The LISD Board of Trustees voted Monday for a complete remote learning experience for the first six weeks and discussed the current iteration of the 2020-21 instructional model.  Monica Garcia, District 7 trustee, said that she is concerned about the recent survey and its 35% participation rate, or over 8,200 of the more than 24,000 LISD students. The lack of involvement may lead to uncertainty for parents and may result in issues for students at the start of the school year. She added that students will be expected to engage in schoolwork. view article arw

Tuesday morning, officials with the Canutillo Independent School District announced the “Canutillo Connect” initiative, which will bring universal internet connectivity to the school district’s community through an outside wireless mesh network.  “Funding has been primarily directed at in-school internet connectivity,” said Board President Sergio Coronado. “However, in order to close the digital divide, we must address the lack of residential and community access.” view article arw

The back-to-school plan is subject to change, in compliance with the most up-to-date guidelines from Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency. The original plan was published on Thursday evening, after Abbott issued a new executive order that mandates masks for all individuals in the state — with certain exceptions. Allen ISD officials are asking parents and students to commit to either online or in-person learning for the fall semester by July 20. Parents should receive a commitment form by Monday, July 13. view article arw

Fort Bend ISD plans on offering both face-to-face and virtual instruction for the 2020-21 school year. There is a possibility the district will offer hybrid instruction on an alternate day schedule if proper social distancing can not take place on campus due to the number of students enrolled. view article arw

The Leander Independent School District will ask families to pick between two options for the 2020-21 school year — 100% online or 100% in-person learning for students. In a newsletter to LISD families, the school district said it’ll offer families the ability to choose their path later this month. The LISD school year is scheduled to begin August 13. view article arw

Alief Independent School District Superintendent HD Chambers says school officials have decided to begin the school year online. Chambers said he doesn’t want any student to lose out on their education because of the pandemic but the thought of how to bring students and teachers back to the classroom safely keeps him up at night. view article arw

Canutillo ISD will be the first district in the region and third in the state to take on universal internet connectivity. At a June 25, 2020, special board meeting, the Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved the initial allocation of $300,000 to fund the “Canutillo Connect” initiative, which will bring universal internet connectivity to the school district’s community through an outside wireless mesh network. view article arw

Pine Tree ISD is continuing to increase its technology resources to ensure all students will have the materials they need in case of another closure. The district applied for and received a $97,000 technology lending grant from the Texas Education Agency, Director of Technology Todd Yohn said. view article arw

Clint ISD announced its students will start the upcoming semester online. The district says classes will start on July 27, the same date as nearby Socorro ISD. Students will participate from home but teachers will be in their classrooms using cameras and broadcast equipment. The virtual learning will last until September 25, at that time, Clint ISD says it will decide if students should return for face-to-face learning. view article arw

Like many districts, Clear Creek ISD is still preparing for the upcoming school year. The district has formed a committee dedicated to developing a strategic and safe plan to reopen Clear Creek ISD schools in August. So far, CCISD has approved a list of committee recommendations which address safety, health, PPE and technology. view article arw

A national pandemic that led to the closing of schools across the country earlier this year has prompted local school board members to invest up to $500,000 on instructional technology.  Jacksonville ISD trustees unanimously approved a June 23 board meeting request that authorize Dr. Chad Kelly, schools superintendent, to supplement the district's supply to help meet the needs, such as when the district scrambled to incorporate distance learning for the remainder of the school year because of the unexpected closure. view article arw

With no decision yet about which direction Pearland ISD will take when classes begin Aug. 19, the school board voted June 23 to purchase computer devices for all of its approximately 22,000 students, including iPads for kids in grades prekindergarten through first grade and Dell laptops for all other students.  The district is preparing for online and in-class instruction as well as a combination of the two. view article arw

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — AISD is preparing for the next school year and released part of their plan today, which involves parents making a choice on whether their child attends class virtually or in-person.   Governor Greg Abbott said Texas Students will return to classrooms this fall and AISD said it is their intention to start school on Thursday, August 20.  The next school year for AISD students and parents will see some changes, one of which may include adding 10-20 minutes to each instructional day. They will also have to make a big decision as AISD announced today they will offer two options for how students can receive instruction. view article arw

A long term goal for the district is to be able to provide a Chromebook for every single student.  There is no doubt that we are in a highly technology-driven era.  With this in mind, Carthage ISD is making moves to ensure students have the most up-to-date technology at their fingertips.   A long term goal for the district is to be able to provide a Chromebook for every single student, making the campuses “1:1”, and a recent purchase is taking that plan one step closer to reality. view article arw

Frisco ISD officials say they plan to offer either 100% face-to-face instruction or 100% online instruction to start the 2020-21 school year in August. The district had been waiting for additional details from the state before announcing a final decision, Superintendent Michael Waldrip said in a statement last week. He said the district learned through media reports that Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath had released their decisions to lawmakers before giving the details to public school districts. view article arw

Frisco ISD officials say they plan to offer either 100% face-to-face instruction or 100% online instruction to start the 2020-21 school year in August. The district had been waiting for additional details from the state before announcing a final decision, Superintendent Michael Waldrip said in a statement last week. He said the district learned through media reports that Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath had released their decisions to lawmakers before giving the details to public school districts. view article arw

A Virtual Mirage

June 1908:30 AM
 

Even before schools began to close due to COVID-19, the calls and emails started.  As the Executive Director of Virtual Learning at the only public full-time virtual school in Texas with an “A” grade, districts across Texas and beyond have come with the same question: “How do we go full-time virtual?”  The answer I had to give was something most didn’t want to hear.  Going full-time virtual is not a solution for the overwhelming majority of students.  view article arw

