DeISD Stays Agile with Changing Health Crisis

DeSoto ISD Stays Agile with Changing Health Crisis
Posted on 03/05/2021
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This week, governmental and educational leaders in Texas made major safety protocol announcements regarding COVID-19.

 On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order regarding the reopening of the state of Texas. A day later, the Texas Education Agency released guidance for schools.

 “At this time, DeSoto ISD is clear that it will continue to mandate the use of masks in district facilities,” DeSoto ISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. D’Andre J. Weaver said. “We have scheduled several meetings this week and early next week to discuss and review current plans and make necessary adjustments as a result of these recent announcements.”

 Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, district and campus leaders have been deeply focused on the health and safety of students and staff.

 “Understanding the gravity of this situation, we are reviewing as much information as possible and continuing to ask questions and relay the concerns of our parents and community members so that we can make informed decisions around how we ensure a continuation of learning and other wrap-around services like meals and social-emotional support while keeping people safe while doing it,” DeSoto ISD Board President Amanda Sargent said.

 In response to the global health pandemic, DeSoto ISD developed a virtual learning framework to provide students and families the flexibility to continue learning remotely. As the district reopened schools in the fall, a task force was created to address how to do this safely and effectively.

 That task force of more than 50 DeSoto ISD leaders continues to meet regularly to address ways in which the district can continue to be responsive to COVID-19.

 “For the start of the school year, we were focused on ensuring proper cleaning protocols, right-sizing classrooms to ensure social distancing, making adjustments to ensure students had access to nutritious food and that we had a structure in place for high-quality instruction that would translate across the virtual learning environment,” Dr. Weaver said. “With this most recent news, we are now focused on ensuring that people understand the importance of continuing to wear a mask, continuing to social distance, what this will mean for how we meet and how we address traditional student-centered events like graduation.”

 As administrators are working to develop clear and definitive guidelines for district operations, at the heart of their work is the safety and well-being of people.

 DeSoto ISD Trustee Dr. Tiffany Clark reached out to her own personal contacts to create avenues of access to vaccines and vaccine registration for district staff.

“As an educator, I know first-hand that the changing nature of the pandemic has added an incredible amount of stress for teachers and parents.” she said. “This is a means to allow our teachers in DeSoto ISD to focus on teaching. I just want to help in any way I can to ensure people have what they need to feel safe while they do their jobs.”

 As a result of her connections, DeSoto ISD has shared with staff a number of ways to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine and is working to solidify partnerships to provide the vaccine in the district. While the details are still being finalized, the district continues to focus its efforts on prioritizing student and staff safety. Until then, DeSoto ISD is continuing to work with community partners and police, fire and medical entities to keep staff and families updated on how and where they can receive the vaccine.


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