COVID-19 Updates » 2022-2023 COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

2022-2023 COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

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Last Update Aug. 8, 2022
Health and Safety Protocols 22-23

As we navigate the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, we appreciate the support of our students, families and staff in keeping our community as healthy as possible. 

We monitor and consult available resources through local, state and federal agencies. Meridian complies with all applicable federal and state employment and disability laws, workplace safety standards and accessibility standards to address individual needs. TEA has issued limited guidance thus far for the beginning of the school year.

If Texas schools close due to a staff shortage, the time will have to be made up — either over spring break or to the end of May. Staff, students, and families do not want this to happen.


Meridian holds school on-campus for all learners with the International Baccalaureate instruction and framework at the heart of all that we do, including the Learner Profile. 

Meridian has a full counseling staff K-12 and continues to provide Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum to secondary students. Primary will continue with MindUP and additional SEL learning opportunities this year.

HB 4545

Schools are required to deliver 30 hours of tutoring for students who failed a subject in the STAAR exams or an End of Course (EOC) exam. 

Tutoring is required for all students who failed a subject in the STAAR exams or an End of Course (EOC) exam. Time has been built into the primary schedule for students to receive during their regular school day. Secondary, for the most part has followed a similar strategy working within the advisory period, design study hall time, and high school study halls.

Reading and Math Readiness Screening 

In the Primary School, all students in Kinder through 5th grade will be screened in reading with our MCLASS screening system. Amplify Reading is the Kinder–5th grade early literacy assessment and instructional tool. The program helps our educators provide an individualized, student-led instructional path to continue their literacy growth. The MCLASS math screener will be given in Kindergarten and 1st grade, while 2-5 will utilize an assessment through our Math in Focus curriculum. The MCLASS screener was not as informative and comprehensive in 2nd- 5th grade.

For secondary students, STAAR is used to identify students who qualified for tutoring outside of the classroom. The additional screening tools of Delta Math and Achieve 3000 (for reading) are in place to determine further needs. All other students in need are supported through the Response to Intervention (RTI) process.

Students with disabilities will follow the same protocols for all students unless exceptions are outlined in their Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) files. Contract service providers and evaluation staff will follow Meridian protocols when working with students.

Where can I find resources on COVID-19 safety in schools?

WCCHD Dashboard

TEA COVID-19 Information Page

CDC K-12 Guidance

    • Vaccinate for COVID-19! Vaccinations are now open to age six months and older. When you choose to get vaccinated, you help keep those who cannot get vaccinated safe.
    • Get your booster! The CDC has opened up boosters to ages five and up. 
    • Wash your hands! It’s an oldie but goodie. 
    • When doubt test! Consider having rapid tests readily available at home for testing if symptoms arise before the school day.
    • We ask everyone to work together to help us keep our community healthy.


Where can I find the COVID-19 updates at Meridian?

You will find COVID-19 notices and updates on the Meridian World School website under the COVID-19 tab on the front page. 

Masks on Campus

Masks are optional and up to the individual’s discretion. The school does not have masks to issue at this time. 

Federal Meal Program expired; no longer free for all students

The federal program offering free meals to all students has ended. Families in need of free and reduced meals can learn more and apply for the National School Lunch Program here. 


      • Breakfast prices: Paid: $2.75, Reduced: $0.30, Free: $0.00
      • Lunch prices: Paid: $4.25, Reduced: $0.40, Free: $0.00

Visitor Policy

Entry to Meridian is now secured outside the campus entrances with an audio/video intercom system. You will approach the device just to the side of each entrance, push a button, and be greeted by the receptionist. Please have your driver’s license or other form of identification available. We use a system to prevent convicted sex-offenders from entering the campus. Once inside the lobby, you will be issued a nametag.


Athletics will continue this year without testing or masking recommendations.

What happens if we travel outside of Central Texas during the school year?

For reference, here are the CDC’s current recommendations regarding quarantining and testing following international travel and domestic travel.

What if my student is absent or needs to quarantine/isolate?

If your student will be absent, report the absence via email. As with any absence, parents and guardians may contact their student’s teachers to pick up homework for their student. Please email our Health Team at [email protected] to report a positive test for your student. 

As of August 1, we do not yet know if the Remote Conference option will be available this year to address the educational needs of students who are isolating at home due to a positive case for COVID-19 or are quarantining due to close contact.

