Important COVID-19 (Coronavirus) District Notices

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  • November 16, 2020 Email: Calendar Changes, COVID Information & More

    Posted by Tim Savoy on 11/16/2020

    Dear Hays CISD Family,

    Here are some items of interest and important announcements:

    Additional Asynchronous Virtual Learning Days

    Because our asynchronous/virtual learning days worked well for students and teachers earlier this month, Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright and the District Leadership Team (DLT) have adopted additional virtual learning days for the remainder of the school year.

    We’ve updated the school calendar to reflect the changes at www.hayscisd.net/calendar. And, a new version of the calendar is attached.

    These days are school days for students, but students will learn virtually at home, asynchronously, to provide teachers with planning, prep, and professional development time. Campuses will be open for students who need to be on campus. They will learn virtually from campus similar to the way we operated the first three weeks of our school year. Regular bus service won’t run on these virtual learning days.

    Monitoring COVID – Are We Going to Close?

    The district continues to monitor the most recent data regarding the coronavirus. The number of positive cases has increased in our district, which is in-line with national trends. At this time, we do not have plans to unilaterally return the entire district to virtual learning. Our contact tracing and quarantining efforts are working. We continue to manage instances of positive COVID results on a case-by-case basis and in close consult with county and state health department officials and guidelines. Individual campuses, grade-levels, or classrooms may be temporarily placed on virtual learning as needed. And, though we have no plans for a full, districtwide return to virtual learning, we are prepared for any contingency. As we have all year, we pledge to take actions that are afforded to us by the state that are based on safety of our students and staff, and we will keep you promptly informed. Visit the Hays CISD coronavirus central information site at: https://www.hayscisd.net/coronavirus.

    Hey Hays?!

    We’re excited to launch a new, one-stop place for you to stay connected with the district. ‘Hey Hays?!’ at www.hayscisd.net/heyhays has a place for you to start a conversation with various district leaders, drop a suggestion in our digital suggestion box, and view a directory of the places we communicate – especially in an emergency.  

    Help the Foundation While You Shop

    If you shop on Amazon, be sure to set your account to Amazon “Smile” and pick the Hays CISD Education Foundation as your charity. Your items won’t cost you anything more, but Amazon will provide a portion of the sale as a donation to our district’s education foundation. You can follow a dashboard to see how much your purchases have generated for the foundation.

    Stay safe!
    Tim Savoy
    Hays CISD Chief Communication Officer

    Comments (-1)
  • October 29, 2020 Email: Addition of Virtual Learning Days

    Posted by Tim Savoy on 10/29/2020

    Dear Hays CISD Family,

    Yesterday, Wednesday afternoon, the District Leadership Team (DLT), which consists of representatives from every campus, as well as administration and community members, met and adopted an adjustment to the academic calendar.

    Friday, November 6, 2020, and Monday November 9, 2020, will now be asynchronous virtual learning days. We’ve updated the school calendar to reflect the changes at www.hayscisd.net/calendar.  

    What This Means

    These days are school days for students, but students will learn virtually at home, asynchronously, to provide teachers with planning, prep, and professional development time. Campuses will be open for students who need to be on campus. They will learn virtually from campus similar to the way we operated the first three weeks of our school year. Regular bus service won’t run on these virtual learning days.

    Why the Change?

    The two virtual learning days are the last day of the first nine-week grading period and the first day of the second nine-week grading period. We have provided students with grace and flexibility to turn in assignments up to the close of the grading period. Adding these virtual learning days allows us to extend that same grace to teachers to grade assignments, and also plan for the next nine-weeks. The district believes the investment in teacher preparation time will translate to richer, better learning experiences for students.

    What You Need To Do

    If you are able to keep your children home to learn on November 6th and 9th, you don’t need to do anything. For students who will need to be on campus on these days, look for additional information from your child’s campus. Each campus will be reaching out to parents to see how many in-person students they will need to plan for on those days.

    Stay safe!

    Tim Savoy
    Hays CISD Chief Communication Officer

    Comments (-1)
  • October 9, 2020 Email from the Superintendent: Grading Guideline Revisions

    Posted by Tim Savoy on 10/9/2020

    Covid-19 Grading Guidelines Revisions (PK-12)

    Dear Hays CISD Family,

    Let me begin by saying I hope this upcoming long weekend (three days for staff and four for students) will be restful and recharging for you. As I mentioned in this week’s “Wright This Minute” video, we have a higher percentage of students failing this year, compared to the same timeframe as last year. That failure rate is up 30 percentage points. Given the COVID disruptions and changes, the failure rate increase isn’t unexpected or unique to our school district. However, it is a problem we must confront. My hope is that by getting the message out now, we have time to make some fixes before next week’s UIL grading period cut-off date and before the cut-off date for the first nine-week grading period that is coming up in early November.

