RLISD to have virtual options for ‘20-21
Rosebud-Lott Independent School District will be starting the school year off with in-person instruction, but there will be options for virtual instruction for those who opt for it.
This option is required by the state due the unique circumstances that each family may be facing in conjunction with COVID-19.
There are multiple options for administering these courses. Synchronous virtual learning, which constitutes streaming live instruction, may be available for third grade and above. Asynchronous learning, or pre-recorded video lessons, are the only option available to students learning virtually in PreK through second grade, though these may be available to older students as well.
The district plans to ask that whichever option, either in-person or virtual, is chosen at the beginning of the year be observed for a full grading period, barring certain circumstances.
“We’re not gonna to have students checking in and out; one week in, one week out,” said Superintendent Jim Rosebrock. “That becomes a nightmare for our teachers, logistically.”
Surveys will be sent out later in the summer to better get a handle on how many parents plan to keep their children home, which will allow the district to plan additionally as needed.
In terms of safety, plans have already begun for ensuring that necessary supplies are available.
“The state is delivering us gallons of hand sanitizer,” the administrator explained. “We’re also going to have face shields for all of our teachers, cafeteria, and custodial workers.”
Administration is also expected to wear masks when not in their offices, but masks will be optional for students.
Face shields for teachers are meant to allow engagement while teaching/learning, while also protecting them from the many children they come in contact with daily.
Another interesting safety measure is that there will be daily temperature checks for each student, to be administered before even boarding their school bus.
“The challenge is making sure we purchase the right thermometer,” Rosebrock stated.
This is to ensure that they are working correctly and can be reliable for everyday use.
The educator is in agreement with state officials that in-person instruction gives the best educational opportunity, but understands that each family has the right to choose what’s best for them.
“Everyone looks at COVID-19 a little bit differently,” the educator remarked. “We don’t know the family circumstances about high risk family members; there may be a parent or grandparent living at home.”
“They don’t want to endanger their health by sending their child to school,” he continued.
It is not yet known if the district has any plans to extend the school calendar, as other districts in the area have done, to counteract the “COVID-19 Slide,” as proposed by the Texas Education Agency.
Even if a calendar change does not happen, Rosebrock is a firm believer that there will be effects from the so-called “slide” that will need to be overcome.
“I definitely believe in the COVID-19 Slide,” he told the Rosebud News. “Research is showing the students from lower socio-economic families have a greater slide than those than those that are a little more wealthy.”
The Rosebud-Lott ISD Board of Directors will be meeting on July 13 to discuss these and a number of other subjects relating to COVID-19 and the impending school year. More information on the 2020-2021 school year will be released as it becomes available. Head to www.rlisd.org to keep up with the latest updates on the district.