A summer of delay and inconsistency from state political and education leaders left Texas schools little time to prepare for an academic year with millions of students learning from home. Almost midway through the school year, it has become increasingly clear that virtual learning is failing a sizable number of Texas public school students whose parents decided to keep them home as COVID-19 grips the state.  The disturbing number of students posting failing grades while trying to learn in front of computer screens has also brought into sharper focus the failure of state education and political leaders to prepare for an academic year they knew would be like no other.Over the last month, The Texas Tribune has interviewed more than 30 educators, students, parents and experts across the state about their experiences with remote learning. Parents and students describe a system in which kids are failing, not necessarily because they don’t understand the material, but because the process of teaching them is so broken that it’s difficult to succeed.   view article arw

The move from the area's largest school district has some parents asking a few questions and throwing a lot of family's routines into a frenz Beaumont ISD announced it will move all children to virtual learning for one week after the Thanksgiving break. The move from the area's largest school district has some parents asking a few questions and throwing a lot of family's routines into a frenzy, according to a Beaumont Facebook group.  Whether to keep the classrooms open or closed is a decision that Beaumont ISD administrators say they had to consider, as they try to keep people safe. view article arw

HENRIETTA, Texas (TNN) - Henrietta ISD announced Wednesday there will be no school on Friday, Nov. 20 due to rising COVID-19 cases in the district.  This decision means Thanksgiving break for Henrietta ISD begins Friday and classes will resume on Monday, Nov. 30.  The district facilities will all be sanitized during the holiday break.  For more information, visit the Henrietta ISD Facebook page. view article arw

Houston ISD says students will return to virtual and in-person learning after Thanksgiving break despite the Houston Federation of Teachers urging the district to go online 100% Andrew Dewey, executive vice president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, said the teachers' association asked HISD in a meeting Thursday to move all schools to virtual learning after Thanksgiving, due to the prolonged and ongoing COVID-19 surge. view article arw

During the past several weeks I’ve spent time in schools throughout McKinney ISD. Under the circumstances, one would assume that the most common theme among campus discussions would be related to stress and fear or frustration and anxiety over the complexities of living and learning during a global pandemic. But that’s not what I heard at all. view article arw

Joshua Independent School District announced Thursday that its fourth annual Angel Tree event will be virtual this year due to COVID-19 precautions. It's an annual outreach event where 360 students in need will receive clothes and one to two items from their "want list" during the holiday season. view article arw

Garland school trustees voted to remove the remnants of Confederate symbolism that one of the district’s high schools adopted at its founding more than 50 years ago. The district’s board voted unanimously Tuesday night to drop South Garland’s current mascot, the colonel. For the past three decades, trustees and school administrators have grappled with South Garland’s use of Confederate symbols, slowly removing them piece by piece. view article arw

Harlandale ISD announced Wednesday that the Martin Luther King Day holiday would be reinstated; to make up for taking Election Day as a holiday, the district will extend the school year through June 7 instead. --- In a city historically known to host one of the largest Martin Luther King marches in the country lies a school district sitting this holiday out. view article arw

Dallas ISD announced Wednesday that no tickets will be sold to the general public for basketball or swimming events as long as Dallas County’s perceived COVID-19 risk level remains at red. Until the risk level goes down, tickets will be limited to two per uniformed player or coach — for both the home and visiting team — to give away. Cheerleaders will not be present, and only coaches whose teams are playing, administrators on duty and media members with an authorized pass will be given access. view article arw

Harlandale ISD announced Wednesday that Martin Luther King Jr. Day would remain a holiday on district calendars this school year and that an extra day has been added to the school year instead. According to an announcement by the district, the initial decision to exchange the Martin Luther King holiday with the Election Day holiday was decided by a survey sent to all employees last month. Because of COVID-19 concerns, the district wanted to keep students and staff away from campuses that were being utilized as voting locations. view article arw

Ascension Providence will provide medical services to athletes attending Waco public schools, though its local competitor, Baylor Scott & White Health, opened a $50 million sports medicine center this year. The Waco Independent School District announced Wednesday that Ascension will perform physicals on students wanting to participate in sports and will establish concussion baselines to better treat head injuries. Ascension also will have physicians present at high school football games. view article arw

