"We are here to secure the future for our kids and their education," Brent said during a March 17 Williamson County press conference. "While we are closing schools, we are going to all provide instructional supports for our students."
On March 16, GISD announced it is suspending all operations through April 3 and will reopen campuses April 6.
- For the week of March 23, GISD will provide a menu of optional enrichment activities from which students and parents may choose to engage. These activities will not be graded. The district will also provide instructional activities for students to complete at home.
- For the week of March 30, instructional support will include activities in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM; humanities; fine arts; and wellness/physical education. These activities will not be graded and are intended to engage students with content they have previously learned.
- Each Thursday at 5 p.m., the district's communications to families will include instructional information for the approaching week.
- The instructional activities provided for the weeks of March 23 and March 30 will not require technology to complete. District officials are working on a plan that allows families to check out a Chromebook from the district in the event of extended closure beyond April 6.
- GISD is working on options to provide free or low-cost Wi-Fi to as many families as it can based on need in the coming weeks. Information on this will also be provided in future updates.
- For households with kindergarten-12th grade and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, Suddenlink is offering the Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within its footprint. Eligible households interested in this solution can call: 888-633-0030 to enroll in Suddenlink.
STAAR and EOC
- The state has waived its requirement of districts to administer the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR tests, and End of Course, or EOC, exams. While this leads to a lot of questions, the district said the absence of these exams will not impact graduation or grade-level promotion as the state is granting some flexibility in making those decisions. GISD will provide additional details over the next few weeks.
The district said it is also working on gaining more information on special education; information on how students can receive support in areas of mental health or student counseling; student events scheduled beyond April 5, including prom and graduation; and any changes that could be made to the scheduled monthly board of trustees meetings and workshops.
"We are here for our kids, we are here for our communities, and we are confident that we will work through this effectively and things will be great on the other side," Brent said during an earlier event.