April 26, 2021

  • Dear Bullard ISD Families and Community,

    I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your outstanding support and commitment to Bullard ISD, our staff, and especially our students.  Additionally, I wanted to provide you with an update regarding Bullard ISD’s current COVID Protocols.

    On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott conducted a press conference announcing a new executive order concerning state-wide COVID protocols.  Most notable in his announcement was the rescission of the mask mandate and allowing businesses and entities throughout the state the discretion to open to 100% capacities.  Included in the executive order it specifically states that “public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency.”  At that time, Bullard ISD made the decision to keep our then current COVID protocols in place. 

    Tonight, the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees met, and I recommended that Bullard ISD make changes to our mask requirements.  The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve that recommendation.  Effective immediately, students and staff are no longer required to wear a mask or face covering while at school or on school property.  Beginning now, wearing a mask or face covering is optional for students and staff.  

    Throughout the past several weeks, Bullard ISD has seen a steep decline in confirmed COVID-19 cases, as has our community and county.  Additionally, staff members have been given multiple opportunities to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  Beginning on March 29, 2021, any individual in the state of Texas 16 years of age or older is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine should they choose to do so.  These data were used as we considered the change to our district-wide mask requirements.

    As a district, we will continue to notify parents or guardians any time there is a confirmed COVID-19 case on a campus.  Additionally, we will continue to maintain our COVID Tracker on the district website so that parents and community members are able to see in real time the current cases throughout the school district.  In the event that we see a marked increase in COVID-19 cases, we may reinstate masks as a district.  Any changes will be communicated to you as we have done throughout the past 13 months.


    Finally, we will continue to update and ease our current COVID protocols as we move toward the end of this year.  Our intent is to provide our community with an opportunity to attend graduation ceremonies, end of year class parties, and much more.  We ask that you have patience as we begin to make these changes. 

    As a school district, we are fortunate to have a community that supports our students and staff at the level that you do.  Thank you for making us all Bullard Proud.

     

    Sincerely, 
    Jack Lee, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


March 5, 2021

  • March 5, 2021 

    Dear Bullard ISD Families and Community.

    I wanted to provide you with Bullard ISD updates.  Due to the most recent weather and COVID changes throughout our state, there are three specific areas of updates:

    COVID Protocols
    On Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott conducted a press conference announcing a new executive order concerning state-wide COVID protocols.  Most notable in his announcement is the rescission of the mask mandate and allowing businesses and entities throughout the state the discretion to open to 100% capacities.  Included in the executive order it specifically states that “public schools may operate as provided by, and under the minimum standard health protocols found in, guidance issued by the Texas Education Agency.”  Additionally, school districts throughout the state have been provided with updated public health guidance, as well as a conference call with the commissioner of education, Mike Morath, within the past 24 hours.

    Throughout this past year, we have consistently worked with our local health authority the Northeast Texas Public Health District, our local physicians, and guidance provided by the CDC, the TEA, and the state.  We will continue to work closely with these same groups to ensure that we are making the most informed decisions possible related to “close contact,” contact tracing, and required quarantining. 

    I know the big question throughout the community is whether or not we will continue to require masks in our schools.  Bullard ISD will continue to operate under our current protocols.  This means that all students and staff will continue to follow the same protocols we have had in place since we started this school year, including face coverings.  As a district, we will review the new guidance, evaluate our current protocols, and work alongside our local health authorities and professionals to make any adjustments.  We will communicate any updates and changes to our protocols as they are made.

    Missed School Make-Up
    Additionally, I want to provide you an update concerning the missed school days during the week of February 16, 2021.  Due to the winter storms, Bullard ISD was unable to safely have school, and we canceled for four days that week: February 16-19.  Thankfully, the TEA has allowed school districts the ability to submit missed school day waivers for the four days that were missed.  Our school board approved the submission of these waivers, and I have submitted them to TEA.  We anticipate the waivers being approved, and our students and staff will not have to make up the missed school days.

