Dear SBISD Families, Students, Colleagues and Community Members,
I hope this message finds you all healthy, well and safe. All of us are continuing to respond to the ongoing uncertainties of this pandemic and its impacts that permeate through literally every aspect of our lives. Some days are definitely easier than others!
We are excited to announce that we now have WiFi-equipped buses stationed at key strategic locations around the district to provide internet access for our students who may have limited or no internet service at home. Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., students can drive or walk to the vicinity of the bus to access the filtered WiFi service. (With social distancing, of course!)
Today was our first day to roll out the service at strategic locations at or near our comprehensive high schools and at our partner site at Spring Spirit. Next week, we will add this service at or near our middle schools and key district instructional facilities.
School leaders are communicating specifics to their school communities. We know that internet access is a barrier for a number of our families, and we hope this new service proves beneficial as our students continue learning online.
Statement on Grading Guidelines
On April 7, I announced SBISD’s Adjusted Grading Guidelines, effective April 14 through the end of the school year. Many parents have sent messages of thanks for how we have approached this unprecedented time in support of our students. Some high school parents have reached out with requests that we think differently about some aspects of these guidelines.
In response, we have spent considerable time reviewing our guidelines and those of our surrounding districts. Yesterday, we released a statement affirming that our Adjusted Grading Guidelines will stand. You may view our statement here.
Hats off Stratford Playhouse
Congratulations to the Stratford Playhouse whose spring musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, won five prestigious Tommy Tune Awards last night! Accolades include Best Musical, Best Supporting Actor, Best Ensemble, Best Costume Design, and Best Direction. Read more about these awards, presented by Theatre Under the Stars here.
While we continue to focus in the here and now to ensure we sustain strong teaching and learning, we also are focused on the future. For example, teams of SBISD campus and district leaders have been busy in the past week considering what summer opportunities might look like. As we do not yet have guidance from health and government officials as to what school districts will and will not be able to do for summer and beyond, we are leveraging our Limitless Curiosity to plan for various scenarios, so we will be ready no matter what.
I am engaged in weekly conversations with local, regional, and state leaders in and beyond education. We also participate in weekly superintendent Zoom conversations with the Texas Education Agency Commissioner to hear the very latest guidance and resources available. All of these conversations focus on identifying the supports, safeguards, structures, logistics and guidelines that will be necessary to reopen safely when the time is right.
Take Care of Yourselves
As this all continues, with all the emotions this unprecedented health situation brings along with it, please take time to take care of yourselves. Even if it’s just five minutes to take a walk, read a book, or do something you enjoy, be sure to do so! None of us can take care of those we love if we don’t take care of ourselves, too. Check out our parenting resources, and don’t hesitate to reach out to your school counselor or Communities in Schools colleague if you are struggling, need help accessing community resources, or just need someone to talk with. We are here for you!
Despite the challenges, the seemingly endless Zooms, and balancing work and family all happening in the same place and time, I continue to be amazed at the resiliency of our students and staff, the creativity of our teachers and leaders, the supportive nature of our families, and the generosity and giving spirit of our community. I am so grateful to each of you, and wish you continued health and wellness. Together, we will get through this! Together, we are better.
Jennifer Blaine, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
- Grading guidelines
- Health & safety
- Superintendent's message