April 1 Update:
Victoria ISD continues to actively monitor the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation in conjunction with local and federal health authorities. While the district is closed, VISD emergency and essential personnel for this evolving situation continue to consult with local health authorities and to convene virtually and regularly in order to conduct a full and ongoing assessment of risks for students and staff. As always, the safety of our students, staff, and families remains a top priority, and we will act out of an abundance of caution to protect everyone’s health and wellbeing.
Currently, VISD has closed schools and suspended normal operations for an undetermined length of time. This includes District playgrounds, tracks, outdoor basketball courts, etc. This suspension of normal school operations, taken in conjunction with surrounding districts, is in support of the Nation’s effort to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the need for all communities to implement a social distancing protocol.
The District will remain flexible as leaders plan for long-term delivery of instruction and continue to navigate the many details of this unprecedented situation.
We will provide updates on an ongoing basis. In this update, you’ll find information regarding:
With the City of Victoria’s Stay at Home order in place, VISD will continue to provide an essential service of providing meals to area children. The distribution schedule has been adjusted to further reduce possible contact.
Starting the week of April 6-10, the Child Nutrition Food Distribution schedule will change as follows:
Monday and Thursdays only.
Thursday will contain breakfast and lunch for Thursday-Friday
Changes to Texas Department of Agriculture rules no longer allow VISD to distribute food for weekends.
Points of Distribution will decrease from 6-5, with serving hours 9:30-12:30 (Stroman will be 9:30-1:00):
Meals are available for children age 18 or younger and special needs students up to age 21. Each child receiving a meal MUST be present, unless the parent provides a copy of a birth certificate, current report card, or student ID for each child. The child(ren) do not need to be enrolled at the distribution site school, nor do they need to be enrolled in VISD
VISD’s Technology department has started distribution of devices. The distributions scheduled for Thursday, April 2, have been postponed to Friday, April 3, at the same times. Technology staff is still working on placing calls to those who have qualified for a device through the second window of our Technology Resources survey.
You must have an appointment to pick up a device. We appreciate your patience as we work through extended delays in receiving the necessary equipment for students.
The COVID-19 situation is evolving daily. At this time, no decisions have been made regarding this year’s graduation plans. However, we are proactively looking at a variety of scenarios. Please continue to follow our updates for more information.
In Victoria ISD we always take care of one another and remain committed to doing what is right for our students, staff, and families. Please check our Facebook page for information. However, all critical updates will be located on our COVID-19 page.
All district events and extracurricular activities are cancelled until the District returns to face-to-face instruction or further notice. This includes all district-sponsored UIL, athletics, fine arts, clubs, and group events or ceremonies
UIL has suspended all UIL sanctioned contests from Monday, March 16 through Monday March 30. Local practices and rehearsals are at the discretion of the local schools. VISD student athletes will need to contact their coaches in regards to practices through the end of the month
Athletics Physicals Rescheduled
As we reach into uncertain times we are tasked with making difficult decisions. With that being said, we are having to make changes to VISD's annual Athletic Physicals that were scheduled for April 23rd at West High School and April 29th at East High School. We have cancelled those dates and set a date of August 1st for our physicals. They will be hosted at West HS from 9am-3pm. The cost will remain the same at $15 dollars per student. We have contacted our doctors and hospitals for their assistance with this and they are on board as much as they can be and feel optimistic about getting us plenty of resources for that day.
Previous emails and notifications set a date of April 1st as a cutoff for any new physical to be accepted for the 2020-2021 school year. We will still honor that date as we know many parents have set up appointments with their primary doctor.
This was a difficult decision for us to make and had to set this date because it is the absolute last day possible prior to any athletics practices and tryouts starting on August 3rd.
We want to wish everyone a safe and happy spring, and we pray that everyone stays healthy in these uncertain times.
March 28 Update
Starting on Monday, March 30, Victoria ISD is revising the meal distribution schedule to reduce the number of interactions and add more flexibility and convenience for parents.
New Pick up Days
*Meals prepared for non-distribution days will need to be removed from the packaging and heated. Microwaves work well.
Distribution sites remain the same.
There will be one pick up window from 9:30 – 12:30, Stroman will serve until 1:00.
Meals are available to any child age 18 and younger, as well as special needs students up to age 21. The child does not need to attend the distribution site school, nor does the child need to be enrolled in Victoria ISD.
At this time, we will be distributing between 2,000 and 2,500 devices and around 1,000 hotspots to students. We are also working to distribute hotspots to staff members who have no internet access at home. Just like when they are at school, student devices will be pre-loaded with the necessary learning tools, and will have an internet filter installed on them to help protect students while they are on the internet.
If a student is eligible to receive a device or hotspot, their guardian will receive a phone call by April 1st to schedule their device pickup time. We are still working to place these calls.
Distribution will be drive up and guardians will be asked to sign a Technology Lending Agreement before they are given the device. An example of this agreement is located on our Online Learning Resources web page and we encourage all guardians to review it prior to picking up their device. The agreement outlines responsible use and costs associated with damaged, lost, or stolen devices.
