Dear SBISD families and staff:
I hope this message finds you all well, safe and enjoying family time during spring break even as the coronavirus continues to disrupt our plans and impact our lives in ways we could not have imagined even a few days ago.
Suspending our normal operations for the next few weeks was a decision we do not take lightly. We believe wholeheartedly that kids need to be learning, growing and enjoying all that our schools have to offer. But that’s just not possible right now as we join our community in doing whatever we can to help mitigate the spread of this new virus.
Fortunately, we have an amazing team of academic leaders who have been hard at work preparing for the “just in case” we now find ourselves facing – an extended period of time for children to be away from school. Our counselors and partners also are developing resources and strategies to support your children socially and emotionally in the weeks ahead.
Keep reading below for important updates and information.
While our students remain out of school, we are committed to providing the best educational supports to ensure their learning continues.
As I shared earlier this week, SBISD’s Digital Backpack will serve as our first layer of support for at-home learning. The eLearning guides within the Digital Backpack are designed to boost learning and target core subject areas such as Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.
To provide structure for you and your children, we will send SBISD-designed instructional resources to our families every Sunday afternoon at around 3:00 pm. We hope this consistency in time and delivery will help your family plan for the week ahead. Linda Buchman and Community Relations will send these weekly messages from Dr. Kristin Craft, Associate Superintendent for Academics.
We have a plan for families who have elementary-aged students who need a print copy of the Digital Backpack due to limited internet or computer access. We will announce this plan on Sunday, too.
Dr. Craft and her team also are developing systems and structures to assist our teachers and school leaders in this transition and through the upcoming weeks.
Grab and Go Meals Begin March 23
SBISD Child Nutrition Services will begin a curbside pick-up service to distribute Grab and Go breakfast and lunch beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, as outlined below and continuing until April 10, or further notice.
Meals will be distributed on Mondays and Wednesdays.
- On Mondays, five (5) full breakfasts and (5) full lunch meals will be provided per student, age 18 and under in the car*.
- On Wednesdays three (3) full breakfasts and (3) full lunch meals will be provided per student, age 18 and under in the car*.
- Meals will be distributed based on the number of students 18 and under in your car.
- Meals will be offered cold to provide safe transport home.
*Families who do not have transportation may walk to a pick-up site and will be asked to stand in line while abiding by the six-foot social distancing asked of us all.
STAAR Testing Waived
We are grateful to Governor Abbott for waiving the STAAR test this year. The Governor made this announcement on Monday, March 16. Learn more here.
ACT Test Rescheduled
The April 4 national ACT test date has been rescheduled to June 13 nationwide. All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days with information and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. More information is available at the ACT website.
SAT Test Canceled
The May 2, 2020, SAT and SAT Subject Tests have been cancelled. More information is available at the SAT website.
Prescription Medication and Medical Supplies
Our nurses are finalizing a plan for parents to be able to pick up student medications that are in our clinics. Our school nurses will reach out to parents directly to set a time next week for pick up.
Class of 2020 Seniors – Proms and Graduations
We know the end of senior year – including prom and graduation – is a special time for our Class of 2020 students, and you and your families may be anxious about how these events may be impacted by our suspension of normal operations. As of today, proms and graduations have not been cancelled.
Resources for Parents
All of us in SBISD are committed to doing whatever we can to make this transition to a new way of learning as easy, impactful and beneficial as possible. We are so grateful to you — our parents. We know this is an especially challenging time as we are asking you to help us continue your children’s learning, while we know many of you also are being asked to work from home. We are putting together a special section on our Coronavirus website with more resources and ideas for talking with your child about Coronavirus and helping them continue to learn and grow while school is out.
Communications Going Forward
As our senior leadership team continues to monitor local, state and national governmental and health guidance and updates, we promise to keep you updated, too. You will hear from me each week and you’ll receive the weekly Digital Backpack information on Sundays. As always, please check your inboxes for emails, your voice mail for call-outs, and our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. The SBISD website at www.springbranchisd.com is regularly updated, too.
Most importantly, take care and know we are doing our very best on behalf of our students, staff and families. We appreciate your continued support.
Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools