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21-22 » Messages from Dr. Whitbeck

Messages from Dr. Whitbeck

21-22 MESSAGES

August 16, 2021, 5:30 p.m.

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

We’re excited to welcome your children back into our schools tomorrow morning, Tuesday, August 17, 2021, and are looking forward to a wonderful school year.


Before the first bell rings, a few reminders:

  1. Masks are optional at school but highly encouraged, especially as we begin the year with higher COVID-19 numbers in the community. Masks are required on school buses under a federal transportation mandate. If your child forgets a mask, one can be provided.
  2. The Return to Learn plan and all protocols related to COVID-19 are on the Bryan ISD website at www.bryanisd.org/21-22, or you can click HERE
  3. If your child cannot attend school tomorrow due to illness, please let your campus know. You can find the dedicated campus email for reporting positive COVID-19 cases HERE. Students who have not been present in school by Friday, August 20, 2021, will be dropped from the system due to state regulations on enrollment. If your child is out ill and needs more time to quarantine before attending, please contact the campus, and we will work to accommodate the student with their assigned schedule as best we can.
  4. If your child does not feel well, for any reason, please keep them at home. If your child is home due to an illness with symptoms similar to COVID-19, please present proof of a negative test or a note from your doctor stating your child has a noncontagious illness, such as seasonal allergies, etc. They may then return before 10 days.  Please refer to the Return to Learn plan for more information.
  5. As a reminder, the Texas legislature did not have a quorum and therefore did not vote to approve a virtual option for students this year. Bryan ISD will offer only in-person learning, but once enrolled, students will be able to access make-up work through Schoology. 
  6. An email will be sent notifying you if someone in your child’s class tests positive for COVID-19.  It is your choice whether or not your child should quarantine. You can check the dashboard daily for numbers in your child’s school.

I must reiterate that this situation is constantly changing but we are continuing to make decisions using the latest information we have available to us and in the best interest of our students and staff. See you in the morning.


Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

Welcome back to the 2021-22 school year. In conjunction with our Back to Basics theme, we are trying to simplify processes while keeping our main focus on educating your precious children.


Please note the date and time on this letter as our efforts must remain flexible. Our school year will be a journey and not an event. We ask for your cooperation knowing circumstances may change as we move through the year.


Here are some important considerations:


  1. The Return to Learn plan and all protocols related to COVID-19 are on the Bryan ISD website at www.bryanisd.org/21-22, or you can click HERE.

  1. Masks are optional at school but highly encouraged as we begin the year. Masks are required on school buses under a federal transportation mandate.

  1. Contact tracing is handled by the Brazos County Health District, however Bryan ISD has created a process to notify parents if we are aware of a positive case in your child’s classroom.  Upon notification, parents will then have the option of quarantining their child or not. Please let the school know if you choose to quarantine. 

  1. Bryan ISD will update the COVID-19 Dashboard daily indicating how many positive cases are in each school for staff and students.

  1. All children will receive free lunches in all schools per federal guidelines.

  1. Computers will be issued to all students in grades 5-12 and must be brought to and from school daily. Please work with your child for a safe place to charge, store, and work nightly. Students in PreK-4 will be able to check out a device should they need it for quarantine or sickness.

  1. We will continue utilizing hand sanitizer stations, sneeze guards, and continual cleaning using electrostatic disinfectors.

  1. Send your child with a refillable water bottle to allow for personal hydration.

  1. Regular immunizations are still required. Click HERE to see the immunization schedule.  COVID-19 vaccinations are optional for children 12 and older.

  1. Once school begins, If you are visiting our campuses, please limit to one individual, two at the most. This will assist us with reducing exposures to our students and staff.

Remember, COVID-19 may be the first thing we think of as we return, but school is so much more than that.  Children will thrive in a structured and supportive environment. Bryan ISD is committed to providing a loving and caring atmosphere for your child. We welcome you and your family back to Bryan ISD.


Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

It’s hard to believe, but we are just two weeks away from the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Now is the time to begin preparing to make sure your family has a successful start beginning on August 17.

As we approach the new school year, I would like you to think about getting “back to basics.” It’s time for us to reset, and get back to the basics of learning and being fully present at school, if healthy, of course.  So, here are some things I recommend you do now so that we can all have a smooth and organized start:

  • Make sure you fill out the returning student information that was recently emailed to you.  If you don’t see it in your email, check your spam or promotions folder, and if it’s still not there, call 979.209.1288 or email bisd_enrollment@bryanisd.org.
  • If you have a four year old, enroll them now for prekindergarten by clicking here. Remember, that we have competitively-priced tuition based PreK if you do not qualify under traditional criteria.  If you have a five year old that did not attend prekindergarten, enroll them for kindergarten by clicking here.
  • Please review the 2021-2022 school calendar now. Click here to take a look. Print it out and keep it handy. There are 10 student holidays/staff professional development days over the course of the school year, mostly because our elementary teachers are participating in Reading Academies for additional training.  Please schedule your child’s doctor appointments and check-ups on those days so your child does not miss any school.
  • If your child needs required immunizations, especially students entering seventh grade, please get them now. You can find a list of required immunizations by clicking here
  • Review the school supply list for children in PreK - 8th grades by clicking here. High school students will receive school supply information separately.
  • Look up the time your child’s school starts and ends, and begin planning now to have them at school on time every day.  Begin getting into a morning routine before school begins so your child is ready to go on the first day.
  • Students in grades 5-12 will once again receive their own Chromebook. They must bring this device to school each day and need to take care of it both at school and at home.  Please start talking with your child now about the importance of this, where you will keep it each evening, and planning for this routine.
 

I know a lot of you are hearing news about COVID-19 cases spiking again with the Delta variant. Our plan is to begin this school year face-to-face with masks being optional. Throughout summer school and Power Camps many students wore masks, so it is perfectly acceptable should you wish your child to wear one. One exception to the option is on the school bus. Due to a federal transportation mandate, masks must be worn while on the bus, at least at this time. If your child is a bus rider, please plan for them to wear a mask on the bus and keep it with them for the return home. Items like sneeze guards and hand sanitizer will still be available and used in our schools. I have been in contact with our local health authority, and we will continue to follow their guidance along with the guidance of the Texas Education Agency, Department of State Health Services and the Governor’s Office. I will be attending another meeting later this week and will inform you immediately should any guidelines change.

Thank you for partnering with Bryan ISD for your child’s education.  If you begin preparing now with the items listed above, and make a plan for a successful school year beginning on day one, we can focus on getting back to basics in 2021-2022, make up for any learning loss and continue moving forward in a positive direction. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

MESSAGES FROM THE PREVIOUS SCHOOL YEAR

May 19, 2021

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

You have probably heard that Governor Abbott issued an executive order removing face covering mandates in Texas effective June 4, 2021 for school districts. In light of this new order, Bryan ISD will discontinue requiring masks as of May 29, 2021. We will continue to require that masks be worn through the end of the last day of instruction on Friday, May 28, 2021. This decision was made due to the following two main reasons:

  • While COVID-19 cases continue to drop, when there is a positive case, Bryan ISD is still required to contact trace to determine who must be quarantined. With graduation ceremonies for our high schools, pre-kindergarten and 4th grade promotion ceremonies, end of the year concerts and recitals, state testing, and the Bryan High School Softball team now playing in the Sweet 16 (Go Vikings), we do not want to risk having to quarantine students, a class or grade level, due to a positive case occurring and no ability to reduce the number needing quarantined due to face coverings not being worn.  It is important that students do not miss out on these important events and the closure of the year.

  • Teachers and staff agreed to work this school year with certain safety measures in place, including a requirement for face coverings, and removing that requirement with eight days to go is not respectful to these educators, some who feel safer with masks in place.

