From Mr. Flowers July 15, 2020
Distance Learning Plan
OUR Relentless Pursuit To Get Better
HISD will be using the asynchronous distance learning plan for our virtual students. The asynchronous option provides HISD parents, teachers and students the most flexibility of the three distance learning options promoted by the Texas Education Agency. Flexibility will be a "must" going forward.
What will this look like to parents electing distance learning for their children? First, it will look very different from the distance learning in Spring, 2020. The level of rigor and academic expectations will be strongly enhanced. The TEA has been adamant that state testing will resume in Spring, 2021.
Next, parents will assume a larger responsibility for ensuring students are engaged in a remote environment. While educational and health organizations agree that traditional, in-school learning is best for the academic and social progress of PK-12 students, HISD families will need to consider their own situations and determine the best course of action for their children. This correspondence is intended to help HISD parents make an informed decision.
What follows are some general guidelines:
- Distance learners will be expected to "attend school" virtually at the same times traditional school is taking place. Students will not get attendance credit if they are not "virtually present" at the same times traditional students are in class.
- Distance learners will 'follow" their assigned schedule each day. All core/elective classes will be offered virtually.
- At this time, students wishing to participate in extracurricular activities must attend traditional schooling.
- Parents selecting the distance learning option must remain a distance learner for at least one grading period (nine weeks). The TEA has stated this is the best protocol to follow for students.
- The TEA Commissioner has mandated in-school and remote learning must be graded the same way. He has also stated that distance learners may be asked to attend in-school for short periods of time. Distance learners will attend Saturday school to take summative assessments. Summative assessments include unit exams,
curriculum based assessments, etc. In some cases, distance learning students that are struggling with academic content will need to attend Saturday schools for academic interventions.
- Compulsory and truancy attendance law is still in effect. Students and parents not adhering to the attendance protocols for distance learning are in violation of compulsory and truancy law, resulting in the loss of course credit and/or referral to law enforcement. Instructors of students who receive special services such as special education or dyslexia therapy will be required to provide the same level of instruction as students who do not receive special services.
- A student eligible to receive related services through special education, such as speech therapy, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, visually or auditorily impaired services will either participate via ZOOM therapy sessions or attend therapy at the Special Services Office during the school day at a time scheduled for the parent and therapist's convenience. The parent will be responsible for the student's attendance.
HISD will be providing the following supports for distance learners:
- Grades 4-12 students will be assigned Chromebooks, a case, and a pair of earbuds for
- PK-3 students will be assigned IPADs on a case-by-case basis.
- Distance learners that don't have reliable Internet access at home may use District WiFi in the Administration/PRlDE parking lots. The McMullen Library also hosts free WiFi. Grade 4-12 teachers will video each lesson and will send via a remote learning platform (Google Classroom, Canvas, FlipGrid etc.). PK-3 teachers will submit lesson videos via SeeSaw.
- Food service will be available. We are awaiting further guidance from the TEA and the Department of Agriculture on this topic. We believe it will look very similar to how food services were provided in the Spring of 2020 after schools were closed.
- July 1-14: Parent surveys.
- July 8: Safety protocols guidance published to District website.
- July 15: Distance learning plan published to District website.
- July 22: Frequently Asked Questions published to District website.
- July 23-August 6: Election period for parents. Options are traditional learning or distance learning. Election survey published to District website and campus Facebook pages.
- August 12-19: Distance learner orientation. Parents and students selecting distance learning will attend individual orientations with campus principal to: o Receive technology overview.
- Review "Characteristics of Successful Distance Learners" document. o Receive training on what a "distance learning day" for students looks like.
- August 12-19: Device Deployment o Digital Citizenship Training o Forms/Acknowledgments o Insurance Options o Device/Cover/Earbud Assignments August 20: Student first day.
- August 24-28: Entry Skill Assessment in Reading and Math given.
- October 9: First day parents can elect to change instructional mode of delivery.
We are receiving guidance from the TEA, I-JIL and Governor almost daily, and this guidance can/will alter current plans. This correspondence is meant to provide parents with our best understanding of current available information. Please stay tuned to the Distance Learning tab on the District website, campus Facebook pages and Red Devil Hotline for information. Thank you.
It's a Great Time to Be a Red Devil.