    Adjustments to Grading Periods
    Due to the missed week of school, I have made an adjustment to our six-week grading periods.  This allowed our students an additional week to complete any assignments, as well as our teachers the ability to ensure there are enough grades to get an accurate average.  Our grading periods for the remainder of the year are:

    • 4th Six Weeks: January 6 – February 26
    • 5th Six Weeks: March 1 – April 16
    • 6th Six Weeks: April 19 – May 25

    This school year has been different than any we have experienced before, and yet we have continued to come together to do whatever it takes.  I want to thank the community and especially our staff, parents, and administration for their work this year to see student success.  Thank you for your support of Bullard ISD.

    Sincerely,

    Jack Lee, Ed.D.
    Superintendent


January 26, 2021

  • Dear Parents & Guardians,

    As many of you are aware, nearly all of East Texas is seeing increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.  According to the Northeast Texas Public Health District (NET Health), the number of infections per 100,00 residents has nearly doubled from 48.67 for the first week of January 2021, to 88.69 for the third week of January 2021. (https://www.nethealthcovid19.org/blog/post/educate-your-communities-about-covid-19), with cases above 35 per 100,000 people, considered as substantial spread of the virus.

    Bullard ISD has also recorded an increased number of COVID-19 cases since returning to school in January 2021, and continues to evaluate the current safety protocols to keep our schools open.  We have analyzed the cases throughout the District, but have not found commonalities among the cases which would warrant any changes to our current safety protocols.  Despite this analysis, Bullard ISD has asked NET Health to look at our current cases and provide any guidance, if needed.  We anticipate this analysis to be completed this week.

    At the beginning of the school year, Bullard ISD published it’s “2020-2021 School Year Guidance in Response to COVID-19” (https://www.bullardisd.net/Page/1975) containing our plan to start school safely.  We have updated our plan with changes made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).  We are asking our student families to review those guidelines (especially pages 9 - 11 which state in part):

    • Staff and students should not enter campuses or district buildings if any of the following apply:
      • Sick or has been sick in the past 10 days (including fever (1000 or higher), cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, new loss of taste or smell;
      • Has COVID-19 or has been in close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19;
      • Has a household member who is positive for COVID-19, or who is awaiting their own test results;
    • Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 (including asymptomatic persons testing positive) may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
      • At least twenty-four (24) hours have passed since recovery (fever free w/o the use of medications);
      • The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
      • At least ten calendar days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
    • Students or staff who come into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will be asked to self-quarantine for 10 calendar days. An individual who does not have symptoms after 5 days may obtain a PCR test (not a rapid test) and return to school as early as 7 days with a negative test result.

     

    • If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 (but is not test-confirmed) and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either:
      • (a) obtain a medical professional’s note to return based on an alternative diagnosis; OR
      • (b) after ten calendar days of symptoms onset with the same criteria as positive individuals; OR
      • Obtain a PCR test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19 
    • If the individual has tested positive for COVID-19 but believes the test was a false positive and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either:
      • (a) obtain a medical professional’s note to return based on an alternative diagnosis; OR
      • (b) obtain two (2) PCR acute infection tests (at an approved testing location) at least twenty-four (24) hours apart which both come back negative for COVID-19.

    We understand the fatigue of this pandemic and we feel it too, but now is not the time to get complacent in the wearing of face coverings, hand sanitizing or monitoring for symptoms of the virus in yourself or your students.  Doing so risks the health safety of other students and staff in the district, and could cause changes in the remainder of the school calendar.  As such, we are asking our student families to ensure your child has and wears a face covering when coming to school.  As always, we ask you to watch for symptoms of COVID-19:

    Any of the following symptoms indicate a possible COVID-19 infection:

    • A body temperature of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher;
    • Sore throat;
    • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);
    • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or
    • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.

    If you or any member of your school community begins to experience any of these symptoms in a way that is not typical, please stay home and seek any medical attention that you feel is necessary.  We encourage everyone in the school community who is test-confirmed to have COVID-19 to please notify your campus by contacting the school directly.


