2020-2021 Return-to-School Overview

This overview is intended to answer a number of common questions and provide pertinent safety information regarding Melissa ISD’s 2020-2021 school year, so that parents and guardians feel empowered to choose a school setting that best suits the students in their household.

Required Posting from TEA

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2020-2021 Return-to School Plan & Procedures

Page 1 of the 2020-2021 Return to School Plan

Important Phrases & Definitions

In-Person School: Face-to-face traditional instruction in the school building, with the possibility of going remote.

Virtual School: 100% online asynchronous learning using Melissa ISD’s dedicated learning platform.

Remote Instruction: Temporary online learning from home, in the event that remote instruction is needed for a student who typically attends in-person school.

Schoology: Melissa ISD’s dedicated online learning platform that will be used by all students for the 2020-2021 school year, no matter their chosen school setting.

Edgenuity: The contracted service through which a virtual student’s online instruction will be produced and delivered, facilitated by a Melissa ISD teacher.

Definitions for asynchronous and synchronous learning can be found in the following document: SY Attendance and Enrollment FAQ (TEA, July 7, 2020)

Melissa ISD In-Person vs. Virtual School Comparison Chart

School Setting Comparison Chart

Students Attending Virtual School

First Day of School is Aug. 25, 2020

Aug. 25, 2020: Students attending virtual school (100% online asynchronous learning) will start school on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. Following registration, additional information will be shared with the parent/guardian regarding how their student can log in and begin virtual school.

First School Holiday: Melissa Schools will be closed district-wide on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 in observance of Labor Day; no in-person school or virtual school.

Sept. 8, 2020: Virtual school resumes on Tuesday, Sept 8, 2020.

Virtual teachers will be available during the following Virtual Office Hours:
Elementary: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Secondary: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Students Attending In-Person School

Two Week Phase-In Beginning Aug. 25, 2020

Melissa ISD’s In-Person School will follow a phase-in schedule for the first two weeks of school, from Aug. 25 – Sept. 4, 2020, so that students and staff can get acclimated to being back in the school building while following new safety protocols. As part of this phase-in, students will also get set up on the district’s online learning platform in the event that a switch to remote learning from home is needed.

Online Learning Platform

Schoology will be Melissa ISD’s dedicated online learning platform for all students, utilized for in-person school and virtual school, in order to maintain the continuum of curriculum, and offer a way for any student to learn from home. Every student will have their own Schoology account, as well as every primary guardian.*

*Each household typically has one parent designated as the primary guardian upon registration. However, more than one primary guardian can be designated for each student. If you need assistance in determining who is listed as your student’s primary guardian(s), please contact your student’s school.

Phase-In Schedule

General Phase-In Schedule for In-Person School

Week 1 | Aug. 25-28, 2020

During Week 1, all students will learn from home using Schoology. Secondary students in specific extracurricular programs will attend scheduled in-person activities before and/or after the school day.

  • For qualifying students, free and reduced-price meals will be provided. Due to remote learning, no transportation will be provided.

Week 2 | Aug. 31 – Sept. 4, 2020

During Week 2, a predetermined schedule will dictate which groups of students will attend in-person school on specific days, and which groups will continue learning from home. Every student enrolled in in-person school will attend school on campus at least two days during Week 2. All students attending in-person school, except for those in Kindergarten, will learn from home on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020.

  • Transportation and meals will be offered for students on the days they attend school on campus. For qualifying students, free and reduced-price meals will be provided on days the student is learning remotely.

First School Holiday

Melissa Schools will be closed district-wide on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 in observance of Labor Day; no in-person school or virtual school.

Sept. 8, 2020

Full operations for in-person school begin on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020; all students will attend school on campus.

General Safety Protocols for the 2020-2021 School Year

Outlined below are Melissa ISD’s general safety protocols for the 2020-2021 school year. These guidelines are based on recommendations and requirements provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the Governor of Texas, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). See the campus procedures for more detailed protocols.

See Also: Public Health Guidance for School Year 2020-2021 (Texas Education Agency)

Protocols for COVID-19 Cases, Symptoms & Close Contact

Melissa ISD will follow requirements and additional recommendations put forth by TEA in order to minimize the likelihood of the viral spread of COVID-19. These requirements fall under four focus areas: provide notice, prevent, respond, and mitigate.

In the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19:

  • The school will notify all teachers, staff, and parents/guardians of the lab-confirmed COVID-19 case.

  • The district will notify the Collin County Health Care Services of the lab-confirmed COVID-19 case.

  • Areas heavily used by the lab-confirmed individual will be closed off and disinfected, unless more than seven (7) days have passed since the person was on campus.

Linked below are Melissa ISD’s flow charts outlining protocols in response to students and employees who are lab-confirmed for COVID-19, those with COVID-19 symptoms, and those who have been in close contact with an individual lab-confirmed for COVID-19.

Note: Individuals participating in UIL activities will follow the above guidelines as well as any additional requirements outlined in the 2020-2021 UIL COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Guidelines.

In addition, please see TEA’s Public Health Guidance for School Year 2020-2021 for more extensive information.

