Superintendent: Pflugerville ISD weighing in-person summer school instruction for special education and ESL students

Pflugerville ISD Superintendent Douglas Killian told trustees on May 21 that in-person summer instruction is currently being considered for special education students and students engaged in English as a second language courses. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pflugerville ISD Superintendent Douglas Killian told trustees on May 21 that in-person summer instruction is currently being considered for special education students and students engaged in English as a second language courses. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Pflugerville ISD Superintendent Douglas Killian told trustees on May 21 that in-person summer instruction is currently being considered for special education students and students engaged in English as a second language courses. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

In the wake of Gov. Greg Abbott’s May 18 announcement that school districts may hold in-person instruction this summer, Pflugerville ISD Superintendent Douglas Killian said the door is open for some students to return to district campuses in the coming months.

Killian told the PfISD board of trustees on May 21 that in-person instruction is currently being considered for special education students and students engaged in English as a second language courses.

“We got thrown a little bit of a curve with the governor’s [May 18] release. ... We had been planning to go 100% online. We’re going to continue that [for] our secondary schools,” Killian said at the May 21 meeting.

However, Killian cautioned that no concrete plans have been made. The superintendent further noted that parents or guardians will have the final call on whether to send their students to in-person classes.

Brandy Baker, chief Academic and Innovation officer for the school district, added that the Texas Education Agency mandates school districts provide virtual instructional alternatives if they provide in-person instruction over the summer.


If the school district moves forward with physical instruction this summer, Killian said PfISD is looking at concentrating students together into learning groups—a method known as podding.

“You’re going to hear that term a lot,” Killian told trustees. “What that means is [students] will be in groups of 10 or less. ... The teacher doesn't move from group to group. It is always the same kids together.”

This method mitigates outbreaks of coronavirus if an infection were to occur, Killian said.

The district is currently constructing return-to-work protocol for staff, Killian told trustees, with a priority on establishing daycare services for employees. No hard date has been set for a return to work for PfISD faculty and staff, according to Killian.

OTHER PFLUGERVILLE ISD NOTES


Federal coronavirus funds available for district

Killian told trustees that he was informed school districts will be receiving a portion of funds available from Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act. According to the superintendent, PfISD may receive as much as $2.9 million in funding from the state from this federal funding pool.

“We’ll access that money and make sure we move forward with using that in making sure we make our folks safer and our environment safer,” Killian said.

District approves $600,000 in facilities improvements contracts

Construction contracts for improvements at ten separate PfISD campuses totaling more than $600,000 were approved by the board of trustees May 21.

A contract for $324,000 was awarded to HSC Inc., based out of Waco, to install canopies at the entrances of seven district schools, according to district documents. Five elementary schools—Caldwell Elementary, Dearing Elementary, Delco Elementary, River Oaks Elementary and Ruth Barron Elementary—and Pflugerville Middle School and Westview Middle School will all receive new canopies.

In a separate construction project, three elementary schools in the school district—Highland Park Elementary, Murchison Elementary and Rowe Lane Elementary—will have their playground surfaces replaced. PfISD trustees approved a $287,000 contract with KYA Services out of Round Rock for that project.

This contract allows the district to install new synthetic playground surfaces at both the front and back playgrounds at all three elementary campuses, according to David Vesling, PfISD executive director of Facilities and Support Services.
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.


MOST RECENT

Austin government, nonprofit and business leaders recently participated in a weeks-long summit centered on unsheltered homelessness in the city. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plan to house 3,000 homeless individuals in Austin in the next three years would cost $515 million

The plan Austin City Council members discussed April 20 emerged from a weekslong community-wide summit on homelessness.

Photo of Zilker Park
Travis County establishes Civilian Conservation Corps to tackle climate, environmental projects

The program will create opportunities for residents to work on projects including wildfire prevention, solar energy promotion and park cleanups.

Residents march to the Texas Capitol in protests after the killing of George Floyd in May 2020. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Austin leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.

Austin Public Health Director Stephanie Hayden-Howard speaks to reporters March 13 at the Delco Actiity Center in Northeast Austin. Residents can walk up to the Delco Center on April 22 and 23 and receive vaccines without an appointment. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin Public Health will accept walk-up vaccinations at the Delco Activity Center starting April 22

APH will also leave its registration portal open throughout most of the week.

Williamson County will close its mass-vaccination sites. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County commissioners to close mass-vaccination sites

The county judge expects to have everyone who wants to be vaccinated to receive the shot by May 21.

Early voting for Travis County's May 1 local elections opened April 19. In this file photo, voters line up ahead of the 2020 primary elections at Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex in East Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More than 8,000 Travis County voters cast ballots on first day of early voting

Early voting for the county's May 1 election began April 19 and will run through April 27.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.(Community Impact staff)
Nearly half of Williamson County is vaccinated, but positivity rate climbs again

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

The Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin is one of the locations where residents can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. (Jack Flalger/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin vaccine updates: Demand slows as state begins marketing push

Appointments are beginning to go unfilled, and local health officials say demand has caught up to supply. All adults in the U.S. are now eligible to be vaccinated.

Blue Corn Harvest Leander is located at 11840 Hero Way W., Bldg. A, Leander. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Corn Harvest opens in Leander; park, pizzeria launches social club and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Photo of two performers on an outdoor SXSW stage
South by Southwest sells ownership stake in company to Rolling Stone owner Penske Media Corp.

SXSW leadership called the sale a "lifeline" for the conference and festivals.

Photo of people receiving vaccines in a gym
Austin Public Health lengthens windows for vaccine appointment signups

Residents age 18 and up can now sign up for appointments with APH any time from Saturday to Tuesday morning.