Knowing that all four graduation ceremonies are outdoors at Merrill Green Stadium, masks will be optional at each of the commencement ceremonies.

Beginning Saturday, May 29, masks will become optional for all of Bryan ISD, including for Summer School and Summer Power Camps. PPE, such as sneeze guards, hand sanitizer, etc., will continue to be available and we will continue to work with and follow guidance from our local health authority, the Department of State Health Services and the Texas Education Agency.   

Thank you again for your support of our school district throughout this challenging year and for working together to finish strong.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

It’s hard to believe but we’re almost to the end of the school year.  While I know so many of us are excited to wrap up this most unusual year, there are a few things I want to reinforce before we get to our last day on May 28.

  • Please make sure your student is in attendance everyday unless they are not feeling well.  As we continue working to ensure students finish this year strong academically, and are prepared to move onto the next grade level, it is very important that they are in school until the final day.
  • Please help make sure your student is not violating the dress code.  I think due to many students learning from home for part of the year, they got out of the habit of following the dress code, which is understandable.  It is important that students are dressing in accordance with the dress code to ensure there are no distractions to learning during the school day. Graduates that are online learners must be in dress code in order to participate in graduation ceremonies. If they show up in violation, they will not be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.

I also want to take a minute to look towards this summer.  Soon, you may be receiving an email or letter in the mail about summer school, and all parents with students in grades K-8 will receive information about our new summer Power Camps.

  • The letter you receive will be tailored to your child and will state whether summer school is required for promotion or recommended. There will understandably be students with unfinished learning or who would benefit from additional instructional support and whether or not your child moves onto the next grade level could depend on their performance in summer school.  
  • Parents of students not required to attend summer school will still receive a letter inviting their child to attend a Power Camp. If you do not receive a letter, please contact your child’s campus.
  • Summer Power Camps will be open to all students  who want to catch up or get ahead.  These are different from summer school, and will take place in July.  These will be short, intensive sessions that we encourage all students to take advantage of to better prepare for a successful new year.  Seating is limited, and students will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis.  Transportation will be provided.

I also want to touch on the plan for next year.

  • Masks will become optional in Bryan ISD beginning July 1, 2021, as long as the conditions with COVID-19 continue to improve.  We will always work with and follow guidance from our local health authority, the Department of State Health Services and the Texas Education Agency.  But, as of now, the goal is for masks to become optional across Bryan ISD on July 1.
  • After July 1, PPE, such as sneeze guards, hand sanitizer, etc., will continue to be available on Bryan ISD campuses for Summer Power Camps and the 2021-2022 school year.  

I know comfortability with being in public right now varies, and that is one of the reasons why Bryan ISD is exploring opening a virtual academy next school year.  This academy would be for students in grades 5-12 who meet the following criteria:

  • lives in Bryan ISD and
  • has shown proficiency in academics and
  • has a history of regular attendance

Right now, we’re gauging parent interest, yes or no. Please click here to fill out our interest survey before May 3. Even if we have enough parent interest, opening this academy will be dependent on the passing of legislation by lawmakers in Austin providing the necessary funding to school districts to host such a program.

I want to end with a bit of good news.  Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature are releasing federal funding intended to help school districts with extra costs incurred due to COVID-19 and addressing learning loss.  We expect Bryan ISD to receive $28 million from this funding. We are awaiting more information on restrictions or guidelines on how the money can be spent, but I am glad this time, the legislature did the right thing and will send this money to school districts, where it was intended to go. Our leadership team is already working to determine the best ways to use this funding to benefit your children in the coming years.

I know so many of us are looking forward to getting back to normal in the 2021-2022 school year, but please remember, first, we need to finish this school year strong.  Thank you for your help in that regard, and for partnering with Bryan ISD to ensure your child receives the best possible education.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

After careful review of the governor’s executive order, and new guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency, it is our plan to keep all COVID-19 safety measures in place in Bryan ISD, including wearing masks inside all Bryan ISD buildings. These are outlined in the Bryan ISD Return to Learn Plan.

