Corona Update 11 May 8th
Corona Virus Update 11
May 8, 2020
Graduation is upon us and we are working hard to provide our seniors with a positive experience. It is certain to be one they do not forget. Olney ISD looks forward to celebrating the hard work and successes of our 2020 graduating class. Graduation is a time where family and close family friends have the opportunity to share in the joy of a student’s accomplishments. Mr. Caffey and his staff are working tirelessly to ensure, to the maximum extent possible, this opportunity. The graduation plan we have in place has been approved by our County Judge and City Mayor. It has also been reviewed by our school district attorney. The plan is posted on our website and social media. Between now and May 15 there could be minor changes so check for updates.
The desire to be part of this special event, however, should not override the health and safety of an individual or others. We trust attendees will use common sense. We ask that individuals not attend the ceremony if he or she experiences one or more of the symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus starting as early as 7 days prior to May 15 and including the day of graduation. A listing of those symptoms can be found at the following link: https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/default.aspx#symptoms
It is a continuing reminder to complete U.S. Census data and get it submitted. This information has a huge impact on funding for our state, county, community, and school district. Below is additional information from The Texas Association of Community Schools. This is a professional organization our district is affiliated with.
"As we continue navigating through these uncertain times, one thing remains the same: Texas counts and Texas school superintendents are committed to ensuring every family in their school district is counted for the 2020 Census. The reality is Texas is behind the national average for self-response; however, census champions like you continue gaining momentum in their “Get Out the Count” efforts while increasing the self-response rate in Texas.
It is estimated that Texas will be under-reported by half a million. We can do better! Texans can self-respond by going online at www.my2020census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020 (English), 844-468-2020 (Spanish), or 844-467-2020 (TDD). Finally, paper mailings have been delayed. Families who haven’t reported online or by phone should have recently received a paper questionnaire by mail. The deadline for self-reporting for the census has been extended to October 31st".
I do not think anyone really has a good handle on what to do with this health issue. It is serious and we are fortunate that it has not impacted our community as it has in other parts of the state and nation. I look at data daily and the information I receive from elected officials at the state level does not seem to align with the daily data. We will follow the rules and do the best we can to stay safe. The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) links below will get you to the information that I check daily. It seems there is a lot we still do not know but the data indicates that there is no flattening of the curve. It is also interesting to compare the coronavirus with influenza statewide.
Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Links
Below is a link to general influenza information
I viewed the online meeting of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Executive Meeting. At this time all activities are on hold. The consensus from Austin is that UIL will follow and mirror decisions made by the NCAA in regards to a resumption of athletic practices and competitive activities. Marching band probably also follow these guidelines. Discussion continues for all other UIL activities.
SUMMER and THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL-YEAR
At this time, I have no idea how summer will be for our students. I hope there is a chance for kids to participate in activities and the district will quickly relay changes to students, parents, and the community. I do know that the 2020-2021 school-year is likely to be disrupted in some manner. We are hoping for the best, planning for the worst, and will spend a great deal of time refining and improving our capabilities for online instruction.
We do have a board approved calendar. Our 2020-2021 school-year will begin August 3, 2020 with graduation May 14, 2021. I actually believe we will receive recommendations from The Texas Education Agency that encourage this. Our intent is to provide upfront time for evaluation of students, ensuring a year of growth, and maximizing instructional time prior to standardized testing. To the greatest extent possible, this calendar will enable us to address possible extended periods of illness and loss of instruction.
Dr. Greg Roach