Looking back over my March article revealed that upcoming school events were shared, and we were excitedly entering the home stretch gearing ourselves up for state testing and graduation. There was no mention of COVID-19. A month later, we find ourselves watching the virus spread across our great nation, closing school facilities, canceling large group events, practicing social distancing and moving our physical classrooms to the internet. What a difference a month has made to not only our community, but to life itself.
We continue to watch county after county issue emergency proclamations urging their communities to either stay at home and/or shelter in place. These orders should not be taken lightly and have been issued with great thought in regards to the implications of what these directives will mean to the school districts, small businesses, and families that reside within these counties. Our city and district administrators are immersed in conference calls and/or Zoom meetings with state entities on a daily basis to provide our families with factual updates regarding COVID-19.
Our district is blessed with an amazing group of educators that we called upon to create a pathway to learning for our students that would continue their educational pursuits but would not overwhelm them during this unsettling time. We also must take this time to applaud our parents that have also been called upon to navigate the waters of remote learning ensuring that the directives being communicated by their child’s teachers each week are being received and completed. We continue to receive reports that students are thriving and enjoying this new opportunity even in the midst of the chaos caused by COVID-19.
CISD Athletic Director Bill Elliott is also in contact weekly with his athletes and parents. Recently, he posted information regarding an app that his department is employing called SportsYou. You can download the app, which is free through the App Store. The code to join is 6PRN8LMG. Once downloaded, you can decide whether to be notified by phone or by email. For those that choose not to use the app, Coach Elliott will still be emailing his messages on a weekly basis.
Our district is in constant contact with the Texas Education Agency, (TEA) and based on recent communication, we will not be required to use the scheduled bad weather days on our current calendar to cover the time missed. Essentially, all of the time spent preparing and delivering instruction remotely to our students has been approved for the district to apply for a waiver. This means that our bad weather days scheduled for April 10th and May 1st, will remain as staff and student holidays. All information regarding school closures and procedures will be updated on our website under the COVID-19/Latest information page.
As we all continue to navigate through these unchartered waters, the words of Helen Keller are a constant reminder of what is being accomplished daily by our school district, our city, and our community…. “Alone, we can do so little; Together we can do so much!”
We’ve Got This Bobcats!
Rick DeMasters, Superintendent of CISD Schools