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Return to School 2020-21: Family & Staff Update

A letter from Superintendent Kevin Rogers.

LISD Families and Staff, 

I know you have been waiting for us to announce plans and decisions related to the start of the 2020-21 school year, and perhaps wondering why other districts have made such announcements and we have not yet. 

As we saw during the spring, this situation continues to evolve, sometimes on a daily basis. It is important to understand - even plans we put in place now may change as circumstances in our communities change. Flexibility will be critical. I know this is challenging for everyone to manage, and unfortunately I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

We will discuss in-person, hybrid and virtual learning options with the LISD Board of Trustees at a noon meeting on July 8, and finalize our plans in the days following. Visit the LISD website for more information.

If you haven’t yet done so, please take a moment to complete our survey about the fall. It is open through 5 p.m. today, July 6. Visit www.lisd.net/survey for more information. We will share the survey results in the near future. 

We have received a tremendous amount of feedback from families, community members and staff, and I want to thank those of you who have reached out. Although you’ve shared strong opinions, you’ve also shown grace and understanding at the enormity of the task we are facing. Thank you for supporting our district!

I want to ask for your continued support as we share our plans, which will happen soon, for opening school this fall. School districts across the state and across the country are grappling with the need to keep everyone safe while still meeting the educational, social and emotional needs of our students and staff. I have been part of the LISD family for 34 years, and I can confidently say we’ve never faced anything like this before. 

Our team has been hard at work looking at multiple options for the 2020-21 school year, really since before last school year was even over. One thing has become abundantly clear during that work, and by looking at the results of the survey up to this point - there is no one answer that meets the needs of all our families. We are seeking the guidance of medical experts, taking into consideration the requirements of the state, our local governments, and what you, the families we serve, expect from us. There is much to consider!

While the Texas Education Agency has made clear its plan for students to take the STAAR test in the spring, it has yet to provide guidance for in-person learning to start the school year. In the midst of a global pandemic, with school districts facing so much uncertainty, the focus should be providing clear guidance for schools to ensure the wellbeing of our students. That has not happened, which makes an already difficult situation even more so.

We will stick together as the LISD family and navigate how to make this all work. I hope you will help us by remaining positive with your student about the start of school. I understand and respect there are a variety of opinions on every detail of any plan we may share, but more than any time before, we must keep our focus on our students and how to best serve them. I am asking you to stand with us, come what may, and help us as we make the best decisions possible for not only your family, but for the 52,000 students we serve...for our staff...for our communities. 

Even with the challenges ahead of us, I remain extremely confident in our students, parents, staff and communities and truly believe we will rise TOGETHER to find a way. 

 

Kevin Rogers, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Lewisville Independent School District