- Dripping Springs ISD
Message from Superintendent on Extension of School Closure/Remote Learning
March 31, 2020
Dear DSISD Families and Staff,
This afternoon, Governor Abbott issued an order for all schools to remain closed until May 4, 2020, to slow the spread of Coronavirus. To fully support this state directive and do our part to keep our community safe, Dripping Springs ISD will be extending our school closure/remote learning format, with return to school no sooner than May 4, 2020. This decision also is consistent with federal guidelines and the Hays County “Stay at Home, Work Safe” order.
During this time, we will continue our commitment to providing meaningful learning opportunities to our students through remote/virtual learning. It’s been less than a week since implementation, but I already have heard about many wonderful examples of teachers and students alike embracing this “new normal” with positivity and creativity.
Here are updates on several topics related to our current status, including useful resources.
While most information is coming directly from teachers, the district has a remote learning webpage that has compiled some resources regarding remote/distance learning, including links to campus remote learning resources. The district’s Coronavirus webpage also is being updated.
Two email help accounts have been created to help our families. For technology-related issues accessing learning resources, please email email@example.com. For other district-level questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. I know that our campuses also have reached out to families with tools to stay connected.
During this extended closure, the district will continue to provide mobile meals for our Free and Reduced Lunch program participants. For any member of the DSISD community whose employment/financial situation has changed as a result of the pandemic, applications for the Free and Reduced Lunch program are available. Currently DSISD is providing weekly pick-up of breakfasts and lunches for qualifying students.
Humans are naturally social creatures, which makes current health and safety guidelines challenging to enforce. However, the importance of social distancing as a tool to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus is crucial. Please reinforce the need for social distancing with your children, as well as ongoing reminders about hand-washing and other good hygienic habits.
Please note that we have closed our playgrounds and athletic facilities (tracks, fields) in order to prevent group gatherings and use of equipment that cannot be sanitized between uses.
Our Board meetings also have moved to a virtual format for the time-being. For the workshop/agenda review meeting on March 23, and last night’s regular monthly meeting, our trustees participated via Zoom and the meetings were streamed on YouTube. Written Board Briefs summaries are available, and the YouTube recordings are available on the Board of Trustees website.
As a district, we are analyzing the future status of schools, based on information from government agencies at the county, state and national levels. We will share any changes or additional extensions to our current status as soon as a decision is made.
I know this announcement of moving to remote learning for an extended period of time brings with it a series of additional questions related to grades/grading, class rank, GPA, end-of-the-year ceremonies and graduation. I can assure you that we have been discussing these issues in anticipation of this possibility, and we’re exploring all possibilities. We understand that these are important topics that require thoughtful consideration. I want you to know that as we make these decisions we will keep the best interest of all of our students in mind. We will be communicating these decisions with you as we finalize them.
I want to thank our teachers and staff members for their relentless efforts in making this shift to remote learning for their students. I want to thank our students for exhibiting their resiliency by embracing this new challenge with a growth mindset. Finally, I want to thank you for supporting our students, staff, schools and district during this time. As we navigate through these unprecedented times, we will learn and grow from it and emerge stronger than ever.