March 20, 2020
Dear Anderson community,
I hope this finds each of you enjoying Spring Break with your family and loved ones. As many of you know, AISD has cancelled classes through April 3rd due to the Covid-19 crisis. Students are NOT to report to campus until April 6th (at the earliest, depending in direction from AISD).
The health and safety of every student and staff member is our first priority. Anderson High School will be focused on strictly following the recommendations of local health officials as well as guidance from the CDC, Governor Abbott and federal authorities. To this end, we are working diligently to shift all teaching and learning to BLEND. Because our students all have Chromebooks or self-owned laptops, we are able to move to online digital format. While this seems like a natural progression, we have to revamp activities and strategies knowing that students will have no face to face contact with a teacher. Previously, our use of BLEND was actually a blending of classroom and online digital learning. Teachers will post “virtual office hours” where students will be able to check in with them to have questions answered. Teachers are asked to be super responsive to student/parent emails and requests for support.
We do not know for sure if classes will resume on April 6th, as Dr. Cruz has indicated the cancellation of classes may extend beyond April 6th depending on the health crisis and the advice of public health professionals. Thus, we are preparing for both possibilities.
Teachers and staff “return to work” virtually beginning Monday, March 23rd. No staff is allowed on campus until Thursday, March 26th. Academic departments and Professional Learning Communities will meet virtually to ensure consistency, collaboration and sharing of resources. On Thursday 3/26 and Friday 3/27 staff will be allowed access to campus in groups of 10 or less for brief periods of time to retrieve materials, devices and personal items. Teachers and staff will use the two weeks of March 23 - April 3 to plan for digital learning as well as “return to normal” scenarios.
ACC Dual Credit courses will be switching to completely online course format. All students in Dual Credit courses will be contacted to ensure that they have equipment and internet access to be able to complete their course(s).
Our custodians are working hard to deep clean all parts of the building and to utilize “foggers” that sanitize large areas with all surfaces reached by the dense fog mist. Once the mist substance dries, it offers protection for 90 days. This process will not be complete until close of business on Wednesday, March 25th.
Please check the AISD website for the latest information: www.austinisd.org/coronavirus https://sites.google.com/austinisd.org/aisd-learning-at-home
Austin ISD Families,
Due to the threat of COVID-19 Virtual Care for Kids is expanding the partnership with AISD to include at-home telemedicine care to serve our families and reduce the spread of the virus.
Virtual Care for Kids has agreed to waive all copays for all AISD telemedicine visits.
In addition, students with Medicaid will receive free care. If your child is uninsured and doesn't receive free/reduced lunch, the AISD Crisis Support Fund (https://austinedfund.org/crisis-support-fund/) is providing vouchers to families to receive telemedicine care for free.
Before we can treat your children, you need you to register them at https://urgentcarekids.com/aisd/. We urge parents and guardians to act now and not wait until you have a medical need.
To see a provider visit: https://virtualcarekids.com.
We have pediatric providers on-demand and we are currently keeping wait times below two minutes. Please do not expose your family to COVID-19 by leaving your house, these visits are accessible FROM HOME on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. We understand that this is an alarming time for many people in the Austin community, and we never want the economic status of a family to prevent them from receiving the medical care they need as we practice social distancing. Our goal is to increase access to care for families while also limiting exposure to COVID-19 and we feel that providing care virtually is the best way to accomplish that. Please help us stop the spread and flatten the curve by sharing this information on social media and through email with your friends and family. By avoiding medical facilities and limiting exposure, you may save someone’s life. Together, we can stop the spread of COVID-19.
Paul Cruz, PhD AISD Superintendent
Tracy A. Spinner, M.Ed. AISD Director, Comprehensive Health & Mental Health
Dear AISD families,
We are pleased to announce that the Austin ISD Learning At-Home Website has launched.
As the community comes together, we are providing learning activities for you and your students while we are away from the classroom. The district has created this Learning At-Home website, complete with online courses and recommended learning resources for all grade levels. First and foremost, we want to ensure that our students are healthy and safe as we continue to connect as one AISD family.
· This website is intended for caretakers, students, and teachers to access ideas for learning and enrichment opportunities.
· The resources on this site are intended to provide optional enrichment during the current cancellation of classes. They are presented with community and human connection in mind.
· Resources include a range of ideas for online and offline activities that students can work on at home independently, with family members, or with other adults. Some of these activities may require guidance from an adult to get started.
· Next Wednesday, hand-on activities for elementary students will be available at the grab-on-go lunch sites that the district has organized for students who have limited access to devices and internet.
· Please continue to check the Austin ISD Coronavirus website for updates: //austinisd.org/coronavirus Find the direct link at: https://sites.google.com/austinisd.org/aisd-learning-at-home.
Lisa Goodnow, PhD Associate Superintendent of Academics and Social and Emotional Learning
Paul Cruz, PhD Superintendent Austin Independent School District
Austin ISD's school-based mental health partner, Vida Clinic, is now offering teletherapy services to the entire Austin ISD community. These services will allow adults and students to access quality mental health services right from their own homes. To schedule an appointment, visit vidaclinic.org/virtualvida and contact our Vida Clinic Care Team at 512-518-2209 or by email at email@example.com.
El centro de salud mental en la escuela de Austin ISD, Vida Clinic, ofrecerá servicios de teleterapia a toda la comunidad de Austin ISD. Estos servicios permitirán a adultos y estudiantes acceder a servicios de salud mental con alta calidad desde sus propios hogares. Para programar una cita, visite vidaclinic.org/virtualvidaesp y comuníquese con nuestro Equipo de atención de Vida Clinic al 512-518-2209 o por correo electrónico a firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Rifkin Banks, LCSW
Director of Program Development
The University Interscholastic League has cancelled all games, tournaments and practices indefinitely (with the earliest possible resumption of play being May 4th).
This is AISD’s Frequently Asked Questions and responses to date.
I apologize for the length and detail of this communication, but there are a multitude of questions and concerns. Anderson teachers and staff are committed to offering the best possible learning opportunities and activities for our students. This is an unprecedented situation for us, and we ask for your patience and understanding as we work through the challenges with you and your student.
Anderson’s Senior Prom (April 18th) has been cancelled. We hope to be able to reschedule Prom for a date in May, but this will depend on the recommendations of public health officials and AISD leadership.