Updated: Comal ISD prepares to expand online education opportunities

Comal ISD is developing its online education options. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)
Comal ISD is developing its online education options. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Comal ISD is developing its online education options. (Ian Pribanic/Community Impact Newspaper)

Update: 11:30 a.m., March 31

In a district message released on March 29, Comal ISD announced the launch of their “Residence Learning Program” (RLP).

The first week of instruction will focus on no-tech to low-tech activities as teachers prepare online lessons and make sure their students are able to access Google Classroom or Seesaw, according to the district message.

The district previously launched its Comal Continues: Home Learning Opportunities website to provide students with free online learning materials and Week at a Glance (WAG) guides that provide daily instructional support. The website will now provide information about the RLP.

Starting April 6, teachers will introduce new lessons and assignments for students based on review or new material.


Teachers will continue to host remote office hours and printed WAG guides will be available at the ten meal pick-up locations in the district.

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On March 24, Comal ISD announced that all 30 CISD campuses will remain closed through April 24 to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Remote learning opportunities are being developed by CISD so students may continue their education during ongoing school closures.

The district is expected to implement its comprehensive online education plan April 6, with more details to be released to parents next week.

The district previously launched its Comal Continues: Home Learning Opportunities website to provide students with free online learning materials and Week at a Glance guides that provide daily instructional support.

Teachers are also offering remote teacher hours during which students may contact them for additional support.

“Currently, our focus is on building the infrastructure that will allow us to address the needs of all students expediently and consistently,” CISD Superintendent Andrew Kim wrote in a district announcement March 23. “We are working through challenges of addressing those with a lack of technology, as well as providing equal learning opportunities for our students with special needs.”

According to the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 12.8% of households in Comal County lack an internet subscription.

In addition to being available online, printed learning packets that include educational resources and WAG guides will be available at the 10 campus meal pickup sites in the district.

The district purchased 400 new Chromebook computers to be distributed to students in the district as part of the preparations to expand online learning to more households, Kim shared at a board meeting March 24.

“My confidence is high when it comes to devices,” Kim said. “The problem is, if you don’t have Wi-Fi we don’t know how to solve that issue.”

According to Kim, the district is currently researching ways to meet the needs of students and families without internet access as they develop more robust online learning programming.

Internet service providers such as AT&T, Comcast and Charter/Spectrum are offering discounted rates for low-income families to access the internet during school closures and work-from-home orders.

The district has not yet determined how work completed at home will be graded, though Kim assured parents in his announcement that the school closures would not prevent students from proceeding to the next grade or graduating after this semester.

“While it would be easy to launch online learning for those with the ability to access instruction, it would not be fair,” Kim wrote in the district announcement. “We must give all students equal access to the opportunity to learn; that is what public school is about.”
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.



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