March 19, 2020
Good afternoon learners, parents, and guardians,
Given the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, Winfree Academy Charter Schools will close all locations indefinitely and effective immediately in an effort to support our nation’s need to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. This action follows advice from local, state, and national health departments and is in the best long-term interest of our Winfree Academy communities.
We understand the significant impact this closure will have on our community, especially for families who depend on Winfree Academy for critical services. While Winfree Academy classrooms will be empty, work on behalf of children will continue. Here are the latest updates:
Emergency Response Team
School leaders have responded and convened an Emergency Response Team to dramatically transition our learning environment, instructional services programs, support services, and learner management systems. Our Emergency Response Team consists of myself, our Assistant Superintendent of Business, the Executive Director of Compliance, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, our Assessment Coordinator, Special Education Coordinator, English as a Second Language Coordinator, Coordinator for School Improvement, Student Services Coordinator, and all six campus Principals. This diverse group of leaders has allowed us to consider how we will remotely support all types of learning and curricular support, social and mental health resources, technology, testing requirements, and graduation of our learners. We have established new systems and procedures for learners whether in a remote or virtual learning environment, to commence Winfree’s At-Home Learning beginning Tuesday, March 24 2020.
Beginning March 24th, at-home learning will begin for learners. Additional details about this instruction will come from emails in the next few days.
- For learners who have access to internet and a tablet or computer device, they will continue to have formal, virtual instruction in their Edmentum and Edgenuity courses.
- Learners may login to clever through the Winfree Academy homepage at clever.com/in/wacsd.
- Learners should spend 250 minutes per day working on their Edmentum courses. Attendance will be tracked daily through learner logins.
- Educators will be accessible through Edmentum and our new Google Classroom environment to support learners.
- If you indicated that you do not have access to both internet and a tablet and/or computer at home, we will be sending out a separate communication with further instructions regarding curriculum and how we will account for attendance
Community and Mental Health Resources
211 Texas has instituted a special line for COVID-19 that can now be accessed anywhere, 24/7 in Texas by community members needing assistance (food, health, housing, etc.) during the COVID-19 situation. The website is searchable by zip code. Call 2-1-1 or visit www.211texas.org.
We have also begun to compile a list of resources that can be accessed from our website – www.winfreeacademy.com.
Governor Greg Abbott has cancelled the state STAAR tests for the remainder of this school year. We are still waiting for direction about other federal testing. Guidance will be released from TEA soon providing details on how to proceed forward with Class of 2020 graduation for learners who have not yet passed all STAAR exams.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the need for all communities to implement a social distancing protocol. We want to reiterate a request to our broader community to take the following reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the illness:
- Don’t shake hands
- Wash your hands regularly
- Limit movement within the community, especially avoiding crowded placed and maintaining 3 to 6 ft of distance between people (at least an arm’s length)
- If you are moving around in the community, don’t congregate in large groups
- For those who have traveled to areas with known COVID-19 cases – both inside and outside of the country – we ask that you self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Students who have traveled should plan to stay home for two weeks after arriving home. Please contact your campus to let them know, and this will be considered an excused absence.
- If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for medical advice .
- Keep your child at home if he/she feels ill, even if you think it is just a cold.
- Do not leave the house if you are ill, except to access medical care
While times like these bring unrest about what the next few days and weeks may look like, we want our parents and learners to know that many people came together within minutes of this crisis to completely alter our learning system in order to engage with you daily in our new platform and environment. It may look different in our new world inside and outside of our walls, but we will navigate this new terrain TOGETHER.
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we ensure that all members of the Winfree Academy communities stay safe and healthy.
Superintendent, Winfree Academy