I appreciate all of the feedback we received following the governor’s announcement.  Ultimately, we know that the safety measures inside of our schools work.  That has allowed us to keep teachers and students on-campus since we started the school year on August 20, and I believe will allow us to keep our doors open for the next 55 days until the school year is over.

As you know, educators have only just been recently added to the vaccine eligible list.  We have to put student and staff safety first, and regarding this, we must err on the side of caution so we can finish this school year safely, together. 

Thank you for your understanding.

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents,

As you’ve probably heard, Governor Abbott announced that all COVID-19 related restrictions, including the mask mandate, will be discontinued in Texas on Wednesday, March 10.  I want to let you know what this means for Bryan ISD.

Right now, we know for sure that nothing will change, per the Governor, before next Wednesday, March 10.  Our goal, as always, is to keep Bryan ISD as safe as possible, and what we’ve done since the start of school has worked.

I am currently in meetings with local officials, other superintendents, our Region 6 Service Center, The City of Bryan and Texas A&M officials all while awaiting information from the Commissioner of Education. There is mixed interpretation as to whether local districts can set their own standards or whether we must abide by the forthcoming direction from the Texas Education Agency.

As we know more, I will share that with you.  Please know, whatever happens, we will continue to put Children First. Always.

Thank you,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

 

Dear Bryan ISD Seniors and Parents,

Planning for graduations was complicated due to restrictions remaining in place at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena, requiring graduation ceremonies to be split as classes are too large at Bryan and Rudder High Schools for the approximate 300 student maximum currently in place at Reed Arena.  

I engaged in conversation with a representative group of students from each high school along with their principals and other senior administrators for Bryan ISD. The students were overwhelmingly in favor of graduating from Merrill Green Stadium instead of Reed Arena, allowing all classmates to be together. 

Our team began planning and therefore, we are excited to announce that all May 2021 graduation ceremonies will take place at Bryan ISD’s own Merrill Green Stadium.  The schedule will be as follows:

  • Mary Catherine Harris High School: Wednesday, May 26, 2021, 8 p.m.
  • Bryan Collegiate High School: Thursday, May 27, 2021, 8:00 p.m.
  • Rudder High School: Friday, May 28, 2021, 8:00 p.m.
  • Bryan High School: Saturday, May 29, 2021, 8:00 p.m.

At this time we know that each graduating senior will receive a minimum of four tickets to share with family and friends.  Depending on the situation with COVID-19 and county guidelines on large group gatherings, that number could, and hopefully will, increase.  We also plan to broadcast the ceremonies live on YouTube and Facebook.

We will announce further details as we near the graduation dates, depending on current health conditions, but we want to give you the opportunity to get these dates on your calendar and begin to make plans. Of course, the best planning cannot predict the weather, so we have the following possible rain make up dates and times:

  • Friday, May 28, 2021 (MC Harris or Bryan Collegiate 9:00 a.m.)
  • Saturday, May 29, 2021 (MC Harris, Bryan Collegiate or Rudder HS 9:00 a.m.)
  • Sunday, May 30, 2021 (MC Harris, Bryan Collegiate, Bryan HS or Rudder HS 9:00 a.m.)
  • Sunday, May 30, 2021 (MC Harris, Bryan Collegiate, Bryan HS or Rudder HS 8:00 p.m.)

The classes of 2020 enjoyed their ceremonies at Merrill Green Stadium and they were a huge success. We are committed to nothing less for the graduates of 2021. Thanks for your flexibility and support for the Class of 2021 and for Bryan ISD.

We look forward to watching our seniors cross the stage!

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Superintendent Bryan ISD

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

As we prepare to return to school Tuesday, January 5, I want to update you on where we stand in Bryan ISD with COVID-19 cases right now so that you are fully informed. As you know, we asked parents and employees to report any positive cases, symptoms or close contact over the break and assigned staff have been keeping track.

