AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW/AP) – Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Thursday public schools will be open in the fall for on-campus learning but there will be flexibility for parents who want to keep their children at home.   (22) view article arw

The Corsicana Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, June 15 via Zoom. Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost reported she expected to hear from the Texas Education Agency June 18 regarding guidance and planning for the 2020-2021 school year.  Trustees approved the Board Planning Calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.  “The calendar can be adjusted accordingly if circumstances change significantly,” Frost said.  Trustees also approved a wavier certifying CISD exceeded the state requirement of 75,600 instructional minutes in a school year. Texas schools, including the Corsicana Independent School District, had a combination of in-class, at-home paper, and digital learning opportunities due to Covid-19. view article arw

The Ysleta Independent School District approved Wednesday a year-round calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. The new calendar will reduce summer learning loss due to COVID-19. view article arw

As school districts across East Texas prepare for the fall semester, Athens ISD is launching an online academy. Athens ISD Virtual Academy allows students in grades 6-12 to enroll in the program.  “What we are launching is as much a legitimate accredited school as our brick and mortar school as we'll call it,” Toni Clay, communications coordinator at Athens ISD, said.   (18) view article arw

ARLINGTON, Texas — Multiple North Texas schools are already dealing with cases of COVID-19 in their summer strength and conditioning programs and, at the same time, refining state-mandated precautions and safety measures.  "You've got to teach social distancing not just the drill," Martin High School football coach Bob Wager said. "Kids hadn't seen each other in 80 days they wanted to go hug each other. And you can't do it." view article arw

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Archer City High School students now have the chance to start college early by graduating high school with two medical certificates: one as a certified nursing assistant, and the other as a clinical medical assistant.  Justin Sanders, the continuing education coordinator at Vernon College for Allied Health, said he was noticing more and more high school students from Archer City traveling to the Wichita Falls campus to get their Certified Nursing Assistant training. view article arw

Corsicana ISD plans for new school year The Corsicana Independent School District Board of Trustees met Monday, June 15 via Zoom. Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost reported she expected to hear from the Texas Education Agency June 18 regarding guidance and planning for the 2020-2021 school year.  Trustees approved the Board Planning Calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.  “The calendar can be adjusted accordingly if circumstances change significantly,” Frost said.  Trustees also approved a wavier certifying CISD exceeded the state requirement of 75,600 instructional minutes in a school year. Texas schools, including the Corsicana Independent School District, had a combination of in-class, at-home paper, and digital learning opportunities due to Covid-19. view article arw

MELISSA - Last week, Melissa ISD released a statement in response to the social upheaval occurring throughout the nation.  Titled “We have Hope for continued Growth, Understanding and Unity,” the press release reaffirmed the district’s commitment to serving every student, and fostering an atmosphere where kids feel safe.  During the June 15 school board meeting, Superintendent Keith Murphy said it was important that the statement not come from him, but be a collective group statement reflective of the entire district. view article arw

The Temple Independent School District has not made any decisions regarding school in the fall, Superintendent Bobby Ott said Thursday.  “When school resumes on August 19, the question on everyone’s mind right now is: what will that look like? The answer is that we honestly don’t know right now,” Ott said.  TISD is monitoring COVID-19 and plans to survey parents for feedback on school reopening, the superintendent said. view article arw

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Many parents are raising concerns as school districts try to lay out a plan for reopening schools in the Fall. ABC13 learned there are many factors that school districts have to take into consideration before finalizing a plan.  Dr. Sheldon Kaplan is a professor and Head of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, as well as the Head of Infectious Disease Services at Texas Children's Hospital. Dr. Kaplan said from the cases he has seen, children who have tested positive for COVID-19 have contracted the disease from a family member. view article arw

After a lot of talk about the possibility of moving to an 11-month academic calendar, the Houston ISD administration turned thumbs down on the idea Thursday and announced to parents it was sticking with the usual school year that starts in late August and runs until late May . view article arw

There is a new meaning for the term school choice for parents in the Fort Worth Independent School District. They will be asked to choose between in-person or virtual learning opportunities for the fall. Superintendent Dr. Kent Scribner explains. view article arw

LYFORD — After a student-athlete tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, San Benito CISD announced Wednesday evening its decision to suspend summer extracurricular activities until further notice.  “The ongoing increase in the number of COVID-19 cases within Cameron County and the state of Texas is a concern to many,” SBCISD superintendent Nate Carman wrote in a statement. “As a precautionary measure and acting in the best interest of the safety, health and well-being of our students and staff, the decision has been made to suspend our district’s summer 2020 strength and conditioning program as well as all extracurricular activities including Belles, cheer and band.” view article arw

