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The Dallas Independent School District last night published a dashboard that will allow you to monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 by school, ZIP code, and trustee district. It’s easy to use and contains simple visuals to go with the numbers. At lunchtime on Friday, there were 39 total cases districtwide. Of those, 30 are students and nine are staff.  It was released in time for the first day that students can begin returning to campuses, which will happen on Monday. Some special education students have already returned. Elementary and middle schools will open for five-day schedules while high schools will have a hybrid arrangement that will stagger students.    (29) view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thousands of students logged on to remote learning as the Alief Independent School District offered a remote only start to the year. The Texas Education Agency gave school districts an eight-week transition period that allowed them flexibility to make back-to-school decisions locally, based on what's best for their communities.  For Alief ISD, who started classes on Aug. 6, that eight-week period of more local control is coming to an end as some students return to class in person this week.  Alief ISD's Superintendent HD Chambers said districts - with the input of health officials - should keep local flexibility, especially when it comes to how it'll offer classes and track student success. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Thousands of students logged on to remote learning as the Alief Independent School District offered a remote only start to the year. The Texas Education Agency gave school districts an eight-week transition period that allowed them flexibility to make back-to-school decisions locally, based on what's best for their communities.  For Alief ISD, who started classes on Aug. 6, that eight-week period of more local control is coming to an end as some students return to class in person this week.  Alief ISD's Superintendent HD Chambers said districts - with the input of health officials - should keep local flexibility, especially when it comes to how it'll offer classes and track student success. view article arw

EVADALE, Texas — A Southeast Texas school district is discontinuing remote learning started by the COVID-19 pandemic.   Evadale ISD announced the district is discontinuing remote learning in a Facebook post Tuesday, Sept. 22.  "In the interest of providing the highest quality educational experience for students of Evadale ISD, along with the availability of usable cellular connections and the number of participating students, the remote learning program is being discontinued," the school district said in the post.  view article arw

CCISD trustees approved added measures to try to keep kids safe as more students return to the classroom for in-person learning next week. The board members responding to reports that maintaining a social distance of at least six feet may not be possible in some cases. On Monday, they were back in the board room after months of meetings were conducted online due to COVID-19 safety measures. view article arw

Education facilities across the world and right here in San Antonio are facing unique challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear if or when it will come to an end. The pandemic is unpredictable and some area educators believe there will be lasting, long-term effects on teaching. Dr. Roland Rios, director of technology with Ft. Sam Houston ISD, joined Leading SA Sunday morning to discuss his district’s current situation. view article arw

LOCKHART, Texas (KXAN) – Sitting at a picnic table outside her rural Lockhart, Texas, home, sixth-grader Azul Cabrera says she has always loved to read.  “Reading is a big part of my life because when I’m frustrated or stressed I read a good book, and my troubles go away,” she said.   Shy and articulate, Azul seamlessly switches between speaking English at school and Spanish at home. She loves school and connecting to a world beyond Lockhart through books.  view article arw

Students at La Joya Independent School District are dealing with internet connection issues amid the virtual school year. Blanca Cantu, a spokesperson for La Joya Independent School District said the problem is due to location and other districts using the Wi-Fi at the same time. “All of us school districts had to transition to virtual, but I guess it hit us a little bit more for La Joya ISD, because of the location we are in,” Cantu said.  Watch the video for the full story. view article arw

The Moody Foundation is making the donation, which will provide 2,000 devices for students in pre-K through fifth grade.  Houston ISD will be able to provide 2,000 devices for elementary students needing help with virtual learning thanks to a $1 million grant to help close the digital divide.  Officials announced Monday the school district will receive funds from the Moody Foundation. It’s for HISD Achieve 180 students enrolled in pre-K through fifth grade. The research-based program was designed to support and build up student achievement in underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities. view article arw

McAllen ISD is expecting nearly 10,000 of its 21,650 students to have wireless internet access provided by the city of McAllen or Hidalgo County in the near future, connectivity projects augmented through district Wi-Fi and thousands of hot spots available to students.  In the south end of the district, the administration expects the city’s $3.2 million free Wi-Fi project to service roughly 7,000 students. To the north, free Wi-Fi programs planned by the county are expected to service more than 2,500 students.  Over 10,000 Wi-Fi hot spots, which the district began receiving and distributing last week, are expected to fill in the gaps. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — WFISD continues moving closer to district-wide Wi-Fi offered at home for students.  During Monday evening’s school board meeting, members approved a $12,000 planning initiative to increase access and quality of Wi-Fi offered to students outside of school.  Next, the district along with Red River Technologies will pinpoint an access point to determine which area needs it most. view article arw

