The Georgetown Independent School District is considering moving forward with implementing a virtual learning option for district students, following the passage of SB15. SB15 offers up funding for Texas school districts who want to or already have remote learning programs if their students meet certain previous learning benchmarks. view article arw

Austin ISD says more of their students could have free internet access in the next few months. The district estimates about 30% of their students don’t have reliable high-speed internet access. view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Hereford Independent School District is providing free internet access to students in their district who currently do not have connectivity in their home. There are over 500 families in the district who do not have internet in their home. Those parents have until October 1, to sign up. Hereford I.S.D is able to provide 400 families in their district with this free service. view article arw

Following the signing of Senate Bill 15 by Gov. Greg Abbot, the Georgetown ISD Board of Trustees approved a resolution to consider virtual learning for K-12 students Sept. 20 at its regular meeting. SB15, signed Sept. 9, grants funding to school districts for students choosing not to attend classes in person. Although the bill guarantees funding for remote learners, it is capped at 10% of students in a district. Board member Scott Stribling said originally the state would not fund virtual learners, so the district didn’t really have that option, but now that’s changed. “Originally, we couldn’t get educational credits, and [virtual learning] is just something we couldn’t conceivably do,” Stribling said. “Now there’s this option available, where we’ll hopefully provide some options to families who desire virtual learning.” view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls ISD released a statement following a TikTok challenge that shows vandalism and theft to schools across the nation. The popular challenge, called a ‘devious lick,’ seen on TikTok shows students vandalizing school bathrooms and taking items such as hand dryers, soap dispensers and breaking toilets. In a release, WFISD Superintendent Mike Kuhrt said the trend has made its way to ‘middle schools and high schools and as a result, some schools have made the decision to open bathrooms during passing periods only.’ view article arw

EL PASO, Texas -- As schools across the Borderland continue to transition to in-person learning, UTEP is hoping to help future educators transition to a post Covid classroom. ECED (Early Childhood Education) 4300: Responsive Classroom Management focuses on how to address the social and emotional needs of students. The course, which launched this semester, helps student-teachers with different techniques on how to create an environment that best fits the needs of the students. "We started seeing a greater need to really address the social emotional aspect of not just how we treat children, but also how we treat teachers, and then also how we treat principals and administration because it all trickles down," said Jessica Slade, Ph.D., assistant professor of practice in UTEP's Department of Teacher Education. view article arw

After the announcement of the passing of Senate Bill 15, there have been many headlines reporting that virtual learning is now an option for schools throughout the state. I want to clarify that while this opportunity has been made available to school districts, certain obstacles prevent Beaumont ISD from establishing a virtual program as established by the guidelines of the current legislation. SB 15 allows districts the ability to offer remote instruction but does not require that they offer it. Under the current guidelines, no more than 10% of students district-wide may participate virtually with Pre-K students totally excluded from this number. This means that only 1,671 of our more than 16,712 students could qualify to participate if they meet additional eligibility criteria that the legislation established as well. Last year when offering a virtual program, BISD served more than 8,000. This is nearly five times the number allowed today. view article arw

NAVASOTA, Texas (KBTX) -Navasota High School students will soon have the opportunity to work toward their aviation and aerospace careers all before they graduate high school. Navasota ISD is now the fourth school district in the lone star state to partner with Tango Flight, a 501c3 educational non-profit corporation created to inspire the next generation of engineers, pilots, aviation mechanics, and technicians. A small ceremony was held Saturday to introduce the new program to school board members and the community. During the ceremony, Tango Flight personnel took the new plane for a test flight. School officials also debuted its custom vertical stabilizer, commonly known as the Tail Fin, at the ceremony. view article arw

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — A Central Texas school district has some concerns that a recent school funding bill won’t cover all virtual learning expenses based on its lengthy list of requirements. Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 15 into law last week. The bill would pay for students who are learning remotely, but in order for a district to qualify, it has to check a lengthy list of requirements. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Students who are believed to be responsible for damage caused at a school bathroom in the Austin Independent School District have been identified, according to a parent newsletter. The letter, written to families of Kealing Middle School by principal Jerald Wilson, says those students have been “addressed” and “will also complete a restorative component as a consequence.” view article arw

Little Elm ISD is now offering virtual learning to students from kindergarten to sixth grade, the district announced Tuesday. Eligibility for this option has caveats, however, as a newly enacted Texas law mandates a requirement that students show satisfactory academic performance in previous standardized testing and coursework before enrollment. The law further stipulates that the district must periodically monitor the academic performance of students who successfully enlist in virtual learning. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Trash strewn on bathroom floors, soap dispensers ripped off, destroyed plumbing: It’s a scene becoming familiar to Central Texas school district leaders. This week, AISD’s Lively Middle School principal Stacie Holiday sent a letter to families, saying they’ve been dealing with the “TikTok bathroom challenge” for the last two weeks. view article arw

MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - A social media challenge that has gone viral on TikTok now has Midland ISD warning students of the serious consequences they’ll face if they’re caught participating. It’s called the “Bathroom Challenge,” a trend where students vandalize school bathrooms. Hygiene supplies aren’t the only things that have gone missing at Midland schools. “Items that have gone missing include fire extinguishers, fire flashers which are a visual indication for the hearing impaired, or emergency exit signs,” said Elana Ladd, Chief Communications Officer for MISD. view article arw

Knox County, Texas--The Knox County Broadband Committee is developing a Technology Action Plan for the county based on community feedback from residents, businesses, healthcare organizations, schools, and more. The Broadband Committee is made up of local stakeholders and works closely with Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas). “Reliable broadband access is essential to a community and has become just as important as running water. Our residents, businesses, and schools can only thrive if they have the tools to do so,” said Knox County Judge, Stan Wojcik. “We are excited to get to work on expanding broadband in Knox County and look forward to working with Connected Nation to accomplish this.” view article arw

Central Texas schools are investigating several cases of bathroom destruction linked to a social media challenge that encourages students to mess with toilet paper and soap dispensers, and even damage plumbing. In the Austin school district, Lively Middle School Principal Stacie Holiday warned families about the challenge on Wednesday. Last week, the Hays school district began receiving reports out of its middle and high schools about the viral challenge on TikTok, said Jeri Skrocki, director of safety and security for the district. "I regret to inform you that over the last two weeks some students have been vandalizing the student restrooms," Holiday wrote to families with students at Lively. "After several reports from students and a thorough investigation, the Lively administrative team has uncovered what is called the 'TikTok bathroom challenge.' " view article arw

SAN ANGELO — Officials at San Angelo ISD say a federal reimbursement program saved local taxpayers more than $1.3 million after the district purchased thousands of Apple devices for students, faculty and administrators. On Monday, Sept. 13, 2021, school board trustees were updated about SAISD's "digital innovation initiative," a plan officials announced in July would get technology into the hands of roughly 14,500 students over the course of the next two years. Financial records from the past three months show the district has cut about $1.7 million in checks payable to Apple for iPads and Apple TVs. The bill also includes new warranties, LogiTech Crayons, protective iPad casings, and training for faculty. view article arw

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Wichita Falls ISD applied for eight grants within the Texas COVID Learning Acceleration Supports and received six. The Texas Education Agency approved these grants last Friday.  There will be thousand of dollars dispersed to different elements to help increase education in Wichita Falls, which include: view article arw

ODESSA, Texas — Powering up and paving the way. That's on ECISD's agenda. With their Starlink pilot program now expanding, Ector county ISD is serving as an example within the TEA Connect program for other districts looking to connect families who've never had commercial access to internet before. "We have families across the state of Texas including in Ector county that simply can't afford broadband access due to their financial situation. They may live in a place in which access is available, but they do not have the financial means to afford that," Dr. Scott Muri, ECISD superintendent said. That's why this program launched. view article arw

Garland ISD is planning on expanding its virtual learning options, the district announced in a letter to families. This comes after Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday that expands access to virtual learning and makes state funding available for school districts with online programs. The new bill allows Garland ISD to open its ICON Virtual School as an accredited program for kindergarten through sixth grade. Under the new state law, SB15, pre-K education is not eligible for fully funded remote learning. view article arw

As the San Angelo ISD Board of Trustees prepares for its September 30 regular meeting, a financial workshop is planned. Attached to the data on the agenda for the pre-board meeting to be held Monday, September 13, are line items indicating millions were being spent with Apple over the summer. According to the district checkbook ledgers from June, July, and August, the following checks written to Apple Computer: view article arw

The Career and Technical Education veterinary technology program is preparing more students with real-world experience and industry certifications so that they can jump into the animal science workforce right after graduation. In the last couple of years, despite the struggles with the ongoing pandemic, the program has successfully increased the number of students who have earned their level one veterinary assistant certification. The innovative CTE program gives students hands-on, real-world experience and the opportunity to earn the certification by graduation at Pebble Hills, El Dorado and Eastlake high schools. view article arw

We all know the struggles of trying to navigate a website that is impossible to figure out. I’ve personally given up on some because they are just that difficult. Well, while we can’t fix every website, we have made some adjustments to our own. These adjustments will help make the ‘new and improved’ Victoria ISD website more user-friendly for our community. view article arw

The Bryan school district is reconsidering opening a virtual academy for elementary and intermediate school students after new legislation gives school districts the option. The district shifted its priority to younger students from the original focus on secondary students due to parent requests. “We’re seeing more parent requests for a virtual setting for those students who are ineligible for a vaccination right now,” Barbara Ybarra, associate superintendent for teaching and learning in the district, said during the district’s Sept. 7 board workshop. view article arw

