April 5, 2020
Team SISD Faculty & Staff,
I hope that all of you are doing well. Your emotional and physical well-being is at the top of our list during this extremely difficult time.
It’s been three weeks since we made the decision to conduct an emergency shutdown of our district to protect our students, employees, and families. The coronavirus pandemic has claimed thousands of lives, and it’s predicted to get much worse.
I’ve been touched beyond words at the lightning speed that our teachers, leaders, child nutrition services, and support staff have provided meal services and remote instruction for our students. The passion that our teachers have displayed while delivering remote instruction tells me and our community that they hold themselves accountable for the academic success of our students.
I also can’t say enough about our hardworking custodians who have done an outstanding job disinfecting our facilities and buses. We have countless employees including our technology, transportation, police services, finance, maintenance, and the list goes on and on who are ALL greatly appreciated! Our district prides itself in educating and treating our students as if they are our very own children, and boy…have we proven that once again with our courageous and heroic actions.
Every voice counts in Socorro ISD. It’s time to reflect, listen to our stakeholders, and make modifications to fit the needs of our students, teachers/staff, and families. Specifically, last week we made the decision to reduce the number of pick up times and locations for student meals to further protect our amazing CNS employees while still fulfilling our role as public servants.
I have received feedback from our parents as well as our teachers. I want to make it crystal clear that no teacher, employee, student, or parent should be experiencing undue stress or unreasonable demands during this crisis that has brought financial uncertainty, illness, depression, anxiety, fear, etc. to so many households.
The messages we have received, while respectful, have been truly heartbreaking from both parents and teachers who claim they want to do their best to keep up with remote learning but can’t due to the internet being slow, too many websites required, the amount of work and documentation is excessive, etc.
Teachers have their own little ones to homeschool while providing instruction to our students and at times to our parents as well. I have my little ones also, so I know firsthand how tough this has been on our teachers and staff.
In order to help our school community cope with this crisis, I am recommending that we incorporate FAMILY FRIDAYS into our Remote Learning Academy to promote the emotional well-being of all our Socorro ISD families. While our teachers are collecting concrete evidence to monitor student progress as per Texas Education Agency guidelines during the week, the only documentation for Family Fridays could be the happy faces of our students, teachers, and parents.
Family Fridays (social-emotional-academic) learning activities can include:
- read/discuss books with a family member
- have a documentary or History movie marathon with family
- play board games and card games
- do a Lego building challenge or puzzle
- do a craft
- put on a family play
- make a family music video or robot
- write letters to friends and relatives
- help parents cook something simple in the kitchen to practice measuring skills
- have PE time outside with parent supervision
- plant a garden
We’ll begin Family Fridays this coming Friday since it is a scheduled day off for our entire school district (Good Friday).
As I stated in my community messages, we’re ALL new at this. We will continue to make adjustments as we go with the best interest of our students and teachers in our minds and hearts. I will be working closely with our district leadership team to review requirements/guidance from our TEA Commissioner to see how we can further reduce stress levels for our teachers and students/parents. I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it a million more… I am beyond proud to be part of YOUR team!
Please stay safe, stay home if you can, and enjoy Family Fridays to the fullest. You've earned it! God bless all of you and your families!
José Espinoza, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
- read/discuss books with a family member
Last Modified on April 17, 2020