Please note – important 2022-2023 updates: 

    • Please report positive cases to [email protected] as this allows the school to gauge the level of COVID-19 in our school community. The school may be required to report the number of cases weekly to the county (the health team is waiting to hear confirmation on this). The state no longer requests schools to report positive cases on campus.
    • There will be no COVID-19 dashboard on the website.
    • On the primary campus, letters will be emailed to families of students in the same classroom if someone within the classroom has tested positive for COVID-19.
    • Secondary grades will not receive notification of a reported positive case in their grade.
    • As with the flu, if more than 10% of our campus population is sick with COVID-19, the school would shut down for a few days to help prevent further spread. Days closed in excess of two (bad weather days) will have to be added to the calendar.
    • The state is no longer providing diagnostic tests. A limited number remain for on-campus testing with parental/guardian consent if a student or staff member falls ill during the school day. We encourage families and staff to keep rapid tests on hand at home to test if symptoms arise before the school day. Tests will not be available at Meridian for before-school testing.
    • If you suspect your student has COVID-19, please test them before they come into school. 
    • As the TEA shares further information, Meridian School will update protocols as needed.

If a Student Tests Positive for COVID-19 ...


If a student tests positive for COVID-19, they may return to school once ALL of these measures have been met:

  • At least five days have passed since the symptoms began and
  • They are 24 hours fever-free (temp of 100𐩑 F or higher) without using fever-reducing medication; and
  • Improved symptoms (cough, difficulty breathing, etc.)
  • Loss of taste and smell may persist and need not delay the end of isolation


In accordance with guidelines from the CDC, we recommend a well-fitting mask be worn for five additional days when in public, including on campus.

Please email our Health Team at [email protected] to report a positive test for your student.

If a Student has had Close Contact ...

TEA offers no guidance on protocols for when students are close contacts. However, you know your individual situation best. You may choose to refer to CDC guidelines for close contact. 

Responding to a Test-Confirmed Case at Meridian

  1. If a student/teacher is identified as positive in grades K-5,
    1. Families of students sharing any classes (including Triple A) with the test-positive student will be notified via an emailed letter. Close monitoring is recommended, but the student does not need to quarantine.
  2. Because secondary students are more mobile in classes, grade-level letters will not go out if individuals test positive. 
  3. The school does not conduct close-contact tracing.
  4. The school does not offer COVID-19 testing, as the State is no longer providing diagnostic tests. A limited number remain for testing, with parental consent, for suspected cases mid-school day.

Identifying/Responding to Possible COVID-19 Cases During School ...

  1. Meridian will immediately send any student who shows COVID-19 symptoms while at school to the nurse’s clinic.  
    1. The nurse will provide a clinical assessment to determine if and when a student needs to be sent home.
    2. Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes to no later than 1 hour from the time the campus has contacted the parent/guardian.
  2. Teachers and staff who begin to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus should notify their principal and/or supervisor and make plans to leave the campus immediately.

Mitigating the Likelihood of COVID-19 Spread Inside the School

Cleaning, Health and Hygiene: 

  1. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the campus in entrances and classrooms.
  2. Students, teachers, staff and campus visitors will be encouraged to sanitize and/or wash their hands frequently.
    1. Students engage in supervised handwashing for at least 20 seconds twice a day, in addition to being encouraged to wash hands after using the restroom and before eating.
    2. Students are guided on good handwashing techniques.
    3. Students, teachers, staff and visitors are encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and if not available, covered in their elbows. Used tissues will be thrown in the trash, hands should be washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or hand sanitizer will be used.
  3. Spray bottles with disinfectant are available in classrooms.
  4. Custodial staff clean and disinfect all restrooms each day. 
  5. The cafeteria tables are wiped with disinfectant between students.
  6. Meridian employs a night service for evening cleaning. In addition to their regular scope of work, they provide the following:
    1. Clean and disinfect all high touch surfaces and areas surrounding, i.e. door surface around door handle in classrooms, corridors, restrooms, and all public areas.
    2. Wipe all table and desk tops with disinfectant.
    3. Wipe all cafeteria tables with disinfectant.




In the fall of 2020, Meridian engaged a mechanical engineer to work with our facilities manager and professional service team to inspect our systems from the units to the airflow to the computer systems. The engineer was able to determine maximum airflows for each unit to increase ventilation. With the work of the service team and a testing and balancing firm, the airflows were achieved. 


In spring of 2022, all classrooms and multi person offices were also equipped with air purifiers.

Wearing Masks Optional

  1. Masks are defined as non-medical and medical grade disposable face masks and cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth). 
  2. If your student chooses to wear a mask, we recommend bringing an additional mask or two inside a plastic bag in their backpack in case the mask they are wearing becomes soiled. 


  1. Classrooms hold between 22-25 students.
  2. Students will not share supplies to the extent possible. Primary students will be able to keep their supply box at their desk.
  3. Secondary students will not be assigned lockers. Students are encouraged to bring only what they need for that day to lighten their load.
  4. Some Specials, fine arts, and design classes have shared supplies and tools.

