The Magnolia ISD board of trustees passed a resolution at a May 11 meeting moving the last day of school up from May 22 to May 20.
MISD Superintendent Todd Stephens said May 20 will be the last day of instruction for this semester, and the remaining days will be used for teachers to start planning for the next semester.
“We assume there are going to be some challenges to what instruction is going to look like next year,” he said.
Stephens said his goal is to make the following school year as close to normal as possible while following state and Texas Education Agency guidelines.
“I am personally going to work as hard as I can ... to make sure the experience of school for the next year is going to look as much like a regular school year as possible for the kiddos at Magnolia ISD,” he said. “But in any context, I am going to need time with our teachers to put that together."
Adding an online component to regular school academics for future years is also in the works, Stephens said.
“We are going to make some of the platforms that we use [for online learning]—we are going to require those across the board and get used to turning in assignments that way,” he said, "so that when we have to move back into the online environment, it feels normal to us.”
Stephens said he is working on a time for students to come back to campus to drop off Chromebooks and textbooks as well as to pick up anything that was left at the schools prior to the COVID-19 closure. District facilities have been closed since spring break in mid-March.
Graduation plans are still being worked out as well, but Stephens said he wants to have an in-person graduation to celebrate seniors.
“We are still working on [graduation],” he said. ‘The state of Texas has given us guidelines on how we can do an outdoor graduation, so after June 1, we have the details of how we can do it.”
The district announced May 4 that graduation ceremonies were tentatively scheduled for June 29 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion for Magnolia West and Magnolia high schools. An alternate date is set for July 20, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
During the May 11 meeting, Stephens also praised the teachers for immediately shifting from in-person learning to online learning, which the district rolled out in late March.
“They turned it over on a dime,” Stephens said. “I’m amazed at how they put it together.”