Victoria ISD continues to work towards online instruction time- what you need to know

VICTORIA, Texas- The decision to suspend face to face classes for the Victoria-ISD has left many questions for our viewers. The district not shying away from stating they don’t have all the answers, but are working hard to make sense of it all.

With a sometimes shaky voice, superintendent Dr. Quintin Shepherd addressed students directly, explaining the new norm come March 30th, online instruction time, and the logistics behind the idea.

He asks,”Is this going to be easy for anyone? No. Will we be better, stronger, smarter, and more resilient in the end? Yes.”

As the shift begins to move online, students who do not have electronics at home are a concern for the district.

“[We’re looking at] several devices for students, which would include everything from laptops to iPads. Different students may need different types of devices. For next week, [the goal] is to be able to reach out to parents, and ask parents what it is that they need for their students to be able to access online curriculum,” explains Dr. Shepherd. 

Internet access is still a problem with no concrete solution. Some companies may offer free trials to qualifying families, the district says that’s one option. They’re also looking into mobile hotspots for students if this situation continues through May.

Shepherd stressed that, “Equity of opportunity means that all students need to have access to equipment so that they can do their work and we’re taking that very seriously.”

Many questions are left unanswered, including childcare for working parents, and teachers who also have children. However, for Dr. Shepherd the first priority to tackle is making sure ALL students are fed. He added that schools serve as more than a place to educate. They are aware some families depend on the hot meals schools offer.

“We will provide free breakfast and lunch to every student, and when I say every student, I mean every student, I’m not just talking to the students of VISD,” says Shepherd. A list of campuses where this will be provided is available, more details of that schedule are expected to be released next week. 

As we all adjust, Dr. Shepherd wants his 14,000 students to know practicing “physical” distancing is important and so is staying in touch via social media and the phone. 

“Your social lives largely revolve around your electronic devices. I’m actually encouraging you to expand your social reach on social media. I’m encouraging you to reach out to your friends and maintain that network now more than ever, especially to your friends who you might be worried about,” concludes Dr. Shepherd. 

To read the full letter to students click here.