August 18, 2020

Dear HISD Parents:

We are looking forward to greeting our Hornets tomorrow, either online or in person!  The start of school is always an exciting time for students, staff members and parents.  This year is no different in terms of excitement, but it is different in countless other ways.  Whether your child will be joining us in person or online, I want you to know we value your trust in Huntsville ISD.  We have worked diligently throughout the COVID-19 crisis to develop a plan for the new school year based on three guiding principles: 1) Safety of students, staff and community; 2) Quality education for ALL students; and 3) Parental choice of learning model.  While this seems logical and simple, the details have been anything but simple, with constantly changing guidance from state and national leaders and health officials.  We are confident we have a solid plan and we look forward to welcoming our students for another great year.

Prior to COVID-19 hitting in March of 2020, we were on a roll in our district.  In one short year, we raised our state accountability rating by 2 letter grades, and all indications were our rating would increase again had we been able to complete the school year and take the state tests.  Additionally, our athletic teams, fine arts groups, CTE programs, and other student activities were on pace to set the bar even higher than before - which is saying a lot considering how successful and competitive our students have been in the past few years!  UIL Class 5A activities are “big time” - with stiff competition from large schools across Texas, and Huntsville ISD shines brightly in this field!

As we work together to have another successful year, we know things will be different, at least for a while.  I urge you to be patient as we work out the kinks in an unknown world of operating multiple models of education simultaneously.  Everything from transportation, to online learning, to feeding kids during the school day will be different for all of us.  The best thing we can do is support one another as we navigate this new, and hopefully temporary world in which we must operate.  Wear your masks, practice social distancing and personal hygiene, and set high expectations for our children to do the same.  Following protocols will help us stay in operation without disruptions and will protect all of our citizens.

I often say that our city’s identity, pride, and economic growth is connected to the public school district as the center of the community.  This is true in every community in Texas.  Your support and positivity about Huntsville ISD has been a critical factor in our recent improvements and successes, and will continue to fuel our future successes.  Together, we will continue Building Champions, in and out of the classroom, for Huntsville and the world!

Sincerely,

Scott Sheppard, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Huntsville ISD