December 7, 2020

  • Dear Bullard ISD Families and Community,

    As of December 3, 2020, Bullard ISD has recorded a total of 181 total test-confirmed coronavirus cases in the district since August 11, 2020. However, while there has been an uptick in cases in our area, Bullard ISD is not seeing the spread on our campuses, but rather individuals are contracting the disease while out in the community. Parents can track COVID-19 cases in the district and at each school on the district’s coronavirus dashboard, which is updated as cases are reported.

    Bullard ISD is updating its COVID-19 protocols to better align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the quarantining of individuals exposed to COVID-19. 

    • CDC now provides an exclusion for people who have had COVID-19 within the past 3 months.  People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again. People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
    • What counts as close contact?
      • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
      • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
      • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
      • You shared eating or drinking utensils
      • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you
    • CDC now recommends (based on local availability of viral testing) for people without symptoms quarantine can end either:
      • On day 10 without testing
      • On day 7 after receiving a negative test result
    • After stopping quarantine, people should
      • Watch for symptoms until 14 days after exposure.
      • If they have symptoms, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health authority or healthcare provider.
      • Wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet from others, wash their hands, avoid crowds, and take other steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    CDC continues to endorse quarantine for 14 days and recognizes that any quarantine shorter than 14 days balances reduced burden against a small possibility of spreading the virus.


November 20, 2020

  • Dear Student Families:
     
    Thank you for all you have done this year to keep Covid-19 out of our school district.  Your efforts have been effective at keeping our numbers low throughout the year.  With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, we want to remind you to remain diligent in wearing face coverings when you are in close proximity to others.  As always, please continue to watch for symptoms of COVID-19.

    Any of the following symptoms indicate a possible COVID-19 infection:

    • Temperature of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher;

    • Loss of taste or smell;

    • Sore throat;

    • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);

    • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or

    • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.

    During the holiday break, if you or any member of your school community does begin experiencing any of these symptoms in a way that is not typical, we encourage you to contact your physician. During this time we ask you to contact your particular school principal or assistant principal listed below to report positive student cases or exposures to anyone who has been test-confirmed to have Covid-19.  The state requires that schools report, on a weekly basis, confirmed positive cases.

    This continued reporting will allow proper quarantining to resume school on November 30, 2020, and continue through to the Christmas break. Please remember, per CDC guidelines, anyone who has test-confirmed to be positive is considered immune from the virus for three months from the date of their positive test date, and therefore would not have to quarantine for another positive case exposure.

    High School: helene.cortinas@bullardisd.net

    Middle School: travis.goode@bullardisd.net

    Intermediate School: sean.flowers@bullardisd.net

    Elementary School: susan.paddack@bullardisd.net

    Primary School: kenley.dover@bullardisd.net

    Early Childhood: amanda.goode@bullardisd.net

    Pride Academy: john.dixon@bullardisd.net


October 20, 2020

  • Dear Bullard ISD Families and Community,

    Bullard ISD remains committed to the success of our students.  Since the start of the 2020-2021 school year, we have offered a virtual instruction option in addition to in-person instruction following the safety protocols in the Bullard ISD 2020-2021 School Year Guidance in Response to COVID-19.

    We have reviewed student performance and attendance data from the first six-week grading period.  Unfortunately, over half of our remote instruction students have either failed one or more courses or have excessive absences.  The data revealed that virtual instruction has not been successful for most of our students, and the added burden placed on our teachers is unsustainable.  

    In pursuing the best possible education for the students attending Bullard ISD, we will end remote instruction on Friday, November 6, 2020.  Beginning Monday, November 9, 2020, all students must report for in-person instruction. This date coincides with the beginning of the 3rd six-week grading period. Exceptions will be made only for students who are medically fragile or live with someone who is medically fragile.  Documentation from a medical doctor (M.D.) is required and must be submitted to the campus principal by November 4, 2020.  Additionally, Bullard ISD will continue to allow remote instruction for any student who is the subject of a short-term quarantine order issued by a governmental entity or at the recommendation of a healthcare provider.   

