VISD announces proposal for return of students next school year
District hopes to provide a hybrid of in-person and online instruction time for students in 2020-2021 school year
VICTORIA, Texas- The Victoria- ISD is hoping to be an example for districts across the state, as they complete a back to school proposal amid the ongoing pandemic. This proposal is the first step in making an official plan for the next school year. District leaders are still working with both the CDC and Texas Education Agency (TEA) guidelines.
“We, the district, are on the same page as you, the parent, in that we want to keep all our kids safe. We consider your kids our kids,” explains superintendent Dr. Quintin Shepherd.
Right now, we are all aware of the CDC guidelines that every public space and business is following. However, TEA has not released official guidelines for the next school year- only for summer programs. This has led to the delay among school districts in our state to release even a blueprint of what students might face next year.
Regardless, safety remains the top concern for VISD, as the school year went remote in late March. The next challenge, looking ahead is the 2020-2021 school year.
“Part of our plan is looking at elementary separately from middle school and high school. The younger the students, the more important it is that they come to school full time, as much as possible,” adds Dr. Shepherd.
Instruction time may look different for students that are in special needs programs.
The proposal is not a concrete plan, VISD is opening this up for parents to provide feedback and concerns– here’s a simple break down of that plan:
- Social distancing will be enforced, an average of about 15 students per classroom
- VISD is reaching out to local community leaders who have adequate space to make classrooms for instruction time to accommodate all students
- Students will be divided in half; Group A and Group B
- Each group will be in-person 4 days, then followed by 6 days of online instruction– the plan is to focus on a rotation like system
“When group ‘A’ goes on remote instruction, group ‘B’ comes in for their in-person instruction. That way we guarantee every child has access to in-person instruction and remote instruction, and we’ve built in a quarantine window to boot, so it’s maximum safety,” explains Dr. Shepherd.
This detail was crucial to the district. Leaders wanted to ensure enough time at home with 10 consecutive days (weekends included) in case a student contracted COVID-19, this will allow a self-quarantine at home to take place.
VISD is also shaping plans for both co-curricular and extracurricular activities, including athletics.
“The way that we’re looking at those in terms of scheduling, in both early morning and after school. We plan on running those to the greatest extent possible as long as we can maintain a safe environment,” adds Dr. Shepherd.
The district will be evaluating guidelines for facial covering, whether or not they’ll be mandatory has not been decided.
The district has released an in depth video explanation of the proposal and how to give feedback. Follow this link for details.