Quintin Shepherd

Quintin Shepherd

A few weeks ago, Victoria ISD released a proposed responsive reentry plan for schools. At the conclusion of the video explanation, I asked parents to do two things.

First, I asked parents and caregivers to fill out a survey about their desires for their students as it relates to in-person instruction or continued remote instruction. Of course, our desire is to have all students back to school for full-time in-person instruction as soon as possible, while ensuring safety.

Second, I asked everyone (parents, teachers, students and community) to provide thoughts and feedback about our proposal in an online exchange of ideas.

From the exchange, there has been some great feedback and feed-forward. We have taken all the thoughts and comments and grouped them into themes (example – transportation, nutrition, scheduling, sports, etc.). I have also received direct feedback via phone calls or emails. This too, has been helpful.

We are now in the process of assembling two task forces. The first task force will be made up of parents and caregivers for our students. We are hoping to bring together representation from all areas in our community, representative of our diverse student body, and representative of all grade levels.

Several weeks ago, I asked my staff to help us improve by identifying ways we have institutionalized racial tension within VISD. Our goal is continuous improvement in all that we do.

Some of that feedback indicated we need to ensure our task forces moving forward are representative of the demographics in our schools and community, so we are focusing on this as we reach out to ask people to serve.

The second task force will be comprised of VISD staff.

We believe these two task forces have a very different perspective on our proposal. Our intention is to provide the thematic responses we have gathered from the exchange to each group and ask them to help make our plan better.

Of course, we will marry the ideas of both task forces to information we continue to receive from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) as they release further guidance.

This means our plan will continue to change in the coming weeks. Our singular goal is to have a safe responsive return plan for all students, staff, and our community.

Quintin Shepherd is the superintendent of the Victoria Independent School District.

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