Breaking updates regarding COVID-19

Distance Learning

Student safety and learning are always top priorities in Northside ISD. To support students and families, the District has prepared instructional resources.  Beginning the week of March 23, we will also be providing instructional lessons for students. These lessons will be provided predominantly through Google Classroom which is accessible through the NISD Student Portal Account. We appreciate your patience as we explore a different way of teaching during extraordinary circumstances.

Need a device, internet, or Tech Tips?

Northside ISD has developed a device request process to assist District students who do not have access to electronic devices and/or the internet at home. Parents can now complete the online request form in order to formally request information on when/where to pick up your device(s). If needed, parents can also call 210-397-0040 for any assistance with completing the form.

Google Classroom Resources

Northside is committed to assisting our students, parents, and staff in their distance learning efforts during this unprecedented time of school closures. A support site has been set up to provide technology-relevant help to ensure a successful distance learning experience for all.

Participating Internet Providers

The Texas Cable Association released information on free broadband and internet services:

Food distribution

Northside ISD continues to work to meet the nutritional needs of students while schools are closed. Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches are available to children 18 years old and younger at 2 elementary and 11 middle school sites.

Distribution Sites: McDermott and Mead elementary schools, and Hobby, Jones, Luna, Neff, Pease, Rayburn, Ross, Rudder, Stinson, Vale, and Zachry middle schools. (Addresses can be found on the District’s website.)

Distribution Dates: Through Friday, May 1.

Distribution Times: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Process: Meals will be provided in each school’s bus loop. We prefer children are in the vehicle to ensure that they receive a meal.

NISD counselors ready to offer support

Northside ISD counselors are available and want to virtually meet with their students from the safety of their homes. Fill out the google request form to meet with your counselor. Once the meeting is scheduled, the student will receive a Google Calendar invite and an email showing the date and time to meet with his/her counselor by Google Chat or Google Hangout. Counselors are also available by email. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be sure to check your google email accounts for appointment confirmations.
 

Helping your child during these times

In response to the anxiety and confusion you may be feeling amid the COVID-19 school closures this week, the NISD Counseling Department is committed to helping families find the most up to date and relevant resources available in our community. Below you will find helpful links for families needing assistance with food, mental health services, and talking to children about their concerns.

Counseling Department: Responding to COVID-19 newsletter

Community Resources

COVID-19 Emergency Childcare Assistance

The United Way is working to assist those still working and needing to pay for childcare.

Those eligible must meet the following criteria:

  • You are currently employed and required to physically report to a workplace or off-site location.
  • You have a child(ren) age(s) 6 weeks through 12 years.
  • You can present a valid current pay stub and verification of Bexar County residency. (Various forms of income verification will be considered)

Submit form

Temporary emergency childcare assistance (up to 3 weeks) will be provided for a licensed and registered childcare center or licensed/registered home care. Reimbursement will be issued directly to the childcare center, following Workforce Solutions Childcare Center reimbursements rates.

There are additional resources on their website.

 

Financial assistance resources

If anyone needs assistance with rent/mortgage and/or utility bills, the City of San Antonio is offering some assistance.

Even though SAWS and CPS are not disconnecting services for nonpayment during this health emergency, if you are behind on payments they encourage you to seek assistance now.

Emergency Assistance Rental (paper application https://www.sanantonio.gov/humanservices/FinanceEmergency/UtilityAssistance
Utility Assistance https://www.sanantonio.gov/humanservices/financeemergency/utilityassistance
Rental/Mortgage Assistance https://www.sanantonio.gov/NHSD/Programs/FairHousing

 

CPS Energy sponsors energy-saving lessons

CPS Energy is collaborating with school districts to help boost energy conservation with Smart Energy Education Initiative for K-12 students.

 CPS Energy continues efforts to support educational initiatives and provide community resources on energy-related topics. With schools closed, the increased demand for remote education is upon us and CPS Energy is proud to offer free educational resources for students and their caregivers to use at home. These fun lessons and activities for students of all ages are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) established by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and can help reduce utility bills through energy conservation.

https://newsroom.cpsenergy.com/cps-energy-sponsored-energy-saving-lessons-provide-valuable-cost-saving-resource-during-school-closings/

Frequently asked questions

Below are some common questions we have been receiving along with District responses.

Are NISD schools closed?
All NISD classes have been canceled, but campus and department offices are open with limited staff. We encourage you, should you need to contact your child’s school, to call the front office for assistance.
 

How long will classes in NISD be canceled?
At this time, NISD has canceled all on-campus classes through May 1. We continue to monitor the situation closely and remain in communication with local health authorities. Any decision on future plans will be announced via our District website and social media channels.
 

Are students being marked absent during this closure?
No, students are not being marked absent during this time.
 

How will instruction be provided to students during this cancellation?
NISD is committed to providing high-quality distance learning opportunities and lessons for our students. District specialists have instructional materials available online, by core content and grade level, for use by students and parents.

Additionally, online instruction and lessons will be provided with the help of classroom teachers. More information will be provided soon.

What about our students with special needs? 
There is specific guidance for meeting all student needs during this time of closure (Special Education, 504, etc.) and a plan for this will be forthcoming.   
 