Trustees in Plano ISD reviewed three draft calendar options for school year 2020-21 at a Nov. 17 meeting. Staff considered several factors when putting together the calendars, Executive Director of Communications Lesley Range-Stanton said. They included community preferences, the 75,600 instructional minutes required by the state, balanced semesters, testing calendars, alignment with Collin College dual credit courses, spring break dates for surrounding districts, placement and duration of breaks, student activities and graduation. view article arw

Gilmer ISD has decided to extend their Thanksgiving break due to COVID-19. The district says this extension will allow them to deep clean the facilities and provide a longer separation time as cases in East Texas increase. Thursday, Nov. 19, students at the Jr. high and high school will be released at 12 p.m., and elementary and intermediate students at 1 p.m. view article arw

Dozens of former Johnston Elementary students are pushing for their beloved teacher's name to be on the front of an Abilene ISD elementary school. Eugene Purcell was a teacher and coach at Johnston Elementary for nearly 40 years. He's taught and inspired generations upon generations. Purcell served in the Marines, but his true calling was to be in a Johnston Elementary classroom. view article arw

The local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is calling on Harlandale ISD administrators to reinstate Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a school holiday. view article arw

The Waco Independent School District is continuing to identify more students who are eligible for special education services, three years after the state lifted an arbitrary cap on the number of students who could qualify.  While Waco ISD’s overall enrollment has decreased slightly over the past three years, the percentage of students who are eligible for special education increased to 9.3% of all students as of last school year, according to Texas Education Agency data.  So far this school year, Waco ISD has identified about 10% of students who are eligible for special education, Executive Director for Special Education Charlotte Davis said. view article arw

PORT ARTHUR, Texas — A Port Arthur ISD campus will move to online learning starting Friday after staff members received positive test results for COVID-19.   Thomas Jefferson Middle School will stop in-person instruction for 3-5 days according to a Port Arthur ISD news release.   In person instruction is set to resume on Wednesday, Nov. 18.  view article arw

Thousands of McAllen ISD students and staff returned to campus this week and another wave is expected to return next week.  At a board meeting on Nov. 9, Superintendent J.A. Gonzalez updated trustees on a transition back to class he says will return a little more than a third of the district’s students to classrooms by Monday.   “Today was a big day for us, we had over 3,000 employees come back to work today and they did a tremendous job, every division did their part to make sure that we did our very best to provide a world class education to our students that chose face-to-face or those that remained remote, and even those that are choosing a combination,” he said during the meeting. view article arw

I am so proud of the opportunity to be the superintendent of schools at Lufkin ISD, where the students consistently demonstrate excellence.I am proud of the three Lufkin High School seniors who did exceptionally well on the PSAT/NMSQT, receiving Commended National Merit, Taha Nazeer; National Hispanic Recognition Program, Joel Sarmiento; and National Indigenous Recognition Program, William Hansard; honors.  All three received the new award — Rural and Small Town Recognition Program. The award is given to students with a high PSAT score from rural and small towns based on location data from the National Center for Education Statistics. view article arw

Spring ISD is making sure students who are struggling with attendance and engagement are not left behind this semester. On Saturday, administrators and teachers went door-to-door encouraging students to make a commitment to fully participate in remote learning or return to in-person school. Spring ISD says they just want to make sure students have everything they needed in order to succeed. Many students say the initiative was much needed because they were able to ask questions and talk to school leaders. view article arw

In 2019, students at Humble ISD's Kingwood Park High School designed, built, and gave away a tiny home to a veteran who had been in-and-out of homelessness. In the ensuing months, Summer Creek High School started participating in the project, and Humble ISD completed four homes for veterans needing a fresh start. The homes are located at Langtree Retreat & Eco Center, which is located on County Road 190 in Liberty County. view article arw

Both districts have been in contact with the health departments in Dallas and Tarrant counties to help make the decision.  The Tarrant County health department issued an order of control due to high cases at Harwood Junior High at HEB ISD.  These mark the fourth and fifth districts this week in North Texas to switch to all online learning due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. view article arw

One day after Carroll ISD sent a letter to parents urging community cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, outgoing superintendent David Faltys spoke at an indoor gathering in Southlake where audience members did not appear to be masked or adhering to social distancing, according to a tweet Faltys posted Thursday. view article arw

