At Educate Midland, our primary focus will always be to take care of our students and guide them from cradle to career. As schools across the nation are trying to prepare kids for the upcoming school year, many questions arise regarding what safety precautions are being taken. We want to ensure that we are assisting our community in every way we can, including recent MISD and Texas legislature updates. Keep reading for more information on Fall 2020 back to school updates for MISD and Texas, and additional resources.
School districts across the nation are trying to figure out how to get students back in the classroom safely. Midland ISD did not want to decide on a pathway forward without hearing the voices of both parents and educators. MISD Chief of Staff Katie Atkins believed that input from the MISD community is essential due to the nature of the upcoming school year.
“We know that the fall is going to look very different than what it has in the past. We need to know what the needs of our community, of our parents, and our teachers in particular are, and for that reason, we have sent out a re-entry survey,” Atkins said.
The feedback needed for the survey included:
- The availability and accessibility of learning technology in the home.
- Special learning populations such as English language learners, special education, and gifted and talented.
- Medical support needed for students.
- Social and emotional support required for students and staff.
- Challenges families might face, such as food, transportation, and childcare.
MISD 2020-2021 School Year Calendar
Midland ISD board members approved the 2020-21 calendar that will continue to have the school start on Aug. 19 and end on May 28. There are 11 holidays, or students’ days off, on that calendar, not including a full week for Thanksgiving, two weeks for Christmas, and a week for spring break. The already-approved calendar has 172 instructional days.
As of August 3, 2020, MISD has made the decision to begin the 2020-2021 school year with entirely online instruction. For more details and MISD resources, visit Midland School District COVID-19 Guidelines for 2020 – 2021, or this article in the Midland Star Telegram.
Educate Midland Resources
At Educate Midland, we believe that grade-level readiness and focusing on education competency is still very essential during this time. We have provided several resources on our website to ensure parents, students, and educators can find the educational information to help children remain academically in-shape.
- How to read to your child at home
- Math Warm-Ups
- Reading Resources
- 1 to 1 Focused Learning
- Region 18 Education Services Center
- Greenwood ISD
Texas ISD Updates
The latest update for Texas school districts was July 17th. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released public health planning guidance for the 2020-21 school year to prepare students, teachers, and staff to return to campuses for daily, in-person class safely. Given the latest developments around COVID-19, TEA is issuing important updates to the guidelines including the following:
- Daily on-campus learning will be available to all parents who prefer their students to learn in school each day.
- All parents can choose remote education for their children, initially, or at any point as the year progresses.
- Parents who decide to embrace remote education for their students may be asked to commit to remote education for a full grading period(for example, six-weeks or nine-weeks), but will not have to make that commitment more than two weeks in advance so they can make a decision based on the latest public health information.
- Each district will also require health and safety procedures will be in place to support student and teacher safety.
- Some health procedures are mandated for every school in the state. For example, all students, teachers, staff, and visitors coming on to the campus must be screened before entering.
- To align with Gov. Greg Abbott’s most recent executive order, and assuming that order is still in place, masks will be required while in school buildings, with certain exceptions made, as noted in the order.
- Certain exemptions are children younger than ten are not required to wear a mask, and school districts in counties fewer than 20 cases can mandate students and staff wear masks but do not have to.
- Schools will also be required to follow any future executive orders issued by Governor Abbott.
- Additional health procedures are recommended for every school that can implement those procedures reasonably.
- Districts have the option to establish a phased-in return to on-campus instruction for up to the first three weeks of the school year, to ensure all appropriate health and safety procedures are entirely in place.
Returning to school during the COVID-19 pandemic may not feel like a normal school year – at least for a while; however, having safety plans and making sure schools have the resources needed to follow them will help protect students, teachers, staff, and families.