Dear KIPP Texas Families,
I hope you are feeling refreshed after a much-needed three-day weekend! As the school year progresses, my heart is filled more and more with immense gratitude for the relentless excellence, equity, and empathy I see and hear about in our classrooms.
Although my heart is full, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that underneath the beautiful teaching and learning, we are leading, teaching, parenting, and working together through some really challenging circumstances.
In many ways, this year has felt more challenging than last year. What we do know is that COVID will be here for a long time and that we must educate our students through this pandemic. Yet, the ever-changing dialogue between the state and counties, the limitations we have on learning methods, and the reduction of many other flexibilities we are not afforded this year when compared to last are tough and just a few of the complexities we are juggling. There is no easy path.
I promise that we will continue to do everything we can to both fulfill the sacred promises to our children to provide them an excellent, equitable, joyful education which we believe happens best in person AND keep our Little and Big KIPPsters as safe as possible. I promise that we will keep you informed as we continue to make decisions and make any pivots necessary. And, I promise that no matter how difficult the challenge, we will make the very best and most thoughtful decisions with the information we have – to keep all of us safe and our KIPPsters learning.
One pivot I am excited to share is that effective tomorrow, KIPP Texas is requiring proper mask-wearing for all individuals inside of KIPP buildings and on KIPP buses.
You may also be wondering, what is different now than a few weeks ago? Recently, the TEA has stated in writing and via a Superintendent call that the provisions of the Governor’s order regarding masking are not being enforced at this time due to pending litigation, which significantly reduces the risk we weighed at the start of the school year. This comment prompted last week’s board meeting and led to the Board’s direction noted above. The combination of the TEA’s statement, the state of Covid in our communities, and our Board’s decision allowed me to take this action today.
While this is a positive step forward in our efforts to protect our KIPP Texas community, it’s not the only step. This week, I’d like to emphasize how critical it is that we continue the excellent implementation of the following practices to keep our schools safe:
- #MaskUpForKIPPsters: Effective tomorrow, we are standing firm on our mask mandate. Please continue to properly wear a facemask when in KIPP buildings. Let’s please remind our Little KIPPsters and each other to not let those masks slip unintentionally below our noses :). Mask Up!
- Vaccinate, If Eligible: Although not required, we strongly recommend all eligible KIPPsters get vaccinated.
- Follow Health and Safety Protocols: Please continue the diligent practices of hand hygiene, distancing where possible, and self-screening before entering KIPP buildings.
If your KIPPster or someone in your home is COVID positive, please quarantine. If you have to quarantine, please notify your school’s front office. While quarantined, your child will receive access to Remote Learning Academy, a virtual program specifically and exclusively for students who are home due to quarantine.
Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we work to create a joyful, academically excellent environment for our KIPPsters.