Mental Health

The Melissa ISD executive leadership team, campus principals, and school counselors are working collectively to determine a path forward for navigating mental health challenges among students and staff, as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic and the fall 2020 return to school. This is of high concern to all Melissa ISD stakeholders.

Face Coverings & Social Distancing

  • A face covering includes: non-medical grade disposable face masks, cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth), or full-face shields to protect the eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Parents are encouraged to provide a face covering for their child that the child is comfortable wearing. Melissa ISD will provide face coverings for all students, as needed.

  • Melissa ISD will provide face coverings and face shields for all staff members.

  • At school, students and staff will be encouraged to practice social distancing, keeping a minimum of six feet of distance from others when possible.

  • We understand that the first day of school is a landmark event each year. While first day procedures will be different this year, we will make every effort to offer a memorable experience for students and parents/guardians, especially those entering Kindergarten.

  • Until further notice, visitors are not permitted on campus during the school day unless they have made an appointment with the school. We understand that there will be special circumstances that require unplanned school visits; in this case, please coordinate with the school office and/or the campus principal.

Sanitation & Prevention

  • While it is not possible to eliminate all risk of furthering the spread of COVID-19, the current science suggests there are many steps schools can take to reduce the risks to students, teachers, staff, and their families significantly. Melissa ISD will follow requirements and additional recommendations put forth by TEA in order to minimize the likelihood of viral spread. These requirements fall under four focus areas: provide notice, prevent, respond, and mitigate.

  • All bubble water fountains at Melissa Schools will be replaced with bottle fillers. Students are asked to bring their own refillable water bottle to school each day.

  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected at least daily or in between classes.

  • Every classroom will have a hand sanitizer station.

  • Students, staff, and visitors will be encouraged to sanitize and/or wash hands frequently.

  • Elementary staff will supervise student hand-washing and hand-sanitizing several times throughout the school day.

Campus & Program Procedures

We have developed procedures for each campus, as well as for our extracurricular programs, which outline additional safety information and logistics for the 2020-2021 school year. Click on the links below to access the information via Google Docs.

Student Registration

The registration window for the 2020-2021 school year is Aug. 3-7, 2020; during this time, as part of the online registration process, please register each student in the household for either in-person school or virtual school. Click here to begin.

Parents and guardians of students new to Melissa ISD who completed enrollment prior to Aug. 3, 2020 must log into the Parent Portal between Aug. 3-7, 2020 and select a school setting for each student in the household. Those who do not select a school setting will default to in-person school.

Bus Transportation

  • Drivers, aides, and students will be required to wear face coverings on the bus. It is recommended that students bring their own face covering. A face covering will be provided if a student does not have one.

  • Students and staff will be required to use hand sanitizer upon boarding the bus.

  • All students will have assigned seats.

  • When possible, windows will be opened to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.

  • The district will continue to thoroughly clean buses after each bus trip, focusing on high-touch surfaces, such as bus seats, steering wheels, knobs, and door handles.

  • If possible, students are encouraged to walk or be dropped off and picked up during carpool in order to reduce possible exposure of COVID-19 on buses.

Student Attendance

See Also: Updates to Melissa ISD Attendance Reporting Procedures for the 2020-2021 School Year

  • Per the Texas Education Code, students must attend 90 percent of a course in order to be awarded credit, with some exceptions. During the 2020-2021 school year, student attendance can be earned through in-person school or through virtual school.

  • Students attending virtual school must make daily progress each day that school is in session in order to be considered “present” on a particular day.

  • Students attending in-person school must be at school in order to be marked present that day.*

    • *Students can be absent from in-person school and still be counted present if they engage in remote learning via Schoology. In this case, on the day of the in-person absence, the parent or guardian must report the absence to the school and the student must complete assignments in Schoology by 11:59 p.m. to be considered present (RA = remote asynchronous).

  • In the event that a temporary in-person school closure is needed, all students in the district will remotely learn from home until it is safe to return to the school building.

  • Please work with your student’s school if you believe that an abundance of absences may take place, and/or if truancy is a concern, due to conditions surrounding COVID-19.

COVID-19 Screening & Confirmed Cases

Teachers and staff must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to school each day.

  • Parents and guardians must screen students in their household for COVID-19 symptoms prior to coming to school each day. Click here for COVID-19 self-screening guidance.

  • All visitors will be screened by the school to determine if the visitors have COVID-19 symptoms or are lab-confirmed with COVID-19.

  • Staff, students, and visitors who are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, or those who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, must stay at home throughout the infection period and cannot return to campus until they have been cleared by the school.

  • Students who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 at school will be immediately separated from other students and sent home.

  • Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, schools must notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any on-campus activities.


Questions related to COVID-19 can be directed by email to connect@melissaisd.org and will be rerouted accordingly. Alternatively, please fill out our Contact Form and select COVID-19 as your topic.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are ever-changing. Plans for the upcoming year could change at any time in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines. The district will continue to notify families of any and all major updates that are published.

Return-to-School Links: Plan & Procedures Overview | Frequently Asked Questions | Technology Device Requests | Initial Planning & Timeline