Dripping Springs ISD examines campus health needs for possible in-person 2020-21 classes

A screen grab from the DSISD board of trustees meeting
The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees met May 18, 2020. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees met May 18, 2020. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

Dripping Springs ISD has not made official decisions about the in-person status of classes for summer school or the regular 2020-21 school year, but Dripping Springs High School nurse Vickie Metzgar said district health services are already preparing campuses for the possibility of students returning to campus as the coronavirus threat continues.

In a May 18 presentation to DSISD trustees, Metzgar listed precautions for students’ return this fall, including making sure that each school has a space to isolate individuals who may show symptoms until they can be picked up and treated off campus. For Dripping Springs Middle School and Dripping Springs Elementary School campuses, this means working to quickly erect new walls to cordon off such a space.

Additionally, Metzger said the district would need to reevaluate its current policy of encouraging students who have been sick to return to school after 24 hours without a fever. Instead, she recommended ramping up the requirement to 72 hours. She also said parents and staff would need to be vigilant of potential coronavirus symptoms, especially since younger children are slow to show major symptoms.

“Realistically, if someone has a cough and a fever, we have to assume that it’s COVID,” Metzger said.

District health services will get to test some precautions through an upcoming large, social-distanced event—Dripping Springs High School graduation, which is scheduled for June 19. The district has already ordered a shipment of infrared, no-touch thermometers for the occasion, Metzger said, before which all guests will have their temperatures taken.

By and large, Metzger said, hand washing and social distancing remain the best options for mitigating the spread of coronavirus, although tools like the thermometers are important. However, she said she will wait for more guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before making final recommendations to the board of trustees and administrators.
By Olivia Aldridge
Olivia is the reporter for Community Impact's Southwest Austin edition. She graduated from Presbyterian College with a bachelor's degree in English and creative writing in 2017. Olivia was a reporter and producer at South Carolina Public Radio in Columbia, South Carolina before joining Community Impact in Austin.


Virginia Waldrup watches her UT Dell Medical School graduation ceremony from her laptop on May 21. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact)
From academic to pandemic: UT Dell Medical School's inaugural class graduates into historic moment

The Dell Medical School at the Univeristy of Texas at Austin graudated its first class on May 21.

May 25 specifically saw 86 new coronavirus cases, the single largest one-day jump in the county during the pandemic. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
172 new COVID-19 cases in Travis County, two new deaths over Memorial Day weekend

May 25 specifically saw 86 new coronavirus cases, the single largest one-day jump in the county during the pandemic.

Skandanavia Contemporary Interiors to move to South Lamar Blvd.

Skandinavia Contemporary Interiors, a furniture store previously located on Anderson Lane, is preparing to …

Renderings show plans for a transit station as part of Capital Metro's Project Connect. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
Changes to Project Connect plan add $60 million to local cost estimate

Capital Metro Board Chair Wade Cooper called the upcoming June 10 meeting to finalize the technical aspects of the plan "one of the most consequential votes this board has taken in its history."

A photo of two women walking on a trail with a quote from the story
Traditional summer outings may look different in Southwest Austin under COVID-19 guidelines to promote health, safety

Frome trails and parks to camps and water parks, here is what to expect from summer activities and destinations this season.

LIST: What is open, closed in Texas and how businesses can operate

Texas openings are staggered with different opening dates and operating limits.

New Braunfels is the third-fastest-growing city in the U.S. from 2010-19, according to the latest census numbers. (Community Impact staff)
These 5 Central Texas cities are among the fastest-growing in the U.S.

Four of the five cities represent notable growth in Williamson County.

Lost Creek Limited District will begin charging a fee to enter at its entrance to the Barton Creek greenbelt. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lost Creek board explains decision to charge fee for access to its entrance at Barton Creek greenbelt

Following a May 13 meeting during which Lost Creek Limited District officials voted unanimously to begin charging nonresidents to access the greenbelt from the Barton Creek low water crossing entrance point, board members have put out information further explaining their decision.

On a nearly empty South Congress Avenue, a resident plays guitar March 25. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Unemployment rate in Travis County shoots to 12.4% in April; Austin metro jumps to 12.2%

The local unemployment rate remains below the statewide and national rates.

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers are to be tested for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas to test all state hospitals, supported living centers for COVID-19

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers will be tested for coronavirus regardless of symptoms or exposure.

Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra is encouraging testing for residents. (Joe Warner/Community Impact Newspaper)
MAY 23 ROUNDUP: Top stories from this week in Central Texas

Read the most popular stories from the past week of Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of Central Texas.

With social distancing measures still in place, celebrate Memorial Day weekend from the comfort of your home with these takeout family packs. (Courtesy Hopdoddy Burger Bar)
MAY 25 ROUNDUP: Business updates from Central Texas

Read Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of Central Texas business news here.