Letter from Dr. Brown, Birdville ISD Superintendent
March 20, 2020
Dear Birdville Community:
I am writing you today as a father, husband, community member, and educator. We are all being affected greatly by the health crisis that is sweeping across the world, and is now reaching our communities. As events have been canceled or postponed, and businesses have closed or reduced their services, it is apparent that we must consider that these closures may be extended for an indefinite period, based on continuing guidance from the CDC and other governmental entities. Our staff continues to work via virtual means (whenever possible), and we remain committed to providing support to our students as we navigate these uncharted waters.
Now is the time that we, as a nation and as a school community, must join together to support each other. The common thread within the Birdville family is the priority of our children. We exist to nurture and educate children in a healthy partnership. There has never before been a point in which this partnership has been needed more. With the changes that we are compelled to make because of COVID-19, it is prudent to redefine that partnership. Until we are able to return our children to their schools, traditional, direct instruction in a classroom will be replaced by distance learning and other unique learning opportunities. Much of our energies are being focused on designing these new learning platforms for your students, and we will soon be sharing with you what your part in this partnership will look like so you will know what to expect. Please be patient as we work to quickly transform the learning platforms for our students under these very challenging circumstances, as opposed to easily working collaboratively as we normally would.
We are thankful to Governor Abbott for canceling the STAAR/EOC exams for this year. This will provide needed flexibility for us to provide learning opportunities in a way that does not place unnecessary pressure on students. Our endeavor is to provide learning that prioritizes concepts in our curriculum. We have curriculum leaders making adjustments so that we can train our teachers and prepare them to best serve your children. Beginning Monday, March 23, you should be receiving additional learning opportunities for students. Please assist us by encouraging your child to take advantage of these distance learning options that have been created especially for their grade level.
This is a new adventure for all of us. While the use of technology is not new, moving to a distance learning platform as a primary tool of instruction is new. It will not be simple and it will not be perfect. However, we are committed to preparing thoroughly for this shift, and will continue making adjustments throughout this time. We ask for your commitment to support this instruction in your homes and to ensure that your children spend adequate time on the resources provided. Our children can continue to learn, they will simply learn in a different way.
For individuals who do not have internet access, free services have been offered by several national internet providers. For those students without technology devices, the District will support them via other means as much as possible.
I cannot underscore enough that this cannot be done without you. This redefinition of the education partnership places you in command of connecting your children to these resources. However, this learning will not be simply online modules. Your child(ren)’s same teachers are still here to design and provide lessons. They will reach out to you and your children if they have not done so already. Communicate with your teachers and your campus administrators if you have challenges to overcome in connecting with these learning resources.
What you should expect in the coming days?
- Regular communications from the District via the website (birdvilleschools.net/covid-19), social media, text messages, emails, e-newsletter, Peachjar, and the mobile app.
- Personalized learning opportunities through various approaches, including digital and non-digital learning, hands-on activities, etc.
- The District will continue to provide available online resources and suggested learning activities to do with your students.
- Starting Monday, March 30, BISD will move to online instruction for students.
- Information regarding grading, assessment, graduation, grade promotion, etc. will be provided at a later time.
As a reminder, the District has created a COVID-19 website as the primary location for District-related COVID-19 information (birdvilleschools.net/covid19). On this site you will find information on:
- District Updates
- Free Lunches for Students
- Mental Health Assistance
- Personalized Learning
I have been an educator since 1984, and I could not have imagined what the world is currently experiencing. I am certain that many of you feel the same way. This is new territory, but I am confident that we will overcome this and return stronger and more determined than ever. Please be safe and keep your children safe. Allow us to serve as a support system for you and your children, and please know that we remain caring educators who are advocates for you and your children.
Darrell G. Brown, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools