News and Announcements

Brahma Update July 17, 2020 HISD Strong Start 2020-21

Dear HISD Parents, Students, and Staff Members,

The HISD leadership team consisting of campus and district administrators, department heads, and teacher leaders met on Thursday, July 16th and Friday, July 17th to develop a customized return to school plan for the students of Hallettsville ISD. The leadership team studied the results from the survey sent to all district stakeholders on July 8th and reviewed return to school plans developed by area schools and other districts across the state.

Our goal is to develop a plan that is appropriate for our schools and community keeping in mind the available resources and local preferences. This plan will address a variety of topics including: sanitation procedures, food service options, safe transportation, and face-to-face and remote learning options among many other topics. We are planning to release our return to school plan next week.

As you may know, our district has been experiencing a bus driver shortage in recent years and currently have three vacancies in our transportation department. Therefore, we need to know which families will not be able to transport their children to and from school in the event that we cannot hire enough bus drivers to cover all of our routes.

The bus survey will be mailed to all currently enrolled students or you may complete the survey at the link below.

https://forms.gle/aHtX776mvAjxhhXc6

Also, if you know someone interested in driving a bus, please have them call Donnie Steffek at 361-798-2242 Ext. 490.

Thank you for all of your patience and understanding as we carefully plan a safe and successful return to school!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jo Ann Bludau
Superintendent
Hallettsville ISD
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Brahma Update July 8, 2020 HISD Strong Start 2020-21

Dear HISD Parents, Students, and Staff Members,

The summer of 2020 is quickly flying by, and we are continuing to monitor the COVID situation locally and nationally.

We love and miss your children and look forward to seeing them in the fall. Our goal is to have school as normal as possible while remaining in compliance with state executive orders and TEA requirements.

Our leadership team has been working diligently to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. We wanted to share links to important documents that have been released this week and give you an opportunity to share your ideas and preferences with our team of campus and district leaders.

Governor Abbott established a statewide face covering requirement and proclamation to limit gatherings:

https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-establishes-statewide-face-covering-requirement-issues-proclamation-to-limit-gatherings

Below is also a link to the TEA Health Guidance Document shared by Commissioner Mike Morath on July 7th. Campus and district leaders and department heads will be meeting on Thursday, July 16th to discuss HISD plans and input from parents and district stakeholders.

https://tea.texas.gov/about-tea/news-and-multimedia/news-releases/news-2020/tea-issues-comprehensive-guidelines-for-a-safe-return-to-on-campus-instruction-for-the-2020-21-school-year

The UIL is releasing revisions to the COVID-19 risk mitigation guidelines for summer strength and conditioning and marching band activities. This updated guidance is effective immediately until the first day of instruction or the start of in-season activities, whichever is earlier.

For complete details please see the UIL website, but updates are briefly summarized below:

Face Coverings – Executive Order GA-29

All employees, parents, visitors and students ten years of age or older must wear face coverings or face shields upon entry to an area where UIL activities are being conducted and when not actively practicing or exercising, unless an exception applies, as outlined in the full document.

Students may access locker rooms and engage in drills that involve one or more students on offense against one or more students on defense beginning 7/13/20
Updates of required protocol for individuals confirmed, suspected or exposed to COVID-19.

Additionally, the previously announced “Period of no Activity” dates of July 20-21, 2020 have been rescinded, allowing schools to open facilities to student-athletes.

As the public health situation changes, and/or if subsequent Executive Orders are issued by the Office of the Governor, these guidelines may be further modified. Schools should carefully review this guidance, as well as information released by TEA, when re-evaluating local plans for reducing the risk of spreading the virus. Schools should consider their local context related to the virus and plan accordingly.

At this time, UIL plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar. UIL will continue to work with state officials and monitor CDC and other federal guidance to determine any further modifications to this guidance.

TEA has given school districts an opportunity to design their return to school plan. Options available to school districts include traditional school, synchronous learning, and asynchronous learning. Synchronous learning involves learning from home by connecting with the classes at school in real-time through technology. In asynchronous learning, students learn from instruction that is not necessarily being delivered in-person or in real-time. An example would be pre-recorded video lessons or learning packets with remote teacher guidance and support.