The state of Texas has not yet released its final requirements for schools opening for fall 2020-21 amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but Montgomery ISD has laid out a tentative plan for its district. The plan includes returning to traditional instruction with spaced-out desks as well as virtual classroom options. However, MISD is waiting on further clarification from the state on issues such as transportation.  At this time, the district has opted to not change its traditional calendar, MISD interim Superintendent Ann Dixon said at June 16 board of trustees meeting. This means usual breaks such as summer and spring break are still scheduled. view article arw

Austin ISD on Wednesday provided an early snapshot of the feedback it received from the community on its plans to reopen schools in the fall. Overall, 1600 AISD students, parents and staff members participated in the virtual discussions last week. view article arw

The Mesquite ISD Communications Department gave the Board of Trustees an effectiveness report on their department during Monday night’s meeting in their specific fashion – by sharing testimonies from MISD staff in a video presentation. The Communications Department works with all campuses, departments and trustees to help promote the district, solve problems, inform student families, share stories and much more. view article arw

Families that had waited 18 years for the moment gathered in the bleachers of Legacy Stadium on Wednesday, June 17, to watch their Mayde Creek High School graduates walk proudly across the stage. view article arw

After revealing their 2020-2021 academic calendar late last month, Spring ISD’s Board of Trustees will introduce a few reopening scenarios during a June 30 special meeting. A spokesperson for Spring ISD said that the calendar has been approved already, with staggered breaks throughout the year based on TEA’s recommendations to accommodate possible disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic. view article arw

Lake Travis ISD officials reviewed the results of a parent survey focused on operations for the 2020-21 school year during a June 17 virtual board meeting. Superintendent Brad Lancaster said he was personally surprised by some of the responses related to social distancing.   The survey ran from June 4-10 and saw over 8,000 online participants, nearly 11% of whom said they will not return to campus in August.   (19) view article arw

ATHENS, Texas — Athens High School reported a summer school employee and male student in the strength and condition program tested positive for COVID-19, the district reported Thursday.  As a result, the boy's summer training program has been canceled indefinitely and summer school will be done via distance learning.  Meanwhile, those that tested positive, as well as those who have been exposed to the virus, are under quarantine.  view article arw

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita Falls Independent School District Superintendent Mike Kuhrt commented on the conversation being had now to temporarily lift UIL ban that prevents high school football games from being live-streamed.  Radio stations have been allowed to broadcast high school football games for some time, but if the ban is lifted, games could be aired on TV and online. view article arw

Texas schools “will be safe” places for students and staff to return in the upcoming school year, though families fearful of sending children to campuses will be able to continue online learning, Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Thursday.  The comments, issued after Gov. Greg Abbott told state legislators about plans to reopen campuses this fall, offer additional confirmation that state officials are moving toward bringing students and faculty back into school buildings in August. Much remains unknown about how schools will look amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, though Texas Education Agency officials are expected to publicly release detailed plans Tuesday for safety, funding and operations.    (19) view article arw

Abbott notified lawmakers of the plan during a conference call Thursday. Texas students will be returning to public schools in person this fall, Gov. Greg Abbott told state lawmakers Thursday morning.  The state's top education officials confirmed the plans in a statement to The Texas Tribune.  "It will be safe for Texas public school students, teachers, and staff to return to school campuses for in-person instruction this fall. But there will also be flexibility for families with health concerns so that their children can be educated remotely, if the parent so chooses," said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.    (19) view article arw

Huntsville ISD announced to families Wednesday evening its decision to change the location for the class of 2020 graduation ceremony. The event, which was previously scheduled at Johnson Coliseum in Huntsville, is now slated to take place Saturday, July 25 at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah.  Due to spacing restrictions placed on in-person graduations per executive order by Gov. Greg Abbott, the district’s Huntsville High School Football Field could not accommodate the number of students and guests we wanted to be able to attend to celebrate this great accomplishment. view article arw

The Richardson ISD school board has pledged to work to dismantle systemic racism as a group of students is demanding change, including closing achievement gaps and holding people accountable for racist acts.  At its meeting Monday, the board voted 7-0 to approve a resolution to support the district’s Racial Equity Committee, which has been tasked with directly confronting, addressing, and dismantling systemic racism in Richardson ISD. The resolution states, in part, that the superintendent and board want to be part of the solution. view article arw

