• August 8, 2020

ECISD needs parent choices on learning - Odessa American: ECISD

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ECISD needs parent choices on learning

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Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020 4:40 pm

As plans continue to take shape to start school Aug. 12, Ector County ISD still needs information on whether families want their students to be educated remotely, face to face or a mixture of both.

The deadline for families to make that decision is Sunday, Superintendent Scott Muri said during a media call Thursday.

Prekindergarten through eighth-grade families can choose from face-to-face instruction five days a week, a hybrid environment where the student would be at school one day and home the next, etc., and the third would be virtual where the teachers would provide the learning.

“Our high school families have two options. Option No. 1 for our high school families is a completely virtual option where students are at home five days a week; and option No. 2 for our high school families is the hybrid model — one day at school and the next day at home,” Muri said.

“Each family is asked to complete that particular bit of information by Sunday, August the 2nd. We need that information so that our teachers and principals can finish up the planning process …,” Muri said. “About 10,000 families have submitted that information, so we have about 24,000 … to go. We’ve got to have that information for every single child in Ector County ISD …”

The learning process will be phased in so only a small number of students will be on campuses.

“Right now, the health conditions in our community are not as good as they could be, and because of that, we’re going to have to significantly limit the number of students that we’re serving in those first few weeks of school. Our phased-in process is posted on the ECISD website. I would remind all our families to visit that so that you can know what day your child will be able to come to school, if indeed that is a choice you make for your child. We may also, because of the current medical situation in our community, need to make some revisions to that phase-in period and may actually have to extend it a little bit longer … But we have an opportunity as a community to make some adjustments …,” Muri said.

He recommends washing hands frequently, social distancing and wearing a face covering or mask when you leave home.

“If we take care of ourselves as a community, then more of our students will be able to experience that face-to-face environment within the school setting and we hope that as many kids as possible will be able to do that as we begin the school year,” Muri added.

School registration also is underway through online means, visiting your child’s campus or the Registration Roadshow, which lasts through today (July 31).

The roadshow was aimed at parents who limited or no internet access at home. This is the first time ECISD has offered the mobile sites. Muri said the mobile sites have attracted some large crowds, so the number of people served has been limited to 50 for social distancing purposes.

Muri said the district has gotten a little bit of feedback from people who are frustrated by having to wait and not being able to sign up.

“Our campuses are available five days a week. We do have staff members on each campus … that can answer the phone and staff members that can handle registration …,” Muri said.

He added that this is available five days a week.

Parents may also access computers at the campuses. If parents are having issues reaching a school, they can call the central office at 456-0000 and Muri said they can get in touch with the campus on your behalf.

Asked if he was nervous about starting school, Muri said a lot of time has logged by teachers, principals, central office personnel and community members planning for Aug. 12.

“… We do know that there will be bumps along the way. This is brand new for everybody. Transportation is a new process; feeding our kids is a new process; educating our kids in the way that we’re going to do this is new; scheduling is new, so there are many new opportunities in this environment. We ask our community for grace as we navigate this new environment. But we also know it’s going to be challenging for our parents …,” Muri said.

“Many of our moms and dads have to work every day and need their kids to be in school so that they can be at work,” he said.

ECISD is going to have to balance the health and safety of students with how they are educated and the needs of families and the community.

“It is a tough balance, but I’ve been very pleased this summer with the level of engagement of our staff members and parents and kids …,” Muri said.

All children in fourth through 12th grade will be required to wear a mask all day long with the exception of lunch and when they’re outside at a safe distance. All staff members will wear masks all day long.

Students also will have to be screened each day before they come to school and ECISD employees will have to perform a self check for symptoms of COVID-19.

“We have face shields for any of our teachers that wish to add an additional layer of protection to themselves,” Muri said. “We will encourage hand washing all day long. We have sanitation opportunities available through the wearing of gloves (and) through ensuring that our custodial staff is keeping areas clean. We will engage our teachers and other employees in that daily cleaning process. We as individuals will have to be reminded … on a regular basis that we are responsible for our own space. One of the things that has been added to our curriculum this year is teaching our children some basic hygiene. That is hand washing and mask wearing and all of those elements that will keep each of us safe. Our teachers from the first day of school will be educating our kids in those safety and hygiene protocols that we all must adhere to …”

Odessa, TX

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