As in, these are unprecedented times. This is an unprecedented situation in America. It is unprecedented for so many public schools, throughout both Texas and the nation, to close like this. And it is certainly unprecedented for TEA to waive STAAR administrations.
It goes without saying that this is unprecedented for ED311 as well. We are a small business based in Austin, and we built our brand over the last 30 years by hosting conferences for large groups of education administrators. We don’t like to cancel our events. It would be unprecedented.
So, in light of the obvious, we are taking the perhaps unprecedented steps of doing everything we can not to cancel. We are working hard and getting creative.
Some events have been postponed and rescheduled. Others will pivot to an online conference instead of an in-person event. And for a couple of our events, we will simply have to wait and see how things develop and then we will adjust accordingly. We have already begun contacting our registrants to apprise them of the changes being made to our schedule.
We are committed to continuing to provide you with our services and our products. Considering this is an unprecedented era in American education, we are determined to support you in it. We will find ways to give you the resources you need during this time as we all adjust to working from home and as districts across the state grapple with what to do next.
The ED311 Team is comprised of a small group of weird Austinites. We work together in a cozy, old office four short blocks from the Texas Capitol. There are lovely coffeeshops and restaurants nearby, many historic buildings, and we are surrounded by construction and its accompanying symphony as the Austin skyline keeps reaching for the stars, just as we were all taught to do by our teachers.
As I write this, my cat keeps getting in the way, the dog barks at nothing, my seven year old is bored and keeps asking for chocolate milk (which we ran out of), and my spouse (a high school teacher) is determined to honor a spring-break-sleeping-in schedule regardless of the state of the world.
I miss my co-workers though we have been meeting face-to-face daily via the wonders of the internet. I get to see through a tiny window into their private spaces: our CEO’s home office is a lovely dark gray; our Event Manager’s living room features a black and white painting and her daughter dancing around beneath it on the couch; and our web administrator’s kitchen is bright with natural light, gleaming white paint, and green plants. It is fascinating to see how other people live, and it is very comforting to still be able to see each other.
It is essential that we all keep in touch despite extreme social distancing, whether it is a small group of co-workers, an extended family, or a fourth grade class. Thank you, Technology!
And it is essential that ED311 continues to provide its services. Life goes on, education is still the highest priority, and kids still need all of us. You can count on ED311 to be here to help you through this time. Please be patient as we morph our business model to meet the parameters of social distancing. We promise it will be worth it. It might even be unprecedented.
And here are a few links to stay abreast of the updates: