develop resources to help Texas education entities respond to COVID-19. Members are encouraged to regularly review the HRX and the Epidemic Response section of the HR Library for new information.
April Mabry is an assistant director at TASB HR Services. Send April an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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