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WATCH or READ: Checking In with Charles (11/17/20)

 

We are quickly approaching the Thanksgiving Break, and in this week’s Check-In, I want to remind all of our staff members, students and families about the importance of staying vigilant to protect against the spread of COVID-19. We cannot stress enough that it takes all of us to protect our community. I’ll have a few more reminders after an important update regarding our Board of Trustees.

Update from Monday’s Board Meeting

During Monday’s meeting, we recognized outgoing Board President Jason Burdine and Trustees Kristin Tassin and Allison Drew. Together, these trustees have served nearly 15 years on behalf of the students and staff of Fort Bend ISD. They have been strong advocates in the Boardroom and in the community, and we are better and stronger because of their service.

We also welcomed three new board members. Angie Hanan, Dr. Shirley Rose-Gilliam and Denetta Williams took oaths, beginning their three-year terms as new trustees. I am looking forward to working with these board members, and our entire board, to support students and staff during this period of transition.

During the meeting, I formally shared my intention to resign as superintendent sometime before December of next year, timing the announcement to align with the addition of the new trustees. This will allow the newly formed Board an opportunity to select a new superintendent to form a new team of eight. The superintendent search process takes a great deal of time, so I provided the Board notice now to enable them to develop their strategy and timeline.

During the coming months, I will remain committed to supporting staff and the Board as we continue our efforts to serve students during the current pandemic and as the Board prepares for the future.

Continued Planning for Term 3

As I indicated last week, following the recent learning model change request process, campuses will now begin to build schedules for Term 3 that begins in January and we are anticipating a much smoother transition.

At the same time, we will continue efforts to develop solutions to increase student engagement in the online platforms, and we are also carefully evaluating how we can continue to bridge any learning gaps caused by the pandemic.

After careful consideration, and to minimize further changes to student and family schedules midyear, we are not planning to add synchronous time to the elementary schedule. However, we do realize the tremendous need for additional student support in elementary English Language Arts and Math. We are actively engaging with teacher work groups across the District to identify and develop options to support students in maximizing instruction.

Feedback from our teachers, staff and community is an important part of our planning process. Following my recent “office hours” with teachers, our staff compiled an FAQ for principals to share. In addition, staff will soon reach out to our parents to get feedback on their child’s current learning models so that we can continuously improve the dual learning models. Please be on the lookout for this opportunity.

Continue to Social Distance, Wear Masks during Break

Because the break is right around the corner, I also want to take this opportunity to remind our staff and students about the importance of being mindful of our actions during the upcoming holiday. It is critical that we continue to social distance and wear face coverings when traveling or gathering in groups --- because while we have strong mitigation efforts in place in our schools, what happens in our community has a direct effect on our ability to provide face-to-face instruction and activities.

Our contact tracing teams will continue to work over the break, so it is important that our students and staff report symptoms, exposures and positive results immediately in your daily wellness screening so that we can continue our efforts to prevent the spread of illness in our community.

In Fort Bend ISD, we are staying the course to educate students and serve in our community.