AHISD Letter 03/17/20

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March 17, 2020

AHISD Families-

Thank you for your patience and continued understanding as we face the challenge of navigating the rapidly changing issues related to the COVID 19 (coronavirus) pandemic. We have committed ourselves to daily communication with state and local health departments, the Texas Education Agency, and we have also been monitoring the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for guidance and updates.

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation and the numbers of our own community who have traveled during Spring Break, AHISD is joining other San Antonio area districts to close school facilities through Friday, April 3, to prevent the spread of the virus in our community.  I am hopeful that AHISD can re-open our schools on April 6th, but the reality of the situation is that we need to prepare for a potential long-term closure.

This decision is made after thoughtful consideration to be proactive in protecting our students and our staff members.  I can assure you that this decision was not made lightly, as I understand personally that a closure of this amount of time presents significant difficulties to working parents who have young, school-aged children. We are hopeful that these measures will better ensure the long-term health and safety of children, staff, and the larger community.  Bexar County Superintendents will meet weekly to review the status of the situation and to make decisions about possible continued closure and communicate those decisions as quickly as possible to assist our community in planning for their families.

Although there is no replacement for the quality learning experiences our students receive in our AHISD classrooms, we are working diligently to provide continuous learning during this time of closure.  You will hear from our teachers later this week about the way they will support your child through lessons that focus on key concepts with a balance of on-screen and off-screen interactions and tasks. This is unchartered territory for every one of us, and we appreciate your support as we learn together how to offer quality educational experiences outside classroom walls.  I am confident that the talent and commitment of our teachers will undoubtedly keep students learning and progressing during this time of closure.  

At this time, I think it is so important to express a resounding note of gratitude to our AHISD staff who commit themselves to stepping-up in heroic ways to share their expertise, their energy and their hearts with our families during this time.  I am incredibly grateful to work alongside such a dedicated group of educators. I ask for your patience and your grace to support our staff during this unprecedented time as we make every effort to attend to the needs of your children.

We will communicate regular updates on our website, social media channels and through our School Messenger system of email.  In addition, we have a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) area published on our website and will continue to update that regularly. 

We will continue to cancel our extracurricular activities during this time of closure to maintain the preventative environment that we need to uphold.  I know that this is disappointing for our students, our faculty sponsors, and our families. To help you navigate these conversations with your child, we have uploaded resources to our AHISD COVID-19 webpage.  

We also will continue to support families in need with meals and will work on drive-through services and meal deliveries as needed. In addition to the daily meals, we are coordinating with Snack Pack 4 Kids for additional support for the weekend for families in need. We will communicate directly with those families to coordinate services. If you would like to help, Snack Pack is accepting donations for our community at www.SP4KSA.org)

Finally, I ask parents to help your children understand the importance of social distancing during this time.  The majority of our community is feeling healthy, and therefore, might not understand the detrimental implications of gathering in groups even though we continue to be warned against this.  I’m attaching a handout from our Coordinator of Health Services that details the kind of preventative health practice that we are calling on our community to practice. #MulesUp It’s Good for Your Health

I am proud to be a member of this amazing community where we prioritize the needs of our students, our staff, and our families in the face of uncertainty. We will continue to rely on your support and your feedback as we move into these unique circumstances that call us to create a preventative distance as we provide educational experiences to our students.  

Warmest regards,

Dana
Dr. Dana Bashara signature

Dr. Dana Bashara

Superintendent, Alamo Heights ISD

 

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