Dr. Woods offers words of support to families

collage of custodian, Dr. Woods and child at home on computer

Dear Northside families,

Tomorrow is the end of the second week of distance learning in Northside ISD so I wanted to check in with you as we also know now that this will remain a way of life at least until May 4. To say this is a challenging time is an understatement. Like you, I am a working parent trying to adapt to a new normal with my family. It’s not easy. There are definite moments of frustration. But I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling this way.

Perhaps the greatest comfort and I’d say the greatest strength, is that we’re all in this together. Our Northside family is united in our efforts to support each other and to support you and your students in the best way we know how.

We completely understand that most of you did not go to school to become a teacher. You are not expected to become one now. But I do want to remind you of the resources we have for you as you work with your children to continue their learning and stay connected to the teachers, campus staff, and classmates who miss seeing them dearly.

Your schools remain ready to assist. You have relationships with your teachers and administrators and that bond is not broken by distance. If you need help, call or email them but remember they too are juggling the same demands you are with your families.  

Distance Learning/Grading – earlier this week we provided guidance on grading policies and I want you to know we are following state guidelines and our own professional and moral imperative to deliver the highest quality instruction in this new online environment.

Tech Support – we have distributed tens of thousands of Chromebooks and iPads to aid with distance learning. If you need assistance, we’ve got tech support available. Please contact your child's campus if your child needs a mobile device or assistance with internet access in order to complete distance learning.

Counseling – school counselors remain committed to students and are available to meet virtually by Google Chat, Google Hangouts, or by email. Counselors are available to consult on a variety of issues from the emotional challenges of this rapid change we are all experiencing to preparation for college admissions. Students or parents should fill out an online request form to schedule a meeting.

Special Education – for families needing support from our Special Education Department, they’ve created a hotline, (210) 398-2522, and it’s available 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Food Distribution – this week we expanded to 13 serving locations and changed the process to a once a day pickup of both a hot lunch and breakfast for the next day, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will likely continue to expand the number of feeding sites.  All the details are on our COVID-19 website.

Our priorities have changed dramatically these last few weeks but they’re truly what matter – to ensure the health and safety of our families and staff; to continue to provide instruction for our students; and to support the nutritional needs of students who rely on us for food.

We continue to work to improve how we deliver on these priorities and I want you to know how dedicated our Northside teachers and staff have been these last few weeks as we have drastically shifted the way we accomplish our core mission.

We will learn together. We will grow together. We will get through this together.

Our buildings may be closed right now, but make no mistake – Northside ISD isn’t going anywhere!

I will continue to update you as we know more about the coming weeks and a timeline for a safe return. Make sure you’re following us on social media and that you are checking the NISD website.

Please stay healthy and safe with your families and listen to the advice of our healthcare professionals. Social distancing is necessary at this time. The sooner we control the spread of the virus the sooner we can all get back to a more normal existence. Thank you for your support of your students’ education and of Northside schools.

Sincerely,

Brian T. Woods