Fort Worth ISD is giving parents the option of having their children take part in either in-person or online classes this upcoming school year, the district said Wednesday. During the last few months of the 2019-2020 school year, all classes throughout Texas shifted to online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As that school year came to an end, many were left wondering how August would look for classrooms as the pandemic continues and as the state reopens its businesses. view article arw

The Bryan ISD Choir directors were sad that they didn’t get a chance to say a proper goodbye to their students before the end of the year. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Several Dallas Independent School District buses will be parked at apartment complexes to serve as mobile hotspots and tech centers for those who need it.  On Wednesday the buses will offer service to students at the Highland Hills Apartments and Rosemont at Lake West. view article arw

The El Campo ISD school board discussed purchasing laptops and the upcoming school year calendar in a brief special meeting held before El Campo High School’s graduation.  Thursday night, the board voted 7-0 to purchase 1,200 laptops to be used by students. When the district will receive the devices, however, is up in the air due to the coronavirus pandemic. view article arw

The Aransas Pass School District has been working hard to find ways to address the issues surrounding distance learning ever since its school campus closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present a challenge for the district on how it will continue to provide academic distance learning in the new school year. view article arw

The Pine Tree ISD board of trustees adopted a 2020-21 budget with a partial deficit Monday, but officials say they expect the year to actually end with a surplus. view article arw

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinney ISD announced June 2 that MISD students attending summer school will do so online this year.   "In light of the governor's extensive list of requirements to hold in-person summer school, I am electing to go all-virtual with summer school in MISD,” Superintendent Rick McDaniel said in a statement.  Virtual summer school classes will include online lessons and activities for bilingual/ESL students, special education students and students needing credit recovery, the district said in a news release. There will also be options for students who are looking to enrich their education during the summer months. view article arw

The new SchoolFinder replaces a system that limited families to searching for schools based solely on their home address.  With the launch of its new School Finder, Dallas ISD is providing families with a more effective tool to connect with a school that best meets the educational needs of their children. SchoolFinder makes it easier for families to navigate the school choice process and better understand their options.   (04) view article arw

With school long since completed, at least for this school year, Abilene Independent School District and Wylie ISD officials would like their hardware returned. So far, the majority of people have returned the Chromebooks (in both Abilene ISD and Wylie ISD) and Apple iPads (Wylie ISD) they borrowed in March. But more need to be turned in. All of them need to be returned. view article arw

PHARR, Texas – Vanguard Academy Superintendent Narciso Garcia says the Rio Grande Valley’s legislative delegation must make Internet connectivity for all students a top priority next session.  The Rio Grande Guardian hosted an in-depth conversation with the Dr. Garcia about Vanguard’s response to COVID-19. The charter school has won praise for the way it planned for the event, leading to national reporters calling for interviews. view article arw

Austin ISD Superintendent Paul Cruz said during a board presentation June 1 that the district is working toward a blended approach for classes for the 2020-21 school year. Options under consideration by the district include limitations created by following safety guidelines as well as those required by the Texas Education Agency. view article arw

Students and teachers ended the 2019-2020 academic year through distance learning.  Instructional Technology Specialist at McAllen Independent School District, James Varlack, says one of his passions is to help teachers with better technology in the classroom.  During every virtual training hundreds of teachers from McAllen ISD listened and asked questions.  Second grade teacher Paola Valdez says she credits the step-by-step virtual training  process for helping her set up her students for distance learning success. Valdez says it's been nice to know that she can still get creative with her classroom and engage her students. Virtual training sessions are set to continue through the summer months.  For more information watch the video above,  view article arw

To gauge the perceived effectiveness of online learning initiatives amid the coronavirus pandemic, Round Rock ISD sought input from parents, students and staff via a survey administered between May 15-22.  Cathy Malerba, RRISD's executive director of assessment and evaluation, presented the survey findings to the board of trustees May 28.  “We took a snapshot at the end of the school year. I would definitely consider this as more of a first look than a detailed analysis,” Malerba said. "I think it's helping us get a picture of how our students, staff and parents are feeling during this really unprecedented time." view article arw

HOUSTON – The Houston Independent School District is planning to hold virtual summer school for more than 40,000 students, according to the district. The online summer instruction is scheduled from June 8 to July 2.  “Our virtual summer school plan is a continuation of our commitment to ensure our students continue to be safely engaged academically and prepared for their grade level during the COVID-19 pandemic,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. view article arw

Students and teachers ended the 2019-2020 academic year through distance learning. Instructional Technology Specialist at McAllen Independent School District, James Varlack, says one of his passions is to help teachers with better technology in the classroom. view article arw

Beaumont ISD is planning for the possibility of part, or full-time distance learning when they return to school next year, along with socially distanced classrooms and the possibility of changes to the school calendar.  “With the future still uncertain, I can assure you we are working on plans for a redesigned school year,” district Superintendent Shannon Allen said Wednesday in a letter to parents. “In fact, we have a transition committee established that is focused solely on this unique challenge.” view article arw

Our students need laptops

May 2808:40 AM
 

Houston ISD officials hope to provide every student with a district-issued laptop in 2020-21 and beyond, an ambitious target that would deliver much-needed technology to children but require voters to approve a bond package in the next several months.  Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said HISD officials are “working toward a goal” of buying computers throughout the upcoming school year for all 150,000-plus elementary and middle school students. HISD high school students already get computers under an initiative, known as PowerUp, started in 2014. view article arw

The Amarillo Independent School District Board of Trustees took action during a Tuesday afternoon special meeting to further expand the district’s one to one technology initiative for students from first grade to 12th grade.  The board approved a measure to purchase additional Chromebook devices to include all students in first through eighth grades. This will amount to the purchase of approximately 12,000 additional devices, costing the district $4,060,094. view article arw