Our original survey of parents that was sent in May indicated that 84% of parents preferred keeping the original HISD 2020-2021 school calendar and 97% of respondents would send their children to school if HISD opened August 13th.

In light of the TEA developments, executive orders and the COVID-19 surge in our county and state, we would like to know your preferences as we prepare for the upcoming school year.

Likewise, as we consider the option of synchronous learning, we would like to know how many of our families have the capability to join classes in real-time using technology and Internet access at home.

HISD Strong Start 2020-21 Survey is located at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HISDStrongStart2020

Thank you for taking time to review the above referenced documents and for completing the survey. Your input and involvement are so important to us.

Thank you for all of your support and for your willingness to work with us to successfully return to school!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jo Ann Bludau
Superintendent
Hallettsville ISD
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Notice from prom sponsors:

Due to the current rise in COVID-19 cases and Hallettsville ISD’s commitment to student safety, the HHS Prom rescheduled for July 25 has been canceled.
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Hallettsville Brahma Update June 5, 2020

Parents, we want to thank you for taking time to complete the HISD Calendar Survey, and we want to share the results of this survey:

83% of the respondents preferred the 2020-2021 HISD Traditional School Calendar

17% of the respondents preferred the TEA Sample Intersessional Calendar

97% of the respondents answered “Yes” that they would send their child(ren) to school if HISD opened school August 13th under the board approved HISD traditional calendar.

The most common responses to the open-ended question include: Continue to monitor the situation, make calls based on what is happening in our county, and do what is best for our community and our schools. Parents also expressed the importance of sanitizing surfaces and screening students during peak seasons.

With that in mind, I wanted to share steps that our school nurse is taking to prepare for the 2020-2021 school year. In April 2020, Mrs. Michele Etzler, RN, HISD Health Services Coordinator ordered no-touch infrared thermometers for use throughout the entire district. She is also in the process of ordering personal protective equipment including adult and pediatric face masks, gowns, face shields, gloves, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer.

Our maintenance and custodial department has always done an outstanding job of cleaning our schools and classrooms. In light of the COVID concerns, Johnny Densman, HISD Maintenance Director is collaborating with campus principals and department heads to devise plans for sanitizing campuses and common areas during the next school year.

Thank you again for taking time to respond to the calendar survey and for sharing your ideas! We will continue to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the Texas Education Agency, and the Governor’s Office and make the best decisions for the Hallettsville community.

We also truly appreciate parents, business partners, and community members who expressed an interest in serving on the District Advisory Council and the Campus Advisory Councils. We will be forming the 2020-2021 DAC and CACs during the summer and will work with our Campus Leadership Teams to further develop district and campus improvement plans for the next school year.

Take care, stay well, and have a great summer!

Dr. Jo Ann Bludau, Superintendent
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Hallettsville Brahma Update May 22, 2020

Parents, we truly appreciate your help and support at home during the COVID school closure this spring! The HISD admin team is carefully studying the intersessional calendar plans that TEA has proposed as well as plans that other districts around the state are considering for the next school year.

Because you are a valuable partner in education, and we respect your opinions on what is best for your children, we have created a survey where you can share your thoughts and suggestions on the school calendar for 2020-2021. Please visit the link below to access the survey.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HISDCalendarSurvey

Thank you for taking time to respond to the survey!

The Hallettsville ISD District Advisory Council (DAC) is seeking members for the 2020-2021 school year. Meetings are generally held quarterly and focused on district improvement. The council is in need of business representatives, community members, and parents of students currently enrolled in the district. Campus principals are also seeking members to serve on their Campus Advisory Councils (CACs). When you complete the calendar survey, you will have an opportunity to express your interest in serving on the DAC or a CAC.

As we close the school year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers, administrators, office staff members, and HISD instructional support staff who embraced the COVID challenge of distance learning and provided high quality lesson plans and support for students and parents. Our maintenance and custodial staff members have also worked very hard to keep our campuses safe and clean and keep the grounds well-maintained during this school closure.

