Returning to School August 2020
June 25, 2020
I hope you are enjoying your summer and you and your family are well. We are in complicated times right now and navigating through so much is a challenge for both the district and our families. We understand that what the 2020-2021 school year will look like is one of those challenges. We want to share what we have been doing to prepare for the upcoming school year.
On Tuesday, June 23, the Texas Education Agency Commissioner provided guidelines and funding information that impact the decisions we will make as a district. We know that many families want to return to school, and many families may have health concerns and want their children to learn remotely. With the clarification we received from TEA, Splendora ISD will offer two learning models for students, and move to a hybrid model if needed. Here are the learning models:
- ON-SITE: (students physically return to school)
- Daily wellness checks
- Screenings for all students will take place prior to the start of school and will be conducted on a weekly basis. Screening is accomplished by asking questions by phone or other electronic methods and/or in person.
- Each campus and bus will be cleaned frequently using our misting machines and other sanitation measures.
- We will follow TEA and CDC guidance in regards to face coverings. At this time, TEA is leaving the choice of wearing a mask up to each student’s parent or guardian.
- The number of students (occupancy) in the classroom will be based on the size of the room and on how many desks can be placed six feet apart.
- Due to occupancy limits for transportation at this time, parents may be asked to provide transportation
- We are still in the process of determining how and where breakfast and lunch will be served.
- REMOTE: (students will be learning remotely)
- More structured learning than before
- Stricter attendance guidelines and grading guidelines
- Accessibility requirements (devices, Internet access, and parent/caregiver)
- Meals will be provided similarly to the way we did at the end of the school year.
- If more students choose the on-site learning model than Splendora ISD can safely accommodate, we may have to move to a hybrid model that has alternating schedules of face-to-face and remote learning.
- If schools are forced to close, all students will move to remote learning and those guidelines will be used.
We know another concern is the 2020-2021 Academic Calendar. At this time, Splendora ISD will not be making changes to our calendar. The first day of school is August 12, no matter which learning model you choose, and holidays will remain the same. In the event we have bad weather or a COVID outbreak, we will move to remote learning. If we do not meet the required number of instructional minutes, we will consider adding days at the end of the calendar and potentially adjusting start and end times to the school day.
To further refine our plans, we need your input. Here is a link to a survey. Your response will give us a better idea of your learning model preferences and how we need to consider assigning our employees and providing services. In mid-July, we will ask parents to finalize a learning model selection for their child for an entire semester.
Thank you for entrusting your children with us. As always, I am honored to be your superintendent and blessed to serve this community.
Jeff Burke, Ed.D.