By Ken Baugh, Superintendent of Schools
Hello to everyone in Van Horn. We do not get out very much here at school and do miss seeing our parents and children. This is certainly an interesting and difficult time for everyone; however, I am very humbled at the goodwill and willingness of our community to help each other. I appreciate all the offers of help for the school. We promise to do our best to take care of you and your children. While the building is closed to everyone but staff, we are still working hard to ensure your children will continue learning and have access to the educational process.
At this time, it means at-home schooling and looks very different than what we are all used to. We are using “technology at home” based learning with some paper packet learning when appropriate. We have a plan in place that will continue to be accessed and updated by our CCAISD staff. Our plans will accommodate a “Shelter in Place” order. We will begin the process of addressing high school graduation, grade-level promotion decisions, and school ceremonies in the next couple of weeks.
CCAISD has closed the school building to students, parents, and community starting Monday, March 23, 2020 through Friday, April 3, 2020 to support our community and health care professionals in the ongoing goal of containing the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Additionally, all extracurricular activities, practices and athletic events are suspended until May 3, 2020.
This decision was not made lightly and we fully realize it presents significant difficulties for working parents. However, we are hopeful that these measures will better ensure the long-term health and safety of children, staff, and the larger community. Things change very quickly and any of the dates in this article will likely change soon.
We will update students, parents, and community members through social media as changes occur. Certainly we have learned what “Zoom” is and we will be having Zoom Meetings for parents. Do not worry, CCAISD staff will provide the very easy steps of using your computer or phone to be able to access Zoom for communication updates.
CCAISD has begun the distribution of food to help meet children’s educational and nutritional needs while school is out. More information and guidance is available on our website and other social media outlets, as well as this article. We completed the process of cleaning our schools and buses and are restocking custodial and nursing supplies.
The COVID-19 Response Team met at 9 AM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The team finalized our academic and meal plans Tuesday morning and began informing school staff of those decisions on Tuesday afternoon. We will begin notifying parents Thursday to check on them and their children and to gather information for ways to deliver at-home instruction.
At the time of the writing of this article, State STAAR Testing has been canceled, UIL has postponed all UIL extracurricular events until May 3, the Texas Governor has closed all schools through Friday,, April 3, 2020, and our cafeteria is providing meal service.
CCAISD is providing meals for any child 0 to 18 years old of age starting Monday, March 23rd through Friday, April 3rd. This is during our planned school closure. Please drive through the pick-up area in front of the building between the hours of 11 AM to 2 PM. We will be doing a curbside delivery. Please let us know if you cannot make it to the school, we will figure out a way to deliver the meals to homes. Breakfast and lunch meals are handed out at the same time daily. These meals meet all Federal requirements.
Additionally, CCAISD asks the broader community to take the following reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the illness. Please remember to be vigilant on the following:
- Don’t shake hands
- Wash your hands regularly
- Limit movement within the community, especially avoiding crowded places and maintaining 3 to 6ft of distance between people (at least an arm’s length)
- If you are moving around in the community, don’t congregate in large groups
- For those who have traveled to areas with known COVID-19 cases – both inside and outside of the country – we ask that you self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Students who have traveled should plan to stay home for two weeks after arriving home. Please contact your campus to let them know, and this will be considered an excused absence.
- If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for medical advice .
- Keep your child at home if he/she feels ill, even if you think it is just a cold.
- Do not leave the house if you are ill, except to access medical care.
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we continue to work together to ensure that all members of the community in CCAISD stay safe and healthy.