The guardian will have to agree to pay the full replacement cost of the device if it is lost or stolen, and the district is not provided with a police report within 10 (ten) business days. There will be a $20 charge for returned devices that have been damaged and for stolen devices when we have been provided with a police report.
Parents should call 361-788-2828 for any questions related to technology or the lending agreement fees.
For Verizon Wireless customers: Verizon is offering free 15 GB of hotspot data on most plans, to be used between now and 04/30/2020. Contact Verizon for more information.
Students were provided a packet of information for learning this week, either through drive thru pick up at the campus or by mail. Included in the packet was information on teacher and campus contacts, as well as communication tools that will be used by the teacher. If a mailed packet was returned to the school because of an incorrect address, teachers are contacting the parents.
Elementary - Campuses have prepared 3 week learning packets. Packets contain a variety of activities including student choice boards that allow learning preferences and that can be completed online or in paper pencil format. Their assignments can be turned in either by scanning or taking a picture of the assignment and emailing or through an online method as instructed by the teacher. Questions or concerns about assignments or student progress can be addressed by contacting the student’s teacher.
Middle and High School - Students will communicate with their teachers through the Microsoft Teams app. This app will allow students to be in all their classes virtually. Students will use their VISD email logins to access through any type of internet supported device. Teachers will be providing choices for students to submit their assignments. Since students and teachers alike are learning the TEAMS software, all students will have the first two weeks to complete the first week of assignments.
Guardians and students can call 361-788-2828 if they need assistance with their password to their student email account.
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Meal Distribution Update
Pick up will be available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Monday and Wednesday, students will receive breakfast and lunch for two days. On Friday, grab and go will consist of six meals to provide for Friday through Sunday. Meals prepared for non-distribution days will need to be removed from the packaging and heated. Microwaves work well.
The distribution sites remain the same. Meals will be available at the elementary schools from 9:30-12:30 and at Stroman Middle School from 9:30-1:00.
2706 N Azalea
2706 Leary Lane
Stroman Middle School
3002 E North St
Any child age 18 and younger, as well as special needs students up to age 21, can receive free meals. The child does not need to attend the distribution site school, nor does the child need to be enrolled in Victoria ISD.
If you have filled out our student device survey and have not received a call to schedule your pickup time by Wednesday, April 1st, then you were not eligible to receive a device or hotspot for your student. If you have questions about this, please call 361-788-2828.
Please be advised that you will be required to pay a minimum of $20 for each device and accessory that is either returned to us damaged or has been stolen or lost. If the device has been stolen, the district must be provided with a police report of the incident within 10 (ten) business days, otherwise the device will be deemed “lost” and you will be required to pay the district for the full price of the device. A cost table associated with these charges will be located on the agreement you will receive and be asked to sign upon device pickup.
The “Technology Lending Agreement” posted on the VISD Online Learning Resources page has been updated to reflect these changes. All costs in the cost table on that agreement are for example only and are subject to change.
Elementary Learning Packet Information
All elementary campuses are preparing Learning Packets for students enrolled in grades PK-5. Each child will receive a large clasp envelope containing the following:
All packets will be distributed using a “drive-through” protocol. Families will remain in their vehicles and appropriate packets will be handed to them.
Basic school supplies will be available. If parents are in need of supplies, they can contact the parent liaison prior to picking up their packets, and we will make sure they get some in their child’s packet when they pick it up.
If you are in need of a device and/or internet access for your child during remote learning, visit the Online Learning Resouces page.
Secondary Learning Packet Information
The VISD Secondary Curriculum Team has mailed of learning packets for middle school and high school students.
March 19, 2020
The Victoria ISD response to the (COVID-19) pandemic will enter a new phase when we begin providing some student services while our buildings are closed.
We want to provide an update to our families and staff about what services will look like starting March 23.
CONTINUATION OF LEARNING WHILE FACE-TO-FACE INSTRUCTION IS SUSPENDED
Here’s what teaching and learning will look like next week for teachers, students, and families:
Our Special Services team will be working with campuses to support the needs of all students.
FREE Breakfast and Lunch Service for Students
Starting Monday, March 23, we will offer curbside breakfast and lunch to any child age 18 and younger Monday through Friday at several of our schools. A student does not need to attend school at the distribution location to get meals. Students must be present to receive a meal. Due to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules, we can only distribute meals to students when they’re on site. We are hoping the USDA relaxes these rules to make it easier to provide these meals in the future.
Drive-thru pick-up will take place in the front drive of each designated elementary distribution campus listed below. Pick-up at Stroman will be on the Ben Wilson side by the tennis courts. In an abundance of caution, people should remain in their vehicle. Meals will be brought to the cars.
March 17, 2020
Victoria ISD has been working closely with the Victoria County Public Health Department and Victoria Office of Emergency Management to monitor the rapidly changing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation. The following update was provided by Superintendent Shepherd on VISD's plans to continue student learning in the coming weeks.