Active COVID-19 Cases as of 1/3/21:

  • Employee cases: 36 
  • Student cases: 15 

COVID-19 Cases Since August 20:

  • Employee cases: 236
  • Student cases: 342

Keep in mind, this is out of more than 18,400 students and employees in Bryan ISD. If we continue to work as a team, we are confident we can keep our children in school learning with their teachers.

To help keep our cases low as we enter the Spring Semester, please keep the following in mind:

  • Screen your children before they come to school each day.
  • If your child feels sick or has a fever, please keep them at home.
  • If you have a positive COVID-19 case in your household, please keep your child at home.
  • Please encourage your child to wash their hands with soap often.
  • Please encourage your child to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while at school as much as possible, or while in public.
  • Please make sure your child has a mask and their own water bottle each day when they leave for school.

Thank you for keeping these recommendations in mind. For your convenience, I’m again attaching a daily checklist you can download and put in a handy place for you to look at each morning.  

If you need to report a positive COVID-19 case, close contact, or symptoms, please use the email for your child’s campus found at www.bryanisd.org/covidreporting.

We’re excited to have your child back in school on Tuesday, January 5, 2021, either on-campus or at-home, and we will continue to keep you informed.


Best Wishes for a Safe and Happy New Year,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

.

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

There is a slight change in how Bryan ISD will report COVID-19 cases. When a positive COVID-19 case is identified at your child’s school, you will only receive an email and not a corresponding phone call. If your child is determined to be in “close contact” with the COVID-19 case, we will still call you directly.

As we head into the break, I’d like to update you on our COVID-19 case numbers since school began on August 20.

COVID Cases Since August 20, 2020

Total Population

Total Cases

Percentage of Cases

18,704 

  • Employees 2,842
  • Students 15,862

456

  • Employees 167
  • Students 289

2.44%


As we look to the second semester, we know more students will return to campus. As a District, we’ll have around 81% of students learning on-campus.  At the elementary level, 90% of students will be on-campus. With more students back in class, it will continue to be critical for us to follow our Return to Learn plan, which has worked, and if followed, will continue to.  That includes wearing masks, social distancing both in and out of school, and hygiene practices like students bringing their own water bottles and washing their hands often.  You have played a key role in ensuring our students took these steps while in school in the first semester, and we are grateful.

But, much like I said before Thanksgiving break, we don’t control what happens outside of our buildings.  So, once again, I’m asking you to exercise caution over the break and during Christmas and New Year’s Eve and Day. During the break, if you or your child have symptoms, please self-quarantine, and if you or your child test positive, please let your campus principal know through your school’s COVID reporting email address, found at www.bryanisd.org/covidreporting.

We are required by the Texas Education Agency to continue updating our COVID numbers during the break, even though we are not in school.  My goal is for school to start as planned on January 5th. Should you need to quarantine, we are ready to deploy a device to any student who would need one to continue learning seamlessly from home.

Thank you again for all you did over the last semester to ensure our students are successful, even as we work through these challenges. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday and the true gift of family.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

Bryan ISD will begin following new Brazos County Health District guidelines regarding the quarantine period for people coming into close contact with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case.

The new guidelines are as follows:

  • The quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing and if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.

  • When testing resources are sufficient and available, then quarantine can end after Day 7 with a negative test result, and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring. Testing should occur 5-7 days after exposure. 

These changes are only for people in close contact with a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case and go into effect immediately. Employees and parents of students currently in quarantine for close contact will be notified individually if this changes their quarantine status.  Everyone entering a Bryan ISD campus or building must continue to self-monitor for symptoms, wear a mask, and social distance.

We are making this change only after consulting with the Brazos County Health District, which works with both the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and being assured by these organizations this is in the best interest of the health of students and employees.

This update for the quarantine period for close contact is now reflected in the Bryan ISD Return to Learn Plan available at www.bryanisd.org/returntolearn.

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,
 

I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and a restful weekend. 

