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Killeen ISD asynchronous plan approved by TEA

Killeen ISD recently received TEA approval for the district’s online learning plan, referred to as asynchronous or virtual learning.
Killeen ISD recently received TEA approval for the district’s online learning plan, referred to as asynchronous or virtual learning.(Alex Gibbs)
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 9:37 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Killeen ISD recently received TEA approval for the district’s online learning plan, referred to as asynchronous or virtual learning.

Some parents and teachers are concerned about the plan, claiming the difficult burden on teachers to prepare prerecorded lessons and the added burden of students not receiving enough interaction with instructors and classmates.

“If something is not done soon, teachers will have to quit,” said Jessica Barnum, a music teacher.

“They will become ill not because of COVID, but having to keep up with virtual and face-to-face learners and all the extra time and stress that brings.”

During a school board meeting Tuesday, parents and teachers shared their concerns with the plan.

Mother LeWanda Collins kept her son home because of his asthma, but says his grades are suffering because of the lack of teacher interaction.

“He’s not a college student,” she said.

“When you look at it, that lesson plan is set up for a college student. How can you say an assignment is due at 11:59, along with all the school work, and then he can’t raise his hand to ask a question?”

Students can send questions to teachers, but parents say there have been issues with the technology.

Superintendent John Craft says part of the approved plan is to provide more contact between students, their classmates and teachers, but it will be a challenging task.

“We realize that this is not perfect, it’s far from perfect," he said.

“I would also suggest, show me a district that’s had a perfect start to the school year and I’ll gladly take notes.”

Craft adds that even though the district’s plan meets the state’s required learning curriculum, they’ll address any needs teachers may have so that they meet the highest standard for the students.

“It’s a lot of work,” he said.

“We’re gonna try to lighten the load and try to streamline the process. It was really difficult to make blind decisions in regards to how to best serve students in-person, as well as the virtual learning environment.”

The district continues to remind parents that a student’s grades will not be penalized for any issues with virtual learning.

Parents with questions about the plan are encouraged to visit the district’s website.

Copyright 2020 KWTX. All rights reserved.

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