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May 1, 2020: Covid-19 Closure Update from Superintendent Carla Voelkel

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How is Dickinson ISD making decisions on school closures?

Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order and mandated the temporary closure of all schools across Texas until May 4, 2020.  He and his team will re-evaluate, and he may extend the closure of all schools in the state depending on the status of COVID-19 and recommendations of the CDC.  If the closure is extended, you will be notified immediately by phone and email, and it will be posted on our district webpage and social media resources.

As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 situation, please know that we are in daily conference calls with the Commissioner of Education, daily conference calls with the Galveston County Health District and frequent calls with the Region IV Education Service Center.  In Dickinson ISD we are committed to making every effort to ensure our students receive instructional support at home so that they can remain engaged in learning, and our goal is to provide you with the most current information as it becomes available. 

 

How will my student(s) receive instruction while away from campus?

While Dickinson ISD is emergency closed, your children will receive instructional support at home. Some of this may require technology, however, paper supports will be provided as well. Click here for online resources, offline resources for enrichment and Special Education learning resources.


When will my student(s) receive weekly assignments?

Each Friday, beginning today, a document will be posted here for Pre-K through 8th grade for parents and students to access. This document will outline the TEKS and resources to be used for the following week’s learning. Direct communication will be provided to high school students by their teachers.  Along with this, teachers will regularly update their web pages with specific instructions and activities, and teachers will be in contact with students for support with activities and assignments.  Each campus has a plan for the distribution of paper instructional supports and if you have not already heard from your campus principal or teachers, you should be hearing from them soon.  Parents of students receiving special services will be receiving a letter from the Executive Director explaining the Special Services Instructional Support Plan. At-home instruction will continue with our current instructional calendar.  The last day for seniors is May 15th, while the last day for all other students is May 21st.

 

How will assignments be graded?

I know many of you have concerns about grades and promotion requirements.  I will be meeting with our administrative team and other superintendents, and I will be providing you with information regarding both of these topics as soon as possible.

 

What about STAAR testing and end of course exams?

Several days ago, Governor Abbott announced the cancellation of all STAAR assessments.  Some of you may be worried if you have a senior who still must complete an End of Course exam to graduate.  Don’t let this be one of your worries.  For students who are still working to meet assessment requirements as seniors in the 2019-2020 school year, required performance on academic assessments to graduate is being waived for spring 2020.  Effectively, this means that current seniors may graduate through the IGC (Individual Graduation Committee) process.  Dickinson High School will be in contact with students who will need an IGC.

Some parents of students who are currently enrolled in English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology and U.S. History have asked when these EOC exams will be given since they are required for graduation.  You don’t need to worry either.  TEA will not hold future graduates responsible for meeting the assessment graduation requirement on 2020 End of Course exams if they earn course credit this year.  So please make sure your high school students are paying attention to the assignments and activities provided by their teachers the next few weeks.

 

What about the SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement Exams?

The College Board has cancelled the March 28 and May 2 SAT tests, and the ACT has rescheduled the April 4 ACT to June 13.

The College Board is developing tools to mitigate the impact of school closures on students in the Advanced Placement Program.  All AP students and teachers will be able to access and use the free online resources provided to every AP classroom in the fall semester.  Additional resources will be made easily accessible to AP students and teachers through mobile phone and other devices.  These resources will include free online AP lessons and review sessions from some of the top AP teachers in the country.

Additionally, the AP Program is finalizing streamlined AP Exam options that would allow students to test at home, depending on the situation in May.  The College Board AP Program will communicate the details of these additional solutions very soon, and we will make sure our AP students are provided with this information.

 

What about UIL events such as athletics, theater, choir, etc.?

The University Interscholastic League has communicated that all UIL activities are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

 

Will Graduation, Prom and Senior events be rescheduled?

For the families of our seniors, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted major events and we have uncertainties for the remainder of the school year.  I know this is weighing heavy on your heart and mind because our students have spent thirteen years preparing for this special time in their lives.

Virtual Graduation Ceremony
7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21, 2020
Dickinson High School will commemorate the last day of school and the original graduation date for the DHS Class of 2020 with a Virtual Graduation Ceremony streamed on the Dickinson ISD website (www.dickinsonisd.org), the Dickinson High School campus website and the district and campus Facebook pages. The virtual ceremony will feature senior photographs and speeches, which are traditionally part of a graduation ceremony, to confirm the Class of 2020 as Dickinson High School graduates. In honor of the Class of 2020, the Sam Vitanza Stadium lights will shine brightly throughout the evening on May 21.

Dickinson High School Class of 2020 Graduation Ceremony
2 p.m. Saturday, July 18, 2020
Dickinson High School will host a traditional Graduation Ceremony at the Fertitta Center, located on the University of Houston Main Campus. This venue seats 7,000 people, which offers plenty of room for graduates and their guests. We are hoping that by postponing the traditional ceremony until July that the restrictions related to COVID-19 have been lessened; however, the heat at that time of year makes moving the ceremony into an indoor facility a necessity for health and safety reasons. In addition, it protects the ceremony from being disrupted from inclement weather.

Please rest assured that DISD, the Board of Trustees, and Dickinson High School administration and staff are dedicated to helping our seniors have a very special experience as they complete high school.  Dr. Billye Smith, Dickinson High School Principal, will keep the families of our seniors informed every step of the way about changes to upcoming senior events.

 

Where can I pick up free student meals provided by DISD Food & Nutrition Services?

We will continue to provide these meals for all school-aged children throughout the entirety of the closure. 

Starting Monday, May 4, Dickinson ISD will offer free meal distribution at two locations. Dickinson High School, which has been the site of the free meal distribution since March, will remain a distribution site. In addition, the meals will also be distributed in a drive-thru setup at K.E. Little Elementary in the bus lane area by the cafeteria entrance.

The free meals are available to students age 18 and younger three days per week from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. In order to receive the meals, students must be present in the car or the parent must provide a valid student identification for each child.

Meals will be provided for five days with the following schedule:

*  Monday – 1 breakfast meal and 1 hot lunch meal
*  Tuesday – 2 breakfast meals and 1 hot lunch meal and 1 cold lunch meal
*  Thursday – 2 breakfast meals and 1 hot lunch meal and 1 cold lunch meal

How do I return library books and technology devices and pick up personal belongings?

Some of you have asked about returning library books and technology devices as well as collecting personal belongings, school pictures and yearbooks from campuses.  Principals are organizing plans and working with staff, and in the near future, you will be provided with information from your campus principal on the procedures that will be used.  We are working to make these plans efficient and safe, and they will be communicated with you as soon as possible.

 

The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives. 

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