Lancaster ISD to Pivot to Virtual Learning Amid COVID-19 Surge
Dear Tiger Families,
We hope your holiday break has been a delightful and healthy experience. As we prepare to close out 2021 and welcome our students and staff members back for our second semester of school, we want you to know that we are prioritizing the health and safety of everyone in Lancaster ISD.
Throughout the duration of our holiday break, our Lancaster ISD District Leadership and Health Services teams have monitored the current uptick in COVID-19 cases. Currently, Dallas County’s COVID-19 risk level is listed as red, local hospitals have a limited number of beds, and several individuals within our community have unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19.
For those reasons, we believe that it is in the best interest of our district to pivot our students’ return to school to our virtual learning option. Lancaster ISD students will not return to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. Instead, we will implement our district-wide instructional pivot process so students can attend school virtually on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 through Friday, January 7, 2022.
Decisions to close our schools are only made after very careful consideration. In this case, our health services department has remained updated on the current COVID-19 trends in our community, and we believe this is the best option for our school district. We also fully understand the need that parents or guardians might encounter with respect to securing child care. Therefore, Tuesday, January 4, will serve as an instructional pivot transitional day for parents to prepare students to begin virtual learning on Wednesday, January 5. We will reassess this situation on Friday, January 7, 2022, and confirm our projected in-person return date of Monday, January 10, 2022, via email.
While we know this extended time of online learning presents challenges for some families, given our current pandemic status, it is necessary to prevent students from returning next week, only to have to send them home again before the end of the week.
Please know that our priority is to provide in-person learning for all students. However, decisions to pivot to virtual learning or return to school are based on the ever-changing impact of COVID-19 throughout our community. While we are doing all we can to continue in-person learning for all, until this pandemic is under control, the possibility that there will be a need to shift to on-line learning again remains constant.
We want you to know that Lancaster ISD and our campus leadership teams have planned our instructional pivot process scenario in our Operation Safe Tiger Reopening plan to make this a seamless transition. Here are a few action items and additional information for parents to keep in mind during this pivot process:
- This weekend, campuses will begin communicating with parents through phone calls and Classroom DoJo to ensure all students can connect virtually and are prepared to start virtual learning on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at 8:00 am.
- Your child will need a technology device for remote learning. If your child does not have a technology device, device pickup will be at your child’s campus at the following times:
- Monday, January 3, from 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
- Tuesday, January 4, from 7:30 am-9:30 am
- Tuesday, January 4, from 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
- Synchronous and asynchronous classes will begin on Wednesday, January 5, 2022 via Google Classroom. Should you need help with Google Classroom, Google Meet, or Google Apps for Education, these Technology Tools for parents can be found on our Remote Learning Resources page.
- Specific classroom information and instructions will be communicated with parents directly from their child's campus/teacher.
- During this pivot, grab and go meals will be available for pick up Wednesday, January 5, and will contain meals to cover Wednesday through Friday.
- Communication is key. Your child's teacher will be communicating regularly with parents through Class DoJo, Remind as well as our parent email system. Parents, please make sure to stay updated with the Class Dojo app, district emails, and answer all emails from your child’s campus or Lancaster ISD.
- Lancaster Early College high School and T-STEM dual credit students will receive communication from their campus principals if there is a change in their college schedule.
- Athletic practices and games are currently still scheduled to take place. If there is a change in a practice schedule or games, the Lancaster ISD athletic department and coaches will notify members of each sports team with information.
- At this time, any other scheduled extracurricular activities scheduled during the week of January 3-7 have been postponed.
Lancaster ISD Vaccination Clinic
Additionally, our district is offering a vaccination clinic to Lancaster ISD students and parents on Monday, January 3, at Lancaster High School from 9 am to 12 pm. We recommend that those eligible get vaccinated or receive their booster shot attend our vaccination clinic.
- Monday, January 3, 2022, 9 am - 12 pm
- Lancaster High School Competition gym located at 200 E Wintergreen Rd. Lancaster, TX 75134
Lancaster ISD COVID-19 Testing Clinic
We also encourage everyone to get tested for COVID-19. Our district will provide the following COVID-19 testing clinics for Lancaster ISD students and parents on the following dates at the Lancaster Middle School auditorium, located at 822 W Pleasant Run Rd. Lancaster, TX 75146.
- Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 7am - 9am and 2pm - 4pm
- Thursday, January 6, 2022, 7am - 9am and 2pm - 4pm
Below is a list of local COVID-19 testing location resources:
- COVID-19 Testing Location Resources
- Children’s Health System COVID-19 Testing Information
- Dallas County Vaccine Information
- Children’s Health System COVID-19 Community Vaccination Sites
We believe there must be a collective effort to ensure our children can continue to learn in person, which is why our district will continue to provide opportunities for COVID-19 testing and vaccines, and enhance our Operation Safe Tiger Return plan. Upon our return to in-person learning, we will continue to prohibit outside visitors to campus, and will proceed with our daily on-campus testing option for students with parental consent. Additionally, we will maintain our established COVID-19 quarantine protocols for students and staff.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information or virus prevention, please seek additional information from Dallas County Health Department, the CDC, your family pediatrician, or feel free to speak with your school nurse. Also, please feel free to submit your questions or concerns here and we will follow up with you.
We ask that you remain engaged with all district communication within the next few days and thank you in advance for partnering with our district to keep our students and staff safe.