Superintendent’s Update – September 3

Jeannie Stone

Please click here to watch the Sept. 3 Superintendent’s Update. Highlights include:

  • RISD trustees met in an emergency board meeting Friday morning to receive the latest information about RISD’s positive COVID cases and review risk mitigation protocols.
  • In collaboration with RISD’s local public health authority, Dallas County Health and Human Services, on Thursday RISD shifted Brentfield Elementary to virtual-only instruction for 10 days due to rising case numbers and absences approaching one-quarter of students due to quarantine, illness, and symptoms. Teaching and learning at the school will occur virtually next week and return to in-person instruction starting September 13.
  • Dr. David Bonnet, City of Richardson Public Health Authority, shared with trustees that the delta variant is spread more easily than previous strains, and it impacts children to a greater degree than previous strains. Dr. Bonnet reinforced that wearing masks while indoors and getting vaccinated are two important steps people can take to slow the spread and decrease the burden on the healthcare system.
  • After 13 school days through September 2, 525 positive student cases of COVID-19 have been reported. Reported student cases were 1,854 the entirety of last school year.
  • RISD is monitoring case levels and absences at RISD schools and is using a 15% absence threshold to determine when to seek guidance from Dallas County HHS on individual school situations. Dallas County expects to publish campus-specific guidelines and data thresholds for all county school districts to consider in the coming days, and RISD will add the information to the district’s COVID-19 website as a resource.
  • At the conclusion of the emergency meeting, RISD trustees voted unanimously to affirm and support RISD’s existing indoor mask requirement, citing the exclusive school board authority granted by Chapter 11 of the Texas Education Code to oversee the management of Richardson ISD as a matter of local control. The Board has requested updated data to re-evaluate protocols after four weeks, at the October 4 meeting.
  • With the delta variant currently spreading and positive cases rising among students, parents are urged to encourage their children to follow the common sense steps that can stop the spread – get vaccinated if eligible and wear a mask indoors if around other people.
  • RISD’s Blueprint of pandemic protocols is continually being updated as requirements, recommendation, and conditions change.

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