LONGVIEW, Texas — As many school districts around East Texas release information on the start of the next school year, Longview Independent School District, is giving parents and staff a chance to voice their thoughts on when the next academic year should begin.   According to the district, there are three options parents and staff can choose from and send their choice via a survey on its website.  view article arw

ABILENE, TX. (KTAB/KRBC)- Last week a petition started with hopes of removing the names of confederate leaders from AISD schools. Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young says it’s important to have these difficult conversations with students and staff.  “Are there implicit biases that nobody even realizes? Those are the ones that are hard to deal with. It’s easy to realize when something is overtly racist,” said Dr. Young. view article arw

COVID-19 considerations

June 1808:30 AM
 

From changing water fountains to social distancing on a school bus, Paradise ISD trustees and administrators Monday discussed the challenges and potential measures for returning back to the classroom amid COVID-19.  The discussion came on the heels of the district receiving results from a survey sent to parents to gauge concerns and interest in returning to school.  Based on the survey, PISD projects 16 elementary, 11 intermediate, 23 junior high and 19 high school students would opt to stay home in the upcoming school year. The vast majority of parents said they want their kids back in the classroom. view article arw

American public education contained vast inequalities before COVID-19 and the scramble to replace whiteboards and desks with Zoom calls and remote learning. Differences in student internet access, district resources and home supports are now further challenging our most vulnerable students: low-income children, students of color, English learners and those with disabilities. In education, as in so many other areas, the gaps are widening between the haves and the have-nots.   As school districts look toward the fall, many leaders are rightly focused on addressing this divide. Unfortunately, some of the proposals meant to help disadvantaged students could actually close doors to academic growth and further entrench segregation. view article arw

Garland Independent School District families will be able to choose between in-person and virtual instruction for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, the district announced Wednesday.  Both options will be full-time, meaning there is no hybrid in-person and online learning option available.  The district will implement "heightened hygiene and disinfection protocols" for those who choose in-person learning on Garland ISD campuses. For those who choose the online option, district-provided technology and internet hotspots will be available as needed. view article arw

The Fort Worth Independent School District will offer parents the option of choosing between in-person and online instruction for their children for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. (Video Article) view article arw

Little Elm ISD expects to have regular in-person classes for the 2020-21 school year, with a bit of flexibility built into the plan as well.  During Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, officials updated the board on the plans for the school year. The plan includes 100 percent in-person learning with options for online learning. There will also be sporadic short-term closures.  “Our goal is to return to a normal schedule in the fall,” said Superintendent Daniel Gallagher. “However, due to the nature of this pandemic and its fluidity, it is going to be critical we think out every possible scenario and our response to it.” view article arw

ANGLETON — School district officials are making up for lost time with new testing strategies and a lengthened academic calendar, they say. Angleton ISD is figuring out how to make up for lost standardized testing opportunities while examining gaps in students’ learning, Superintendent Phil Edwards said.  “The assessments that we are going to be given are not standardized tests,” Edwards said. “Tests that we are administering are not going to be used for placement purposes, but they are going to be for assessment purposes as to how we can best tackle the gaps in the students’ education at that point in time.” view article arw

Students in College Station schools will return to campuses Aug. 13 following revisions to the 2020-2021 school calendar approved by the district’s school board this week.  The last day of school — May 27 — and holidays will remain unchanged in the revised calendar. Teachers will report to their campuses on Aug. 10.  Superintendent Mike Martindale said the calendar adds more than 2,600 instructional minutes to the school year for elementary and secondary campuses.  The state requires districts to have a minimum of 75,600 minutes of instructional time. College Station’s new calendar will give elementary campuses 79,200 minutes and secondary campuses 80,100 minutes, he said during a presentation to the board Tuesday, giving elementary schools an extra 8.5 days and secondary schools an extra 10.7 days. view article arw

Action taken during Tuesday night’s meeting moves the first day of school to August 13th instead of the 18th.  And there will be three more instructional days. One is in October, another in January, and one in February.  CSISD administrators also updated the board on four types of instruction that students might have next year. Under consideration, are traditional classrooms, on-site with an online option, a hybrid combination of in school with at home, and all instruction taking place at home.  And CSISD employees could be getting a pay raise. A monthly update on next year’s budget included adding approximately $1.5 million dollars towards salaries and benefits of current employees. view article arw