Waco ISD talks distance learning options, shortfalls

Waco School Board members say they aren’t sure what the fall semester will look like, but...
Waco School Board members say they aren’t sure what the fall semester will look like, but they're looking at options. (David Mark/Pixabay/file)(KNOE)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 12:11 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2020 at 9:40 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) -The Waco Independent School District said Thursday it isn’t sure what the fall semester will look like, but it’s working toward a solution.

The Waco School Board met virtually to discuss options.

With the delay of guidance from the Texas Education Agency for the second straight week, school board member Robin Houston applauded Waco ISD’s efforts.

“I think it’s wonderful that our district is being proactive and trying to put something in place with no guidance, you know, trying to take a shot in the dark,” she said.

One of the things discussed was the number of students that the state will allow in a classroom at a time, due to social distancing rules.

“I think it would be difficult to assume that we would fill up every classroom in the way that we would traditionally do that,” said Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon. “Do you want them all in person? Or do you want to have them in a hybrid model, and do you rotate it? How do you rotate it?”

There is one bit of guidance district officials say they have been given by the governor and TEA officials. Dr. Kincannon each district will have to have several instructional options for students to choose, and they may move in and out of those different plans if they so choose.

“We can put some restrictions on when they can do that,” Dr. Kincannon said. “But we’ve been told that they can move freely from one model to the next.”

Dr. Kincannon said even though they have yet to nail down a plan for parents and students, she already knows one thing for certain about the transition from traditional learning to whatever comes next. “It will be hard on everyone, she said. “Because families are working and we have special needs. And we have kids who are behind. So this will be a struggle.”

The board will meet again on July 16th.

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