San Antonio-area school districts reveal COVID-19 quarantine plans

Some districts have more flexible guidelines depending on vaccination status

Parents have a big decision to make if their child was exposed to COVID-19 at school.

SAN ANTONIO – School is back in session in the San Antonio area, and as more children test positive for COVID-19, school districts are revealing their plans for those who need to quarantine.

The Texas Education Agency says that parents can still send their kids to school unless a child tests positive for COVID-19 or is actively sick with symptoms if they’ve had close contact with someone who has contracted the virus.

Stephanie Adams’ son, who is in first grade at Cibolo Valley Elementary School, woke up with a fever and sore throat on the fifth day of school.

“We took him to the school nurse to get a COVID test done. Then, we found out while we were there that he had close contact with someone tested positive the day before,” Adams said.

Adams said she is waiting on her son’s results, and while she planned to quarantine him regardless of his test outcome, she is concerned about what other parents would do if their child were in the same situation.

She is concerned they may have to turn back to homeschooling.

“Obviously, what we’re doing right now is not working. It’s not. I mean, we’ve got more cases every day, and kids are getting more sick,” Adams said.

On KSAT’s Facebook page, families shared what they would do if they were notified that their child might have been exposed to COVID-19 at school. We received more than 1,500 mixed responses. See them by clicking here.

KSAT contacted several school districts in our area, and they all have different plans in place to suit their communities:

North East ISD

A spokesperson for North East ISD said quarantine is recommended for unvaccinated close contacts, but ultimately, it’s up to the parent. When students are out for COVID or quarantine, there will not be a penalty for those absences. Students are doing work at home, but the district is in the final stages of setting up remote conferencing to have access to teachers online.

Harlandale ISD

Harlandale ISD said if a student has close contact, they should quarantine for 10 days. All students absent due to medical reasons will have access to learning programs, like Google Classroom or Seesaw. Students will need to complete work and have time to make up work as their absences are considered excused.

San Antonio ISD

San Antonio ISD said it is enforcing quarantine with no exceptions. It will continue to conduct its contact tracing to expedite the process for families. Students who miss school for COVID-19 related purposes will stay connected to their teacher and have access to schoolwork through Canvas, the online learning management system.

Northside ISD

Northside ISD said fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if exposed to a positive case as long as they do not have any symptoms. Students who have had COVID-19 within 90 days of being exposed to a positive case do not need to quarantine as long as they don’t have symptoms. Unvaccinated students exposed to a positive person need to stay home for 10 days after the last exposure, as symptoms may appear two to 14 days after the exposure. The quarantine period can end on day seven if the student does not have symptoms and has a PCR test performed five or more days after the exposure and the test results come back negative.

About the Authors:

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.