Garland ISD held a special board meeting on March 19, the first all-virtual board meeting for the district.

During his report, Superintendent Ricardo López said that on March 18 alone the district served close to 5,500 meals, including breakfast and lunch. They also sent out a survey to students in need of devices and received 22,000 responses, and with that in mind the district rolled out a plan for device usage for students who do not have one at home.

With online learning now at the forefront for many school districts, including GISD, López also noted that the district’s website has a list of several carriers that will go to homes and provide free internet service for 60 days, which will carry them to the end of the school year.

“Our e-learning as caught a lot of momentum across the state and the nation. People are looking at our modules and emulating what we’re doing,” he said.

He added that teachers had to pass their own online learning modules in order to provide e-learning to their students to ensure GISD students get the best.

López said he received many emails from the Garland ISD communities of Garland, Rowlett and Sachse from people wanting to know how they can help. He urged people to stay home and follow guidelines put forth by city and county officials.

“Ensure your child is learning,” he added. “I know it’s difficult at times, and sometimes they’re wanting to lounge because they’re not set on a schedule, but the more you put them on a schedule the more apt they’re going to be able to do work.”

He also said that if people need to go out that they patronize a local business.

López informed the board that what they’re hearing from their students is that they miss the socialization, so the district is looking at ways to keep everyone connected virtually.

“The district is committed fully to ensuring the safety and security and learning continues for all our kids,” he said. “It’s uncertain times; there are deadlines that keep getting extended. It seems frustrating. Understand that we got it under control, we’re going to work together and we will see this through, and when we do, we’re going to be all the better for it.”

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