Dear KIPP Texas-Austin Families,
I hope you and your families are enjoying a different pace that comes with the summer months. At KIPP Texas, we are busy preparing for your Little KIPPster to start school in the fall. We can’t wait to welcome them! We are getting ready for what will be a year full of learning and care for our KIPPsters. We miss your children!
We want you to know that we have been deep in planning for a safe return to school. Over the last few months, we have heard your voices, gathered insight from local and state health officials, other school districts, and business leaders, as we navigate how we will return to school in the fall. This week, we anticipate guidelines from the Texas Education Agency to help us directionally with our plans. We will provide weekly updates starting on July 13 to keep you updated on our plans for the fall. KIPP Texas will follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines because the safety and protection of our KIPPsters is most important to us. In fact, ALL decisions will be reflective of our three guiding principles:
- Protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and families to the fullest extent possible.
- Provide our students with an academically excellent, joyful, and equitable learning experience with a consistent focus on our North Star of college readiness regardless of whether we are inside or outside of our school buildings.
- Show care for our entire Team & Family so we can thrive in the new normal.
Share Your Thoughts
Starting strong in the fall will take all of us. Please continue to share your thoughts and concerns with us. Thank you to those who have already responded to our family survey. We read every piece of feedback and use this insight to influence our decisions. If you have not responded, there is still time. Please click this link and answer by June 30.
In July, we will have virtual town hall meetings for families to share updates and get your thoughts. More information to come.
It Starts With Parent Choice
You know what is best for your child and the needs of your family. That’s why KIPP Texas-Austin will give you the choice of how your child starts school this fall. Every six weeks, you can decide if your child learns 100% online through distance learning, or a mix of in-person instruction in our classrooms and limited distance learning at home. Have multiple children at KIPP Texas? We know every child has different needs, and you will have the flexibility to make a choice on how each child will learn.
We will provide a survey for each student starting on July 13 so you can make your choice for how your child will attend the first six weeks of school.
Health and Safety Is Our Priority
Families who choose in-person instruction, can expect the following precautions to be taken:
- Temperature checks and health screenings for all students and adults upon entering buildings
- All students, staff, parents/guardians, visitors will wear a mask (on the bus, in classrooms, in hallways, in restrooms, in the lobby; when one can wear a mask)
- Buildings and spaces will be cleaned and sanitized multiple times per day
- Classrooms will be modified so desks are arranged at least six feet apart and facing the same way
- Primary students will not switch classes but stay in the same classroom for each subject.
- We will continue to provide breakfast and lunch for every student. However, these meals will be provided in classrooms following health and safety guidelines.
- There will be hand sanitizer stations in classrooms and throughout the school
- Students and staff will wash/sanitize hands multiple times per day
- Students and staff will stay home when they are sick
- Safety and communication protocols will be followed if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 or is exposed to someone who has/had COVID-19
All staff will participate in a training summit this fall so they are ready to implement all of our safety procedures and are prepared for a strong start to the school year.
Technology and Internet Access
No matter what approach works best for your child, if you do not have access to technology for each child, KIPP Texas-Austin will provide Chromebooks and mobile hotspots to families who need access to our high-quality distance learning platforms and virtual Google Classroom instruction.
We will continue to provide transportation for our KIPPsters while practicing social distancing and other safety measures. In the coming weeks, we will share more details.
We want your child to continue to grow their brain over the summer by reading at least 20 minutes a day and going to the Summer Parent Portal where we will provide weekly lessons differentiated from pre-K through grade12.
KIPP Texas families could be eligible for up to $285 per child through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT), but the June 30 deadline is fast approaching. For details and how to access this benefit click here. Plus, we have gathered a series of resources you may find helpful during these challenging times and will continue to provide meals over the summer to ALL children under 19 in our communities.
Limited Seats Still Available
We have limited seats available for the 2020-2021 school year. With our Refer A KIPPster program, you can refer family and friends who have not yet enrolled at a KIPP Texas school and could win a $25 giftcard for your referral. Details can be found here.
While we are putting these plans in place for the fall, we are also planning for alternatives in case the situation with the virus changes. We will keep you updated throughout the summer, and we will certainly let you know if our plans for the fall need to change. As we always do, we promise to make each learning environment, in our school buildings and at home, interactive, engaging, joyful, and full of care for your children.Thank you for your flexibility and trust. We cannot wait to see your children in the fall!
Chief Executive Officer
KIPP Texas Public Schools