Pflugerville ISD to launch new districtwide online instruction programs March 30

Pflugerville ISD
On March 26, Pflugerville ISD announced some details of its upcoming remote learning program, which will include both online and offline instructional activities for children of all grade levels. The school district is closed through at least April 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

On March 26, Pflugerville ISD announced some details of its upcoming remote learning program, which will include both online and offline instructional activities for children of all grade levels. The school district is closed through at least April 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

On March 26, Pflugerville ISD released its remote instruction plans, which include scheduled windows for teachers to engage with students, digital assignments to complete from home and more.

The plans come as PfISD faces extended closures to campuses and facilities as the school district works to stop the spread of coronavirus.

“This week our teachers are working on getting assignments ready for your students to work on while at home,” PfISD Superintendent Douglas Killian wrote in the district’s March 26 announcement. “We are all learning our ‘new’ normal together. ... As circumstances evolve and we learn more, we will make adjustments and communicate with you.”

The announcement coincided with the district launching its own remote learning website, which hosts instructional resources for all grade levels. In its announcement, PfISD stated its online instruction will launch districtwide March 30.

Families with students without access to internet or internet-connected devices will be able to utilize paper-based instruction materials.

According to the 2018 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, 6.2% of all households in the city of Pflugerville lack a broadband internet connection.

The paper learning packets will be available at the 10 campus sites PfISD has designated for free meal pickups. New packets will be distributed every Monday for students who require them, according to the district website. Families can return the packets at the meal pickup locations for grading and feedback.

The paper instruction packets will be available on PfISD’s remote learning site for families to access and download if they so choose.

Teachers will create lessons for PfISD students two to four days per week, according to the district’s announcement. The lessons will included activities that can be completed both online and offline.

PfISD will additionally adjust lessons, assignments and grading for 504 Plan students, special education students and English language Learner students, the district’s announcement stated.

In its announcement, the district recommends daily learning time for students across different age groups. The amount of time recommended for instruction by PfISD ranges from 30-45 minutes for pre-K students to more than 4 hours, but not to exceed 6 hours, for students in ninth grade or higher.

PfISD stated it anticipates taking one grade per week per teacher, beginning the week of April 13. The school district announced closures March 25 of all campuses and facilities through at least April 13.

“This plan is a work in progress and we are committed to making improvements as we work through it. The first few weeks of participating in remote learning is an adjustment period for everyone,” Killian wrote in the March 26 announcement.

District faculty will be available remotely for engagement with students on a daily basis, according to PfISD’s statement. Elementary teachers will have office hours Mon.-Thu. from 9 a.m.-noon, with availability on Fridays. Secondary teachers will have similar schedules, but their office hours will extend from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

“During this time you can expect us to be flexible and responsive. We know that each of our families have their own unique situation. For instance, some families will have multiple students that need to share technology and other resources. We are committed to working with our families during this unprecedented time to ensure the success of all students,” Killian wrote in the district announcement.

PfISD recommends reaching out to campus principals and assistant principals as an initial point of contact for questions and concerns about remote learning. A list of PfISD campus and contact information can be found here. For more information on PfISD's remote learning instructions, please visit the district's announcement.

By Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the editor for the Northwest Austin edition.


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