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Balancing safety and academic outcomes this spring semester - Jan. 20, 2021

Dear SAISD Staff:


We are seeing slight improvements in the COVID-19 positivity rates in San Antonio and Bexar County. It will take a village (and a city and a county) working together to bring our health metrics into single digits. We have a long road ahead of us, but I am confident we can overcome this virus and pandemic fatigue by wearing masks, washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and taking advantage of free COVID testing for our staff and students on our campuses and at Alamo Stadium. Doing our due diligence gives us the upper hand!

Although we cannot eliminate COVID-19 entirely, through the controlled measures of our safe opening plan, free COVID testing, and now the administration of vaccines to our employees, we can help reduce the spread of the virus in the community.

As our local health metrics begin to improve, we will look at bringing more students into the classroom. Our goal before the end of the school year is to see the return of as many students as is safe to do so, and whose parents want them experiencing in-person learning. We are proud of what our students and teachers have overcome this year, and we cannot wait for our students to be safely back in face-to-face school environments with our skilled and talented teachers. That is where they learn best.

On that note, the most recent report cards are now available on the Frontline Parent Portal mobile and desktop application. As we’ve mentioned before, national trends indicate that school districts are seeing a higher than average failure rate since the pandemic started, and this trend is affecting districts locally, too – including us. 

We must use this semester to better balance safety and academic outcomes. We will be working in partnership with parents on academic recovery plans. This may include in-person instruction, interventions such as tutoring, Saturday or Twilight school, or instituting an A/B schedule for high school students – whatever it takes to help our students perform up to their capabilities. We have the best teachers and school leaders in all of San Antonio who will rise to this challenge of making sure our students are successful despite this pandemic.

As we approach February, we have many items on the horizon for our parents. First, it’s the time of the year to register for fall. Secondly, we will seek their invaluable input on two surveys: our 2021-2022 instructional calendar survey between Jan. 21 and Feb. 5, and our annual family-experience survey, which will be available beginning Feb. 8. And, finally, we are requesting that families opt in to school and district communications via text. We would be grateful if you could help us spread the word to families about these opportunities.

Lastly, I was heartened today with the inauguration of President Joe Biden. The educational priorities the new administration has outlined includes supporting educators and investing in all children from birth, so that regardless of their ZIP code, parents’ income, race, or disability, they are prepared to succeed in tomorrow’s economy. These priorities are our priorities, too.

I am also encouraged by the historic nature of Vice President Kamala Harris being sworn in to uphold the nation’s second-highest office. Several of our students were interviewed by the media today on their reactions to witnessing history, and I hope you are able to tune in tonight to KSAT’s 6 p.m. newscast to hear their thoughts on what today means for their futures.

Thank you for your partnership during these unprecedented times. Because of you and your hard work, we are beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.


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