What if my child does not have access to the internet or to an electronic device?
The District is putting in place a protocol to address students who do not have internet access or electronic devices. Parents can visit our District website and complete an online form indicating services are needed OR they can contact their child’s school for assistance.
 

What is the status State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test?
On March 16, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year in response to the events surrounding COVID-19. He has also requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for all testing requirements for this year. 
 

What does this waiver mean for Northside students?
STAAR 3-8, STAAR EOC and STAAR Alt 2 assessments will not be administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for this school year.
 

Will Spring 2020 STAAR or STAAR Alt 2 need to be “made up” in the future?
Though Governor Abbott has waived the STAAR testing requirement for Texas students, the USDOE must also approve waiving federal testing requirements for this school year.  We will provide information on the USDOE decision as it becomes available.
 

How will this affect classroom instruction for my child?

Northside has developed instructional methods to ensure that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade level. Refer to the District Learning section above.
 

How will the STAAR waiver impact promotion requirements for Grades 5 and 8?

More information on this will be coming as released by the TEA.
 

How will the STAAR waiver impact graduation requirements?
TEA is working on guidance for grade-level promotion and other issues related to this assessment decision (e.g. graduating seniors this year and in future years).
 

Will the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) still be administered in Spring 2020? 

TEA may extend the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) window for Spring 2020. We will update you as more information becomes available.


What is NISD doing to address my child’s nutritional needs during the closure?
The NISD Child Nutrition department has planned for the distribution of food and supply kits at 20 designated locations around the District. Refer to the Child Nutrition section above.


Will we have to make up these days?  
At this point, it is uncertain but we’re hopeful we won’t have to have make-up days. As we continue to support our students’ instructional needs during the time we’re closed, we will receive credit for those days. 
 

When will we know how long classes will be canceled? 
We continue to work with local, state, and national authorities and will follow their guidelines. 
 

What about extracurricular activities? 
If we are not opening our buildings to offer academic services, we will not be hosting or supporting extracurriculars. While our schools are closed, our extracurricular activities will be canceled/postponed. We received UIL guidance last week that all UIL activities are canceled at this time. While on-campus classes are canceled, all facilities will remain closed to students.

I would like to help somehow. What can I do? 
During this critical time, there is an outpouring of community support for the Northside family and it's greatly appreciated. Our generous community and business partners can always be counted on in good or bad times. 

NISD's immediate needs are purchasing school supplies and sustaining food distribution to students in partnership with the San Antonio Food Bank. 

If you would like to help, the Northside Education Foundation is accepting tax-deductible donations.

Recent news from NISD

  • Northside Threads accepting donations -- March 31, 2020 -- In an effort to support NISD families, Northside Threads is accepting donations on a limited schedule due to COVID-19.
     
  • Blood donations needed -- March 31, 2020 -- The South Texas Blood and Tisssue Center has planned multiple blood drives this week as the need for blood continues amid the coronavirus pandemic
  • NISD counselors ready to offer support -- March 26, 2020 -- Northside ISD counselors are available and want to virtually meet with their students from the safety of their homes.
     
  • Distance learning extended -- March 24, 2020 -- Northside is extending the period of time we will be providing distance learning through April 24. 
  • NISD continues to issue devices and feed kids -- March 23, 2020 -- Northside ISD has made it our number one priority to keep our students and families safe during the COVID-19 crisis.  However, we have tried to balance that priority with continuing to educate and feed students. 
     
  • Changes to food distribution -- March 21, 2020 -- Beginning Monday, March 23, grab-and-go breakfasts and hot lunches are available to children 18 years old and younger at 11 middle school sites.
     
  • NISD schools closed through April 3 -- March 17, 2020 -- ... because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation and out of an abundance of caution, Northside ISD is joining other San Antonio area districts in extending our closure of campus classrooms through Friday, April 3.
     
  • NISD to offer food kits and online instructional resources -- March 15, 2020 -- In response to the school closures scheduled for March 16-20, Northside ISD is working to address the nutritional and instructional needs of our students by providing drive-through food distribution and online instructional content...
     
  • NISD closed March 16-20 -- March 13, 2020 -- ...because of the rapidly evolving nature of this situation and out of an abundance of caution, Northside ISD is joining other San Antonio area districts to close schools the week of March 16 – 20 to help prevent exposure to students, staff and the community.
     
  • An important health update from our Superintendent -- March 5, 2020 -- Dear Northside Family, As news of the novel coronavirus remains prevalent, I want to assure you that Northside ISD continues to monitor the situation through proven and trustworthy sources...
     
  • An important message from our Superintendent -- Feb. 26, 2020 -- Given recent media coverage around the coronavirus, I want to assure you that Northside ISD is keeping track of this situation through proven and trustworthy sources: our local health department, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

General information about COVID-19

The coronavirus is thought to be spread via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person. As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge you to speak to your child about the following prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm.
  • As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

We continue to monitor the situation regarding the novel coronavirus but we are emphasizing facts over fear in our planning.

If you feel that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have any concerns about it, we encourage you to contact the San Antonio Metro Health Department's COVID-19 Hotline at 210-207-5779.