AISD screening app may ask students if they’ve been to parties, other gatherings


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde says after three days of in-person classes things are going according to plan — so far.

“I think encouraging, successful,” Elizalde said.

The new superintendent knows each day will bring new challenges.

“We want to be reflective and make adjustments as necessary,” Elizalde said.

One of her biggest concerns are students attending parties, and the possibility of them bringing COVID-19 back to school campuses.

“I will continue to put out communication to both staff and students as I get to visit with surrounding superintendents and Dr. Escott about once a week,” Elizalde said. “He certainly mentions to us about parties that are going on and brings them to our attention.”

“It is not coming from being in a classroom,” Elizalde said. “It is coming from the off campus type activities that people take part in.”

The district has a screening app that students and teachers are required to use every day. Athletes must do the same before practices and games.

In Round Rock ISD, Stony Point High School’s entire football team has to quarantine after a staff member tested positive. Stony Point is missing two weeks of games after the entire team had to quarantine.

“One of the questions that we may need to add to some of our athletics or extracurricular activities is maybe the question is you have not participated in any outside parties or gatherings,” Elizalde said.

Elizalde says when it comes to safety, she won’t hesitate to step in.

“If we end up in a situation where we have to quarantine for the 14 days, then that is what we are going to do,” Elizalde said.

Whether it’s athletics or in the classroom, she says safety starts with the decisions each person makes.

“I absolutely am concerned about the safety of all of our students and their teachers and I do think our students have taken this very seriously,” Elizalde said.

In September, Austin High School had a football player test positive for COVID-19. Letters were sent out to parents following the incident, according to the district.

The district as a whole has had eight students and nine teachers test positive. You can find more about the number of cases in the district on its COVID-19 dashboard.

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