Dear Northside ISD families,
I know there are a lot of questions about what the reopening of schools will look like in August. We don’t have all the answers right now but we are preparing for the new year in ways that will offer our families choices.
We have said before that our priorities are keeping students and staff healthy and safe, providing high-quality instruction, and supporting nutritional needs. We recognize that looks different for everyone. Some of you will feel comfortable sending your children back to school buildings while others will prefer to continue distance learning. We will offer both of those options for the 2020-2021 school year.
No matter which option you choose, expect high-quality instruction for your child delivered by a well-trained and certified teacher. At the heart of every NISD school and every NISD classroom, are the relationship between students and caring teachers. That will not change. Our teachers will receive extra support and professional development to prepare for the upcoming school year. They will be ready to provide engaging learning for students no matter the delivery method.
For those that prefer to continue with distance learning, it will look different than it did in the spring. We have taken the feedback provided in surveys and town halls to improve and develop a more robust learning experience moving forward. There will be higher expectations for participation and attendance, increased opportunities for real-time lessons with teachers, and greater support in a one-on-one setting as needed. As before, technology devices to include internet access will be provided to families that need them.
Health and Safety
For those returning to our school buildings, I want to emphasize that the health and safety of our students and employees is a top priority. We continue to follow state and local health guidelines as we plan for reopening. This includes measures like personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing, frequent hand washing, and increased cleaning of classrooms and common areas.
We are developing protocols to ensure student safety whether it is a bus ride to school, getting meals from the cafeteria, or learning in the classroom. Our custodians, school nurses, Child Nutrition staff, and bus drivers are all critical to these efforts. For example, we are adjusting custodial work hours to have more support to clean and sanitize during the school day. We are also adopting a different model for cafeteria service, more like the Grab and Go meals distributed this spring and summer than a traditional serving line.
Whole Child Support
We also offer many wraparound services to support the whole child including counseling, after school programming, and social and emotional lessons. We hope to ease the transition back to school and not just in the academic sense.
Stay in Touch
No matter how you to decide to join us in August, we will be ready to support you and your family.
Please continue to check our website and social media channels for the latest updates as we finalize plans over the next few weeks.
We look forward to being back, together, and better starting August 24.
Dr. Brian T. Woods
Northside ISD Superintendent