Covid-19 Back To School Update 6-24-2020

Covid-19 Back To School Update 6-24-2020
Posted on 06/24/2020
Covid-19 Back To School Update 6-24-2020June 24, 2020
Dear KISD,

Yesterday, the Texas Education Agency hosted a conference call with all superintendents that was slated to include back-to-school guidance for re-entry into our schools so that we can provide face-to-face instruction, as we did before this Covid-19 nightmare began.  Commissioner Morath shared information about how districts could provide remote learning for students who were unable or uncomfortable in attending, but did not share any guidance on how to safely return to school.  The release of this information was postponed due to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases across Texas. Although we do anticipate that face-to-face instruction will be available in August, no timeline on when health & safety guidelines would be released was given. 

I do expect decisions from the Governor and TEA’s Commissioner that will guide some aspects of how we safely return to school.  I will be meeting with our County Judge Hedke, Commissioner Dupnik and the other Superintendents from Karnes County today to discuss our current plans, plans for our future, and concerns we have about starting our school year with Covid-19 looming over us.  That being said, I  also anticipate having discretion over other aspects of how we begin the school year, based on our needs.  I wanted to share a little about how we are working through those decisions. 

We will be surveying parents and staff to gauge their comfort level about returning to school in the fall. We will also ask parents and staff to share their comfort level with various health & safety measures that could be utilized to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

Although Karnes County has seen a recent surge in the number of persons who tested positive for Covid-19, we are hopeful that all students will return to school with basic health & safety measures in place (washing hands, use of hand sanitizer, cleaning surfaces, looking at ways to lower the amount of students on buses, self-health screenings, being thoughtful about arrival/dismissal, etc.) while also ensuring we are prepared to scaffold more significant health & safety measures if our data should necessitate that in the future. 

We do know that we will offer a remote learning option for those students who are unable to or are uncomfortable with attending school as well. More details about remote learning will be made available in the coming weeks, but unlike this past spring, students selecting this option will have daily attendance taken and will operate under regular workload and grading guidelines. 

I have been working with my leadership team and staff in committees to determine how best to re-open school this fall. We will be adding parents and school board members to these committees in the coming weeks, after we receive survey data we need for additional planning.  We will be tackling both the instructional and operational aspects of our re-entry to ensure we can provide the instruction our students need to continue to make academic progress in spite of this pandemic.

Ultimately our task will be to abide by the guidelines set forth by TEA and make decisions that are reflective of our community to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  We look forward to the coming weeks of planning to ensure we can all come back to school, safely.  

Please know that it is my deepest desire to have all of our kids back in chairs and participating in all extra curricular activities in August.  However, it is my responsibility to ensure that we provide a safe environment for all of our students to learn.  I ask for your continued support and patience as we navigate through this challenging time.  I will share new information as it becomes available.  I appreciate all you do to keep us plowing ahead so that we can remain #KenedyStrong and #KenedyProud!

Warm Regards,
Dr. Diana Barrera Ugarte
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.