Lamar Consolidated ISD is waiting for direction from the governor and the Texas Education Agency on what the next school year will look like as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the state.
But at a recent board of trustees workshop, LCISD deputy superintendent of administrative services and leadership development Dr. Mike Rockwood addressed the board and told them the district is looking into several scenarios for the 2020-21 school year.
“We are looking at different options for the upcoming 2021 school year in terms of an instructional framework,” Rockwood said. “We have been discussing traditional, hybrid and virtual models for the fall with what things might look like.”
School districts across the state were expecting guidelines from Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Educational Agency on how to open schools in August. But Abbott decided to release the guidelines at a later date. Meanwhile, the number of cases of the novel coronavirus continues to increase across the state, especially in the Houston area and in Fort Bend County.
The delay does give LCISD more time to decide whether to do a traditional school year, have all classes online like it did in March to June, or do a hybrid of the two, which would have some students in classes and others at home learning virtually.
Rockwood said that the district will have a teacher survey and a parent survey available this week to fill out to help the district figure out which options would best serve their staff and the community.
He also said that LCISD has a transition team in place, made up of 31 staff members across several parts of the district, including technology, finance, human resources and health. The team is also looking at options for what plans the district will come up with before August.
“We want to be very thoughtful that what we do roll out with is something our district can follow through with,” Supt. Dr. Thomas Randle said. “We are in better shape than we were in March, and I am confident the state will give us some flexibility.”
The TEA did give out options for school districts to change their school calendars to deal with disruptions from a second wave of the virus. One option is a calendar that has an early start date, longer breaks, and the school year ending in late June.
Another option would be an increase in the number of instructional days, including half-days for elementary school students.