    We look forward to welcoming all Bullard ISD students back to the classroom.  However, should you choose to pursue alternative means of education for your child, we wish everyone success.  As you prepare to make a decision that best suits your family, options that are suitable for meeting the compulsory education laws include:

    1. Return to Bullard ISD for face-to-face instruction
    2. Withdraw from Bullard ISD to homeschool
    3. Enroll in a private school/charter school
    4. Request a transfer and enroll in another school district

    Bullard ISD remains fully committed to the health and safety protocols, as outlined in the school district’s back-to-school plan that was implemented at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. All employees and students are expected to continue to follow those guidelines to ensure that all Bullard ISD campuses remain as healthy as possible. 

    Finally, I want to thank the faculty and staff for their commitment to our students.  As we have always done, we will continue to strive to provide the best education possible for our students.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Jack Lee
    Superintendent


October 8, 2020

  • Dear Bullard ISD Families and Community

    I’m back to give you a brief update of where Bullard ISD currently stands as we just ended the first six-week grading period.  Unfortunately, we continue to work through a difficult time that COVID has created for school districts worldwide.   If you have not thanked a teacher or staff member for Bullard ISD – or any other school district – please do so.  Each day, I see these folks give it their all to provide the best experience possible for their students.  Let’s thank them when we have the opportunity to do so.

    One of the things that we have implemented this year was an open communication regarding the COVID situation.  You can go to www.bullardisd.net/COVID19 and view the district’s COVID Tracker at any time, including right now.  If you do so, you will see that we are seeing an increase in the number of students and staff that are required to stay home due to possible exposure.  This has affected our Elementary, Primary, and Early Childhood campuses.  Those campuses alone account for 75% of the total number of students that have been exposed.  

    When we first started this year, we knew we would face challenges, and I am thankful that COVID did not affect our school district for the first seven weeks.  Unfortunately, this past week has put us at a point where we must make some decisions.  One of the most significant mitigating factors preventing us from sending a student home is when that student is wearing their mask. 

    Given that 75% of our exposed students come from our younger campuses that have not required masks, we are making changes to our mask policies.  Beginning on Tuesday, October 13, all students at Bullard ISD will be required to wear a mask when at school.  If students do not have a mask, the district will provide them with a reusable or one-time use mask.

    Additionally, our Early Childhood campus has experienced the highest number of COVID absences in the district – both students and especially staff.  To deep clean that campus, the Early Childhood campus will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.  It is only the Early Childhood campus that will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Now, I want to be very upfront and honest with the community.  These were not easy decisions, and I take full responsibility for the decisions.  I have two children that attend Bullard ISD – our son in fourth grade and our daughter in kindergarten.  This dad is not the most popular person in the Lee household.  I realize that the decision requiring masks for all students and/or the decision to close our Early Childhood campus on Tuesday and Wednesday may make me the “not so popular” person in your household.

    When I went into education, I committed that I would do everything I could to ensure that students always had a learning environment that was the best for them and one that is safe.  Student safety the highest priority, and it will forever remain the highest priority

    As always, we want the best for our students, and we know that you do too.  Hopefully, we begin to see a decrease in COVID exposures, which will allow us to revisit our mask protocol that would go back to how we started the year.  I promise to update you all as much as possible, and I encourage you to follow along on our school website.

    Finally, If you have questions or concerns, you have a couple of options.  You can post on social media, and you may or may not get the correct answer.  Or you can contact the school district and be guaranteed that you get the right answer.  If you have any questions or concerns, I encourage you to reach out to your campus or my office.

    My hope for our entire district and community is that we see continued good health. 

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Jack Lee
    Superintendent


August 24, 2020

  • Bullard ISD Families and Community –
     
    The first week of school has come and gone, and we are excited to be starting week #2! Thank you for allowing us the opportunity and privilege of educating your children. Bullard ISD is committed to providing a high-quality educational environment, and we could not do that without the support of the entire Bullard community.
     
    I wanted to provide you with a quick update of our start to the school year. We started school on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. Through all the challenges and adversity, our teachers and staff were at the front doors of our buildings to greet our students with a smile! I cannot express the overall joy that we share that on day one our students were here ready to learn in this unique school year. Additionally, our overall enrollment as a district has increased from the previous year, despite the COIVD-19 environment. We also have 90% of our students participating in face-to-face learning and 10% participating in at-home learning.
     
