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Big decisions loom for area’s biggest school district

Photo: Fbot / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo: Fbot / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0
Published: May. 12, 2020 at 11:25 AM CDT
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Given the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, big decisions are looming for the Killeen ISD, the area’s biggest school district, between now and mid-August when the new school year is scheduled to begin.

“We’re going to have to be creative...innovative and thoughtful in the process,” Killeen ISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft said during a news conference in front of the administration building Tuesday morning.

The new school year is scheduled to start on Aug. 17 and district officials haven’t yet recommended changes to the calendar, Craft said.

“We still have some time through July to make these decisions,” he said.

“If we can resume as normal,” he said, “that’s option number one.”

If we have to look at a hybrid situation with a split schedule, longer days, and virtual learning…they are all being explored,” he said.

Breakfast and lunch programs will continue through May and the district’s summer feeding program will begin on June 1.

Plans for summer school are, at this point, “very fluid,” Craft said.

Classes will be offered for remediation and acceleration, and could include some in-person instruction on campuses, he said.

School offices reopen to the public on May 18 for transcripts, new student enrollment, and other records-related requests.

Offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., social distancing protocols will be followed, and the district is asking parents to be patient and to respect the restrictions.

Parents have already started to retrieve their children’s items from schools and are being given scheduled times to pick up materials and drop off school-owned property such as books and instruments.

The district still plans a virtual graduation for the 2,500 seniors graduating from its five high schools, but hopes to a more traditional commencement on July 20 and July 21, possibly at the Bell Expo Center, depending on the status of the coronavirus in the area.

The district hopes to give graduates a chance to walk the stage with family and friends present.

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