Saturday, September 19, 2020

District staff a source of pride in difficult times

By Joyce Foreman
Dallas ISD District 6

I continue to be amazed at the work our district employees are accomplishing as we deal with the repercussions of COVID-19. To date, Dallas ISD Food and Nutrition Services has distributed some 4 million meals to district families at meal sites and partnered with DART to deliver meals to hotels serving the homeless. That number speaks for itself. Thanks to all involved!

Teachers and instructional leaders are coordinating at-home learning to encourage students to keep up with their studies, and IT staff are delivering laptops, tablets and hotspots for students who need them. Thank you, teachers and tech support!

We salute our teachers, essential workers and all of our staff for keeping up the good work. We will not let this virus defeat us. The learning goes on.

During this pandemic, the district has named new principals for 19 schools, including Principal Derek Thomas who will serve at Adele Turner Elementary School in District Six. Welcome to your new post, Principal Thomas. I look forward to working with you.
Learning and achieving has continued despite the challenges of this trying time. I want to congratulate the T.W. Browne Middle School students for their success in the Texas Academic Pentathlon, Region V online competition, held April 25. Browne’s 7th graders placed second in the super quiz rankings and third place in team rankings. This year’s theme, ironically, was In Sickness & In Health: An Exploration of Illness and Wellness. The pentathlon competition is based around five subject areas: fine arts, literature, mathematics, science and social science. Job well done, Browne scholars!

Five of our District Six teachers were among the 91 Dallas ISD teachers selected by Donors Choose.org to participate in the “Keep Kids Learning” program. The five received $1,000 vouchers from Amazon or Walmart to purchase supplies for students. I’m proud of Shawauna Barrett and Latrice London Wright, both of McNair Elementary School, who received Walmart vouchers for student supplies as a part of this initiative. Also, congratulations to Amelia Blacksher of Atwell Middle School, Emily Hobbs of Moreno Elementary and Dorcas Kassebaum of McNair Elementary, recipients of Amazon vouchers. Thank you, teachers!

With graduation approaching, let me extend congratulations to the Class of 2020, whose members have worked and studied so hard to make it to the end of their high school career, only to see this virus threat rob them of their chance to walk across the stage. Don’t be deterred, seniors, nothing can take your achievement away. You have proved that you are strong and resilient, and you will go on to the bright future that is yours to create. I am sure of it.

One last word: For those who have not responded to the census, it is not too late. If you haven’t filled out your census form, you may go online to 2020census.gov to do so. The 2020 Census asks a few simple questions about you and everyone living in your household on April 1, 2020. The survey is confidential and does not ask about immigration status. Remember, decisions about funding for our schools and community are tied to the census count. Don’t let our students be left out!

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