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Message from the Aldine Superintendent

Superintendent Goffney with Students

August 10, 2020

Dear Aldine Community,

We are counting down to the first day of school! In just one week, we will kick off the 2020-21 school year. Teachers across the district will welcome students back in creative and innovative ways to start the year virtually. I’ve seen digital classrooms, bitmoji avatars, and video messages preparing to welcome students back on August 17. Our current plan has us learning online for three weeks. We will continue to monitor the number of COVID-19 cases in our community and consider extending this virtual period as needed to keep staff and students safe.

As we count down the days, we’ve received a few questions about school supplies, uniforms, and a possible daily schedule that can guide at home learning. We’ve got you covered:

• Information about School Supplies

• Attendance and Grading Guidelines

• School Orientations and Meet the Teacher Events

• Schedules for each student will be available in the Home Access Center after August 12, and you may receive additional details and instructions from teachers.

VIRTUAL LEARNING

The virtual school day will look a little different than a typical day, but here are a few things to remember.

• Students will log in to Schoology using their Student ID.

• Students should review the posted schedule for each class (or teacher).

• Each teacher will host live small group instruction and office hours for students who have questions or need extra support.

• Students need to log in to their Homeroom class (primary and elementary schools) and second period (middle and high schools) by 1:00 p.m. to be counted present.

• Students will have the flexibility to complete assignments and lessons from each teacher and/or course until 11:59 p.m. each day. Grades will be taken weekly.

OUR APPROACH

Last week we rolled out a COVID Meter that defines Aldine ISD’s action plan for both staff and students. We are currently in the Red Phase. Red signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in our community as determined by local health officials, meaning outbreaks are presently worsening. Authorities advise residents to minimize contact with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for an essential need.

As our community’s COVID-19 outbreaks increase or decrease, our district will announce the phase (e.g., orange, yellow, or green). This will, in turn, result in action items related to opening schools for in-person learning.

TECHNOLOGY OPTIONS FOR STUDENTS

Aldine ISD is committed to ensuring its students have access to educational opportunities. Because learning is now taking place outside the traditional classroom, the district will offer technology devices to students, with another pick-up date on August 14. This distribution event is geared to families who:

• selected Learning On Campus on the Commitment Form and have not already received a device, and

• received confirmation to pick up a loaner device on August 3 but did not attend (regardless of the reason).

If other children in the home have already checked out a learning device (e.g., Chromebook, laptop), the family is not eligible at this time. More details are available here.

TEXAS P-EBT EXTENSION AND CURBSIDE MEALS

The Texas Department of Agriculture has extended the application process for the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) through August 21. This benefit provides $285 per eligible child. To apply, please visit hhs.texas.gov/ PEBT or call the P-EBT call center at 833-613- 6220.

To ensure every family has access to meals regardless of how instruction is being delivered, we are opening 58 meal sites on August 17. Each campus site will offer free breakfast for all students and paid, free and reduced lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. To locate the closest meal site please visit our website. Families can add money to their student lunch account and apply for free and reduced lunch by visiting SchoolCafe.com.

VIRTUAL CONVOCATIONS

Next week, we will bring our amazing and dedicated staff together for our annual convocation.We can’t meet in person but we can celebrate, recap the year, and plan ahead for 2020-21. We’ve planned virtual events that will take place August 17 through August 20 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. We are disappointed to miss out on being together in-person but have planned a series of engaging meetings to kick off the year. Staff should check their email for an invitation.

THE FUTURE HAS ITS EYES ON US

Thank you to our community of parents who have attended virtual town halls, sent in questions, and read the emails we are sharing. We know the situation can feel overwhelming. Please know that our team of educators is composed of some of the greatest hearts and minds you will find anywhere! We are all hard at work, planning rigorous and engaging lesson plans while ensuring flexibility for our students.

Despite it all, we are excited to get to “see” our students soon and get them off to a great year of learning and growth. This year, more than ever will be a true home and school partnership and we appreciate our parents’ flexibility and engagement. Please continue to visit aldineisd.org/ return-to-learn for the district’s plans.

Years from now, people will ask you about this time in our history. I hope you will be able to say with pride that you did the best you could, and your children’s school did too.

With Aldine Pride,
Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney
Superintendent