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) Starting later this month, Cedar Hill Independent School District scholars will have a wide variety of new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Extracurricular Programs. view article arw

Typically, the Texas legislature only convenes every two years. The state constitution provides that these biennium sessions may only last for 140 days. Each session begins in January and ends in May. However, the Texas governor may call the legislators back to Austin for a special session that lasts for 30 days. At that time, the legislators are only allowed to address issues that the governor places on the special session call. The second special session ended on Thursday, September 2, 2021. The governor included the following education-related item in the list of issues that could be addressed during this session: view article arw

Richardson ISD said for the next 10 days students at Brentfield Elementary would learn remotely due to COVID-19 cases and absences   On the Friday before Labor Day weekend, the Richardson ISD school board held an emergency meeting to discuss the rising COVID-19 cases and how to mitigate them.  They unanimously voted to continue indoor masking requirements until at least Oct. 4.  In the process of coming up with solutions to mitigate the spread, it had been decided a day before that one school would shut its door and transition to virtual learning after Labor Day due to increased cases.  Brentfield Elementary School students will start virtual learning on Tuesday. It will continue for 10 days.    (07) view article arw

exas is expected to have the second-highest percentage of the nation’s future STEM job opportunities according to labor projections. Copperas Cove ISD offers STEM Academies at all junior high schools to ensure its students are prepared for this future workforce. view article arw

Many schools return to in-person learning Tuesday, but they still face challenges when keeping students and staff safe. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Beginning this September and occurring twice per year, Austin ISD employees’ social media accounts will be screened for inappropriate content including “illegal activity; violent, threatening, or sexually explicit posts; or racist, bigoted, or discriminatory behavior.” The district says this new policy will ensure employees are setting a good example for students, whether in or out of the school building. This measure was first established when the Board of Trustees took action in February 2020, approving a contract with Social Intelligence, a third party company from California. The company will run reports using employee names, phone numbers, email and physical addresses, looking as far back as seven years prior. view article arw

The personal information and Social Security numbers of Dallas ISD students, alumni and staff may have been exposed in a data breach discovered last month.  While DISD officials don’t believe the stolen information has been shared or sold, they can’t be “100 percent certain” until further forensic analysis has been completed.  DISD officials contacted federal law enforcement authorities and assigned an IT team and forensic consultants to address vulnerabilities exploited during the breach.  “We regret any inconvenience this incident may have caused and believe it is our responsibility to inform the public that we are taking steps to notify individuals whose records have been impacted,” a statement posted to the district’s website read. view article arw

Beginning this September and occurring twice per year, Austin ISD employees’ social media accounts will be screened for inappropriate content including “illegal activity; violent, threatening, or sexually explicit posts; or racist, bigoted, or discriminatory behavior.” The district says this new policy will ensure employees are setting a good example for students, whether in or out of the school building. view article arw

A survey gauging interest in a limited virtual option for grades K-6 in Tomball ISD closes at 5 p.m. on Sept. 1, according to a letter Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora sent to families of students in grades K-6 on Aug. 27. The letter comes as the number of COVID-19 cases in grades K-6 totals 3.32% of students enrolled, according to the district's COVID-19 dashboard. view article arw

Tyler Independent School District will debut a new way to track COVID-19 cases throughout the district. The Active COVID-19 Dashboard will go active on Tuesday. The web page lists current active COVID-19 cases for students and staff listed by campus and grade level. “Please note that some cases will be posted twice since there are situations where students or staff may be on more than one campus,” said Tyler ISD Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Hines in a press release. view article arw

Deepti Bellur is one of hundreds of parents in the Austin school district with children who started virtual school this week. She’s cautiously optimistic about how the experience will be for her third-grade son. “Honestly, it wasn’t our first choice,” she said. “We were virtual all last year and we were really looking forward to having him go back in person this year. But looking in mid-July at the case numbers rising, we were really hoping the district would give us a virtual option, and they did. And we’re very grateful for that.” One of the pros of this year’s arrangement is that her son’s online teachers are from his neighborhood school, where he would attend if he eventually goes back to in-person classes. One of the cons is that the virtual class has almost 50 students. view article arw

AUSTIN, Texas — School districts across the state are hoping that state funding for virtual learning could soon be on the way. What You Need To Know Currently, districts that are providing a virtual learning option are paying for the programs with their own funding Texas Legislature failed to pass a bill to fund remote learning during the regular legislative session A new bill would allow school districts that receive a C grade or higher from the state can offer a virtual option, and only up to 10% of their enrolled students can participate Currently, districts that are providing a virtual learning option are paying for the programs out of pocket. The Texas Legislature failed to pass a bill to fund remote learning during the regular legislative session. view article arw