Restrooms & Water Breaks

  1. Students are allowed to go to the restroom on an as-need basis; however, grade levels in primary will be encouraged to schedule as a class to avoid mixing students in the restrooms.
  2. Students will be instructed to social distance to the extent possible in the restrooms, one child per sink.
  3. Students will be instructed to wash hands using soap and water for 20 seconds, and hand sanitizer when re-entering the classroom.
  4. Students are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles from home. Water fountains will be fully operational, but water bottles are encouraged (and may be easily filled via the bottle filling stations).

Large Gatherings

  1. We may limit gatherings, including pep rallies, spectator events, etc., at Meridian when Williamson County and Cities Health District recommends doing so.
  2. The Primary Cafeteria has been expanded into two rooms. In Secondary, seating is available inside and outside of the Mays Cafeteria and the High School.
  3. Board meetings are in-person, as per the Texas Open Meetings Act. Parent/guardian meetings can also be scheduled in person.


  1. Arrival: Students will arrive at the ordinary time:
    1. Primary 7:30 to 8 am.
    2. Secondary 7:30 to 8:30 am.

Parents are not allowed to bring students any earlier as staff is not on site to provide supervision to children arriving early. The main entry doors are opened at 7:30 for all buildings.

  1. Students must enter through the designated entrance as indicated on the carline maps. 
  1. Departure: Meridian Primary will continue with the digital carline system, Pikmykid.
  2. Waiters will be offered during the school year.
  3. K-5 Enrichment/Triple A and 6-12 After School will use the Pikmykid app to notify supervisors digitally that they are on site to pick-up their student. Students will be sent to the car under supervision. Parents are not to enter the building at this time unless pre-arranged.
  4. Fast Lane Carpool lane will be operational for Primary in the afternoon only.


Please keep these things in mind as we begin the school year:

  1. Per Texas Education Code (TEC), 25.092, students must attend 90% of the days a course is offered in order to be awarded credit for the course and/or to be promoted to the next grade. This requirement remains in force during the 2022-2023 school year. 
  2. Meridian has a higher standard of attendance as described in our Parent/Student Handbook. You will be alerted if your student is not regularly attending classes or if several classes/days are missed. If attendance cannot meet the requirements as outlined in pages 10-11 in the handbook, your student may be withdrawn and returned to their home district. 
  3. We acknowledge that quarantining and isolation for a positive case or close contact may be required and we request you notify us via email. A positive case should be reported to [email protected]. Quarantining due to close contact should include the dates you will be absent.

Last Update August 3, 2022

In recognition of the immense challenges facing students, educators, staff, schools, Local Education Agencies (LEAs), and State Education Agencies (SEAs), Congress has made emergency funds available to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, first through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, Public Law 116-136, div. B, tit. VIII, section 18003, enacted on March 27, 2020; next through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act, 2021, Public Law 116-260, section 313, enacted on December 27, 2020; and, most recently and significantly, through the ARP Act, Public Law 117-2, section 2001, enacted on March 11, 2021.
An LEA may use its ARP ESSER funds for a wide variety of activities related to educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and educators. For example, an LEA may use the ARP ESSER funds to maintain the health and safety of students and school staff as they return to in-person instruction.
An LEA may also use the ARP ESSER funds to address the academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs of its students.
At least 20 percent of the funds must be used to measure and address the academic impact of lost instructional time on all students, through the implementation of evidence-based interventions.
Meridian School has to date been awarded these federal grant allotments:
    ESSER I: $14,752 (from TEA)
                    $168,000 (From WILCO)
    ESSER II $51,235 (Tech connectivity program)
    ESSER III $159,442
Meridian School planned use:
ESSER I fund: Technology, distance learning additional staffing and equipment, cleaning and sanitation of facilities, supplies, programs and equipment to facilitate safety measures needed due to the pandemic, instructional materials and supplies (2019-20 and 2020-21)
ESSER II fund: Additional computers and other technology to connect students and teachers during distance learning (2020-21). Planned expense: Instructional materials and supplies 2021-22
ESSER III fund: Summer programs to address instructional needs due to pandemic-related learning loss and gaps in student growth, beginning June 2021; additional staffing to address learning loss and COVID-related absences; technology needs, high-quality instructional materials, professional development, materials for monitoring and assessing learning progress, tutoring and other intervention services across all grades and subjects; facility cleaning and other measures to ensure a safe learning environment; building modifications to provide additional space for instructional intervention; other operational expenses not covered due to flat funding from the state 
Meridian anticipates that a minimum of 30% funds will directly impact learning loss from the pandemic.