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Due to the possibility of the coronavirus impacting the operations of Dallas ISD, I want to provide an update on how the district is proactively preparing to respond to the potential health crisis.

A contingency plan will allow for learning to continue at home if any schools or the district have to close after spring break. Students in grades 6–12 will be able to use their one-to-one devices to take online classes at home, and students in grades pre-K–5 have been sent home with activities and lessons they could complete from home if classes are cancelled after spring break.

Dallas ISD will also provide up to 14 days of paid emergency leave–which does not deduct from paid time off–to hourly and salaried employees who are potentially exposed to coronavirus.

Dallas ISD Food and Child Nutrition Services is working on a plan to ensure that, even if schools or the district close, meals will be available to students.

All district schools and facilities will be deep cleaned and disinfected over spring break. The disinfectant has a positive charge, meaning it will attract and kill germs it comes in contact with for 90 days after it is sprayed.

District administrators expect to know more by March 19 about whether any schools need to remain closed after spring break.

Meanwhile, health experts continue to strongly recommend the following:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

This is an uncertain and somewhat frightening period of time, but I am committed as a trustee to do everything in my power to ensure student and school safety remains the top priority.

In other news

Dallas ISD will be celebrating International SEL Day on Friday, March 24. To learn more about SEL Day and the social and emotional learning resources available to your family visit dallasisd.org/sel.

Hillcrest High School’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for March 28 to celebrate the school’s renovation. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Under the Public School Choice 6.0 process, North Dallas High School was selected to pilot a design thinking model, prioritizing empathy and prototyping solutions to challenging questions. If the pilot is successful, the school could fully implement the model in the future.

I am proud of the eighth-graders from Benjamin Franklin International Exploratory Academy and Henry Longfellow Career Exploration Academy who are committing to join a Dallas ISD Career Institute, where they can develop and grow in-demand skills they need to secure a good-wage job in the near future.

Dustin Marshall

District 2 representative on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees.

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