    One question that we continually receive is related to notifications for COVID-19 positive cases and exposure. Please, understand that there is certain information that we will not be able to share with the greater community – for example, the names of any student or staff member that has tested positive or is in quarantine.
     
    However, as a school district, Bullard ISD is committed to being as transparent as possible. To assist in this transparency, we have launched a COVID-19 Tracker that will detail the following overall information for the district, as well as a disaggregation of most information by campus:
    • The total number of students in Bullard ISD
    • The total number of staff in Bullard ISDThe total number of current exposed/symptomatic students
    • The total number of current exposed/symptomatic staff
    • The current number of students with a positive COVID-19 case
    • The current number of staff with a positive COVID-19 case
     
    These data will be updated each day, and you will be able to view the date and time that the data was most recently updated. The COVID-19 Tracker can be found on our Bullard ISD website at: https://www.bullardisd.net/Page/2216 or through the District Tab and then COVID-19.
     
    As a school community, this challenge is an opportunity for us to answer the call and come together to serve the students of Bullard ISD. We are committed to providing the best education possible for our students and our hope is that this transparency will provide the overall community with up to date information that helps to ease your minds. Please be sure to reach out to your child’s teacher, campus administration, bus drivers, custodians – all those staff members who have been answering the call to help make school as safe and normal as possible – and thank them! Our staff has gone above and beyond to make this school year happen, and I am incredibly proud, as I hope you are, to call myself a Bullard Panther!
     
     
    With Panther Pride,
    Dr. Jack Lee
    Superintendent
     

July 27, 2020

  • Dear Bullard ISD Families and Community,

    Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have navigated this ever-changing situation.  While the reopening of school just a few weeks away will be complex, I hope that you know that Bullard ISD is committed to using guidance from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the University Interscholastic League (UIL), and our state and local officials.  Most importantly, we used information from you – our parents and staff – to create a back to school plan that works for the Bullard ISD community.

    The feedback we received from parents and staff, as well as in guidance from our state officials, Bullard ISD will offer two educational options for students this coming school year.  These options include a Traditional Face-to-Face Instructional plan and a 100% Online Virtual Instructional plan.  Specific information related to both options are provided in our Back To School Plan that can be found on the Bullard ISD website, as well as paper copies are available on all campuses and at the central office building.  Our first day of school will remain August 18, 2020.

    We realize that each family has different needs for their children this upcoming year.  It is because of this that parents and guardians will have an opportunity to select the educational option that they believe is best for their children.  Parents and Guardians can select the educational option through the Bullard ISD website.

    The ability to select the educational option for your child will be available immediately through 11:59 PM August 4, 2020.  Due to the complex nature of offering both instructional programs, individuals must make a commitment for up to one full six-week grading period, which runs from August 18, 2020 to September 25, 2020.  If no option is selected by a parent, the default will be to begin the school year with the Traditional Face-to-Face school.

    Understandably, there may be instances where a student needs to quickly default to remote learning due to COVID-19 related illness. If so, these needs will be accommodated to maintain the health and wellbeing of those impacted and to ensure the safety of those in the building.  These will be decisions made by the school district based on symptoms or testing, and only require the student to participate in remote instruction for the time of self-isolation or quarantine. At any time during the school year, decisions to participate in remote learning that are made by the parent (not the district) will require a minimum commitment for the remainder of the current grading period, plus the entire following grading period.

    As we receive additional guidance, Bullard ISD will make the needed changes as directed by state and local officials.  We remain committed to ensuring that our students have a quality educational experience whether that is in a Traditional Face-to-Face or 100% Online Virtual environment. 

    We realize that there may be many questions related to our plans.  First, I encourage you to read our guidance fully.  If you cannot find the answer to your questions in the documents, you may send questions to COVID19@bullardisd.net.  This email address will be used to collect commonly asked questions that we will do our best to answer in future updates to our entire community.

    Finally, I ask that you continue to have patience and understanding.  The commitment Bullard ISD has for our students, staff, and community has not changed, nor will it.  If anything, we are prepared to Answer the Call this next school year.

     

    Sincerely,
    Dr. Jack Lee
    Superintendent