Update from Dr. Dana Bashara 1/15/21

Dear AHISD Parents, 


Happy New Year!  I look back on our first semester with an incredible sense of humility and  gratitude about our reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  During a time of continued uncertainty, I anchor into what we learned and what we know about operating our schools during this time of challenge:


We know that our AHISD staff is going above and beyond to meet the needs of our students through responsive, innovative efforts in the way that classroom instruction is being offered in multiple platforms, and through the diligent attention to both the physical and social-emotional wellness of our students.  I know that you recognize that our AHISD staff is truly extraordinary. 


We also know that the carefully designed  and conscientiously implemented  health and safety protocols implemented in the fall are working to mitigate the spread of the virus when students and staff are in our schools.  


Based on what we know, we will continue to operate our schools in both the face-to-face and the Heights at Home platform.  Additionally, we will continue our commitment to supporting students in a remote platform if they need to stay at home due to health and safety concerns.  


In order to continue the success that we experienced last semester during a time of rising numbers of positive cases in our city, I am calling on the community for a renewed commitment to our AHISD Culture of Care.  Especially if you are choosing to send your child to our campuses for face-to-face instruction, we are calling for your partnership around these practices. It is not time to let down your guard and to be complacent due to the arrival of the vaccination, or due to fatigue around COVID protocols. We must think of the success of the past semester as a time of training for the elevated diligence we need to display now, especially as we continue to offer in-person schooling to students. 


It is apparent through our contact tracing efforts, the active cases that have been reported to us these past two weeks are community spread cases outside of our schools.  These positive cases are proving that the virus is active and spreading in our community. To continue to keep our students and our staff safe, we need a heightened level of commitment to the recommended health and safety practices.  This is especially important when we are not in our schools, when the AHISD health and safety protocol routines are not in place.


How can you help with this renewed commitment? 


  • Please keep your child home when they are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19 as flagged by their daily screener.   (Remember, your child can still access learning that day through Google Classroom, and can still be counted present by filling out the attendance form located at: www.ahisd.net.) Students should also stay home if a family member is experiencing symptoms or awaiting the results of a COVID test.
  •  Please diligently practice and model for your children the health and safety protocols recommended to mitigate the spread – wearing masks, washing and sanitizing hands frequently, and distancing from others. 
  • Help your child make healthy choices about their social interaction and continue to promote the distancing and healthy practices that will mitigate community spread.  
  • Report all active cases and close contact exposures directly to the school nurse first.  

In addition to our own renewed diligence as a school district around the health and safety protocols in place on each of our campus, we have a few updated resources to provide to our students and our staff as additional layers of support and mitigation:

  • Updated Daily Screener (Qualtrics) – Please commit to thoughtfully completing this screener each day especially noting the need to stay at home if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms or is waiting for testing to be returned.
  •  Free Con Corazon Rapid Testing Site for Symptomatic AHISD Students and Staff (Rapid PCR).  All students and staff have access to testing at the mobile van location on Mondays at the AHISD Softball Field, or at the location on Hildebrand on the other days (click here for more information).
  • Coming Soon!  Free Community Labs Voluntary Asymptomatic weekly testing for AHISD students and Staff (Rapid PCR).  Watch for information to come over the next week. 

Since the re-opening of our schools this fall, we have committed to offering our AHISD families a choice in learning platforms for the year which has required tremendous efforts around health and safety protocols on behalf of our on-campus learners as well as for every one of our AHISD employees.  I ask for your renewed partnership as we experience the rise in cases around us, to promote and practice the same level of diligence outside of our schools.


Warmest regards,


Dr. Dana Bashara
Superintendent 


Watch the January Update video with Dr. Dana Bashara


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