March 8, 2021

KIPP Texas guidance on masks and opportunities to advocate

March 8, 2021

Dear KIPP Texas Families,

As we start the last week before Spring Break, I want to share some great news. In response to the needs our Team and Family shared, KIPP Texas started a Family Emergency Fund (FEF) to provide financial assistance. We have already started distributing assistance needed via the Family Emergency Fund. In total, we are set to distribute over $800,000 in assistance.  We are humbled and grateful to provide any help we can.

Please take a few minutes to read the updates below.

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Advocacy Corner

I want to tell you about two big opportunities to advocate or learn how to advocate. Please consider taking 30 seconds to sign this petition to show your support for public charter schools to Texas lawmakers! This is a simple and easy way to join together with advocates from across the state.

BIG advocacy opportunity for KIPP Texas-Austin families! KIPP Texas’ advocacy team is joining a group of Central Texas public charter school families this month for TWO empowering workshops (March 9th and 24th at 6pm) where parents can learn about civic engagement and how to tell their story to elected officials at all levels of government.  We strongly encourage participation in these bilingual, exciting events! Click here to register. If you have any questions, please contact our Deputy Chief of Advocacy, Addie Gomez at Addie.Gomez@kipptexas.org or 512-731-5909.

Storm Uri Support

The State of Texas has stood up an Individual State of Texas Assessment Tool (iSTAT) to make sure all Texans are reporting their damages to the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM). If you’d like to help Texas officials understand the impact of Storm Uri, please fill out the survey. Reporting damage to TDEM is voluntary and does not substitute reporting damage to your insurance agency, and it does not guarantee disaster relief assistance.

Masks at KIPP Texas

KIPP Texas firmly believes that wearing masks, along with other health and safety practices such as washing and disinfecting our hands, and maintaining social distance whenever possible, particularly in a school setting, mitigates the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, KIPP Texas will continue requiring all KIPPsters, staff, and visitors on our campuses to wear masks. 

COVID-19 Safety Strategies Update (families)

As you know, throughout the pandemic, we have prioritized the health and safety of our Little and Big KIPPsters as well as an equitable, joyful, excellent education. Please refer to the KIPP Texas Back-to-School Guide to review all the strategies we have implemented.

Today, I want to share two additional strategies that we have started and will continue to ramp up:

  1. Opt-in FREE COVID-19 rapid tests for KIPP Texas student-athletes! All girls and boys basketball and soccer student-athletes across all four regions who have opted in to being tested, receive two COVID-19 FREE rapid-tests each week. Since January, KIPP Texas has administered over 900 tests to these student athletes. We hope to expand the testing program to more Spring sports as they ramp up.
  2. Optional FREE COVID-19 rapid tests for symptomatic KIPPsters learning in-person! When in-person KIPPsters show COVID-19 symptoms at school, they are sent to the clinic or an isolation room where a Big KIPPster calls their parent or legal guardian to pick them up. Our new COVID testing pilot program in Houston now provides the option for parents at a limited number of schools to have their KIPPsters tested and find out in 15 minutes whether they are COVID positive or negative…for FREE! To date, 80+ symptomatic students have been tested through the pilot. Planning is underway to expand the program to all campuses across the four regions.  

As you can imagine, providing free COVID-19 testing is a great convenience and benefit to you, our KIPPsters, and our schools. If a KIPPster tests negative and is not identified as a close contact, they will be able to come back to school the next day or continue to participate in athletics, as opposed to having to quarantine for an extended period of time. Please expect additional information once the program is launched at your KIPPster’s school.

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Our entire Team & Family is working so hard so our KIPPsters will finish our last week before Spring Break strong, with joyful and equitable learning. I hope you and your KIPPsters get to enjoy your break, rest, and time with your family, and do so responsibly – wearing your masks and maintaining social distancing whenever possible!

 

With gratitude,

Sehba Ali

Important Links:
Sign up to be an advocate
Virtual Learning Portal
At a Glance Back to School Guide
Complete Family Back to School Guide
Grab & Go meals