Lewisville ISD officials are wrapping up the current school year while figuring out what 2020-21 is going to look like amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Superintendent Kevin Rogers said it’s too early to know what school will look like next year, but it will likely feature a combination of approaches.
“The start of school in August is three months away, and three months is longer than what we’ve experienced with COVID-19,” Rogers said. “So there are so many things that can happen. We’re planning for all different kinds of scenarios, which I think is one of the harder parts for our staff because we don’t have the simple plan of mid-August start of school as it’s normally been for the last 34 years for me in LISD. We’re having to plan on very different hybrid models in different situations.”
Trustee Tracy Scott Miller noted the questions district leaders have received about the options for the next school year, including year-round school.
“I think it’s important that we let people know we got it, we’re not creating this messaging and we’re working on a strategy,” Miller said. “But this takes time.”
Rogers said year-round school isn’t in the plan.
“We are way away from making decisions like that,” Rogers said.
Rogers said the governor’s office has discussed extending the school year – different from year-round school – as an option.
“I don’t see that as very reasonable,” Rogers said, adding there is already an option for some students to have classes two to four weeks into the summer.
“We are planning for all different types of scenarios,” Rogers said. “But none of those decisions have been made.”
But decisions have been made regarding the immediate future, including summer school.
LISD’s secondary summer school will be held virtually in June. Registration will take place at the respective high school cafeteria so that social distancing can be followed. But Rogers said preregistration will be offered virtually to help reduce the number of in-person registrations.
Rogers said the district is considering limited face-to-face summer sessions with students based on their needs, and those would take place in Lewisville High School gymnasiums so students can be spread out.
Rogers said LISD has also worked on plans for its early childhood bilingual summer school.
“We will have a backup virtual plan, but we’re still waiting on future guidance from TEA,” Rogers said.
LISD is ordering learning backpacks for home use, and a drive-thru distribution plan is in the works. Rogers said LISD is recommending a modified virtual experience, and that because of the students’ age it may necessitate small group, in-person classes two to three times a week.
Extended school for special education students will begin this summer virtually.
“Multiple special education teachers have commented that one positive that has come from this is increased communication with parents, better relationships with students and improved technology skills that will carry them over to the traditional classroom,” Rogers said.
Rogers said the ACE summer program will still be held at DeLay Middle School and Central, Lakeland and Lewisville elementary schools, but a virtual program developed by Communities in Schools of North Texas to focus on the social and emotional needs of those students.