September 14, 2020 Email: Understanding the COVID Numbers at Hays CISDPosted by Tim Savoy on 9/14/2020
Dear Hays CISD Family,
Our school year is generally off to a great start. Thank you all again for everything you are doing to make the best of a challenging year. You’ll likely be seeing a lot of COVID data in various places, and you may even get a COVID-positive notification from your campus or the district. Rest assured our student health services and campus safety and security teams are working diligently to keep your, your children, and your families safe.
Here is what you can expect:
General Notification: If anyone is lab-confirmed to have a positive COVID test and is later determined to have been on a Hays CISD campus or building during their period of potential infection, parents and staff members at the campus will receive an email notification about the case with additional safety information.
Close Contact Notification: Anyone who is determined through contact tracing to have been in close contact, as defined by health department criteria, with an individual on a Hays CISD campus or building during the person’s potential infection period will receive a special notification and additional information about next steps.
Numbers & Reporting
This week, the district will being reporting detailed information to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) about lab-confirmed positive COVID cases in which individuals have been on district property during their potential periods of infection. Each week, Hays CISD will update a summary dashboard reflecting the number of reported cases to TEA in an effort to keep you informed and to maintain uniform criteria that yields easily comparable data regarding COVID case counts.
The Hays CISD dashboard is located at https://www.hayscisd.net/COVIDdashboard.
You may have seen a recent local television report showing that Hays CISD has had 40 employees test positive for COVID-19. We’d like to put that number in greater context for you to alleviate any concerns you may have with it. The station requested, and we provided, the cumulative number of people who happen to work for Hays CISD (and who have reached out to our Human Resources Department for potential COVID-related benefits) who tested positive since April 1st. Most of the cases in that number occurred during the spring and summer when all of our buildings were closed. The positive cases were often not work-related exposure. New staff cases, moving forward, will be reported on the Hays CISD dashboard and to TEA, should they involve potential infectious exposure at a district campus or building.
September 4, 2020: Welcome Back Email from Superintendent Dr. Eric WrightPosted by Tim Savoy on 9/4/2020
Dear Hays CISD Family,
I’m excited to welcome you back to a new school year! Has this been a challenging time for us? Yes. Have we all worked harder than ever – teachers, parents, students, and staff members? Yes. Do we still have obstacles ahead? Yes. So, why, you ask, am I excited about the start of this school year? It’s simple. Every school year is about new beginnings and new seasons. It’s the time of year we get to start fresh, ready to seize the new opportunities and experiences that are before us. It’s also the time of year we forge new, positive relationships with new teachers and friends.
I know 2020 – 2021 is and will be an unconventional year. And, I know there are many uncertainties and reasons to worry. But, I also want you to know that we have a solid plan. Together, we will not only get through this, but I believe we will thrive in unexpected ways. Working together, as parents and educators, there is nothing we can’t make happen – no matter what stands in our way. There are two guiding principles I envision for this year – we want to keep everyone safe and we want to keep every student learning. The logistics may fluctuate depending on the course the pandemic chooses to take, but everyone will adapt. And, we’ll do it in ways that offer you as much choice as possible to allow you to make the best decisions for your families.
I appreciate each and every one of you. Enjoy this long holiday weekend and we’ll see everyone back on Tuesday, whether it’s virtually or in-person. Take care of your yourselves. Keep those who are currently fighting COVID or have lost loved-ones in your hearts. Let’s give each other grace and understanding. And, let’s continue to show the Austin area and the rest of the state why Hays CISD is the place to be. We are #strongertogether.
September 3, 2020 Email: Back to School PlanPosted by Tim Savoy on 9/3/2020
Dear Hays CISD Family,
Back to School time is upon us. We’re excited to start next Tuesday. Here are some information items and updates for you as we get ready to officially begin the 2020 – 2021 school year.
We made some updates to our COVID Plan. The most recent version is now dated September 3, 2020. Here’s a quick breakdown of the items that were added or changed:
- Specific detail regarding attendance requirements for both in-person and virtual.
- Encouragement to pay for meal service online. Due to the national coin shortage, coin-change due for meals paid in cash will be credited to student lunch accounts for use toward future meals.
- An emphasis that in order to be eligible for in person instruction, students must comply with safety protocols, including wearing a mask.
- A link to the Parent Request for Face Covering Exception Form (En Español). Students with significant disabilities that prevent them from wearing a mask, may be exempt from mask requirements.
- A statement on the district’s grading guidelines information sheet regarding academic dishonesty.
- Changes to the sample daily schedules to reflect new bell schedules announced with the calendar updates in August.
- A link to Hays CISD athletic event attendance information.
Elementary Schedules and Teacher Assignments
Elementary schedules and teacher assignments are live in the Hays CISD Parent Self-Serve portal as of this morning.
Our team working on Schoology will be sending out account login information this afternoon for students. Students and staff will be able to access their Schoology accounts from their current ClassLink accounts. Look for an email later today with specific instructions regarding student Schoology account access. A separate email will be coming by tomorrow with instructions for parents to access their Schoology accounts. Parents will login to Schoology directly at the Schoology website.
Our plan includes time next week for everyone to get acquainted with the new Schoology system and to adjust to our new COVID reality. Enjoy this upcoming holiday weekend and we’ll tackle learning Schoology together once we get started next Tuesday.
First Day of School Photos
We plan to continue our fun tradition of first day of school photos – even if your first day of school is at home. If you would like to share your first day photos with us and our social media fans, please email them as attachments to: email@example.com beginning Tuesday morning. We’ll publish the photos throughout the day.
Keep it Clean
And, on a final note, we made a video that we are using as part of our custodian training workshops that shows what we’ll be doing to keep our buildings clean. It’s our latest YouTube channel post. Check it out if you are interested in some more detailed disinfectant information: https://youtu.be/P0w53GD4mzk.
Hays CISD Chief Communication Officer