NISD Superintendent Ryder Warren, Ed.D.
Lessons Learned during COVID-19 The most important thing we have to believe right now – we will get through this together! We truly are in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique, one of a kind challenge. None of us are in normal times, but that means our resolve is even stronger. Northwest ISD students, families and staff are learning a new way to educate in this reality of social distancing. However, as disruptive as this has been to our normal educational program, disruption is not always a bad thing. Many times disruption makes us better, and that is exactly what we will find in NISD. Northwest ISD students are learning and working toward their educational goals in a new, temporary remote learning environment. However, the real learning happening amidst COVID-19 is much greater than that. We take great pride in our efforts to provide our students real world skills, and the experiences and knowledge our students are gaining right now could not get more real. Our students, parents/caregivers and staff are embracing this new challenge, and they are persevering and overcoming. Students are independently taking responsibility for their schoolwork as their parents work from home. They are writing encouraging letters to our healthcare workers, and helping to entertain fellow children with stuffed animals in their windows for neighborhood bear hunts. They are wading through the unknowns and adapting to complete certifications, dual credit college work, and AP tests. A very special “shout out” to our senior class. Their school year started with great expectations of senior year moments, but their year took a sudden and unexpected detour. Those special moments are now sadly in limbo. Despite all the disappointments, our seniors have picked themselves up and are completing their high school education with diligence and pride. They are even finding new ways to honor their last year of school, like decorating the doors of their home with their senior memorabilia. I am tremendously proud of their strength, and I guarantee they will have a graduation ceremony (even if we cannot currently guarantee the date). I especially want to thank our teachers and staff who have modeled bravery and commitment for all of our students. The Northwest ISD Curriculum and Instruction team took a traditional, educational setting and transformed it into a powerful remote learning system for all students in less than two weeks, and our teachers and parents are implementing this program at home to serve our children. Our teachers and staff have also taught us all a lesson in community and caring for each other as they have led parades through neighborhoods, passed out meals to students and overcame their own doubts and struggles to support student learning at home. The connection our teachers have with our students is amazing as we watch students light up just at the chance of seeing and speaking to their teacher through distance learning. Preparing students for a successful future is much more than just providing a solid education. It is also about equipping students to deal with challenges, persevere, problem solve and to remain resilient even when things do not go as planned. In Northwest ISD, we are grounded in our belief that Kids Come First. It is this core belief that has guided us during this unknown, unprecedented time … and the lessons we’ve all learned have been amazing.
To support students and families during the school building closure, Northwest ISD implemented a remote learning plan with weekly class lessons assigned each Sunday. Every 6-12 grade student in NISD is issued a Chromebook laptop for use at home. During the closure, elementary students are provided a device upon request to complete their online learning. Paper packets are also available for students who need that option. Visit www.invest2learn.nisdtx.org for more information on remote learning. For updates on Northwest ISD’s coronavirus response plan or details on the grab and go student meals, please visit www.nisdtx.org/coronavirus.