Latest Update from Dr. Ledbetter
April 17, 2020
Dear MISD Families:
Today, Governor Abbott announced that all Texas school buildings will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. However, we will continue with at-home learning through the last day of school on May 28. While this news deeply saddens our MISD family, we know this order is in place to keep our families and communities safe.
With this news today, I know our students are greatly disappointed they are unable to return to their classrooms, see their friends and teachers. We are disappointed, too. We miss our students' smiles, laughs and all of the “light bulb” moments that happen each and every school day.
As part of our effort to be of support and assistance, below are some helpful ways to support your children and your families during this time. Additionally, we have information about the remainder of this school year. While this email is lengthy, we believe the information is important.
The rest of the school year...
As we move into the remainder of this school year, we know you may have many questions related to refunding of field trips, traditional end-of-year events held for elementary, middle and high school students, along with getting personal items left at school.
Currently, we are in the process of reviewing these events and situations to determine what needs to be postponed, canceled or picked up. Please know there are many moving parts to these decisions along with safety guidelines we must follow. We are working through all of these scenarios to decide on what is the easiest process to follow. We will share that information with you soon.
As we continue distance learning through our last day of school, which is on May 28, our teachers will continue to be available to discuss and plan for your child’s academic needs for the remainder of this year and recommendations for next year. Our teachers do have office hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Additionally, for technical support or other needs, please feel free to call our parent support line at 469-300-4849 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. During off-hours, please leave a voicemail and a hotline representative will call you back.
Tips to help you, your child and family...
While this continues to feel like a time of uncertainty, it’s important to continue:
- Routines are paramount to help lower stress and anxiety
- Knowing what the day will be like can ease worry and provide a sense of calm
- Offer structure and choice
Taking time to talk
- Allow your children to ask you questions
- Give developmentally appropriate information
- Acknowledge their worries
Making a list of things you can control
- Deal with your own anxiety (similar to the airline strategy, put on your own oxygen mask first and make your list. Then, help your children.)
- When feeling anxious and overwhelmed, it is not the time to have discussions with your children
- Take time for yourself to calm before you have important discussions with your children
Limiting News Exposure
- Overexposure to the news can increase stress and anxiety for families
- Limit social media as well - have to filter through what is accurate and what is not
Helping your child connect
- Permit social media at designated times if allowable with safety measures in place
- Call or FaceTime with friends and family
- Connect with teachers! Our teachers miss your children!
- Social distancing doesn't mean social isolation, find creative ways to connect with friends and family by mailing cards, notes, making crafts
Healthy Outlets - Take Breaks!
- Listen to music and dance!
- Exercise by setting walk and outdoor routines
- Create something new such as a recipe or craft
- Watch favorite show that makes you laugh out loud
- Play an old-fashioned board game
How to handle disappointments of activities missed and social time with friends
- Know you are not alone - we are all MISD Strong!
- Perspective – try to see this time as a gift of time unique
- Be generous to others – giving to others in times of need not only helps the recipient, it enhances your wellbeing too.
In an effort to talk to your children about continued school building closure, here are some conversation helpers for your children to process and share with you how they are feeling.
Continue to ask open-ended questions:
- How are you feeling today?
- What are your biggest worries today or right now?
- What has made you feel better or helped you in the past?
- What can you do now for this current situation?
- What are some things you can control?
- What is an activity that would help you feel better or connect with your friends, safely?
Thank you for all of your patience and support…
With these unprecedented times, please know MISD deeply appreciates your support and patience. Your words of encouragement on social media and email have been deeply meaningful to our staff and teachers who continue to work tirelessly and around the clock to make the transition to distance learning and shifting of complete school district operations to feed students and provide support.
We are in this together and because of you, we are MISD Strong!