INSIDE DSISD

The latest news from Dripping Springs ISD

Week of August 23, 2021

WELCOME BACK STUDENTS!

Dripping Springs ISD welcomed back more than 7,800 in-person learners for the first day of school on Tuesday, August 17. The DSISD Virtual Academy, being offered this fall for students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade, began classes on Tuesday, August 24, with approximately 150 students.

NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL BUILDINGS MAKE DEBUT

Cypress Springs Elementary and the new Walnut Springs Elementary opened doors to students for the first time on Tuesday, August 17. Cypress Springs Elementary is the district's fifth elementary school and first in Driftwood, located on Darden Hill Road. Walnut Springs Elementary moved to a new building next to Dripping Springs Middle School on Tiger Lane.

CYPRESS SPRINGS ELEMENTARY

WALNUT SPRINGS ELEMENTARY

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies Planned

Dripping Springs ISD will hold ribbon-cutting events at the two new elementary school buildings in early September. The events will include a brief program and the ribbon-cutting held outdoors at the front entrances, as well as an opportunity for guests to tour the building in small groups.


The Walnut Springs Elementary event, celebrating the school's new location at 113 Tiger Lane, will be held Thursday, Sept. 2, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. The Dripping Springs Middle School band will play as guests arrive before the start of the program (5:45-6:00 p.m.). A group of fifth-graders will sing the school song.


Cypress Springs Elementary (11091 Darden Hill Rd.), will hold its ribbon-cutting event on Thursday, Sept. 9, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. The CSE event will include the Sycamore Springs Middle School band as guests arrive between 5:45-6:00 p.m., and the new school song will be introduced during the program.


Both school buildings were included in the 2018 bond program, with construction starting in early summer of 2020. Corgan is the architect on both projects. Construction managers for the projects were American Constructors at WSE and Bartlett Cocke at CSE.

DSISD VIRTUAL ACADEMY

This fall nearly 150 students in kindergarten through fifth grade are learning through the DSISD Virtual Academy after starting school August 24. Enrollment for the academy was open earlier this month, as plans were developed and teachers were hired. Teachers in the Virtual Academy will solely focus on remote instruction; they are being physically housed on the Cypress Springs Elementary campus. The district was able to accommodate requests for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

SSMS and DSE PTAs Earn National Recognition

The PTAs (Parent-Teacher Associations) from Sycamore Springs Middle School and Dripping Springs Elementary have received the designation of National PTA Schools of Excellence for 2020-22. This honor recognizes the commitment of school PTAs to building an inclusive and welcoming school-community where all families contribute to enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. The designation is made for a two-year period following a process that involved a series of steps including surveys of families and staff, a plan to improve the family-school partnership, and a final application. Only 351 PTAs and schools nationwide have been designated as 2020-2022 Schools of Excellence. To read more, click here.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OVERVIEW

The Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees works closely with the superintendent as a "Team of 8" to lead the district to providing a high-quality education for Dripping Springs students. The seven trustees represent the community in a voluntary capacity and are elected for three-year terms; DSISD board members are at-large representatives. Trustees convene for regular meetings at 6:00 p.m. on the fourth Monday of each month in the Dripping Springs High School auditorium. Agenda review meetings are held on the third Monday of the month, also at 6:00 p.m. There are no agenda review meetings in November or December due to holiday schedules. Additional special meetings may be called. Board meetings are streamed live on YouTube with a link being provided to the public when agendas are posted. Board Briefs, which are posted on the district website to provide an overview of meetings, can be accessed here.

2021-22 SCHOOL HEALTH PROTOCOLS

As school is underway for the school year, several safety protocols are in place to help maintain healthy environments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Protocols are available on the DSISD website in English and Spanish. The district continues to monitor updates in guidance coming from the TEA, the state, and local health authorities. Protocols will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.


The measures currently in place include:

  • Masks strongly encouraged for staff, students and visitors
  • Self-screening prior to campus arrival
  • Visitors restricted at lunch
  • No school-wide, indoor assemblies
  • Sanitization stations and hand sanitizer readily available
  • COVID-19 positive notifications for all classrooms and buses
  • Ability to request socially distanced lunch and classroom desk dividers
  • Ability to opt out of field trips, bus transportation, and gatherings


The DSISD dashboard of positive COVID staff and student cases is updated daily during the week, generally in the late afternoon. Cumulative cases date back to August 18, for individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 and were on-campus during the time that the individual was symptomatic or potentially contagious to others. Individuals who test positive are excluded from participation in an in-person/on-campus activity until he or she meets return criteria set by local and state health authorities. Once the individual is cleared to return, the case is moved from the “active cases” column of the dashboard, but is still reported in the cumulative column.


All students, staff, and visitors are expected to evaluate their health status and self-screen for COVID symptoms or other signs of illness daily before reporting to campus. Parents are asked to monitor their children and keep them home if they are sick with symptoms of COVID or any infectious illness.

TIGER TIP LINE

The Tiger Tip Line allows students or parents to report concerns about bullying, other social issues, or security matters. The name of the school must be included, and it is requested that details of an incident being reported include location, time, date, and any available information about who was involved to help administrators investigate. Tips can be made anonymously; however, please note that administrators are able to do a more thorough job investigating tips when they can contact the reporting party for additional information.


The Tiger Tip Line can be accessed at dsisdtx.us/tipline.

DSISD IS HIRING!

Dripping Springs ISD is always looking to add to our Tiger Team! For some hard-to-fill positions, a hiring incentive, job training and flexible schedules are offered. Currently, DSISD has several openings for custodians, bus drivers, teacher aides, child nutrition staff, and Kids Club after-school staff and student workers. For more information about joining the DSISD team, visit dsisdtx.us/hr. To see job postings, click here.

PARENT COMMUNICATION TOOLS

There are multiple tools Dripping Springs ISD uses to communicate with parents and stakeholders. Parents receive notifications by phone call and/or text through Blackboard including school closures or delays, emergencies, and other timely announcements.


News items and event information can be found on the district and campus websites. Parents can click "Register" at the bottom of dsisdtx.us to subscribe to certain pages and receive notifications when pages are updated.


The DSISD app is an easy way to access DSISD website information from your mobile device. DSISD is active on several social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) where you can find district updates, news, events and more.


Parents can access students' grades and attendance on Family Access and see class information and teacher webpages through Canvas.


More information on parent communication tools can be found here.

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