- Donald T. Shields Elementary
ROISD Hawk Family Update-Sept. 7
September 7, 2021
Red Oak ISD students have been in class for 14 school days this fall. During this time, we have seen students excited to be back in person with their teachers and peers, embracing the ‘normalcy’ of being at their school and extra-curricular activities. At the same time, we have had over 350 total active cases reported in those 14 school days compared with 571 total cases in the entire 2020-2021 school year.
Parent concerns and the information from CDC, TEA, and Governor Executive Orders, have our district in a predicament.
With recent increases in COVID cases, particularly among ROISD staff, students, and families, your ROISD administration has researched numerous options, reviewed current legal proceedings, and consulted with both medical professionals and attorneys. The goal, as is always a top priority, is to provide a safe environment for teaching and learning in every classroom and educational setting across the District. At the same time, we want to balance the rights of individuals.
The bottom line is that we need to offer our students a quality education but each person must feel safe.
Our recent survey responses show a community divided - 5,120 survey respondents with a total of 48.5% supporting masks required and 51.5% support masks optional. By target audience, the breakdown for mandatory masks was: parents 46%, employees 51%, and students 57%. We have also fielded hundreds of emails, phone calls, and numerous individual discussions; we have heard your concerns from all perspectives. We have listened, weighed all interests, and truly examined options from various angles.
ROISD will require masks/face coverings beginning Wednesday, September 8, 2021, with parents and staff able to file an exemption through Skyward (open now), along with paper forms at the school and even an email option. Masks/face coverings shall be worn inside all district facilities and buses by staff, students, and visitors. The district is also considering options for remote and virtual learning.
Our message this year is to Reunite and Refocus. We must meet families where they are and provide the safest educational setting possible. As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
Brenda Sanford, Superintendent
Red Oak ISD