Operation #SAFELonghorn (Safety Awareness For Every Longhorn) is a multi-faceted response plan that affects all CHISD facilities and departments. The program includes a number of initiatives aimed at fortifying buildings, ensuring regular training, communication and increasing staff and public awareness.
The goals of the #SAFELonghorn program are to improve safety and security within Cedar Hill ISD and promote emergency preparedness among students and staff.
SPECIAL NOTICE: ALLERGY NOTICE TO PARENTS
CHISD follows state law, as well as the recommendations of the Texas School Safety Center in implementing best practices for campus safety.
Emergency Operations Plan - The district has a written Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that includes the four primary areas of prevention, mitigation, response and recovery as well as 31 different crisis scenarios used for staff training and emergency response planning.
School Resource Officers Cedar Hill ISD officers serving on each campus. These highly trained officers build positive relationships with students and help ensure safety campuses for students and staff.
Safety Audits - In addition to the required campus and facility safety audits conducted every three years, the district periodically has independent safety and security audits using outside subject matter experts per the district's Strategic Plan.
Safety Drills - The district conducts different types of drills throughout the year. They include:
- Lockout drills
- Lockdown drills
- Shelter drills
- Evacuation drills
- Hold in-class drill
#SAFELonghorn Communications - We communicate via Twitter @CedarHillISD, Facebook Official News of Cedar Hill ISD and through our telephone messaging and email system. Information is also posted to our CHISD website. Communications regarding health and safety are identified by the hasthtag #SAFELonghorn.
Additional #SAFELonghorn topics
Your child must be 24 hours free of fever without Tylenol or Advil and not throwing-up for 24 hours before he/she can return to school following an illness. Antibiotics must be taken for 24 hours before returning to school. If a child is sent home ill the child may return the same day if with a doctor’s release or if the child has been cleared by the school nurse.
Allergy Notice to Parents
Cedar Hill ISD is an Allergy Aware District. The goal of Health Services is to protect the health and safety of all students while at school. Due to an increase in food allergies, undiagnosed food allergies, food intolerances, diabetes and cultural preferences, we are hopeful families will join and support our efforts to accommodate all students and become Allergy Aware. We cannot guarantee an allergen free environment, but we can abide by the CHISD Food Allergy Management plan to minimize unwanted exposure to food allergies and discourage sharing of foods to keep our Dragons safe.
Health-Related News Monitoring/Communication
CHISD remains in regular communications with the Dallas County Health Department and will share fact sheets and updates with our Dragon community as information becomes available.
CHISD has registered nurses staffed at each school campus health clinic. The district closely monitors student illnesses and works with area health experts to ensure preventative and precautionary measures are in place to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases. Our nurses follow safety protocols in managing ill students in the school clinics. CHISD's custodial and maintenance employees assist with extensive disinfecting and cleaning of classroom and common "touch" zone areas where students gather such as (cafeterias, restrooms, water fountains, locker rooms, etc.).
Hand-Washing and Cough Etiquette
Two simple things that can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases are effective hand-washing and the use of cough etiquette techniques. CHISD employees visit with students to teach them about proper hand-washing techniques to include soap, water and 20 seconds of lathering and rinsing. Signs are posted throughout our campuses to remind students and staff of the importance of hand-washing. Students are also taught proper cough etiquette by coughing into their elbow to avoid spraying the air or other people with germs. CHISD keeps additional hand sanitizer and tissues for students to use in classrooms and commons areas.
Report Illnesses to CHISD
Students, staff and parents are encouraged to report illnesses to the school nurse and/or campus principal. This helps Cedar Hill ISD better monitor infectious diseases and student absences. CHISD has protocols in place to manage those showing signs or symptoms of illness. These include reporting to the nurse clinic, taking and recording a student's temperature, using gloves, masks and other protective supplies to prevent the spread of disease and isolating the student from others to the extent possible until communication can occur between CHISD and emergency contacts. Parents are encouraged to pick their children up as quickly as possible when they are called by the school.
Health Department/Centers For Disease
Please take a few moments to learn more about these important topics. Additional questions may be referred to your family physician or to your school nurse.
WHAT IS MENINGITIS?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, and bacteria. Viral meningitis is most common and the least serious. Meningitis caused by bacteria is the most likely form of the disease to cause serious, long-term complications. It is an uncommon disease but requires urgent treatment with antibiotics to prevent permanent damage or death.
Bacterial meningitis can be caused by multiple organisms. Two common types are Streptococcus pneumoniae, with over 80 serogroups that can cause illness, and Neisseria meningitidis, with 5 serogroups that most commonly cause meningitis.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Someone with bacterial meningitis will become very ill. The illness may develop over one or two days, but it can also rapidly progress in a matter of hours. Not everyone with meningitis will have the same symptoms.
Children (over 1 year old) and adults with meningitis may have a severe headache, high temperature, vomiting, sensitivity to bright lights, neck stiffness, and drowsiness or confusion. In both children and adults, there may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots. These can occur anywhere on the body.
The diagnosis of bacterial meningitis is based on a combination of symptoms and laboratory results.
HOW SERIOUS IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?
If it is diagnosed early and treated promptly, most people make a complete recovery. If left untreated or treatment is delayed, bacterial meningitis can be fatal, or a person may be left with permanent disability.
HOW IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS SPREAD?
Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as diseases like the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been. The germs live naturally in the back of our noses and throats, but they do not live for long outside the body. They are spread when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing; sharing drinking containers, utensils, or cigarettes) or when people cough or sneeze without covering their mouth and nose.
The bacteria do not cause meningitis in most people. Instead, most people become carriers of the bacteria for days, weeks or even months. The bacteria rarely overcome the body's immune system and cause meningitis or another serious illness.
HOW CAN BACTERIAL MENINGITIS BE PREVENTED?
Bacterial meningitis caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis may be prevented through vaccination. The vaccine which protects against Streptococcus pneumoniae is called pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or PCV. This vaccine is recommended by the Advisory Council on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for children in the first year of life. Neisseria meningitidis is prevented through two types of vaccines. The first is a meningococcal conjugate vaccine which protects against 4 serogroups A, C, W, and Y and is referred to as MCV4. The second is a vaccine against Neisseria meningitidis serogroup B and is referred to as MenB.
The ACIP recommends MCV4 for children at age 11-12 years, with a booster dose at 16-18 years. In Texas, one dose of MCV4 given at or after age 11 years is required for children in 7th-12th grades. One dose of MCV4 received in the previous five years is required in Texas for those under the age of 22 years and enrolling in college. Teens and young adults (16-23 years of age) may be vaccinated with MenB. This vaccine is not required for school or college enrollment in Texas.
Vaccines to protect against bacterial meningitis are safe and effective. Common side effects include redness and pain at the injection site lasting up to two days. Immunity develops about 1-2 weeks after the vaccines are given and lasts for 5 years to life depending on vaccine.
Do not share food, drinks, utensils, toothbrushes, or cigarettes. Wash your hands. Limit the number of persons you kiss. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Maintaining healthy habits, like getting plenty of rest and not having close contact with people who are sick, also helps.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?
Certain groups are at increased risk for bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis. These risk factors include HIV infection, travel to places where meningococcal disease is common (such as certain countries in Africa and in Saudi Arabia), and college students living in a dormitory. Other risk factors include having a previous viral infection, living in a crowded household, or having an underlying chronic illness.
Children ages 11-15 years have the second highest rate of death from bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis. And children ages 16-23 years also have the second highest rates of disease caused by Neisseria meningiditis.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU THINK YOU OR A FRIEND MIGHT HAVE BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?
Seek prompt medical attention.