ROUNDUP: 5 Austin-area education stories

Sycamore Springs Middle School student Brooklynn Allen performs a porch concert, with her younger sister a captive audience. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)
Sycamore Springs Middle School student Brooklynn Allen performs a porch concert, with her younger sister a captive audience. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

Sycamore Springs Middle School student Brooklynn Allen performs a porch concert, with her younger sister a captive audience. (Courtesy Dripping Springs ISD)

Read these coronavirus-related education stories from Community Impact Newspaper's coverage of Central Texas.

Dripping Springs ISD band students put on porch concerts for neighbors as social distancing persists

Young instrumentalists in Dripping Springs have found a way to share music together and with their communities while still maintaining social distance over the past few weeks. Every evening at 7 p.m., band students from Sycamore Springs Middle School and other Dripping Springs ISD schools have taken to their front porches to play concerts.

Georgetown ISD moves meal distribution to once a day beginning April 14

Georgetown ISD announced in an April 9 letter to parents that it will combine its breakfast and lunch meal distributions beginning April 14.

Lake Travis ISD superintendent offers coronavirus updates in broadcast

Superintendent Brad Lancaster took to Facebook on April 9 to engage in a live video broadcast with the Lake Travis ISD community.

Leander ISD switches to phone registration for full-day pre-K

Leander ISD will use phones to register students for its first year of full-day pre-K.

Registration begins April 17 at all 27 LISD elementary schools. The registration was scheduled to be held at Grandview Hills and Pleasant Hill elementary schools, but coronavirus concerns prompted LISD to switch to phone registration, according to the district.

Need Wi-Fi access? This is where Austin ISD buses will be offering free Wi-Fi to students on weekdays

With Austin ISD now holding classes virtually for the ongoing 2019-20 school year, the district will begin using a fleet of school buses with WiFi hotspot capabilities to serve communities with low internet access and a high population of students.

Nicholas Cicale, Brian Perdue, Amy Rae Dadamo, Olivia Aldridge and Ali Linan contributed to this report.


(Courtesy AMC Theatres)
AMC Theatres to reopen Aug. 20 with 15-cent tickets

AMC Theatres—which has multiple locations in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas—will begin reopening its movie screens Aug. 20.

Austin bars scrap for survival during monthslong shutdown

Bars are fighting through red tape to reclassify as restaurants, offering takeout orders and finding new uses for their spaces. Local business owners said they are finding every avenue possible to survive.

According to the report, 380,174 total COVID-19 cases have been reported in children nationwide as of Aug. 6, which accounts for approximately 9.1% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
REPORT: COVID-19 cases in children increase by 90% nationwide in 1 month

As school district officials across the U.S. prepare for the start of the 2020-21 school year, 179,990 new COVID-19 cases were reported in children nationwide between July 9 and Aug. 6—an increase of 90%, according to a report compiled by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association.

Burnet Road and Braker Lane
City pushing to finish Burnet Road improvements before Austin FC stadium opener

Austin construction crews will work to finish improvements at the intersection of Burnet Road and Braker Lane in North Austin before Major League Soccer franchise Austin FC plays its first game in the upcoming stadium at McKalla Place.

Austin City Council is considering moving the forensics lab services and internal affairs department out from under the Austin Police Department and into civilian roles. (John Cox/Community Impact Newspaper)
Police cuts, community reinvestment, reimagining public safety on table as Austin City Council looks to adopt budget

City Council is considering a cut of more than a $150 million to the police budget.

The University of Texas will host football games at Darrell K. Royal Veterans Memorial Stadium this fall after an announcement from the Big 12 Conference on Aug. 12 that the fall sports season will continue. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Big Ten and PAC-12 cancel, Big 12 announces fall sports season will roll on

The conference football season will begin Sept. 26, and fan capacity in stadiums will be up to each of the 10 member universities, according to the Big 12.

Future Austin ISD Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde spoke to trustees at a meeting Aug. 11. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Austin ISD makes it official, hiring Stephanie Elizalde as next superintendent

Elizalde was serving as Dallas ISD’s chief of school leadership prior to the hire.

A trial related to a speeding ticket in Pflugerville on Aug. 11 was the first-ever binding criminal jury trial to take place via videoconferencing, according to Travis County Justice of the Peace Nicholas Chu. (Courtesy Travis County Justices of the Peace)
‘You’re on mute’: Travis County pilots virtual trial by jury

The low-level misdemeanor trial featured a YouTube user commenting on a juror's cat and one potential juror—who was not selected—whose name appeared on Zoom as "Goth Brooks."

A screen shot of Dr. Mark Escott's face
Travis County health officials turn toward positivity rate to track local coronavirus risk

Recent statistics show the positivity rate for testing could be an early sign of local coronavirus trends to come.

Chief Equity Officer Stephanie Hawley speaks to trustees at a board information session Aug. 10. (Courtesy Austin ISD)
Outside equity assessment at AISD could evaluate hiring practices, past closures

A report could look at the root causes of inequities and offer the district best practices as potential solutions.