August 3, 2020
Dear HISD Family,
As you know, this school year is shaping up to be different than anything we’ve seen before; in the past, we’ve opened school with a basic vision, and as unintended consequences popped up, we’ve performed tweaks along the way in order to get things running a little more smoothly. This year, however, even the rules by which we can operate have changed quite frequently and at such a rapid rate that the struggle to rethink, redefine, and reorganize has become untenable. With the TEA’s change in health protocols from last Tuesday, the delays in acquiring an ongoing supply of adequate personal protective equipment, the lateness of the grant opportunity that allowed us to purchase enough computers to implement an adequate virtual school environment should COVID-related closures demand it, and the forced delay of the provision of a Learning Management System for seamless online/face-to-face instruction that is equitable and compatible, I find it necessary to postpone the start of the school year.
As a result, the start of the school year has been pushed back to September 8th, the day after Labor Day. HISD will still have half days for the first four days, Tuesday, September 8th through Friday the 11th, and the plans for social distancing instruction, mask wearing, and spacing changes during passing periods and closed lunch for the first month (for secondary students) will remain the same. The school year will end on June 11th, 2021 with graduation to be held on June 5th.
The window of opportunity to choose virtual vs. face to face instruction has been extended, from today, August 3rd, through Friday, August 14th. Any selections you make may be changed up to that point; after that, changes in learning modalities (face to face vs. online instruction) may be made no later than the 4th week of the six weeks for the following six weeks grading period.
All UIL sports and band, both practices and games, will go on as scheduled. Our change in start date will not affect those events at all.
I apologize for the lateness of this announcement, but so much of what we rely on to make an informed decision has changed since last spring, when the old calendar was approved. When you factor in COVID-related changes in how school must literally change in order to serve its students, it is evident to me that a postponement is essential in providing HISD teachers and staff the preparation time necessary to do right by our students.
This was a difficult decision to make, but I sincerely believe our students will be better for it. The HISD Team has spent many hours trying to think of how to best serve and protect your children, in ways that range from curriculum to sanitizers to laptops. This school year will be altered in ways that may be hard to accept, but I hope we can resolve to find the opportunities hidden in the challenges, to embrace the endless possibilities, and to model for our students a grace under pressure that will serve as an inspiration to them for the years to come.
A’Lann Truelock, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Even with the postponement of the start of school, Hondo ISD will still offer two options. Parents can choose between On Campus or Remote learning
for their students for the first six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year by
logging into their Skyward Family Access with their credentials August 3-14. The
custodial family will be able to set the instructional method by completing the
Method of Instruction Form for each student.
The link to Skyward Family Access is here.
More information about the two options is available at the Return To School page: www.hondoisd.net/returntoschool.
Hondo ISD has installed wireless routers on buses that will be located around town and area to provide internet access for students who may not have internet access.
One WiFi bus will be located at Woolls Intermediate school parking lot, the South Texas Regional Training Center and at the northeast side of the Medina County Courthouse on a rotating basis. Other sites may be added as needed.
Schedules will be posted on the district website and social media.
The systems will connect back to the school network and require that devices connect to the BYOD with password 4learning. Then the student/teacher credentials may be needed to access resources.
Hondo High School Parking Lot
The HISD WIFI is also available at the high school parking lot all the time. The signal covers the main parking lot in front of the building and is available all days and evenings.
We ask that all users follow appropriate social distancing guidelines by remaining in your vehicle whether at HHS or near the buses.
The Texas Education Agency has published updated guidelines (7/28/2020) for Public Health Planning. The link to the full document is available under downloadable documents on the www.hondoisd.net website.
The district will be following the protocols outlined in this document.