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An Update from Dr. Belding on September 2, 2021

Dear Chaparral families,

Aubrey ISD has worked diligently to provide a safe and healthy educational learning environment throughout this historic time period with the pandemic. The District has followed directives issued by Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency, and local, state, and federal agencies to keep our schools open for student learning. This has been a challenging task for us all. 

Aubrey ISD is growing, which is exciting. We have 3,088 students. We have 381 staff members who come to work every day to keep our students safe and healthy.  The District has closely monitored the onset of COVID cases and at the time of writing this letter, we have 2.4% active cases among our students and staff. 

Aubrey ISD will continue to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order, GA-38.  

In an attempt to keep our schools open and operational, Aubrey ISD will make or has made the following changes until further notice. Each of the changes by themselves may have a small effect, but together we believe these measures will have a stronger impact:

  •  All large indoor gatherings, assemblies, pep rallies, and other events for students during the school day are suspended. 

  •  Clubs and organizations are required to meet virtually unless it is not possible and then MUST maintain 6’ of distance between participants.

  • All District meetings with staff will occur virtually.

  • Any and all parent conferences will occur virtually.

  •  Visitors will not be allowed at campuses, including during breakfast and lunch times.  If there is an extenuating circumstance, please contact the office at your school. If you wish to eat lunch with your student, you may check them out of school for the lunch period.

  • We encourage all families to transport your child to and from school rather than riding the bus, if you can.

  • We have deployed desk shields in cafeterias and classrooms at tables where students cannot distance. We have ordered more desk shields of a different design to increase our inventory. The use of desk shields will not be optional at this time. Once cases decline, we will reevaluate.

  • We have staggered pass periods at AHS and AMS.

We will continue to follow existing protocols to ensure our students have a safe place to learn.

  • We are conducting deep and thorough cleaning of campuses each night. Additionally, we conduct electrostatic spraying every 90 days in all facilities in order to mitigate. This is a device that works by applying a small electrical charge to aerosols when passing through the nozzle. These charged droplets adhere easier and stick to environmental surfaces and kill viruses when the virus particles land on surfaces and last 90 days.

  • For all UIL activities, the district will follow TEA and UIL guidelines for participants and spectators. 

  • We are communicating every weekday regarding positive cases. We have established a COVID dashboard so our community can see the active cases and recovered cases. 

We need your help.  

Here are things you can do to help us keep our schools open and our kids and staff as healthy as possible.  

  • Please ensure that you are checking your children for symptoms every day.  This is crucial.  If your child is showing symptoms, keep them home and contact your campus nurse

  •  Have your child wear a face covering. It is incumbent on us all to do everything we can to control the spread of COVID.  Whether you believe face coverings prevent the spread, help contain the spread, or do nothing, Denton County Public Health and Governor Abbott continue to encourage everyone to wear a face covering. This tells me there is value. Once this present surge subsides, we can all reevaluate. We have witnessed more students and staff wearing face coverings this week. Thank you.

  • If eligible, please consider getting vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has received full approval from the FDA. 

All of the above mitigation measures are important to help keep our students/staff healthy and our staff working by reducing the spread of the virus.  If we do nothing, this could and probably will lead to more illness, staffing shortages and schools closing for 10 or more days.    

I am proud of our school district and community. We rallied together last year to help our children and staff have an excellent school year.  We were hopeful that this year would be more “normal.”  At this point, it isn’t.  A legislative bill for virtual learning was not passed in the Regular Session of the Texas Legislature. If there is a bill in the second Special Session that is signed into law, we will study the possibility.

Our staff is feeling the pressure of this situation and to their credit they are fully focused on serving our children. We need you to help us.  Together we can serve kids, keep our children and staff healthy, and have a great school year.  The time is now for us all to rally together and be a Chaparral Family!

Sincerely,

Dr. David Belding