The Leander Independent School District is migrating classes to a licensed Zoom account, which the district hopes will safeguard against further disruption. view article arw

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Students at one North Texas high school spent Friday picking up devices after the entire school was forced into virtual learning due to positive COVID-19 tests.  Fossil Ridge High School in Keller ISD transitioned to virtual learning only this week after positive tests forced hundreds of students and over two dozen teachers into quarantine. This caused a shortage of teachers at the school. view article arw

Charlie Alderman, Commerce ISD superintendent, says about 14-15% of Commerce students are engaged in online learning, down from 19% at the beginning of the school year.  He expects that percentage to decline further in the near future.  Only one student has tested postive for the coronavirus in about the past week and a half, the superintedent says. view article arw

It could potentially be November before students in the Fort Worth ISD return to campus, depending on how the school board votes at tomorrow's meeting. Last week, the board voted down a plan extend online-only learning by four more weeks, meaning students could return to campus on Oct. 5. Now it looks like officials are reconsidering that vote. view article arw

Arlington ISD detailed its campus reopening plan. The district also outlined its plans for hybrid-style instruction. Arlington ISD is another school district reporting cases before students go back to school. The district is reporting 16 cases and 30 staff members are quarantining right now after being exposed at work. That information was top of mind Thursday as the district laid out at the school board meeting what their back to school will look like on Sept. 28. view article arw

Conroe Independent School District officials had to make some changes to their network following a cyberattack meant to overwhelm the system. On Wednesday, the district officials put out a statement on the website that said people began experiencing issues last week that “impacted phone and internet service throughout the day.” Hardware engineers worked to identify the problem but later determined it was not a malfunction but rather an intentional attack from an outside source trying to overwhelm the district’s network. view article arw

CONROE, Texas — Conroe ISD's internet service was attacked last week, resulting in network issues for those who were learning remotely.  The district said last week they started experiencing "network issues that impacted phone and internet service." After working with engineers, they determined that the disruptions were not due to a malfunctioning piece of equipment on the district's end, but rather they were caused by an attack on their network. view article arw

Temperature checks in the drop-off lane. Tape cordoning off every other desk. Teachers trying to learn new students’ names through facemasks and six feet of distance. A grid of classmates participating virtually on a projector screen. The school year just started, and already it’s unlike any other.  I visited with students, teachers, and administrators across Texas recently to see how Texans are adapting to school during the coronavirus pandemic. As Lubbock ISD Superintendent Dr. Kathy Rollo told me, teachers are essential. Education is essential. But new precautions to keep children from catching and spreading the virus don’t come easy, and they definitely don’t come cheap.    (17) view article arw

The Cedar Hill Independent School District is very grateful for the generosity of Atmos Energy and Concord Church, both of whom donated $10,000 to the Cedar Hill ISD Education Foundation (CHEF) for mobile hotspots. view article arw

Good read! - js - Spend a day with Westfield High School teacher Cris Hernandez, and you'll see the frustrations and uncertainties of virtual teaching. More than four weeks into the school year, he still can't tell if he's connecting with his students. view article arw

Skidmore-Tynan Independent School District reported Tuesday afternoon that it is the victim of a cyberattack.  Neither face-to-face nor remote instruction will be available Wednesday-Friday so that the district can fix its network. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Some Houston parents want better protection for their children after worrying their kids could meet online predators as they learn virtually.  When Roman Pena saw the influx of messages coming to her son on his virtual learning platform, she said, "it made me feel scared."  She said she saw messages like, "Can you tell me your gender? Boy or girl?," pop up on her son's screen.   The photo on the account that was sending those messages was a stock photo of singer Lana Del Rey. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Wichita Falls ISD is in the process of figuring out how it can create its own wifi network for the district.The school board will vote Monday whether to enter into a contract with Red River Technology to begin surveying sites and figuring out how to get internet to those who don’t have it.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, just because a student had a Chromebook didn’t mean they were able to use it. view article arw

