Next Steps for Student Learning, Wellness Resources, and Planning for Food
The Leander ISD response to the (COVID-19) pandemic will enter a new phase when we begin providing some student services while our buildings are closed until April 5. While we want our parents, students, teachers, and staff to use our scheduled Spring Break for family time and planning, we know information can help relieve anxiety.
We want to provide an update to our families and staff about what services will look like from March 23 through April 5. Please know we are continuing to await guidance from outside entities, including the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) regarding some specific details. We will continue to update our COVID-19 webpage and provide daily updates as this information becomes available.
CONTINUATION OF LEARNING WHILE BUILDINGS ARE CLOSED
Here’s what teaching and learning will look like next week for teachers, students, and families:
- On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (March 23–25), the Teaching and Learning team and principals will set up virtual preparation time for teachers.
- On Wednesday (March 25), we are asking teachers and teams to reconnect with students and families to share plans for learning.
- On Thursday (March 26), teachers will begin sharing opportunities for students to practice and reinforce academic content and skills using familiar tools currently used in their classrooms. For example, if your teacher uses Google Classroom already, he or she will continue to use that tool for sharing instructional materials.
During the planned suspension of normal school operations through April 5, students will not submit assignments for graded work. We want students to take advantage of these learning opportunities so they are ready to learn new material and skills after the two-week period.
Our Special Programs team will be working with campuses to support the needs of all students.
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES
We know this is a stressful time for our community, especially our families. In coordination with our Counseling Services team, we would like to share resources for parents to use in talking to their children about COVID-19.
These links are useful tools to aid parents in explaining the pandemic while offering age-specific coping strategies:
- COVID-19 Guide for Parents & Caregivers: National Child Traumatic Stress Network Includes ways to help children cope by age group (English, Spanish)
- Talking to Children About COVID-19 (NASP)
- Links to multiple languages including Spanish, Chinese and Korean available.
- Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus (NPR)
- How to Homeschool During the Coronavirus (Today Show)
More wellness resources for families to use.
FREE INTERNET OFFERS
Two Internet Service Providers (ISP) are providing free, trial internet to homes who may not have access.
Comcast is offering:
- Sixty (60) days of free Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.
- For new customers, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com (website includes written and video chat customer service options) or by calling 1-855-846-8376 (English) or 1-855-765-6995 (Spanish).
Spectrum is offering:
- Sixty (60) days free broadband and Wi-Fi access for households with K-12 and/or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum broadband subscription.
- No installation fees for new households.
- Enroll by calling 1-844-8395.
Please note that Leander ISD is not affiliated with either business and does not directly support these products.
FOOD SERVICE UPDATE
As we plan for providing Monday through Friday, drive-thru breakfast and lunch service beginning on Tuesday, March 24, we are asking families to use the Nutrislice web or mobile application, when possible, to help us efficiently provide for those in need.
While our vendors have assured us we have plenty of food supplies, using Nutrislice helps the district plan for service, more accurately predict quantities needed at each location, and avoid waste. Nutrislice allows parents to communicate what site they plan to visit and how many students they are bringing.
Students or families can visit the Nutrislice website or download the app (Apple App Store or Google Play) to find locations (Bagdad Elementary School, Reed Elementary School, River Place Elementary School, and Running Brushy Middle School) as well as times (7:30–9 a.m. for breakfast, 12–1:30 p.m. for lunch).
All students are eligible for food service.
Due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules, we can only distribute meals to students when they’re on site. We are hoping the USDA relaxes these rules to make it easier to provide these meals in the future.
We are working with our amazing community partners who help supply families with food backpacks on weekends to support their efforts. We will have more details on those options in an update later this week.