Lewisville ISD has postponed the start of in-person classes until Sept. 8. Below is the transcript of a video from Superintendent Kevin Rogers:
Lewisville ISD students, families, staff and community members.
When this journey with COVID-19 began in March, which seems so long ago, none of us knew what to expect. We asked for your patience, grace, and understanding as we tried to continue meeting the needs of our students. Our communities rallied around our schools in amazing fashion. For that, I say thank you.
When school ended last May we all hoped, prayed and planned that we would be able to start the school year in person with some health and safety adjustments. We have said all along that we would rely on health experts to help guide our decisions.
Due to the recent COVID-19 trends in Denton County, with lab-confirmed cases growing to nearly 1,000 in a week and the percentage of our positive tests eclipsing even the state average, the Denton County Public Health Department announced earlier today that it is not safe to open schools to in-person learning at this time.
The first day of school will remain Aug. 19, and LISD will follow the Denton County Health Department recommendation that in-person instruction be delayed until Sept. 8. All students who signed up for in-person learning will start the school year using remote instruction, which will require significant involvement by families at home.
We are all extremely disappointed because we want to see our students return to classrooms, as does the leadership of the Denton County Health Department. Over the course of multiple conversations with them, their desire for the safe return of students to schools was clear. Based on the recent guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, Denton County’s high community spread and high transmission rates indicate we should not yet open schools.
Please know we’ve wrestled with every choice, every option, every consideration, with the knowledge that every decision WE make impacts the decisions YOU are faced with. We do not take this lightly, because we understand the tremendous ripple effect those decisions have on our families, our staff members, and our community.
I can say one thing without a doubt, the health and safety of our students, families, staff and communities are at the heart of EVERY choice we make. In fact, we have spent millions of dollars to ensure students and staff can return safely such as the purchase of additional personal protective equipment, desk shields for classrooms and teachers, purchase of specialized machines to deep clean our facilities daily, and the list goes on.
I know you will have many questions, and while we can’t answer every individual question about your specific situation, we will continue to update LISD.net with the latest information, updated FAQs, and more, as we adapt our plans to the ever-evolving conditions.
We will continue leaning on public health experts, continue monitoring conditions, and making adjustments to our plans in the best interest of the health and safety for all in LISD. In the last several months, I have said that we all must be flexible and nimble, and sorry to say, that has not changed. There are no easy answers in the midst of a global pandemic, and I truly know how challenging this is for everyone.
Please stay safe. You can help our communities fully reopen and decrease these COVID-19 trends by wearing face coverings, maintaining social distance, washing your hands often, and avoiding large gatherings, including over Labor Day.
We look forward to the day we welcome students back to our great schools and I promise that LISD will continue to do everything possible to make that happen sooner than later.
Thank you for your continued support of our students, our staff, and Lewisville ISD. We are in this together.