Special thanks to Mrs. Bobbi Jurena and the food service staff members, transportation staff members, and volunteers who helped serve nutritious meals to the children of the Hallettsville community during the COVID closure. We really appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to the district!

Have a great summer and stay safe!

Dr. Jo Ann Bludau, Superintendent
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HISD COVID-19 Weekly Update May 15, 2020

As the 2019-2020 school year is winding down, school leaders from across the nation are already planning for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Centers for Disease Control has released a document to help school administrators make (re)opening decisions regarding K-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. A link to that document is below.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/Schools-Decision-Tree.pdf

Below you will also find a link to a PowerPoint Presentation developed by the Texas Education Agency to assist school districts in Adjusting School Calendars for COVID-19 Response.

https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/Adjusting_School_Calendars.pptx

Next week, parents will receive a survey where they can share their thoughts and suggestions on the school calendar for 2020-2021. Please review the TEA presentation and share your ideas with us regarding calendar adjustments and procedures that you believe need to be made in response to COVID-19.

Reminder: Students who have incomplete assignments especially at the secondary level (grades 5-12) will need to submit assignments in order to receive course credit for this spring semester. Please contact your child’s teacher or campus principal if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s academic progress during this COVID-19 school closure.

Thank you again for keeping your children safe and on track during these final weeks of the school year. We truly appreciate your help and support at home in educating the students of Hallettsville ISD!

Take care and stay well!

Dr. Jo Ann Bludau, Superintendent
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HISD COVID-19 Weekly Update May 7, 2020

The Texas Education Agency released a document entitled Guidance for Graduation and End-of-Year Promotion Ceremonies During COVID-19 on May 5, 2020. A link to that document is below.

https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/graduation_ceremonies_5.5.2020_vf.pdf

HISD administrators are collaborating with local authorities and staff members to make adjustments to the graduation ceremony to stay in compliance and keep everyone safe. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we adjust in accordance with the Governor's Executive Orders and the TEA Requirements.

Reminder: Students who have incomplete assignments especially at the secondary level will need to submit assignments in order to receive course credit for this spring semester. Please contact your child’s teacher or campus principal if you have any concerns or questions about your child’s academic progress during this COVID-19 school closure.

Thank you for helping your children to be successful and stay on track during these final weeks of the school year!

Take care and stay well!

Dr. Jo Ann Bludau, Superintendent
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Graduation Message from HS Principal, Darrin Bickham

Senior Class of 2020 and Parents,

On May 5th, the Texas Education Agency released some heavy guidelines regarding graduation ceremonies. We are working to make everything happen that we are required to do for the awesome ceremony on June 5th. It’s going to be an amazing evening that you deserve. Sadly, we have to cancel the “school sponsored senior parade” that was to occur on May 16th. The T.E.A. guidelines state, “Graduates may only be brought together for one event.” We aren’t even allowed to have a rehearsal. It will be a great ceremony anyway. If you or your parents have any questions, please call me anytime at (979) 942-0142 or email me at darrin.bickham@hisdbrahmas.org. We are also looking into providing more than six tickets like previously planned. I will mail a letter home next week with complete details regarding the graduation ceremony.

The cap and gown pick-up was a lot of fun. Take care and Go Brahmas!

Mr. B
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HISD COVID-19 Wednesday Update April 29th

HHS Graduation has been set for June 5th at 7:30 p.m. at Hallettsville Brahma Memorial Stadium. There will be some adjustments made to the graduation ceremony to keep everyone safe. These adjustments are being developed.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) minimum recommended health protocols can be found at https://gov.texas.gov/uploads/files/organization/opentexas/OpenTexas-Report.pdf.

Reminder: Campus Principals will be posting updates and plans for supplies and materials pick up under the COVID campus websites.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of teaching and learning at home and for your efforts to provide instructional continuity for our students during these final weeks of the school year. Please continue to email campus principals, teachers, and staff members if you need assistance.
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