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Santa Rosa ISD to begin classes after Labor Day

New technology devices are delivered to Santa Rosa High School as part of the district’s computer refresh program. Photo courtesy SRISD Facebook Page

Special to LFN

SANTA ROSA — The students of Santa Rosa Independent School District will start school right after Labor Day on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The school board made the decision on Aug. 3 at a special meeting. The students’ back-to-school transition will be through a remote learning model for the first four weeks of school and, tentatively, another four weeks if needed. The hope is that all students have the option to return to a face-to-face learning model beginning Monday, Nov. 2.

During this special meeting, the school board also approved the installation of Wi-Fi and ionizer filters for SRISD school buses and the interlocal agreement for connectivity with Region 4 Education Service Center and the Texas Education Agency for matching state funds on technology purchases.

The later start date is mainly in response to the hit of Hurricane Hanna which left many houses and areas of Santa Rosa flooded and without power, according to Superintendent Dr. Angela Gonzalez.

“With the recent hurricane in addition to the already existing COVID-19 crisis, the district believes it is best to push back the start date to September to give students and parents more time to recover and prepare for remote learning. Our students and families come first,” Dr. Gonzalez said.

According to Melissa Salinas, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, SRISD is preparing for the start of the school year and has set forth a plan to provide electronic devices to those students who need the technology to learn remotely. The district will be providing access points for connectivity, and buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi equipment and stationed strategically throughout the community for Wi-Fi access.

“Our goal is to ensure that all SRISD students have the tools and access they need for remote learning. With this additional connectivity initiative, our students will receive the curriculum, instruction, interventions and support they need for academic success that is equivalent to the level of in-person instruction,” Salinas said.

SRISD is also providing virtual sessions for athletes to stay in shape at this time. This will continue as the school year opens and coaches will add “Chalk-Talk” sessions after school via web conferencing for each sport.
Dr. Gonzalez encourages parents to email their questions, concerns or unique needs at srisd-info@srtx.org or contact their campus principal.

Information related to the reopening of schools due to COVID-19 will be posted on the new district website at srtx.org. A virtual parent meeting is scheduled soon, she added.

“In order to start our school year safely and smoothly, we need to partner with our parents and keep an open dialogue for accurate information,” Dr. Gonzalez said.

Dr. Gonzalez mentioned that SRISD’s top priority is the health and safety of its students. As an added preventive measure, the district is installing a Needlepoint Bipolar Ionizer System that will purify the indoor air in the schools and touchless water fountains that will minimize the spread of germs. The district is also purchasing acrylic desk barriers and will have other preventive measures in place, such as the mandatory use of face masks and face shields, and heightened disinfecting and sanitation protocols.

Meanwhile, the board also recently approved the high school’s 100 percent computer refresh program.

As a result of this initiative, classrooms, CTE labs, the library and all high school teachers will be receiving updated equipment to better assist students. The first batch of devices came in recently.

With the new equipment in place, all the removed equipment is now available for allocation to those students in need of technology at home.

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