Humble ISD is working to update its mission statement, increase diversity among teachers and has implemented more culturally responsible literature curriculum over the past two years. Conversations surrounding race and diversity picked up across the country, including in Humble ISD, about a year and a half ago after George Floyd’s death while in police custody sparked nationwide protests. view article arw

ALPINE, Texas (Nexstar) – Alpine Independent School District has announced they are moving all classes online until November 30th.The decision comes after a spike of COVID-19 cases.  Students will begin the remote learning on Thursday November 12th.  You can read the full press release below. view article arw

ANGLETON, Texas (KTRK) -- A school district in southeast Texas will now be requiring its online students to do in-person learning over concerns of failing.  Angleton ISD shared on its Facebook page that an assessment on its remote learning program showed that some online students have not performed well academically and "lack the time and resources to engage with teachers in order to be successful."   The school district said it is particularly concerned about the online students who are failing and not attending their classes. view article arw

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Two schools in the Del Valle Independent School District are going back to 100% remote instruction starting Thursday.  The district sent out letters to the community on Tuesday explaining that due to recent COVID-19 cases on campuses — in addition to the number of staff needing to quarantine — Del Valle High School will return to virtual classes. Baty Elementary School will also return online starting Thursday.  The return to remote is out of an abundance of caution, the district says. view article arw

In a year disrupted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Fort Bend ISD board of trustees approved a series of changes to the spring semester of the 2020-21 school calendar during its Nov. 9 meeting.  Stephanie Williams, executive director of organizational transformation, said the changes were necessary to allow teachers additional planning time prior to each semester and to facilitate any changes in schedules as students move from online learning to face-to-face learning or vice versa. view article arw

Gatesville ISD announced Tuesday that students and staff will have Thursday and Friday off because of COVID-19 cases.  In a video posted on Facebook, Superintendent Dr. Barrett Pollard said classes are canceled those two days and Monday, Nov. 16th, all classes will be virtual.  The school cancellations also mean Gatesville’s football game against Carthage will not happen Friday. Dr. Pollard says several players and coaches have been in close contact with people who tested positive for COVID-19. view article arw

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley wants youth athletes back on the sidelines as virus cases climb to their highest numbers since July.  Referencing the close contact between athletes on school and recreational teams, as well as parents and families watching from bleachers, Judge Whitley said he believes the activities are a “big part” of the increased COVID-19 spread. view article arw

HOUSTON – (Nov. 9, 2020) – Baylor College of Medicine today released a curriculum for teachers that specifically focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic. The curriculum, which includes lesson plans and activities for students in grades K-12, is available for free through BioEdOnline. view article arw

As the high school football season moves into a new phase, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a problem for Central Texas programs. Issues with the novel coronavirus within Waco ISD have forced Waco High football to pause for the next two weeks, while University will be on hold for one week. Waco High coach Kwame Cavil said on Tuesday that two of his assistant coaches and one player have tested positive for COVID-19. He said in all cases the individuals are experiencing mild or no symptoms. view article arw

That ugly sweater holiday party might be an ugly sweater holiday Zoom this year, but you still need to dress for the occasion. San Antonio-based Whataburger is making it easier than ever with the release of its latest holiday sweater.  "Sweater weather just got better," said Whataburger spokesperson Evan Mimms in a news alert. "Beginning (November 10), Whataburger's new holiday sweater is finally here, and it's the most festive yet!" view article arw

Lead Your School represents a cadre of educators from across the country that are driven to maximize student opportunities and to lead the profession by example and action. @LYSNation is one way to share information, ideas, and reflections with those incredible teachers and school leaders. These are the Top 10 tweets shared in the past... view article arw

At the Nov. 9 Frisco ISD school board meeting, trustees presented plans for shifting attendance boundaries in anticipation of the 2021-22 school year to accommodate the upcoming Emerson High School.  Frisco ISD, which is one of the fastest growing school districts in the country, is currently responsible for the education of over 63,000 students, per the district website. The district generally caps attendance at 760 for elementary schools, 1,000 for middle schools, and 2,100 for high schools. view article arw