Dear Tyler ISD Community,

Thank you for your support during this time of uncertainty. I remain humbled to serve as Superintendent of Schools in Tyler ISD. Raised in East Texas and a parent of school-aged children myself, I love this city, our district, our schools, and your children. In the end, I believe our spirit and faith will overcome and our kids will endure.

While I realize not everyone agrees with the decisions of school systems on various issues, I hope each of you can appreciate the complexities surrounding the considerations we are having to make while operating in this unique situation. 

In this first day of the Community Mitigation Period, I am concerned for our Tyler ISD students, parents, teachers, and staff. That being said, I’m confident this strategy is the best path to allow us time to organize coming off Spring Break. We know a number of students, parents, and staff traveled within the 50 states and abroad as well. Right now, caution is the theme, as we, by all accounts, are observing a 100 year worldwide pandemic.

I encourage all of us to pay attention to health care experts, be intentional about adhering to the strategies they have given us, and take seriously the practice of social distancing during this Community Mitigation Period.

What’s the ONE THING we can do to help Tyler ISD and schools it serves?

Aside from staying calm and rationally discussing the situation with your children, we ask that all of us observe this Community Mitigation Period with tight fidelity. In other words, stay in Tyler and consider limiting large group interaction among school-aged children. Observe social distancing when appropriate. Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently and for a minimum of 25 seconds. Hug your kids. Tell them you love them as much as you can. And please let them know their teachers, their school staff, their principals, their school family, their school board members, and their Superintendent care deeply about their well-being and that we all will do what we can to make this time an opportunity to continue their education.

In closing, I appreciate your understanding of the complex predicament we have been presented. We will continue to seek the best advice and hunt the most accurate data so that we can make informed decisions. I do worry about our community, where our parents and guardians undoubtedly will be challenged with employment. I sincerely pray that employers understand and sympathetically adjust, when they can, to the challenges with which we are faced. I also pray for our hospitals, and understand they must adapt even when we deviate from our District calendar, as many of their professionals and support staff have children in our schools, all while tackling the challenge of providing care for our community.

Marty Crawford, Ed.D.
Tyler ISD