Update on AHISD Task Force

Update on AHISD Task Force
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Dear AHISD Community:

This email is intended to update you on the work of the AHISD Task Force. As you may recall, the Task Force is focusing on three main areas facing our children, schools and community:

1. Social and emotional wellness (including issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, self-injury, and suicide prevention);
2. Digital Citizenship (including cyber abuse); and
3. Character Education.

The Task Force has been working very hard and the level of commitment, focus and respect by each member has indeed been impressive. So far, the group has met together seven times, including two Saturday half-day sessions. It is currently completing a series of ten specific-group meetings, and has four additional full Task Force meetings scheduled through May.

To date, the Task Force is working with a mixture of presentations, focus groups, interviews and meetings involving a broad spectrum, including:

1. students from the Junior School, High School and Robbins;
2. parent groups, including separate groups covering each of our schools, Spanish speaking          parents, special education parents, parents of graduates, and parents who moved their children     from our district schools;
3. teachers;
4. principals of each of our schools;
5. counselors;
6. instructional assistants;
7. bus drivers;
8. campus nurses;
9. Texas School Safety Center presentation on the dimensions of digital citizenship;
      10. Clarity Child Guidance Center presentation on adolescent depression and suicide;
      11. legal presentation on existing policy and legal parameters and implications of bullying and cyber     abuse; and
      12. AHISD wellness counselor and discipline specialist presentation.

After each session or presentation, the Task Force has engaged in detailed and productive discussions.

In addition, the Task Force has spent significant time reviewing and discussing the extensive responses to the District-wide survey sent out by the Task Force at the commencement of its work. Your responses were enlightening, helpful and greatly appreciated.

The Task Force continues to do research and reach out to a broad cross-section of our community, especially our students, concerning these issues so important to our community. The Task Force is looking at each of the three areas of focus (social/emotional, digital citizenship, and character education) through the lens of three grade spans; K-3, 4-8, and 9-12. Programs from around the San Antonio area, Texas and the nation have been reviewed for possible value, but the anticipated goal is to make recommendations of a plan and approach positively affecting our children, parents, schools, and overall community, with the vision that it might serve as a model plan for others to use as well.

The commitment and spirit of this Task Force is incredibly positive and the plan is to conclude with bold and effective recommendations. These recommendations will be communicated through community presentations and a written report for consideration by the Board of Trustees for implementation beginning with the new school year. At present, it appears this work by the Task Force will be completed by early June.

Thank you,

Steve Allison
Chair, AHISD Task Force

Dr. Kevin Brown
Superintendent of Schools

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