In their small apartment in the Gulfton area, third-grader Yousuf Durrani and his three siblings are trying to keep up with schoolwork with just one computer. It’s a slow device their father bought 10 years ago in Afghanistan.  It hasn’t been easy. view article arw

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Texas A&M University System has launched a new website with helpful resources for both teachers and parents, as everyone transitions to online schooling.  “This global health crisis has created many challenges we have not faced before,” said John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “We created this site, We Teach Texas, to share helpful resources and share our commitment to producing the highest quality educators who are prepared to deliver world-class education for the children of Texas.”  view article arw

Doubling down on previous comments about Midland ISD entering the 21st century with its virtual learning during the coronavirus pandemic, Midland ISD Superintendent Orlando Riddick said Thursday his team is looking at what classrooms will look like, including at the elementary level.  Responding to a question during the Midland Unified Command Team press conference about remote learning as an option for students in future school years, Riddick reiterated that Midland ISD can’t put on a shelf what it’s learned about the 21st century platform. view article arw

On Monday, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa unveiled his plans to get WiFi into every home within the district.  "We are going to prioritize the zip codes that have the biggest need," said Hinojosa.  One-on-One with NBC 5 last week, we asked Hinojosa how this problem can get addressed as students rely on the internet even more. view article arw

Graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 will be far from traditional because of coronavirus restrictions on large gatherings. School districts across North Texas are shifting gears. Some are going virtual, while others will allow graduates to walk across the stage, but with very few guests. view article arw

Bay City ISD staff have adapted quickly to moving instruction online, all while learning how to use Google Classroom, Zoom online video conferencing, and other technology. An important component to the successful transition has been the support provided to the staff.  For example, at Bay City High School, professional development to support teachers has included learning how to use various tech platforms, participating in Socratic seminars, using Padlet for collecting comments and discussion, and utilizing online polls to give formative feedback and reflection. 

COVID-19 may have taken a lot away. But the pandemic also opened our eyes, to see people like 11-year-old Rubi Jaimes.  "I actually want to study politics and I want to be the senator for Texas," she said.  Rubi is in the 5th grade at John Quincy Adams Elementary in Dallas where many of the students are disconnected from the internet. view article arw

Huffman Independent School District — just like school districts across the state and the nation — has moved to a completely online remote learning system as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.  The necessary tools for students in that system are a computer and internet access, things that many students in Huffman ISD do not have in their homes. So the district has been loaning out laptops, iPads and Wi-Fi hotspots to students who need them. view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees has approved a $4.8 million request to purchase Apple devices for every student in the district. According to release, the district has partnered with Apple, Inc. to provide Pre-Kinder through 12th-grade students their own device starting in fall 2020.  view article arw

By now, most North Texas students have been learning from home for a month — some even longer. Nearly two dozen 11th graders log-in to Mark Harrington’s AP history class each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They mostly have the routine down — mostly. view article arw

Distance learning has been a success at the Anahuac ISD, according to Superintendent Dennis Wagner.   “I want to personally thank our students, parents, teachers and staff for their commitment to supporting our distance learning platform,” Wagner told board members. “We know parents may be feeling overwhelmed by the expectations to facilitate learning for their children and understand the challenge to balance work, education, and the everyday needs of their families. Anahuac ISD applauds them and truly appreciate their efforts.”  Wagner said the district has a majority of elementary students picking up assignments and some utilizing virtual assignments, while middle through high students are mostly accessing the virtual learning.   view article arw

Thousands of hotspots were handed out to students in Fort Worth last week. It took money from the school district, Facebook, and community partners like 'Read Fort Worth' to finally get every student in the district connected.  "All of those kids now have hotspots and we ordered extra in case there was a family who missed the phone call," said Elizabeth Brands, Executive Director of 'Read Fort Worth.' view article arw

High school students in the Ralston Public Schools will be getting Chromebook laptops in the fall, Superintendent Mark Adler said Wednesday.  The purchase will create a one-to-one computer ratio at the high school and position the district to deal with potential disruptions of school next fall, he said. view article arw

COVID-19 may have taken a lot away. But the pandemic also opened our eyes, to see people like 11-year-old Rubi Jaimes.  "I actually want to study politics and I want to be the senator for Texas," she said.  Rubi is in the 5th grade at John Quincy Adams Elementary in Dallas where many of the students are disconnected from the internet. view article arw

Huffman ISD — just like school districts all across the state and the nation — has called for some unique measures in response to an unprecedented situation. The school board gave the administration more authority to purchase laptops for students without devices and improve its internet capabilities as the shift to distance learning continues. view article arw

Spring ISD is hosting a webinar series to help parents with at-home learning as Texas schools remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, all SISD students will be completing three project-based learning plans, designed for their specific grade level, to fulfill all of their requirements by the end of the 2019-20 school year. view article arw

Canutillo Independent School District Board of Trustees has approved a $4.8 million request to purchase Apple devices for every student in the district. According to release, the district has partnered with Apple, Inc. to provide Pre-Kinder through 12th-grade students their own device starting in fall 2020. view article arw

A New Jersey school district on Monday announced it will halt using Zoom, the video conferencing platform, amid an investigation into allegations that a hacker streamed pornography and racist language during an online lesson. view article arw

Katy ISD has distributed 550 devices to students April 22 to facilitate online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The issuance of the devices last week brings 11,950 into students hands and about 2,900 devices to teachers to ensure education can continue into summer, Katy ISD Director of Instructional Technology Darlene Rankin said. view article arw

FORNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – School closures have taken away cherished classroom experiences as students adjust to at-home learning, but in Forney ISD one counselor wanted ​to make sure her students didn’t miss out on career day. ​  Lewis Elementary School counselor Mary Ladwig launched ​”Virtual Career Day” for her students to access on their at-home learning platforms. ​Parents who were set to speak at the school in person created videos giving students a behind the scenes look at their jobs. view article arw

