Message from Superintendent Bruce Gearing
This year has brought heroism and resilience from our students, teachers, staff, and families. Our educators supported students while managing households, teaching their own children, and facing the daily challenges of isolation, quarantine, and social distancing. Our families managed remote learning from the front lines while working in crowded households, going into work essential jobs, and facing economic hardship with historic job loss impacting the nation.
Our students’ and staff’s health and safety continue to be our top priority as we plan for the best possible learning experience when we open our doors again.
As we close this school year, I want to update you on our team’s planning for the fall. We are currently planning for every scenario possible. The range of these scenarios is captured in our Continuum of Fall COVID-19 Planning.
In the best-case scenario, we hope to bring all students back to school. On the opposite end of this continuum, we find ourselves required to once again close school buildings and to implement a redesigned, high-quality model of virtual learning. In between, we have a mixture of learning from home and learning at school. Where we land on this continuum will depend upon our thoughtful planning, the input of the Leander ISD community, and guidance from state and county health officials.
A team of district and campus leaders is developing a plan that takes into account all aspects of the continuum, including social distancing guidelines for facilities and virtual learning environments. This work will result in recommendations we will present to the LISD School Board on June 18 with a final decision about the start of the school year presented on July 16. It is worth noting we may experience the full range of this continuum over the course of the 2020–21 school year.
While we continue to shape our response, we are looking for feedback from our families and support from our community. Please share ideas, concerns, and thoughts regarding our starting school in this ThoughtExchange survey. ThoughtExchange allows you the opportunity to share open-ended feedback and to see the responses of our community. You can submit ideas and rate the thoughts submitted by others in ThoughtExchange. With Thoughtexchange, everyone will have access to the voice of our community as we continue to keep this process and decision making open and transparent.
The resiliency of our community has been at the forefront of this crisis. We know challenges lie ahead, but our focus continues to be on finding solutions to meet the needs of every child. Thank you for your continued support and care during these trying times. We are better together.
Most LISD staff will work remotely in June
In light of ongoing concerns about public health and the closure of our school buildings, most LISD staff will work remotely in June. Staff working on-site at a district location must complete health protocols in line with Texas standards for all on-site employees.
Plans for the summer strength and conditioning camps
During the month of June, hopefully beginning June 8, LISD will hold Strength and Conditioning Camps for grades 7–12. These camps will be held at all six high schools and will be outdoors only. Our coaches are excited to have this opportunity and are working hard to put plans in place that will follow guidelines from the UIL in order to create safe environments for athletes and staff. Registration starts June 1, so check out the Leander ISD Athletic Department webpage to get registered and for more details regarding the camp, you will attend. Please contact the camp director if you are interested in scholarship information. Additional camps we may be able to offer in July will be determined in late June, so stay tuned and keep checking out our website for updates.
*Note for incoming 7th graders: You can turn your physical form in when you check in on the first day you attend camp. We must have one before you can participate in Strength Camp.
Camp Invention returns
In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, LISD is pleased to offer Camp Invention Connect, an at-home version of the Camp Invention program. The camps feature an exciting, weeklong summer adventure exploring science, technology, engineering, and innovation. Camp Invention Connect is coached by LISD teachers in two, four-week sessions for children entering grades K–6. Sign up information can be found here.
Just as our students, teachers, school staff, and families transition into summer, we will modify the design and frequency of our updates. While the virus and the national response to keep our community safe continue, we remain focused on things we need to do to support students.
For communications, this means we will be sending updates less frequently in the summer. Rather than being “numbered updates” tied specifically to COVID-19, these will be important news items from Superintendent Bruce Gearing. Please know we will always communicate when change immediately impacts our families and will continue to keep the dialogue open through our digital platforms, such as our website, social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, and Let’s Talk. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about communication, please contact Chief Communications Officer Corey Ryan.