Please read and/or watch the following message from Dr. Woods to Northside ISD families.
We have all learned so much during the pandemic. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate is that opening schools is certainly easier than keeping them open.
We continue to monitor the health metrics in the city and county as well as in Northside schools. Cases have continued to rise in San Antonio these last few weeks since the holidays, and we want to do our part to avoid broader closures of schools or other important institutions.
The state requires us to offer in-person instruction daily, and in fact, our funding is tied to this requirement, but we still want to do what we can to help keep the public health metrics in check.
If your child is currently attending school in-person, I ask that you consider switching them to virtual learning for the next two weeks, from Jan. 19 after the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday until Jan. 29, the end of the month. Hopefully, this will help us to get past the surge in cases we are now seeing in our city.
Obviously, this is not feasible for all of our families. However, if your child can be successful in the virtual environment, I ask that you consider making this temporary change. If you do choose to go to virtual learning for these two weeks, you will in no way give up an in-person slot for the rest of the school year.
To be clear, this is a request. It is not mandatory and we are not closing Northside schools. I have tried to communicate clearly my belief that the majority of our students are better served by in-person learning. If your child is more successful attending school each day, they should stay there and that option remains.
This suggestion also does not apply to the small number of high school students who returned to in-person learning earlier this week. These students attend on an alternating day hybrid schedule and our high school campuses have relatively small numbers of students in attendance on any given day.
While I mentioned the timeframe of Jan. 19 through Jan. 29, families can transition to virtual learning immediately if they are ready. Some of you, we know, will need additional time to plan and make arrangements for your children. Some of you have already decided to keep your children virtual for the time being – we have seen lower numbers of students attending school in person at some campuses since the end of Winter Break.
Our staff will continue to work from our buildings and the District will support in-person and virtual instruction for the rest of the school year. Your child’s daily attendance and engagement is critical whether they are in-person or learning from home.
If your child needs a device to facilitate virtual learning, please contact your campus. We now have plenty available.
We all need to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and yet balance that with the imperative to provide high-quality education to the children of our community.
Thank you for your support of your child’s education and of Northside schools.
Brian T. Woods, Ed.D.