DALLAS — A Dallas-based company is stepping up during the coronavirus pandemic to make sure graduations still happen, even if "virtual" is the only current way to do so.  Varsity Brands is a fixture in all things school, sports, and graduation related.  "I guess necessity is the mother of invention," said Adam Blumenfeld, CEO of Varsity Brands.  view article arw

SAN ANTONIO – The vast majority of the 107,0000 students in the Northside Independent School District are engaged in distance learning due to the COVID-19 crisis, officials said.  While 92% of students are participating in online learning, it’s the remaining 8% of students who aren’t connected that worry district officials. view article arw

Farmington Public Schools trustees are considering the expansion of an information technology (IT) agreement with Oakland Schools that some teachers and parents say will negatively impact the district.  Superintendent Dr. Bob Herrera explained during an April 21 board meeting that the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was initially signed in December 2017, following a Plante Moran audit of the district’s technology department. view article arw

In his Facebook live address to the Conroe ISD community on Monday evening, superintendent Curtis Null assured the class of 2020 that graduation plans for next month are still on, tentatively. New reopening plans from Gov. Greg Abbott do not directly rule them out.  At the moment, all six CISD high schools are set to have a graduation ceremony at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion sometime in May. The district has also prepared backup dates with the pavilion for July in case the pavilion cannot accommodate events next month under COVID-19 restrictions. view article arw

LA JOYA — Every day at noon, the La Joya Independent School District sends its school buses to colonias across western Hidalgo County. However, the buses are not to pick up students, but to provide high-speed Wi-Fi connections.  Clemencia Garza, technology director at La Joya ISD, says the district has about 20 buses that regularly serve as Wi-Fi hotspots. Now, with the current pandemic, 20 more will soon be added to its fleet.  A mother in Sullivan City believes the additional hotspots will help her children, who have been doing their homework on paper because her internet access is too slow. view article arw

Georgetown ISD has yet to receive its order of Wi-Fi hot spots that are to be rented to students who do not have access to the internet while distance learning, according to an April 23 letter to parents.  GISD Executive Director of Communications Melinda Brasher said the vendor has not been forthright with the district in its ability to deliver the devices in a timely manner.  GISD students began receiving graded distance learning assignments from teachers April 6. Brasher said teachers of students who do not have access to internet are responsible for connecting with families and ensuring learning is still occurring. view article arw

Early High School, like others across the country, are adjusting to a different way of learning and completing required tasks due to the circumstances created by COVID-19.  Principal Judith Ozuna said the high school campus is different from other campuses in the district. “Many of our students were already doing dual credit courses online or utilizing Google Classroom on a regular basis. The transition to ‘remote’ learning was toughest on underclassmen. There was an adjustment period and is still difficult for many, but progress has been made.” view article arw

Richardson ISD is distributing 800 hotspot devices to disadvantaged students who have no Internet access at home. The hotspots were secured after the coronavirus pandemic forced Richardson ISD and other districts throughout the area to close their doors and go to a home-based online learning system.  “I know many of our surrounding districts are still awaiting their hotspots, and the fact that ours arrived so quickly is just a real asset for our community,” Deputy Superintendent Tabitha Branum said during Monday’s school board work session. view article arw

Lubbock-The hallways of Overton Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas, have been empty for over a month. Schools across the country let out for spring break, but because of the Coronavirus, the students never came back.  Governor Greg Abbott announced Friday that all Texas schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year. Overton Principal Ann Archer looked out to an empty cafeteria, one usually filled with the chatter of students.  “I know it’s necessary, and I’m thankful that those making the decision have everyone’s health in mind first and foremost, but it’s sad,” Archer said. “It should be full of children laughing and visiting, and just the hustle and bustle of school.” view article arw

Garland Independent School District says its success comes from planning well before other districts starting thinking about coronavirus. view article arw

Katy ISD Director of Instructional Technology Darlene Rankin said she is not surprised the district has distributed about 12,000 Chromebooks, iPads and hotspots to students to help them access their online classes while campuses are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.   “There are so many family members at home from work and from school,” she said.  Parents need a laptop or tablet device for work while students also need the device for school work, she explained.  "People may have just one device or two devices at home ... and families [may have] three to five kids in their homes and all of them needing access." view article arw

Over the past month, distance learning has become the routine for students throughout the state as COVID-19 has forced schools closed through the end of the academic year.  While College Station has utilized the online Schoology learning management system for a year, Bryan schools implemented the program in response to the need for at-home learning. Both districts also have begun grading assignments through Schoology. view article arw

Remote learning, support of staff stress levels and district efforts during this COVID-19 pandemic were addressed by Ector County ISD Superintendent Scott Muri during a board of trustees meeting.  Muri offered an update and answered questions he’s gotten on a variety of topics Tuesday. Delma Abalos, board vice president, was absent.  This is the fifth week of remote learning and Muri said 89 percent of elementary students are engaged while 84 percent of middle and high school students are. view article arw

When COVID-19 shut down the schools in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 5-year-old Caillou’s family decided that his cousin Nehemiah Frank, a journalist and former teacher, was best positioned to monitor the kindergartner as he did his classwork online. What they discovered was shocking: The boy had speech issues, did not know all the alphabet, could not recognize the most basic sight words and had terrible penmanship. “He went almost all year without anyone catching this,” says Frank. “If this pandemic hadn’t happened, we might not have caught it.” view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Many people have been adjusting to the new normal due to COVID-19. Working from home and schooling from home have been a challenge to say the least.  It's been especially tough for our rural communities.   Nora Perez visited with residents in one small town to see how they are keeping their students connected and on track. view article arw