TO: Northwest ISD Parents, Caregivers, and Staff
FROM: Ryder Warren, Superintendent of Schools
SUBJECT: District Update - June 20, 2020
I hope everyone is safe and well, and I hope everyone is trying to enjoy the summer. There is a high probability Northwest ISD will be discussing some major decisions about the 2020-2021 school year with all families and staff next week. Unexpectedly, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath released the following statement Thursday, June 18, after Governor Abbott shared the same message to various media outlets around the state. The Texas Education Agency press release is as follows:
“It will be safe for public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall. But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses.”
The statement ended by saying there would be more detailed guidance from the Texas Education Agency early next week. To make sure NISD families and staff members are all on the same page, let me be transparent with next week’s events. On Tuesday, June 23, I will be in a Zoom meeting with the Commissioner of Education, along with most of the 1,100 Texas school superintendents. We are anxiously expecting to get very detailed guidance - as stated in the release - on defined safety protocols and what we can and cannot do to start school in August.
After the Zoom meeting on Tuesday, I have scheduled a Facebook Live chat on Wednesday, June 24, at 6 p.m., in order to update students, parents/caregivers, and staff members with information on our plans to reopen NISD schools in the fall. I will also be emailing a detailed district update including this same information to all families and staff on Friday, June 26. As we work to develop a safe return to school plan, we know there will be many issues and questions we will need to explore. However, I want to share as much information as possible to help you and your family prepare for the coming school year.
The decisions we make every year to start the new school year with excellence are always important, but the work we have been doing for the last several months to prepare for 2020-2021 is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. I want to make sure our students, families, and staff members know we are doing everything we can to plan for having our children and our staff back in our schools in August, but we are also being meticulous about creating safe environments to achieve this. We are not taking any shortcuts for student and staff safety.
Please make plans to participate in the Facebook Live presentation next Wednesday and/or take the time to review the update next Friday. It is critical right now that all of us make the very best decisions for our children and that we work together to serve them appropriately. I look forward to this interaction next week. Thank you for your patience and your support of our children and schools.
Ryder Warren, Superintendent
Northwest Independent School District