FORT WORTH, Texas — Board members for the Fort Worth Independent School District voted not to extend virtual learning an additional four weeks at a specially-called meeting Tuesday night, meaning students and teachers will return to the classroom on Oct. 5.  Going online for another four weeks would have not impacted the district's state funding.    (16) view article arw

Georgetown ISD will launch a COVID-19 dashboard by Sept. 18 to inform parents and community members of lab-confirmed cases, GISD Superintendent Fred Brent announced. In a Sept. 15 letter to parents, Brent said the dashboard would be posted on the GISD website and reflect reported cases among GISD students and staff by campus. view article arw

SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas (KTRE) - Unlike many other East Texas school districts, San Augustine ISD’s leadership opted to go the virtual learning route for the first few weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. Their students and teachers returned to in-class instruction on Sept. 9.  “It’s gone really well,” said Dr. Virginia Liepman, San Augustine ISD’s superintendent, told East Texas Now host Kayla Lyons on Tuesday. “We were supposed to return to school on Aug. 17, but the Friday before we were supposed to start, we have several COVID-19 cases in our student body and a couple among our faculty. So … we decided – full stop; we can’t go back now.”  Liepman said San Augustine ISD chose to go with full virtual learning the first few weeks and added that she was grateful that the Texas Education Agency gave them that option. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ayden Linares puts on a pair of white headphones and sits in front of a desktop computer while his mom gets ready for work.  By the time his teacher takes attendance, it's time for the 10-year-old's mom, Alexis Linares, to leave. The Emerson Elementary School fifth grader is going with her.  During the drive to work, Ayden uses his mom's cell phone to stay connected with his teacher and classmates. When school started at the Houston Independent School District last Tuesday, Linares decided to just keep her son's Chromebook at work. view article arw

As the COVID-19 pandemic has "exacerbated existing disparities" related to high-speed internet access in Texas, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers asked Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday to develop a plan to expand broadband access in the state.“Texas is well overdue for a state broadband plan, and we believe the state needs to begin the process of creating one immediately,” the 88 lawmakers wrote in a letter to Abbott’s office. They said the need can't wait until the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature. view article arw

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Chapel Hill ISD said the district has been experiencing server issues throughout the day Friday.  The district said they are working to correct the issue and get it resolved as quickly as possible and the interruption in service is not expected to last much longer.  They said service should be restored by Monday morning for both in-school and remote learners and their staff.  “We assure you that no student data was compromised during the incident. All district platforms including Skyward and Eduphoria were not compromised," the district said in a statement. view article arw

Little fingers dance across keyboards and nimbly swipe touchscreens with dizzying ease: it’s enough for any parent to ask, “Is my kid smarter than I am?”  In reality, it’s just the wave of the future, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing the timeline forward for many Texas schools. Blanco County school leadership, and parents who have picked the remote option for their children, are adapting to these new ways of learning.  “Our teachers are superheroes: they’re managing online learners and in-person learners at the same time,” said Collin Gaskamp, instructional technology specialist for Blanco ISD. “It’s been overwhelming for them, but they’re dedicated to helping each child excel.” view article arw

After a series of Zoom "bombings" across the district and state, Leander ISD is upgrading its technology with greater security control settings and added security layers. The district started improvements Sept. 11 and will add more security enhancements in the coming weeks, according to a district release. LISD is piloting the requirement of district account authentication. view article arw

It has been a long time since fundamental changes have been made to the way American students learn, but Mesquite ISD is ready to usher in another transition. The district, along with technology partners Google and SoftServe, is launching a tool called Ayo (pronounced eye-oh) that seeks to use current technology to help students understand what they like and are good at — and to help teachers, staff and administrators create individualized learning plans for them. view article arw

PHARR, Texas – Online learning can create unforeseen challenges that could make it frustrating for parents and students when tech issues arise.  Assistant Superintendent of Technology Lauro Davalos for the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District (ISD) said they came up with a plan to combat those tech issues.  “We’ve also set up a tech help curbside where families that are having issues with district-issued devices or even staff members who would need to have something done to their laptop either a software or hardware issue. They can go to out southside PSJA stadium,’ said Davalos. view article arw

Kerri Menchaca could tell her daughter was anxious last spring, after Fort Worth ISD shut down its schools and moved classes online. At first, Menchaca’s daughter adapted well enough to the online classes, Menchaca said. But a couple of weeks after the shutdown, her teacher started using a new format. That system worked better, Menchaca said, but for her daughter, it was one more change. view article arw