As we prepare to return to school tomorrow and for the next three weeks I want to update you on where we stand in Bryan ISD with COVID-19 cases right now so that you are fully informed. As you know, we asked parents and employees to report any positive cases with our students over the holiday and assigned staff have been keeping track.

Active COVID-19 Cases:

  • Employee cases: 14 
  • Student cases: 19 
 

COVID-19 Cases Since August 20:

  • Employee cases: 123
  • Student cases: 189
 

Keep in mind, this is out of more than 18,400 students and employees in Bryan ISD. If we continue to work as a team, we are confident we can keep our children in school learning with their teachers.

To help keep our cases low over the next three weeks, please keep the following in mind:

  • Screen your children before they come to school each day.
  • If your child feels sick or has a fever, please keep them at home.
  • If you have a positive COVID-19 case in your household, please keep your child at home.
  • Please encourage your child to wash their hands with soap often.
  • Please encourage your child to maintain social distancing of at least six feet while at school or in public.
  • Please make sure your child has a mask and their own water bottle each day when they leave for school.
 

Thank you for keeping these in mind. If you need to report a positive COVID-19 case, close contact, or symptoms, please use the email for your child’s campus found at www.bryanisd.org/covidreporting.

We’re excited to have your child back in school tomorrow, either on-campus or at-home, and we will continue to keep you informed.


Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

Often during the toughest times, we have moments when we realize how much we have to be thankful for in our lives.  Gratitude has been on my mind a lot over the last few weeks.   Not just because it is our Essential 8 character trait for November, but because as we continue to sort our way through the pandemic, I’m touched by the incredible efforts I see from our parents, teachers, staff, and community to make sure our children still receive a great education.  It hasn’t been easy, but it’s still happening, and that is a testament to you and how much you care about your child.

I’m thankful as well that so many of our students are back on campus, too (about 80% secondary and 86% elementary).  As partners in the education of our children, I want to be transparent about where we are regarding COVID-19 so everyone has accurate information. While the cases have been increasing locally and in the district, please remember that our district population is over 18,000 people.  Please take a look at our numbers since school began on August 20, 2020.

 

COVID Cases Since August 20, 2020

Total Population

Total Cases

Percentage of Cases

18,698 

  • Employees 2,818
  • Students 15,880

239

  • Employees 97
  • Students 142

1.28%


 

As you can see, only a little over one percent of our school district has tested positive for COVID-19 since August 20.  I’m thankful for all the students who are wearing their masks, keeping their distance, and practicing good hygiene. It is not perfect, but overall they are doing a great job at all campuses. That, along with all our personal protective equipment (PPE) like sneeze guards and constant disinfecting, is keeping the virus from spreading greatly inside of our schools.  Simply put, we’ve followed our Return to Learn plan, and it has worked to lessen the spread of the virus

However, we don’t control what happens outside of our buildings.  That is where we’ve seen the greatest increase in cases, and that concerns me heading into our Fall Break.  We want to keep our schools open and keep our students and teachers in school. So, here’s my request to you.  Please exercise caution over the Fall Break and Thanksgiving holiday. During the week if you or your child have symptoms, please self-quarantine, and if you or your child test positive, please let your campus principal know through their email.

We will continue to monitor the situation case by case, class by class, and campus by campus. We will continue to follow our Return to Learn plan regarding sending individuals or classrooms to quarantine, if needed. We have worked very hard to be proactive should any potential quarantine or closure occur. Our Board of Trustees approved additional purchases for technology and we now have enough devices to deploy to each student in grades 5-12 who needs one and we have devices in our schools that could be distributed to elementary students, if needed.  

We are looking forward to the break, and then returning to school on Monday, November 30.  If we all do our part next week to make sure our cases don’t spike it will really help.  Once again, thank you for everything you’ve done since last March to ensure our students are still learning.  

