Dear KIPP Texas Families,
In these four days we have left until our KIPPsters and teachers start their much-deserved winter break, we are looking forward to making a positive impact in our KIPPsters’ preparation for college, their career, and beyond!
We also want to use these four days to reflect on and celebrate the heroic achievements we have accomplished together over the last nine months. We all know the challenges we have faced this year – there have been many. Yet, here we are, persisting step-by-step, towards the end of 2020, looking forward to a new year and better days ahead. It hasn’t been easy, but with your support, as a community, we have shown up and persisted with purpose together each and every day for our KIPPsters.
Adjustment to Instructional Minutes/Daily School Schedules
As a health and safety precaution, after Thanksgiving break, we stayed 100% virtual for two days and then phased back in one or two grade levels at a time at every school. To meet the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) instructional minutes requirement, we need to make up these minutes and create a small buffer of additional instructional minutes for use if we have any further weather, COVID, or other closures over the remainder of the school year. We want to be proactive in creating a small buffer of additional minutes so that we don’t have to make a more dramatic schedule shift late in the year.
To minimize the need for future schedule changes due to COVID and or bad weather and ensure we are in compliance with TEA, we will be implementing a small school schedule shift when we return from break in January that will extend student learning time by a few minutes each day. School Leaders are currently working to make these schedule adjustments and, before returning from winter break, they will provide more details regarding changes to your child(ren) daily school schedule as well as any adjustments to bus route times.
COVID-19 Protocol During the Winter Break
As with Thanksgiving Break, we want you to enjoy your break! Because we will not have KIPPsters on campuses until January 6, we will pause on most COVID-related communication.
Here is the expectation for what you should do over break:
- KIPPster tests positive:
- Immediately notify your school at the number they have provided.
- KIPPster or family member is symptomatic or a close contact of someone who tested positive:
- Fail the Wellness survey on Sunday, January 3.
- The COVID-response team will contact you directly.
We will continue to notify you over winter break if your KIPPster is identified as a close contact of a positive individual, so that you can make appropriate decisions for quarantining during winter break. In addition to receiving a Wellness Survey on Sunday, January 3rd, you will also receive a survey on Tuesday, January 5th. Please make sure to complete both surveys.
Delayed Restart for Athletics in January
All athletics-related activities (practices, games, etc.) for the second semester, beginning in January, will be delayed at all KIPP Texas schools until the week of January 18 as a precaution to keep our KIPPsters safe. Delaying the start of athletics-related activities will allow us the opportunity to assess the number of positive or close contact COVID-19 cases (if any) on teams after winter break before starting practices. Please expect to hear from your school if there are any additional changes or delays to the restart of athletics-related activities.
Return to In-Person School Resources
The results of our Method of Learning survey are in, and we now know that many more families have indicated their students will return to 100% in-person learning. Please rest assured that we are making preparations to receive all our in-person KIPPsters, while maintaining a high-quality 100% virtual learning environment for those families that choose that option.
If your KIPPster will begin attending school in person for the first time this year, please take a few moments to read and look at the following resources to help prepare you and your KIPPster(s) for a safe and healthy return to in-person school:
- KIPP Texas website with resources and updates for in-person school: https://kipptexas.org/coronavirus-updates/
- Restart video to show you what you can expect as your KIPPster transitions to in-person school: https://youtu.be/iE6tFBvnRyU
- Back to school at a glance guide to give you an overview of our policies and procedures for in-person school: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O98goTAGQ2OFCvVx4gGR3-N6-HvCMcfS/view
- Full back to school guide to provide all the details for in-person school: https://kipptexas.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/20113_Restart-Book-Family-Back-to-School-Guide-ENG-v13.pdf
KIPP Texas will launch the Re-Enrollment process on January 11, 2021 for Kinder – 12th grade. This is the process you will use to let us know that you are returning next school year. You will receive a SchoolMint message on January 11 to ask all families to complete their re-enrollment documents for the 2021-2022 school year. We are asking families to complete their documents by January 31. Please be on the lookout for future communication.
Note: Re-Enrollment for Pre-K4 will officially launch on April 1, as required by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
Great news for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients! The DACA program protects “Dreamers,” individuals who were brought to the United States as children and who do not otherwise have citizenship or work authorization, or protection from immigration enforcement actions such as deportation.
Last week, a U.S. District Court ruled that applications for this important program must resume. We celebrate alongside the DACA recipients in our community, including KIPPsters, alumni, family, community members, and members of our Team and Family.
For detailed information about how to apply for first-time DACA protection or for renewal requests, visit https://www.uscis.gov/i-821d. Our dreamers are an important part of our community, and we are thrilled at this news and the relief it brings!
Let’s make this a joyful, focused last week of school before winter break!