Could RLISD opening procedures change again?
There may be additional changes in store for the opening of Rosebud-Lott ISD after the release of new information.
Last week, the Texas Education Agency amended their guidance for the process of schools reopening. Because of the rapidly changing state of the impact of coronavirus on the state, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced in a video released on July 17 that there will now be an option to extend the transition period from virtual learning to on-campus instruction if local educators deem it necessary.
“We at TEA have spent the last several months talking to medical experts around the state, around the country, as well as examining how schools are being reopened around the globe,” he said in the video. “We’ve crafted a framework so that schools can open safely, subject to a variety of adjustments to keep our staff and our students safe.”
There is still the option of fully remote instruction for those who opt for it, as well as fully in-person instruction if necessary due to connectivity and/or technology issues. The new guidance allows for a fully remote learning environment for the first four weeks of classes, as well as an option to submit a waiver to TEA for an additional four weeks if necessary.
Rosebud-Lott has yet to institute a mandatory fully virtual option, so it is not yet known if they plan to utilize one now.
There is also an option for pushing the start of the school year, also attributed to the new guidance from TEA, as a press release from the agency states “Local school boards for districts in areas with high levels of community spread also retain the flexibility to delay the start of the school year.”
The guidelines also allow for there to be a “hybrid-model” of learning at the high school level.
“This model will provide for a more socially distanced school experience, where students receive a portion of their instruction on-campus and a portion of their instruction remotely at home,” said Morath.
At this point, it does not look like Rosebud-Lott ISD will be venturing into this option, as district educators believe that on-campus instruction has the most educational benefit for students as well as it would impose extra duties on teachers that already wear a number of hats in their positions.
Rosebud-Lott Superintendent Dr. Jim Rosebrock 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 said when the original guidance from TES was released.. “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.
The longtime educator, as well as other administrators, have put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that staff is kept up to date with any changes, as well as taking their feedback into account.
The current plan is to add 30 minutes to each school day, giving the district 14 total days of extra educational minutes in the event the district must close for COVID-19 related reasons and to fill the gap left by the previous school year’s coronavirus learning deficiency.
More information will be released as it is available. It is not yet known how RLISD plans to proceed with this new information, but it is definite that district educator’s have their student’s best interests at heart. For more information on Rosebud-Lott ISD, head to RLISD.org