KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 20, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD students returned to school this past Wednesday. School officials answer parent questions.
Photo credit: Katy ISD
Katy ISD students returned to school Wednesday, August 17, 2022 for the 2022-2023 academic year. Many parents wrote in to Katy Magazine with frequently asked questions and District officials responded.
Q: Will there be healthier options on the school lunch menu this year? How is this being evaluated?
A: The Katy ISD Nutrition and Food Service Department serves approximately 70,000 meals fresh every day. The meals meet the age-appropriate calorie and sodium needs for grade levels. Items include fresh and cooked vegetables each day, multiple fruit options and grains that are all whole grain-rich. Additionally, we have vegetarian and non-vegetarian options available daily and offer a choice between student favorites and a variety of new foods. We are excited to continue to serve healthy, quality meals for the 2022-2023 school year! Attribution: Donna Pittenger – Executive Director of Nutrition & Food Services in Katy ISD
Q: Where is Katy ISD with the State-wide teacher shortage? How are vacant positions being addressed for the first day of school and beyond?
A: Katy ISD is very fortunate to have approximately 6,400 educators prepared to provide unparalleled learning experiences to the District’s more than 90,000 students this school year. Like many districts, we are filling vacancies year-round, and are always welcoming qualified candidates looking to join the Katy ISD family. As the fifth-largest school district in the State of Texas, Katy ISD is known for hiring and retaining some of the best educators in the nation.
Q: Will there be extra security and monitoring? Do all schools have police officers present?
A: As part of our standard safety procedures, Katy ISD implements all safety practices and guidelines recommended by the Texas School Safety Center, including regularly reviewing and updating our Districtwide emergency operations plan and conducting safety drills and trainings at every campus. Our campuses have entryway vestibules that establish controlled access to our buildings; all exterior doors are required to remain locked throughout the day; and we have sign-in procedures for any and all individuals who visit our campuses. Likewise, our Katy ISD Police Department continues to actively recruit, hire and train new officers to ensure a visible police presence across the District this fall.
Q: How will Katy ISD schools be kept accountable for keeping exterior doors locked?
A: Campuses have multiple layers of security to ensure entrances and exits do not become vulnerable access points. All campuses conduct regular security sweeps, which include ensuring exterior doors are locked.
Q: How is secondary school bathroom security being addressed? Many Katy parents wrote it about bathrooms being closed last year due to vandalism and student misuse.
A: Secondary school bathroom security is addressed by school administrative and safety and security personnel. When potential damage or misuse occur, our safety and security teams have access to a number of investigative methods to identify those responsible. Individuals responsible for misuse are held accountable per the Discipline Management Plan and Student Code of Conduct.
Q: What is the protocol for COVID-19 sick days for high school students?/ Will COVID-19 numbers still be tracked or reported?
A: Families are advised to notify their campus’ school nurse if their child has tested positive for COVID-19. Katy ISD enrolled students who areactively sick with COVID-19, who are suspected of being actively sick with COVID-19, or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19 may not attend school. Students who had COVID-19 may return to school:
If symptomatic, at least 5 days have passed since symptom onset,and fever free, and other symptoms have improved.
For those with no symptoms, at least 5 days after the day they tested positive. The District continues to follow state health guidelines and works with our local county officials to monitor and implement any needed protocols for health issues that might evolve.
Q: Why were the elementary start times altered?
A: The adjusted elementary bell schedule will help alleviate transportation challenges related to route times and driver shortages.