With almost a month into the longest federal government shutdown in history, NISD officials are reaching out to families potentially impacted saying, “how can we help?”
“No child will go hungry because they don’t have money for meals,” says Dr. Brian Woods, NISD superintendent. “And we want to make sure that their emotional needs are met as well because I’m sure this is a scary and uncertain time for many of them.”
San Antonio is home to several military installations, and about 7,000 military-connected students are enrolled in NISD. Additional students have parents and guardians who work as government contractors or in other sectors of the government who are also not getting paid during the shutdown.
Principals, counselors, social workers, and teachers will be attentive to students and families who may need additional financial and emotional assistance.
“We need to be diligent and reach out to them saying ‘let us help,’” Woods said. “These families need to know that they aren’t in this alone and we have the means to help alleviate some of their anxieties and stress as far as school dynamics are concerned.”
To support families affected by the shutdown, NISD has identified possible services and resources to assist families during these challenging circumstances:
- Child Nutrition Department.
- NISD will offer a courtesy meal (breakfast and/or lunch) at no cost at all non-CEP campuses.
- Donor accounts can be set up for donations at a school for students who may not have funds for meal purchases. This may also be set up at the district-level to pay multiple schools (non-CEP).
- 49 Community Eligibility Schools (CEP) currently have students eating a no cost breakfast and lunch
- Families with household income changes may apply or reapply for Free and Reduced Lunch Benefits. For more information, please call (210) 397-4517. Applications are taken for non CEP campuses only.
- Northside Threads Clothes Closet. Referrals are made through campus counselors. The NISD Threads Clothes Closet is available to all NISD students needing clothing items. Families can either shop at the NISD Threads Closet or have someone shop for them.
- Donations of new or gently used clothing are also welcome, especially new underwear and socks. Volunteers are also always needed. For more information, call 210-397-8930.
- Counseling services. If your child is experiencing signs of anxiety of stress, please contact the campus counselor. Signs to watch for include difficulty concentrating, irritability, disruption in sleep patterns, problems expressing worry including irrational worries or fears, avoidance of social situations, and fatigue.
- Temporary employment. The NISD Human Resources Department is working on a plan that will expedite applications from furloughed employees. Applications will be accepted for temporary employment as a substitute teacher or bus driver. Click here for details.
- Campus food pantries: Many NISD campuses have food pantries available. Contact the campus counselor for more details.
Other non-NISD resources might include:
- United Way of San Antonio: https://www.unitedwaysatx.org/
- San Antonio Food Bank: https://safoodbank.org/
- Banks, Credit Unions & Wireless Providers: Many banks, credit unions, and wireless providers are offering personalized and financial assistance for their customers who are furloughed employees. Contact your bank or wireless provider for details.
For additional resources, click here for the NISD Military Families website.