With Sincere Gratitude,


Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

As we wrap up our first two days of school, I want to take a minute to say thank you. Overall, it has been a great start to the school year and you are a large reason why.  Thank you for reading through all of the messages you received from your child’s school so you knew what to expect on the first day.  I know it was different for many of you, not walking your child to class, but instead sending them off into school with a mask and a water bottle.  For others, I know it was different getting your child logged into Schoology, and in many cases, online live with their teacher and class. Thank you for sending your child wearing a mask and for emphasizing the importance of their health and the health of their teachers and staff. As a result, we had almost no issues and kids were respectful, cooperative and excited to be at school.  It was different, but we did it, and it set the school year off on the right note.

Now, that isn’t to say we didn’t have some hiccups.  We did. Thank you for your patience as we worked through some login and password questions regarding Schoology and technology.  Thank you for your patience as lessons are being uploaded, and our teachers work through finding the on-campus/at-home balance. We all worked very hard to be ready for the start of school, but as we navigate this we will have to make adjustments, and as we’ll have patience and grace as students adjust, we ask for that in return.  

Just because the situation is different, that does not mean the mission has changed.  We are committed to our students and committed to an excellent, well-rounded education no matter where they are learning.  For us, working with children is our passion, and seeing their smiling, excited eyes throughout the day is the greatest reward. 

It’s going to be a wonderful school year, and together, we will work through the challenges we face, because we have a common goal in mind.  With honest and open communication, we can address the challenges and come out stronger. Thank you for working with us, and we’ll see your child in school, whether on-campus or at-home, ready to go on Monday.

Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents and Guardians,


After listening to feedback from you, our teachers, staff, administrators, and local health officials, the Bryan ISD Board of Trustees today approved changes to the 2020-2021 school calendar.  


Here are the primary changes:

  • The first day of school is now Thursday, August 20 to give teachers more time to prepare their classrooms.
  • We will have an early release on most Wednesdays to allow for a midweek additional, thorough cleaning of our schools in addition to daily cleaning.
  • We are considering switching to a block schedule format in grades 7-12 to reduce the number of times students change classrooms. (You will receive more information from your principal if you have a secondary student).

The times for early release will be:

  • High School: 12:50 p.m.
  • Middle School: 12:55 p.m.
  • Intermediate School: 2:20 p.m.
  • Elementary School: 2:10 p.m.

We’ve staggered the early release times like this so if you have older children, they can be home first to help take care of elementary students.  AlphaBest will also offer after school care for students on early release days following Bryan ISD health guidelines. If you haven’t yet, please click here to review our Return to Learn Plan including our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about everything Byran ISD is doing to keep our campuses healthy. If you’d like to switch how your child will learn the first six weeks (on-campus, at-home, hybrid grades 7-12) please call your child’s campus or email BISD_enrollment@bryanisd.org through Thursday, August 6.


It is not going to be a normal year, but we are committed to providing a safe environment so that children can learn face-to-face or online.  As we get our students in school, whether at-home or on-campus, and they meet their teacher, and get comfortable with their schedule, I believe it will feel more normal than you expect. A lot has been continually changing and we will continue to monitor COVID-19 in our local area and adjust if needed. We are working to move out of ambiguity and into action and our team will remain dedicated to assisting you and your children.


Respectfully,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents, Guardians, and Staff,

 

The Return to Learn Plan for 2020-2021 Draft document outlines the plans for Bryan ISD as we move

forward with opening school. As a reminder, parents have been able to select from face-to-face

on-campus, online learning at-home, and a hybrid allowing students in grades 7-12 to report to the

campus for designated courses requiring specialized instruction.

 

This document reflects the teamwork of many talented central office leaders, principals, teachers and

other district employees as they have worked to monitor current requirements incorporating them with

best practices to the fullest extent possible. Please understand that guidance has been changing daily

and that this will remain a fluid document. Much like a strong classroom teacher who must continually

monitor and adjust his/her teaching, we, too, must make changes as we go along. There has been no

roadmap or guidebook for handling the pandemic, especially for how to begin a new year when

children and teachers are not established in their routines.

