San Marcos CISD board members discussed three possible scenarios on how students could resume classroom instruction in the 2020-21 school year during a June 15 meeting.
The first back-to-school scenario proposed to trustees during the board meeting suggested a traditional classroom setting, focusing on safety precautions and designing schedules to support the impacts of COVID-19 while implementing social-emotional learning. Some of the possibilities for this scenario include:
- small groups, identifying students in cohorts;
- staggered classroom start times; and
- redesigning classroom layouts, allowing only 22 desks in a classroom and 6 feet apart.
Scenario two suggested a blended or hybrid return that would support teaching and learning remotely. Schedules would be designed to support innovative types of learning fulfilling different student needs while implementing social-emotional learning in all curriculums. Options for this scenario include:
- a 2/2 split, meaning a group of students would attend in-person instruction in the morning and leave in the afternoon, then a second group would attend in-person instruction for the second half of the day;
- in-person instruction selective of certain grade levels, with certain grade levels coming on certain days;
- remote live instruction; and
- a homebound plan with support and remote access to live classroom.
In the third scenario discussed, students would continue virtual learning with a more structured curriculum, according to SMCISD Deputy Superintendent Monica Ruiz-Mills.
The scenarios under discussion are a mere possibility as staff gathers information from parents and students, according to Ruiz-Mills. Staff is also waiting for recommendations from the Texas Education Agency.
“Ideally we want to create a plan to optimize student learning, and ideally that would be face-to-face learning but in doing so would need to develop a plan that if students were going to return that we would be following all of the safety precautions and protocols,” Ruiz-Mills said.
More details about possible classroom instruction scenarios for the 2020-21 school year will be discussed at a July 7 meeting.
Editor's note: The headline of this story has been updated.