May 20, 2020

Dear Hornet Parents/Guardians, Faculty & Staff,

One short day is all that remains of the 2019-2020 school year.  That is also all that is left of the last year of high school for our graduating seniors.  Congratulations Hornet Class of 2020!   We look forward to delayed celebrations with you as safety allows.  It seems impossible that we have reached this day, but it is true.  We lost time in the classroom, but we gained some unexpected things during the COVID-19 crisis.

We did more than simply endure this unprecedented event together.  Against all odds and facing challenges beyond reason, our staff, students, parents and community have stepped up.  We have come together as a Hornet family - feeding, loving and caring for one another.  School continued as best as possible through remote learning while the buildings were closed, and through it all, we attempted to put the needs of our community first in every decision.  The patience and understanding displayed by everyone has been nothing short of remarkable.

There are still many unanswered questions as things change rapidly throughout Texas and the world related to COVID-19.  I want to assure everyone in Huntsville ISD that we are constantly monitoring the situation and making decisions based on safety as our first priority.  As state leaders, TEA and UIL make their decisions regarding a return to more normal activities, we will always proceed with caution, placing the interests and well being of Huntsville above all.  This is true of summer school learning opportunities, the return of extracurricular activities, or even the start of the fall semester.

Speaking of the return of school in August 2020, at this time, we plan to follow our previously adopted instructional calendar, with the first day for students being August 13.  Of course, we are building contingency plans in case that is not possible, or in case we have to close again at any point next year for any length of time.  The common sense approach of “hope for the best and plan for the worst” is a tried and true strategy in uncertain times. 

In closing, I want to say thank you to our staff for the amazing commitment you have demonstrated during these difficult times.  If you are a staff member and parent, like every other working parent, we realize you also had to juggle the almost impossible task of keeping your own children engaged in school while you did your job.  As stated before, a huge thank you also goes out to our students, parents and community for your patience, understanding and support.  There is no doubt in my mind we will continue to grow and improve because of our people, and we will continue Building Champions in Huntsville ISD for years and years to come! 

Sting ‘em,

Scott Sheppard, Ed.D.
Huntsville ISD