 

I can assure you that Bryan ISD is committed to creating safe environments for our students and staff.

Our Board of Trustees and all employees are in this profession because we believe in serving and

making a positive difference. Regardless of the uncharted waters ahead, we will roll up our sleeves,

remain calm, adjust as needed, all while serving as strong role models for our children.

 

Please use this plan to understand the details related to your child’s education and let us know if you

have questions that are not answered.

 

When difficult things happen, it is good to know you are in them with amazing people.

 

Most Sincerely,

Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Bryan ISD Superintendent

Dear Bryan ISD Parents/Guardians,

I hope that you and your family have been safe and healthy and have found some time to enjoy family despite the unusual circumstances. The beginning of the new school year is just under 40 days away, and I know our community is eager to learn more about our plans for the fall semester.


In my previous updates, I mentioned that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) would be providing long-awaited guidance to school districts on the requirements and protocols for hosting in-person classes. Unfortunately, due to the rapidly changing circumstances from COVID-19, that promised guidance from the TEA did not arrive until Tuesday, July 7, so our staff has been busy working to incorporate the requirements into our Return to Learn 20-21 Plan.


After reviewing the first parent survey, our Bryan ISD Team began working to draft multiple scenarios for instruction. Now is the time for you to make the selection that you feel is best for you, your child, and your family.


You can choose from three options: 

  • At-Home Learning (online)
  • On-Campus Learning (face-to-face in the classroom)
  • Hybrid model (online and face-to-face for grades 7-12)

Regardless of which learning option you choose for your child, the expectations for coursework and the grading system will be the same for both in-person and at-home learning. We believe this is the fairest and most equitable solution for all of our students. Applicable high school credit courses in 7th-12th grades will be included in calculating GPA and class rank for both in-person and online learning students. Students learning online will engage in daily activities that combine teacher-led instruction along with independent learning. A student’s schedule may reflect short periods of synchronous learning scheduled throughout the day followed by time for independent, asynchronous learning activities. 


For our students who choose to attend face-to-face in-person classes, Bryan ISD will follow all applicable guidelines and protocols from the state in place at the time. We will place more signs around campuses promoting safe health practices, increase cleaning and sanitation, and frequently remind students about hand hygiene and social distancing. Face coverings will be recommended or required depending on state guidelines at the time. We will comply with all health safety recommendations established by the health department and the Texas Education Agency, and all staff members will receive COVID-19 prevention training prior to the opening of school. 


Beginning the week of July 13, you will receive an email from Bryan ISD to complete the online returning student registration forms.  Part of this important process will be 

asking you to make an initial commitment for your child(ren) to choose either on-campus or at-home learning for the first six weeks for the 2020-21 school year. The email will come from BISD_enrollment@bryanisd.org. In order for Bryan ISD to finalize staffing requirements, we are asking that this commitment be made no later than 8:00 a.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020, which is the final day for you to change your decision. For those who do not complete the online registration verification, your child will be automatically enrolled in on-campus face-to-face instruction. Your child’s schedule and teacher assignments cannot be finalized until we receive your commitment, so please consider completing the form as soon as possible. Students will be expected to remain in their chosen option through at least a six-week grading period in order to limit scheduling and staffing complexities. If you don’t receive the email regarding the online returning student registration, then please call 979-209-1288 or email BISD_enrollment@bryanisd.org.


We understand that circumstances could change for our families throughout the year so adjustments and changes in preference can be made each six weeks by contacting your school.


We have posted more information about the Bryan ISD Return to Learn 2020-21 plan, along with frequently asked questions at www.bryanisd.org/returntolearn


We will continue to share new information and updates with you as the summer progresses. It is clear that COVID-19 has changed our world in so many ways, and I continue to appreciate your support and understanding as we work through these trying times. Together, we will remain committed to supporting each and every student on their learning journey.


Please continue to stay safe and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Sincerely,
Dr. Christie Whitbeck

Superintendent