As we hurtle towards the holidays, LISD will continue to focus on the health, safety, and well-being of each and every child. Our latest newsletter looks ahead to 2021 graduation, school calendars, hazardous bus routes, and possible new quarantine guidelines while bringing you up to speed on the very latest happenings around the district.

Super School Visits

With the unique challenges of this year, Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Ed.D., felt the importance of seeing for himself how schools are overcoming. Why not share that experience? Super School Visits are a testimony to the hard work and dedication of #1LISD. Whether high-stepping with the dance team, coming alongside a child writing an essay or entering a virtual classroom filled with engagement, Dr. Gearing is showing school life that’s raw and real. Connections are happening. Learning is happening. #LISDisHappening

Super School Visits premieres Sunday evenings on Facebook and YouTube. Be sure to catch our next episode where the Grizzlies cook up something special for the Superintendent.

2021 Graduation set for May 27-29 at Gupton Stadium

We’re so proud of how our #1LISD family rallied around the Class of 2020. While we know it wasn’t what any of us had envisioned, graduation ceremonies in July went smoothly thanks to careful planning and the cooperation of our community.

Because we anticipate COVID-19 continuing to be a concern in the spring semester, we believe that holding graduation at Gupton Stadium is our best option for providing the Class of 2021 the memorable graduation experience it deserves.

If you have questions, please contact your campus directly. Go here for the full graduation schedule.

Listening Sessions on School Calendars

Nearly 1,400 participants provided feedback through a Thoughtexchange survey to help us build our 2021-22 and 2022-23 school year academic calendars. We will be hosting four listening sessions on Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 to further discuss the calendars before we share drafts with our community to vote on later this month.

Register
Please sign up for our virtual listening sessions:

Next Steps
After the listening sessions, we will post and share two or three draft calendars for our community to vote on before bringing a recommendation to the Board of Trustees in our January school board meetings.

For more information on the Thoughtexhange report

Seeking Feedback on Annual Review of Hazardous Bus Routes

LISD is seeking feedback from our community as the district begins its annual review of hazardous bus routes within two miles of a campus. We want to hear from families about concerns on current routing and bus services. The district will use this input in planning our hazardous route assessments. If you have a specific concern about your student’s walking route to school, please let us know about it via Let’s Talk.

The state provides funding for public schools to bus students to and from campuses that are two miles or more from their homes. In Leander ISD, families living closer than two miles from their assigned school are in the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone,” or NETZone. Students in the NETZone are only provided bus service if their route to school is rated as hazardous.

Members of the transportation team annually review bus routes to schools of families receiving bus service and living inside the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone” or NETZone. Reviewers also assess routes to schools of families in the NETZone with significant changes, such as new construction or changes to road conditions.

Leander ISD uses a matrix to assign route a score, which determines whether or not the student qualifies for bus service. A community committee regularly reviews and updates the matrix.

Leander ISD awaits possible new COVID-19 quarantine guidelines from CDC

We are aware of the recent remarks by an official with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about shortening quarantine guidance for persons infected with or exposed to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

At this time, we are awaiting the new guideline to be finalized and for recommendations to come to us from our local public health departments. If there is a change recommended, we will communicate that guidance with our families and adjust the Leander ISD Health Response Handbook as needed.

Fall 2020 MidPoint Survey

As a continuous-improvement district, you can help LISD understand how to meet the needs of our community by responding to the Parent Fall 2020 Midpoint Survey. The results of this survey will help us improve our in-person and virtual learning environments, as well as gather specific feedback about student experiences from our students, teachers, and parents.

We are asking that all LISD participate in the survey by clicking on the link: Parent Fall 2020 Midpoint Survey. Since all of our students are experiencing this fall differently, we encourage you to complete this survey for each child you have enrolled in LISD.

Thank you for your continued support and participation as we navigate this challenging school year and work to create the best learning environment for our students.

Please feel free to contact Sarah Martinez if you have any questions or concerns.

Parenting the Love and Logic Way® – Winter Series

Leander ISD’s Student and Family Support team facilitates the Parenting the Love and Logic Way® course ONLINE during the winter of 2020. This six-week program is designed to help parents nurture responsible, respectful, fun-to-be-around sons, and daughters. Children will learn how to make their own choices, own their problems, and think critically and logically for themselves. Parents will discover how to let empathy and consequences do the teaching.

The course is appropriate for parents of children of all ages in any environment. The series is open to all parents in our Leander ISD community.

Winter online classes are Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. from Jan. 28 through March 4. Here’s additional information on this series, the Love and Logic® philosophy, and how to register.

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Ann Kluga at maryann.kluga@leanderisd.org or 512-570-0315.

