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7.9.20 | Dr. Maika's Message for Castle Hills Parents

July 9, 2020

Dear Castle Hills Parents/Guardians, 

I want to let you know about a change we are planning for the start of the school year at Castle Hills Elementary School.  The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the protocols for reopening schools earlier this week.  We were expecting this information weeks ago.  The protocols provided to public schools by TEA necessitates further planning and will impact the opening of Castle Hills. 

Many of you have expressed that one of the things you love most about Castle Hills is the unconventional calendar.  While we still plan to open on July 21, we will have virtual classes exclusively for up to three weeks.  It is important to remember that in this rapidly changing environment, public health entities, as well as other local and state officials, continue to make decisions on appropriate safety measures that directly impact public schools.  We will use this time to ensure that all safety protocols are in place and that staff has been appropriately trained.  We are discussing a phased-in approach for anyone who wants to return to a traditional setting after the initial virtual period, and details will be provided to you as soon as possible. 

You recently received a survey asking whether your children would be participating virtually versus in person.  We know that many parents have been waiting for safety guidelines for in-person instruction.  We will be providing you the information as soon as it is finalized as we know that this will help you make your decision.  Please know that you will be able to change your choice if your circumstances change.  We ask that you provide us a two-week notice of your requested change prior to school starting and four-week notice after instruction begins.  We will work with you if you need the changes sooner. 

Once we begin in-person instruction, it will take all of us working together to keep our students and staff safe.  A good example of this is when we opened our high school sports camps last month.  Our coaches and students observed all health protocols during their time on campus, but it became problematic when safe health practices were not followed off campus. 

If your child needs an electronic device or internet access, we will provide those tools for you as part of our commitment to ongoing student learning.  Betsy Asheim, Castle Hills Principal, will send you an email soon with details.  We want to make sure your family has everything it needs to start the 2020-2021 school year successfully. 

Parents with an active email address in Skyward will be receiving an email regarding a virtual Q & A meeting with District officials.  We recognize that circumstances are continuously changing and want to work with you through these uncertain times so that you are comfortable with whatever decisions you make regarding your child’s education.  We are ready and excited to welcome you back. Even though the situation is ever-changing and demands flexibility from all of us, we are committed to educating your child during this unprecedented time. 

 

Sincerely, 

Sean Maika, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools