January 26, 2022 Superintendent Email: Some Good News & A Thank You

Posted by Tim Savoy on 1/26/2022

Dear Hays CISD Family,

Let me first give a huge thank you to all of our school district teachers, staff, parents, and students who have helped to make this latest round of the pandemic as workable as possible. Omicron has been a pretty disruptive variant of COVID, for sure. However, on the whole we have been able to keep school open because we, as a community, are working together. People who are ill or potentially exposed have been doing their part by staying home. And, we have had tremendous support from staff and parents who are willing to help us through staff shortages and stressful days.

Hays CISD in the National Spotlight

Several weeks ago we asked our parents who might be interested in becoming guest teachers to apply. A local story about that made it onto the national news wires and we became sort of a “poster child school district” for what has been a nationwide problem this month. Among the dozens of local and national media inquiries we fielded in the past 20 days was a request from Anderson Cooper’s AC-360 newscast on CNN. The story from national correspondent Eddie Lavandera and producer Ashley Killough aired last night. I want to share it with you because it highlights two of our new substitute teacher parents – Jan Stone and Brian McKinney. Both have had previous classroom experience and both simply wanted to help:

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/26/us/texas-school-parents-substitute-teachers/index.html

The story is a wonderful, intimate look at the awesome people who make up Hays CISD. Hays CISD isn’t an abstract thing, nor it is just an intangible governmental body. It’s all of you – all of us – taking the pandemic one-day at a time and working together to manage one circumstance at a time.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

We are still in a pandemic and Omicron is still a danger. However, the numbers appear to be trending in our favor. In a normal year at this time of year, we need about 180 to 185 substitute teachers a day. It’s also normal to see about 80% of those job requests filled. At the height of Omicron, we needed 455 subs in a single day with a job fill rate of only 40%. Last week we averaged about 350 subs we needed each day. Monday and Tuesday of this week, our need for subs fell to 260 a day. Today, it was at 241. All week we’ve seen a fill rate of about 60%. At this pace, we could be close to normal next week. Of course, we’ve learned anything can happen with COVID, but it appears we can see an end to this wave coming very soon. Also, we’re just three weeks away from a four-day student holiday. And, three weeks after that is spring break!

Thank you again to everyone for your continued valiant efforts during an exhausting time. Stay safe!

Eric