    There is no single cause for the increased failure rate. Instead, data shows that there are multiple contributing factors. We do indeed have some students not completing assignments and we need them turn in their work; however, we (your district leadership) have some work to do on our end too – on our systems and grading guidelines. I know our students, parents, and teachers are working hard – harder than ever. My announcement about our failure rate isn’t about placing any blame, nor is it punitive in any way. Instead, my hope that by identifying the problem, we can fix it. Below, you will find some of the changes we are making to our grading guidelines to help us through this most unprecedented start to a school year. In addition, we will be implementing other tangible changes to help. As an example, advisory and homeroom periods will be utilized to provide students with additional trainings and information on how to navigate Schoology, time management, and student advocacy.

    As always, I continue to wish everyone grace and understanding. We’ll keep working hard on our end and together we will continue to be strong. Enjoy your long weekend, you have earned it.

    Eric

    Grading Guidelines Revisions Effective Immediately

    All campus principals and instructional coaches met with the Curriculum and Instruction Department on Wednesday and Thursday of this week to develop plans of action and discuss various solutions. In addition, the District Leadership Team (DLT); composed of teachers, parents, and community members; and serving as our Covid-19 Task Force, provided feedback on possible revisions to the grading guidelines.  In response to this feedback, the following revisions to the elementary and secondary grading guidelines are implemented immediately:

    • Students now have until the end of the first nine weeks grading period to turn late work. The five-day (elementary) and two meetings of the class (secondary block schedule) deadlines are lifted during the first grading period.
    • All work turned in late in the first nine weeks is eligible for full credit. A mandatory grading cap on assignments turned in late is lifted during the first grading period.
    • The five-day (elementary) and two meetings of the class (secondary block schedule) grace periods to turn in late work return in the second nine-week grading period, as does the grading cap on late assignments. However, the maximum grading cap is increased from 70 to 75. This increase remains for the entire 2020-2021 school year.
    • Major grades, which are generally not eligible for a re-do, will be eligible for re-do for elementary students during the first nine week grading period.
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  • September 23, 2020 Email from the Superintendent: Hays CISD In-Person Class Schedule Update

    Posted by Tim Savoy on 9/23/2020

    Dear Hays CISD Family,

    As promised by Chief Communication Officer Tim Savoy, we have an update on how scheduling will look regarding in-person classes, which start on Monday.

    Yesterday, I met with our principals and academic leadership team. Based on input, favorable feedback, and popularity with teachers, parents, and students; our in-person schedules will mirror as closely as possible our virtual schedules. Our ‘Return-to-School COVID Response Plan’ says that upon return to in-person learning, students would resume a more traditional schedule. However, the block-style scheduling at the secondary level has been working well and it makes sense to keep that in place. This will allow for fewer in-person hallway transitions and for a more seamless switch between in-person and virtual learning for students and teachers, if that is needed later.

    Since each campus is a bit different, based on the exact number of students and teachers who will be returning in-person by campus, be sure to look for specific scheduling information from your child’s school. Campuses have some autonomy to create schedules that work best for their individual needs. For example, Simon Middle School has an innovative schedule that may be a bit different from other middle schools.

    As we continue to work our way through the COVID pandemic, we know that there will be changes, glitches, and mistakes, and that everything will not be perfect. That’s OK. How we may start this school year is not how we will finish. Our teachers, staff, parents, students, and district leadership all know that, together, we are working through an immensely challenging and changing predicament.

    I’m looking forward to Monday to welcome back, in-person, our students who will be returning. Let’s continue to give each other grace and understanding. Our steadfast focus is to offer the best educational experiences possible for our students. Everything else – all of the logistics – will work out.

    Sincerely,

    Eric

    #strongertogether

    Comments (-1)
  • September 21, 2020 Email: Hays CISD Breakfast & Lunch Will Be Free to All Students

    Posted by Tim Savoy on 9/21/2020 8:00:00 PM

    Dear Hays CISD Family,

    We are happy to announce that the district has been awarded a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) block grant that will allow us to provide breakfast and lunch to all students, districtwide, at no cost to the students or their families.

    Starting Monday, September 28, 2020, all in-person meals (breakfast and lunch) served on a Hays CISD campus will be free to students who are 18-years-old and under. Additionally, the district will continue its curbside grab-and-go meals service at select campuses at no cost to students or families.

    We anticipate that the block grant will allow the district to offer no cost meal service to students through the end of December.

    Please see the online flyer (in English and Spanish) for details:
    https://www.hayscisd.net/eat

    Stay Safe!

    Sincerely,
    Tim Savoy
    Chief Communication Officer

    Note: You still want to fill out the free and reduced meal service application (https://www.hayscisd.net/Page/311) to see if you qualify. Once this block-grant runs out, the district will have to start charging again for meals either at a full or reduced price; and will only be able to offer free meals to students who qualify.  

    Comments (-1)
  • Return to Hays CISD Coronavirus Homepage

    Note: Information can change quickly based on the health and safety needs of our school district and community family. Information posted here is the most current.

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