We’re just a couple of days away from welcoming students and their families through our door for the official start of the new school year. Thank you for your response to our Virtual Convocation video. Your comments were much appreciated and I hope you had some time to not only view the video but to also talk with each other about the year ahead and our commitment to Singleness of Purpose.
In addition to providing a world-class education for our students, Singleness of Purpose also means doing everything we can to protect kids and each other when we face a serious public health concern.
We met on Wednesday with representatives from the City of Fort Worth and Tarrant County Public Health about the very real threat posed by the largest outbreak of West Nile Virus in our history. We’re going to work together and do our part to minimize the WNV risk to our students, to our
colleagues and to our entire community.
As a District, our ongoing commitment to safety and security is reflected with the Know the Plan initiative. Since last week, we’ve alerted band directors and coaches to take extra precautions with our students who are practicing outdoors. If parents decide not to allow their child to participate for safety reasons, we’re going to accommodate the request. But, we’re not curtailing these activities. Instead we’re going to focus on minimizing the risk with preparedness.
We’ve directed our operations employees to carefully and continually check each and every Fort Worth ISD property for any standing water or possible areas where mosquitoes can breed.
I have also communicated directly with campus administrators about extra measures next week. Your principals have guidelines and will share them with you.
Most importantly, we’re asking you – ALL of you—to immediately employ the “Four Ds” in your every day routines. The Centers for Disease Control, Tarrant County Public Health and the City of Fort Worth recommend these
steps to ward off West Nile exposure. Please discuss these “Ds” with your students, your colleagues and your own family as a part of our Know The Plan program:
- Dusk & Dawn – avoid times of day when infected mosquitoes are most active
- Dress – in long sleeves and long pants to provide better protection
- Drain – standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds
- DEET – use products containing DEET or alternative repellants
Please talk about this. Share it with your students. Share it with everyone in your life. This is where Knowing the Plan can and will make the difference, not only in our schools but in our community.
Fort Worth ISD Superintendent