Clear Creek ISD imposes grades-based restrictions on virtual learning

New guidance from the Texas Education Agency allows districts to require virtual learners who are failing classes or who have three or more unexcused absences to return to school in person. (Courtesy Canva)
New guidance from the Texas Education Agency allows districts to require virtual learners who are failing classes or who have three or more unexcused absences to return to school in person. (Courtesy Canva)

New guidance from the Texas Education Agency allows districts to require virtual learners who are failing classes or who have three or more unexcused absences to return to school in person. (Courtesy Canva)

Clear Creek ISD trustees and district leaders discussed changes to virtual learning for the 2020-21 school year during a Nov. 16 board meeting.

In response to the Texas Education Agency’s revised guidance released Nov. 5, the district will implement procedures to restrict virtual learning via Clear Connections as necessary based on student performance. Elementary and secondary students who have averages below 70 in two or more courses—or the equivalent for elementary learners—will be mandated to return to in-person instruction based on the new guidelines.

District leaders said at the meeting about a quarter of CCISD’s students are learning virtually during the second nine weeks of the year. TEA guidelines allow districts to enforce a mandate on in-person instruction for academically struggling students and those with consistent attendance issues.

The criteria for a mandate to return in person at Friendswood ISD includes an attendance component. CCISD leaders ultimately felt academic performance was a stronger indicator than attendance of a student’s success learning remotely, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Karen Engle said.

“We decided attendance didn’t need to be a factor,” Engle said at the meeting. “Let’s go with academics this time; let's go with grades.”


Students determined to be performing below the threshold, both during the first nine weeks and during the second nine weeks as indicated on progress reports, will be asked to return to brick-and-mortar education. Evaluation of students at the elementary level will involve nearly the same process as it does for secondary students, examining reading and math as the core content areas and assessing learning progressions along the same timeline, Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Holly Hughes said.

Families will be contacted, with transition meetings completed as requested, by Dec. 4. Transition meetings can be held for parents to give the district a more complete picture of the struggles a remote learner may be facing.

If the student’s parent does not respond to the notification by Dec. 4, the district will proceed with transitioning the student to in-person learning. Parents can apply for exemptions to the mandate for medical and nonmedical reasons. A committee will assess the situation once the appeal is filed; the committee should include a campus administrator, school nurse and counselor, officials said Nov. 16.

Despite fluctuating numbers of in-person learners, the district has kept classroom ratios at 22:1 or lower, according to information presented at the meeting.

“Every single day, we are bringing more children back to brick-and-mortar,” Hughes said, adding that the staff is doing everything possible to transition students back to in-person learning when they are ready versus waiting for a new grading period.

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

(Courtesy Royalty Meat Company)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: Royalty Meat Company now open and more

Here is a roundup of business news for Clear Lake and League City.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Houston City Council approved ordinances expanding and funding Houston’s BCycle program on April 14. (Courtesy Houston BCycle)
Houston City Council OKs expansion of BCycle sites

City Council approved the addition of 11 new BCycle kiosk bike stations.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Homes priced above $750,000, such as this one in the Heights, saw a surge in sales in March, with almost twice as many properties sold. (Courtesy Houston Association of Realtors)
Average Houston single-family home price jumps 20% in March

The average sale price for a home in March was $370,847.

While face masks will remain a requirement for the rest of the 2020-21 school year, a Clear Creek ISD committee has recommended masks be optional for the 2021-22 school year. (Jake Magee/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD committee recommends making face masks optional next school year

While face masks will remain a requirement for the rest of the 2020-21 school year, a Clear Creek ISD committee has recommended masks be optional for the 2021-22 school year.

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City agrees to land swap with Friendswood

League City will give up nearly 30 acres of land to Friendswood in exchange for some of the property tax revenue generated by the move after League City City Council’s unanimous vote April 13.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

Spearheaded by state Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, the new court, if established, would expand the capacity of the county's criminal court system in hopes of reducing its backlog, which stood at 70,951 total cases pending before criminal district courts in Harris County as of April 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County supports creation of new criminal district court to tackle case backlog

If the efforts are successful, this would be Harris County's first new criminal district court since 1984 when the 351st District Court was created.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

(Courtesy Montaya Magee)
IMPACTS ROUNDUP: H-E-B coming to Clear Lake and more

Here is a roundup of recent business news in Clear Lake and League City.