Message from the Superintendent September 29, 2021

September 29, 2021


Dear CISD Family,


On Monday, the CISD Board of Trustees voted to extend the temporary mask requirement until the end of the business day on October 25. This extension was approved with the caveat that it could be rescinded should there be further requirements as a result of ongoing state and federal litigation or other applicable legislative action.

The mask exemptions for medical, religious, philosophical or administrative reasons remain in place. Those who have already filled out a student mask exemption request do not need to fill out another form.  For those who have not filled out a form, the Mask Exemption Form for students is available at www.coppellisd.com/COVID-19protocols.


At the Board Meeting, I was also able to provide some additional insight into the administrative decision to end temporary virtual learning after the first nine weeks grading period, as we had originally communicated on August 10. I assure you that this decision was not made in isolation. I along with my leadership team sought input from our principals, teachers and staff prior to making the final decision. The feedback from staff was universal — virtual learning is not working to the level that we need it to and is not meeting all of the academic or social needs of our students. We are seeing a tremendous learning loss in our temporary virtual learners, as well as increased needs in their social, emotional and mental well-being. The majority of these learners are not where they need to be in terms of learning or mental health. Our teachers, principals, school counselors and district administrators all agree that in-person learning is what is necessary to address the learning loss that has occurred since March 2020.

While Governor Greg Abbott did sign Senate Bill 15, which provides funding for virtual learning, into law a couple of weeks ago, there are attendance and state requirements that students must meet to qualify for virtual learning.  In addition, this law caps virtual learners at 10 percent of a district’s school population and is not available for students in Pre-K.  With these parameters now in place, a significant number of our current 1,800 temporary virtual learners will not qualify for virtual learning.  With virtual learning we have also experienced issues with academic integrity, lack of engagement, technology, lack of adult supervision, logging in from other countries, etc. all of which have interfered with the learning experience.

I truly believe all of our students need to be back in the classroom in front of a highly qualified and trained teacher, where they can receive the exceptional education they so desperately need and deserve. I also feel that it is very important to listen to our educators, who are the experts in their field. We are nothing without our teachers, and their insight, work and voice in educating and serving our children is invaluable. Our teachers are outstanding, and we need to listen to them.

We value each and every one of our learners and their families. I know many of you may be disappointed in this decision, yet it is firm and final. As your superintendent, it is my responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of all students and staff. I believe CISD is the best place for all of our students to learn and receive an exceptional education. While I understand some of you may need to make decisions that are best for your family, CISD is always here and welcoming for our students.

Our district strives each day to achieve our mission of, “Working together, we are committed to creating profound learning experiences for each child, while nurturing meaningful relationships to positively impact our world.” Thank you for being a part of the CISD family, as we work together to live out our mission and serve and educate our children.

Sincerely,


Dr. Brad Hunt
Superintendent