Leander ISD Partners with ESS to Offer Substitute Opportunities

Would you or someone you know make an amazing substitute? In hopes of increasing the district’s pool of substitute teachers, LISD is partnering with ESS, a substitute staffing company that shares our vision of creating a safe, positive learning environment for all of our students. Through this partnership with ESS, LISD substitute teachers will receive:

  • Comparable pay
  • Insurance and benefits
  • Resources and training programs
  • Incentives

Click here to read more about the substitute program with Leander ISD and ESS.

Technology Use at Home

As remote learning has expanded during the pandemic, many families have reached out to the District to discuss technology usage. While technology provides incredible access to instructional resources, it also raises questions for parents.

The first thing all parents are interested in is controlling access to any harmful content. Federal law requires this protection. Consequently, inside the District network and on District-owned devices anywhere, the strictest available controls are enforced for content. While no filter is ever 100% effective, the District uses the strictest controls available from our partners. If you ever have concerns about whether your District-owned device is filtering correctly, first just try to visit blocked content like facebook.com to verify that filtering is working as intended. If you continue to have any other questions about filtering or available content, please reach out to our Help Desk at 512-570-0566.

Preventing distraction is another matter which is increasingly challenging. Under normal circumstances, instructors handle this in class through normal supervision but during remote learning students are typically less supervised as parents have many other responsibilities.

Content control is a complex subject often involving interoperability between both District and home networks and devices. An important consideration to keep in mind is that legal compliance requirements may oblige the district to enforce controls on both District-owned devices and District student accounts that may affect operation of home network equipment or software related to content control or monitoring. Given these constraints, actions which have been reported as effective by some families include:

  • Designating a high traffic, easily observable location for daily school activity. For example, a kitchen table may be preferable to a student bedroom.
  • Controlling access to the device outside of school or homework times.
  • Restricting device usage only for schoolwork
  • Assessing choice of District-owned or BYOT device for mLISD participation. Both options have advantages, but one or the other may be preferable for an individual family’s needs. Please keep in mind that even use of BYOT devices will not necessarily remove all District controls from District student accounts. The LISD Help Desk can provide more information on this subject.

While technology has created great opportunities for remote learning, it has also intensified many of the challenges related to the integration of these technologies with learning. We continue to work to improve the experience for all families and appreciate your understanding during this process.

Free Adult Education Classes Information

Leander ISD, in partnership with Community Action, Inc., offers free adult ESL, English, and Spanish High School Equivalency (HSE/GED-prep) classes, which meet virtually via ZOOM, Tues./Thurs., 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., for the 2020-21 school year. Classes follow the LISD school calendar.

Enrollment is a 3-step process:

  1. Complete Community Action, Inc.’s Registration Form by Wednesday, Dec. 9.
  2. Complete baseline assessment when contacted by adult ed staff
    • ESL students – oral language proficiency assessment
    • GED students – adult basic education assessment
  3. Join class via ZOOM when adult ed staff send invitations. The class starts Tuesday, Jan. 12.

In addition, Community Action partners with other organizations offer day time and other evening options for ESL, GED, and career-training classes.

For questions contact Nancy Powell, Coordinator at Nancy.powell@leanderisd.org

Board Briefs

Leander ISD Trustees welcomed two newly elected Board members, approved a stipend for all employees to cover expenses incurred during the pandemic, and explored changes to the district policy regarding grading point average and class rank at their Nov. 19 meeting.

View the agenda hereWatch the video here.

Trustees will convene Thursday, Dec. 3 for a special called Board meeting to discuss

Reminder: Complete Health Screener Each Morning (In-Person Only)

Reminder: Complete Health Screener Each Morning (In-Person Only)

For the health and safety of our students and staff, parents are required to complete a campus health screener each morning for each student attending classes in-person. Every campus has a designated health form that needs to be filled out before the student arrives at school. Please check with your child’s campus for more information.

Also, please remember the best practices during this time are to wear a mask, keep a safe social distance, and wash hands often.

“Drive-In” to the LEEF Gala 2021

"Drive-In" to the LEEF Gala 2021

It’s time for an incredible evening at Doc’s Drive-In Theatre to support our Leander ISD family! The LEEF 2021 Gala will be held Saturday, Jan. 30, and will offer a Drive-In Experience or an Online Experience! Reserve your car slot or register to attend from the comfort of your own home

Remind

Not receiving messages sent through Remind? Follow these steps:

  • Log into Remind using the same email address on file in Home Access Center (HAC).
  • Once logged in, click on your name in the top left corner, and select Account Settings and then Notification Preferences.
  • By default, your email address and the phone number on file in Home Access Center should
  • both be listed.
  • On this page, you can select which method(s) in which you’d like to receive messages. More information can be found here.

Not seeing your cell phone on your profile?

A phone number can only be listed on one Remind profile at a time, so it’s possible your phone number is already linked to a Remind account with an email address different from the one listed in HAC. If you’d like to merge these two profiles together, select “Add Device” on the Notifications Preferences page and follow the confirmation prompts from Remind. Click here for additional information.