Superintendent Eric Wright praised the staff, parents and students of the district in getting through the rest of the school year, which ends May 22. Spring break was extended in March due to coronavirus and then online instruction replaced classrooms for the final two months of the school year.
Wright told members of the board of trustees at a May 18 meeting that all but 52 students in the district of more than 21,000 were reached and provided instruction to end the school year. The district provided portable WiFi services to hundreds of students who needed help, and 863 students without internet worked with packets of information to complete in writing and submit to teachers.
“I won’t be satisfied until we find every one of them,” Wright said of the 52 students who weren’t in contact with the district.
The next step for the district, according to Wright, will be to work with the District Leadership Team to explore options of a modified school year for 2020-21.
While starting earlier isn’t an option, Wright said, whether the school starts as normal for the school year, adopts a hybrid model of suggestions from the Texas Education Association, or begins with an improved virtual model will be discussed with the leadership team and then put forward to the public for input.
Wright said the process will move forward with meetings in the next 2-3 weeks with a decision expected by the end of June.
The changes may include a 30-day extension to the end of the next school year to help students catch up on any studies missed due to coronavirus. Any virtual classes will include a platform and instruction that will result in grades.
On May 18, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott approved in-person summer school sessions beginning June 1. Wright said Hays CISD has committed to teaching online and other issues, including minding social distancing guidelines, would be tough when transporting students by bus. The state guidelines also call for 11 students per classroom.
Wright told board members more information will be coming in the next two weeks regarding the next school year.