Clear Creek ISD prepares for future coronavirus-related academic disruptions

Clear Creek ISD facilities are closed through the remainder of the academic year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD facilities are closed through the remainder of the academic year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

Clear Creek ISD facilities are closed through the remainder of the academic year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)

Clear Creek ISD administrators are preparing for the district’s eventual reopening and, at the same time, collecting feedback about how to best support families in the event of future academic disruptions.

Guidelines released May 7 by the Texas Education Agency indicate that school districts across the state are likely to experience disruptions in the 2020-21 instructional year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elaina Polsen, the district’s chief communications officer, said in a May 13 email that the TEA recognizes the fast-changing nature of the current situation and is providing guidance to educators accordingly.

“[Superintendent Greg Smith] is in regular contact with the Commissioner of Education and Region 4 superintendents,” Polsen wrote. “The work of the Safely Reopen CCISD Committee will be critical in shaping what our school year looks like.”

The committee charges and guidelines were finalized at a May 11 board workshop. Committee members will be tasked with developing a set of recommendations that “reflect the best, sound medical advice; practicable changes to normal district operations in order to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spread to students and adults; and identify resources required in the event blended learning or distance learning is required due to a continued outbreak,” according to the final text of the charges.


Committee guidelines include adhering to state and federal regulations, gathering public feedback throughout the recommendation development process and taking into consideration the potential community impact of the use of CCISD facilities for nonschool activities. The guidelines also include being mindful of the district’s financial position and identifying available local, state or federal resources.

The committee charges are to:

  • Develop potential options, which consider the needs of all children, for school resumption for the 2020-2021 academic year for consideration by the CCISD board of trustees;

  • Consider instruction models that address challenges associated with distance learning such that high levels of academic achievement are possible even with the understanding that future calendar disruptions are also possible;

  • Address the physical and emotional well-being of students and staff in all areas of operations, including transportation, child nutrition and extracurricular activity; and

  • Mitigate the digital divide among students within the Clear Creek ISD service area.


Final recommendations to the board of trustees will be reflective of the district’s mission and values and of public feedback, district officials said. Medical professionals, county and local authorities, faith leaders, parents and district staff comprise the committee, per the finalized charges.

The committee is derived from the CCISD School Safety Committee, which was formed in 2018 following the Santa Fe High School shooting and which has adjusted committee membership to account for the current crisis, per the charges. Work will be guided by Gov. Greg Abbott’s Reopen Texas Plan and the Centers for Disease Control Guidelines for Schools.

The district is also working with a third-party national research firm to develop and analyze the community’s feelings about how CCISD performed this spring with distance learning, Polsen said via email. Feedback will be gathered on general performance, what support is needed to help families in the event of a future disruption and perceptions about returning to school in August. This data will be provided to the Safely Reopen CCISD committee and the CCISD board of trustees to aid in the decision-making process, she said.

All committee meetings will be held virtually through Microsoft Teams, and minutes will be available for the public following each meeting.

By Colleen Ferguson
A native central New Yorker, Colleen Ferguson worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. Colleen graduated from Syracuse University in 2019, where she worked for the campus's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange, with a degree in Newspaper and Online Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and a degree in Spanish language and culture. Colleen previously interned with The Journal News/lohud, where she covered the commute in the greater New York City area.

<

MOST RECENT

Daily festival capacity will be limited to 22,500, according to festival information for the upcoming 46th season. (Courtesy Steven David Photography)
Mask-break areas, limited capacity: Texas Renaissance Festival unveils health guidelines for 46th season

All tickets for the upcoming 46th festival season are date-specific, and no general admission tickets will be sold at the gate.

(Courtesy Texas Parks & Wildlife Department)
Battleship Texas Foundation given control of Battleship Texas; ship will soon leave La Porte for repairs

As of Aug. 1, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has transferred operational control of the historic Battleship Texas in La Porte to the nonprofit Battleship Texas Foundation under a 99-year lease, according to a Battleship Texas Foundation press release.

The Harris County Annex off Cypresswood Drive is among the buildings that reopened Aug. 10 to offer several services by appointment, including marriage licenses. (Staff photo)
Harris County Clerk's Office reopens annex buildings for services by appointment

Residents can now arrange to get marriage licenses, birth and death certificates and Doing Business As filings at 11 annex buildings located throughout the county.

Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi are co-leading the research team developing a coronavirus vaccine, which now has a licensing agreement with India-based company Biological E. Limited. (Courtesy Baylor College of Medicine)
Baylor College of Medicine announces licensing agreement for COVID-19 vaccine candidate

India has reported nearly 2.4 million total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic reached its borders.

Houston firefighters marched on City Hall in April 2019 to protest the city's legal battle against Proposition B. (Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Appeals court denies request for oral arguments in Houston firefighters Proposition B case

The decision is the latest development in a yearslong clash between the city and the firefighters union.

Crystal Lagoon opened for resident use in early June, and public access is available through Sept. 13. (Courtesy of Lago Mar)
Crystal Lagoon offers back-to-school bundle, new amenities to public

The United States’ largest Crystal Lagoons amenity, located at Lago Mar in Texas City, is offering additional activities and a back-to-school bundle for the public, according to an Aug. 12 news release.

(Courtesy AMC Theatres)
AMC Theatres to reopen Aug. 20 with 15-cent tickets

AMC Theatres—which has multiple locations in the Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston areas—will begin reopening its movie screens Aug. 20.

School start dates among the districts range from Aug. 18 -26, leaders said. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Here is how 5 Bay Area school districts are going back to school

Superintendents from Pasadena, Dickinson, La Porte, Friendswood and Clear Creek ISDs detailed their reopening plans during an Aug. 12 webinar.

The facility in Tomball is being designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects. (Rendering courtesy Tomball Economic Development Corp.)
Karbach Brewing Co.'s Chris Juergen to offer brewery, restaurant in Tomball and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Greater Houston area.