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ECISD extends school closure through May 1

This decision is in alignment with the Limited Shelter in Place declared by the Mayor of Odessa, and the federal government’s guidance

EDITOR'S NOTE: The video attached is from a previous report on March 30, 2020.

Sorry parents, your kids are sticking around a little bit longer.

Ector County ISD extended their current school closure through Friday, May 1.

The district is following the Limited Shelter in Place declared by the Mayor of Odessa, and the federal government’s guidance to continue implementing social distancing guidelines through April.

All District activities, contests, and events scheduled through May 1 have been canceled or postponed. 

This decision will not change the service of meals, which will continue as it is currently scheduled. 

RELATED: ECISD makes changes to meal service

Our commitment to Remote Learning will continue, too, and we will ensure weekly assignment boards are available to our students throughout this time. 

We have received a tremendous amount of support from our staff and our families as we established this new system for teaching and learning, and we will need that support as we move ahead. 

The education of our children is a top priority. 

We will continue to evaluate conditions in our local community, as well as receive guidance from the state and federal governments to determine when or if we will be able to resume a regular school schedule this spring.

The District released the following regarding its operations and support services established since March 16: 

School and Administration building hours 

To help protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our community, all District buildings are now closed to public access. Someone will be available to answer the phones and accept deliveries between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. each day, however, buildings will not be open to visits from the public. 

Remote Learning Resources

Our Curriculum & Instruction team, campus teams and teachers have done a tremendous amount of work to keep high quality instruction going. Weekly Assignment Boards, resources and activities are available on our dedicated web page – www.ectorcountyisd.org/covid19. We are receiving very valuable feedback from parents, and are already using it to adjust and improve the way we do this work. We encourage parents to continue to let us know how we can help them.

Meal Service

We have another update to our meal service, this one in regard to a question we have received often in the last two weeks. We have now received a waiver, with certain requirements, to allow parents to pick up meals without their children being present. Parents who choose to do this must be prepared to present one of the following each time, for each child they pick up meals for: 

  • Official letter/email from school listing children enrolled
  • Individual student report cards 
  • Attendance record from parent portal of school website • Birth certificate for children 
  • Student ID cards

In order to meet social distancing requirements, the parent will have to display this to our School Nutrition staff with their window rolled up during curbside pick-up. This is in effect on March 31. 

The designated meal services will continue to run from 10:00 a.m. through 1:00 p.m. at which time parents can pick up a lunch for the day and a breakfast for the following morning. The satellite meal sites at the West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department and the South Ector Volunteer Fire Department will begin serving tomorrow, April 1. You will find the full meal service schedule on our website. 

Student and Family Support Line 

We have set up a dedicated Student and Family Support Line. Our ECISD counselors are available from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday to offer help to anyone feeling isolated, anxious or stressed. The phone number is 456-4357 (456-HELP). 

Remote Learning Technology Help Desk for Families 

Yesterday, we launched a Remote Learning Technology Help Desk for our students and families when they have problems with software, hardware or applications. We ask families that their teacher be the first point of contact if there are issues in case it is a simple fix. The hotline will schedule an appointment to resolve a technology problem, have an Instructional Technology Specialist call the family during the time block selected to work through the technology problem, will schedule call back appointments between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

Welfare checks 

When we realized we would not be returning to our classrooms after Spring Break, one of our priorities was to have a teacher or other staff member get in touch with every student. Our staff has been working very hard to do that. This week, our ECISD police officers are beginning to conduct welfare checks to talk with the students we have not been able to reach. This is one more way that we hope to connect with our families and support them in any way we can. Additionally, our local law enforcement agencies are working closely with our ECISD police and counselors to alert us if they find a child in any situation that they may need follow up with support and care. This will give counselors the chance to provide additional services for the student and family. 

Coming soon

We will soon establish a child care center at Zavala Elementary School for the medical community, in order for doctors, nurses and others to be at work while schools remain closed. Initially, it will be open to employees of Odessa Regional Medical Center and Medical Center Hospital, for children ages birth to 10, and a maximum of 140 kids. As this child care center becomes operational, it potentially could be expanded to serve more kids, for expanded hours, and for other critical community providers as identified by City and County leaders. This is something we want to do, and need to do, to support our medical personnel as the virus hits our West Texas community. 

For more information about this press release contact the ECISD Communications Department at 432-456-9019.

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