My Dear Whirlwinds,

I hope everyone is having a good summer amid the craziness associated with

the COVID-19 pandemic. The lives of so many people across the world have

been turned upside down since March. Like many of you, I keep praying that

we will wake up one day and this virus will disappear. As educators, we are

facing unprecedented times and as each day draws closer to a new school

year, we feel the weight of the world in trying to balance our professional lives

with our personal lives.

I want you to know that I, too, have many concerns regarding starting a new

school year as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise. However, the

Texas Education Agency has issued their guidance and one of their main

directives is that schools must provide daily on-campus instruction for students.

For educators, this means being on campus providing instruction to students no

matter what concerns we may have about the virus. Parents have the option to

send their child to school or to allow her or him to enter remote learning. As the

superintendent of schools and as a parent, I understand the difficulty that most

parents will have in trying to arrive at the decision that is best for their child. Our

kids are our most precious gifts and we want to ensure their safety at all times.

While schools will undoubtedly have many health and safety protocols in place,

there is no way to guarantee that no one will contract the virus. So, I fully

support the decision that any parent makes in how their child will be educated,

on campus or remotely. We will not frown on any student that enters the remote

learning method. We will try to provide the same quality education that we

provide students on campus. But, it will take parents supporting their child at

home and ensuring there is enough structure to support students completing

their work and attending synchronous instruction when required. TEA has told

us that there will be STAAR testing in the 2020-2021 school year, so we also

have that added pressure.

The UIL recently released information regarding student eligibility in extracurricular

events. While it is permissible to have students in remote learning

participate in UIL activities, our school district feels that it would not be

appropriate to have students opt for the remote learning method because of

COVID-19 concerns and then participate in UIL activities (i.e. athletic practices

and competition, band competition, etc.). Exposure to COVID-19 is still possible

in extra-curricular activities or even attending extra-curricular activities (the latter

will be left to parental choice). There are still so many uncertainties regarding

athletic events this fall. We have no idea what it would even look like if, for

example, we have football games. As UIL or TEA releases more information,

we’ll do our best to share that with you all in a time manner.

In closing, I want to reiterate that we fully support the decision that any parent

makes regarding the method of education for their child. We have been working

on a plan that can accommodate either choice. We also want you to know that

we love our students and we will pour our hearts and minds into making sure we

keep them as safe and healthy as possible if they are on campus. Together, we

can get past this turbulent time and come out stronger because of it.

With love and understanding,

Dr. Gilbert Trevino

Superintendent – Floydada Independent School District

226 West California Street

Floydada, Texas 79235

(806) 983-3498