Answering the call

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Video: Superintendent Mike Miles speaks on Oct. 2 with Fox 4 about the district’s response to the Ebola challenge.

The school year for five Dallas ISD schools took a sudden and dramatic twist Oct. 1.

That day, it was announced that a case of Ebola has been identified in Dallas. National, state and local leaders, along with a cadre of health experts, descended on our community to address the challenge. Meanwhile, it was made known that five Dallas ISD students had contact with the Ebola patient and would be quarantined for 21 days.The challenge for Dallas ISD was significant, but not insurmountable.

The goals were multiple and straightforward:

  • Relay the latest health information to students, staff and families at the schools where the impact students were enrolled: Emmett J. Conrad High School, Sam Tasby Middle School, Dan D. Rogers Elementary School, Jack Lowe Sr. Elementary School, and Hotchkiss Elementary School.
  • Explain to families that the quarantined students were not exhibiting signs of Ebola and that the district was taking steps to ensure the continued safety of its students and staff.
  • Continue to work closely with local health experts to best inform the community.
  • Protect the learning environment of the impacted schools in the face of intense media attention and local concerns.

In particular, the district ramped up its communications to stay ahead of the curve. It launched a health updates web page, posted regular to both that web page and The Hub and social media, and sent home letters with students.

The impacted schools also stepped forward to ensure a stabile learning environment was maintained for all students. In particular, Dan D. Rogers Elementary was able to hold fast to its theme for the school year – keep calm and learn on.

Oct. 1 was the beginning of an odyssey that could have chipped away at effort to increase student achievement. However, with your support, our school district would face down the challenge and remain steadfast in the face of this serious health scare.

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News and Information provides local, state and national media with accurate and timely information about the Dallas Independent School District.