ABILENE — As part of the reopening of the Abilene ISD for the 2020-21 school year, we are seeking input from parents and/or guardians of district students on whether their children will be learning on campus or remotely this year.
Please complete the above survey to let us know whether your student(s) intends to learn on-campus or at home during the 2020-21 school year. You can also watch the video (linked above) that will give you an illustration of what a typical day for in-person instruction and remote learning will look like.
Below is the email that AISD Superintendent Dr. David Young sent to parents at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29, that provided parents with some details about the upcoming school year. In addition to the information contained in the email, please note that we are also asking parents a few other things as they prepare for the school year:
• Parents will be asked to provide a water bottle for each of their students and send it to school each day filled with water to drink throughout the day;
• We are asking now that if you have the means to buy a device for each student in your household that you do so in order that they might continue learning remotely in the event of a classroom, grade-level, campus or district shutdown at some point during the school year; and
• Please be on the lookout for more communication concerning transportation and bus routes for the 2020-21 school year. Because we might have limited space on buses throughout the year because of social/physical distancing, we are asking parents who are able and have the ability to do so to transport their student(s) to and from school each day. Next week, we will be sending a survey to parents who have used AISD transportation in the past to gauge whether or not they will be using our transportation or their own to get their student(s) to school and back home each day.
One final note: if you haven’t received the email, please check the Spam folder in your email and see if the information landed in that folder. If it did, you might check your email settings to make sure you can receive emails in your Inbox folder from abileneisd.org.
EMAIL FROM DR. YOUNG TO AISD PARENTS
(Sent at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 29)
Good evening, AISD Community,
As we informed you last week, we will be communicating with you more frequently about the start of the 2020-21 school year now that we are less than one month away from the first day of school. It seems like more than just 4 1/2 months have passed since we last saw children in our halls and on our campuses when we left for Spring Break on March 6. All of us in the Abilene Independent School District are excited to welcome your children back to campuses across our city next month.
I hope by now you have heard me say that school will start in the AISD on Thursday, Aug. 20, and you will both see and hear that date in the Back-to-School video that’s linked above. However, I want you to be aware that AISD Administration will be recommending a slight alteration to the 2020-21 calendar to the Board of Trustees. We will be recommending that we move the start date for school back to Monday, Aug. 24. The reason for this adjustment is to give our teachers and staff adequate time to both practice in the online learning environment and prepare to teach district safety protocols to in-person learners. We will be making that recommendation at a special called board meting in the next few days. We will inform you of the board’s decision as soon as it is final.
The Back-to-School video will give you a glimpse of what a day in the life of an in-person learning student will be like, as well as that of a remote learner. It will provide you with a look at some of the safety protocols we will have in place on each campus as we strive to do our best to protect our students and staff.
Finally, the Parent Survey is something we need every parent or guardian to complete as we get ready to start the school year. We are asking if your student(s) will be learning on campus or remotely, as well as how you are outfitted with devices and WiFi for remote learning. Any student that chooses remote learning will be required to spend time doing virtual instruction from home during regular school hours each day. Remote learning will be much different from our Online Learning program from last spring as students will now be required to complete all course assignments and tests for numerical grades, and attendance will be taken each day.
We anticipate that this will be a year of starts and stops, so we are asking now that if you have the means to buy a device for each student in your household that you do so in order that they might continue learning remotely in the event of a classroom, grade-level, campus or district shutdown at some point during the school year.
In addition, be on the lookout for more communication concerning transportation and our Reopening Plan, which we should have published before the start of next week. When you receive the plan, please take the time to read through it. This plan will be a work in progress and portions of it may change as the public health situation continues to evolve.
I know that you might still have questions about the start of the school year after reading this email or watching the video. We are working to get answers for you so you can make the best choices for you and your family regarding your child’s education. In these uncertain times, please know that the health and safety of each and every student and staff member remains our top priority. We are looking forward to seeing you and your children again very soon.
Dr. David Young
Abilene Independent School District