Willis ISD lays out plan for fall instruction

Willis ISD released its preliminary plan for welcoming students back to campus in the fall, as well as options for remote learning. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Willis ISD released its preliminary plan for welcoming students back to campus in the fall, as well as options for remote learning. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Willis ISD released its preliminary plan for welcoming students back to campus in the fall, as well as options for remote learning. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)

Willis ISD released its plan for instruction in the fall July 10, allowing families to review their options for returning to campuses.

“We just ask for your patience and support this year. It’s going to be an interesting school year to say the least,” WISD Superintendent Tim Harkrider said.

Families must make their selection for instruction by July 24. Their choice will remain in effect for nine weeks, at which time families can change their choice.

Learning options

Parents and guardians may choose between on-campus and remote learning. Remote learning will be more structured than the distance education held during the spring, according to WISD’s website. Remote learning will feature daily attendance checks and graded assignments that mirror on-campus instruction.

For students from prekindergarten to second grade, they will receive a schedule for teacher-led activities and instruction as well as independent work. For students from third grade to 12th grade, students will mirror on-campus instruction and have three to four hours of school work daily, including teacher interactions.

All students must be prepared to switch to remote learning should a campus or classroom need to shut down for health concerns.

Students must attend 90% of the days the class is offered to earn credit for that class whether they are attending via on-campus or remote learning.

Campus requirements

WISD must release a summary of how it will mitigate COVID-19 by reducing large gatherings and creating an entrance/exit plan one week before school begins. The district’s website said it plans on releasing this plan in August.

Some safety guidelines already released include having hand sanitizer stations, mandatory training for staff and students, preplated lunch trays and staggered schedules to reduce gathering in the hallways.

Students age 10 and older must wear face masks to comply with orders from Gov. Greg Abbott. Students are responsible for providing their own face masks.

Health plans

Parents are responsible for not sending students who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms. They must also report if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive and remain off campus for 14 days.

If a student or staff member tests positive, they will be sent home to recover. The district will work with local health authorities to determine whether an entire classroom must quarantine. If students must recover from home, instruction will continue through remote learning.

Campus visits will be limited to essential persons, and no one may enter a school without permission from the principal, excluding parent drop-offs and pickups.

By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


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