Sabinal COVID-19 update 3/13/2020

March 13, 2020

Dear Sabinal ISD families,

As a district, Sabinal ISD is committed to providing an outstanding education in a safe and secure environment. As you know, our nation is struggling with unprecedented health concerns. Like many of you, we have been closely monitoring the guidance on COVID-19.

This week, I have been in constant contact with the Texas Department of Health, Texas Education Agency, the Governor’s office, the Texas Division of Emergency Management as well as numerous superintendents in our area regarding how best to manage concerns for the wellness of our students and personnel who will be returning to our schools after spring break.

Sabinal ISD will have a modified start to school next week, March 16th – 20th. Monday, March 16th will be a student holiday and teacher work day. Beginning on Tuesday, March 17th “at-home” lessons will be distributed to all students. Parents will be contacted by their teachers on Monday on how this will be accomplished. Teachers will collect and grade their student’s work from their own homes for March 17th – 20th. Lessons can be accomplished in a number of ways, for example google classroom, “homework” type packets, or other available instructional means as determined by the teacher. The goal will be to accomplish teaching and learning from the student’s and teacher’s homes respectively.

Some schools have elected to extend their spring break for another week. However, if the COVID-19 situation worsens, and additional closure is needed and/or students and staff health is affected, the schools may be forced to make up the missed days which could lead to delays in graduation, and other “summer” plans. Other schools are electing to conduct school normally, and possibly expose others upon their return to school next week. Our model is based on what is being promoted in the private sector where employers are having their employees work from their homes.

Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Texas Department of Health recommend limiting, even restricting where practical, “social mixing;” in other words, we all should avoid large human gatherings in an effort to decrease the spread of this virus. Today the University of Interscholastic League suspended all interscholastic competition until March 29th. Sabinal ISD will also suspend all practices and other extra-curricular events through March 29th.

I do not make this decision lightly and I fully realize it presents significant difficulties to working parents who have young school-aged children. But we are hopeful that these measures will better ensure the long-term health and safety of children, staff, and the larger community.

Please look for additional information to be released on or before Friday, March 20th regarding our plans for March 23rd – 27th.

Until further notice, please continue to discuss prevention measures with your child.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • And for the next 14 days, limit to the extent possible, the families exposure to others outside of their own
    homes.
I want to thank everyone for their understanding, support and patience as we navigate through these troubled times!
Sincerely,
Richard W. Grill
Superintendent