Face-to-Face Instruction Suspended
As a result of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the region and recommendations of social distancing from our local health officials, VISD is taking precautionary measures against transmission of the virus. Face-to-face instruction has been suspended at all campuses for an undetermined amount of time. This affects all programming at the school, including before and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and weekend events. This is a situation we have never faced before. VISD staff will be developing what this will look like for our students. It could be instructional materials and packets sent home, online instruction, a combination, or other distance learning scenario. Staff will return to work on Monday, March 23, working diligently through the week on planning. Our goal is for students to transition back into learning on Monday, March 30.
Free Meals for Students
While face-to-face instruction is suspended, VISD will provide free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for all students at six distribution sites: Aloe Elementary, Crain Elementary, Hopkins Elementary, Rowland Elementary, Shields Elementary, and Stroman Middle School. Each site will have breakfast available from 7:30-9:30 and lunch from 10:30-12:30 Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, March 23rd.
District Events and Extracurricular Activities Cancelled
Effective immediately, all district events and extracurricular activities are cancelled until the District returns to face-to-face instruction or further notice. This includes all district-sponsored UIL, athletics, fine arts, clubs, and group events or ceremonies.
STAAR and End-of-Course (EOC) Testing
Governor Abbott has announced requirements for STAAR and EOC testing for students will be waived this year. However, districts must determine guidelines for student grade level advancement and graduation requirements in the absence of the state testing. Additional information on this will be provided when the District has finalized those details.
The COVID-19 virus is thought to be spread via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person. As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge you to speak to your child about the following prevention measures:
The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the regular seasonal flu and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, and coughing. Some people with coronavirus have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some situations, the virus can develop into pneumonia. It is believed the seasonal flu vaccine does not provide protection against coronavirus.
Individuals who need medical care should call their medical providers to report their illness prior to seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital.
Dr. Shepherd's Open Letter to Students
I am sorry. As I have watched the events over this past week unfold and levels of concern (and fear) grow at an increasing rate, I have tried to think of what we could say to you. I write this on behalf of your Trustees, your administrators and your teachers. We know many of you look to us (your teachers, counselors and administrators) for guidance. We know you also look to parents, your families and your community in times of crisis. The truth is, we are trying hard to find concrete answers and we are learning as we go. I am sure you have heard and seen the experts who are saying “close schools” and why we need to “shut down.” Other experts are saying not to close until we have more concrete information. You have heard everyone say we are making decisions with your safety as our highest priority and that remains true.
What you have not heard is an apology. This apology is in recognition that you are sacrificing so much that you have worked so hard for. You work hard in practices, games, programs, performances, events and of course – school. You do not want these things to be put on hold, I know that. There are things you will never again get to do and I know this. We feel your sorrow deeply in our hearts and share in your disappointment.
There is no greater joy for a superintendent, a teacher, an administrator and a District Trustee than to see our students excel at what they love to do.
So, I am asking you to just sit tight and be strong. Your teachers and parents have worked hard to teach you about leadership, how to deal with adversity, how to persevere and how to be resilient. Right now, we are asking you to put all of what you have learned into practice. In life, we grow the most when we struggle. We do not grow when times are easy. Struggle gives us the chance to reach new levels. Are things going to remain the same moving forward? No. Will we have the same goals? No. Do we know the path forward? No. Is this going to be easy for anyone? No. We will be better, stronger, smarter, more resilient in the end… Yes.
Know this… we are, and always will be, VISD Proud of you. Hang in there. We’ve got this.
March 13, 2020
March 12, 2020
At this time, we are reminding all Victoria ISD students, families, and staff to take extra precautions if traveling during Spring Break. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and US Department of State provide country-specific travel guidelines and information. Because this situation is changing rapidly, before you travel, we encourage you to check the websites to find updated guidance for your destinations, as well as for those countries you may travel through on the way to your destinations.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
As always, the safety of our students, staff and families remains a top priority, and we will act out of an abundance of caution to protect everyone’s health and well-being. Anyone who travels during Spring Break should self-monitor their health for two weeks after returning home. During that time, if you feel sick with fever (100.0 degree temperature or higher), cough, and/or difficulty breathing, stay home and contact your health care provider or the local health department. Your doctor or the local health department will provide additional guidance based on an evaluation of symptoms.
Additionally, as is our common practice, all campuses and buses will be deep cleaned during Spring Break. The district will continue to communicate the importance of frequent hand washing, covering a cough or sneeze, not touching one’s eyes, nose and mouth, and staying home when ill.
With the help of all of our families and our staff, we will work to keep our students healthy and safe.
March 3, 2020
Families and staff who plan to travel during Spring Break are advised to take extra precautions. Because this situation is changing rapidly, before you travel, we encourage you to check the CDC website to find updated guidance for your destinations as well as for those countries you may travel through on the way to your destinations. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.
We will continue to receive information from public health authorities about COVID-19. Based on current information, basic health practices can protect against the spread of COVID-19:
Additional information regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus can be found by visiting the CDC website.
February 28, 2020 - Message from Superintendent