The Keller ISD board of trustees on Jan. 11 approved a revision to the district's 2020-21 instructional calendar. The change switches a total of five early-release days in the spring into asynchronous instructional days or remote learning days.
On asynchronous instructional days, Keller ISD students will "engage with their teacher at home through remote means," according to a district statement.
The district will provide additional information on family-to-classroom engagement, student attendance and meal pickup prior to the first asynchronous instructional day on Jan. 29. The board approved additional remote learning days for Feb. 26, March 12, April 16 and April 30.
"Students will still be engaged in their instruction ... and there are many avenues that can do that, [such as] digital log-ins, digital interaction and completion of assignments," said Dustin Blank, KISD assistant superintendent of student services. "We're trying to make it as simple as possible for our teachers to work with students during those days."
The additional remote learning days were made available to the district due to a Texas Education Agency waiver allowing districts to schedule non-consecutive asynchronous instructional days during the spring semester.
According to Blank, the district pursued a waiver in order to provide teachers more time to prepare lessons and make changes, which allows them to better serve KISD students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A continued concern for KISD officials, there were 247 positive cases of COVID-19 within the district as of Jan. 12, including 206 student cases and 41 staff cases. According to the KISD COVID-19 dashboard, the district has recorded more than 1,300 cases of the virus since the start of the 2020-21 school year.