2020-2021 School Year Update

June 30th Edition

Big picture

Prosper ISD is committed to continuing to provide a high-quality education to all students. The impact of COVID-19 brought about unexpected challenges and opportunities. Each day that passes brings about new challenges to navigate when considering the instructional setting for our students. The expectation that school will resume safely and responsibly this fall is accompanied by numerous opinions and theories about how to do so. As expected, most viewpoints also run the gamut of conflicting values. Reopening school in August will be very complex due to many unknown and uncertain variables. How to re-engage in learning is a puzzle that can only be unscrambled by considering a range of seemingly incongruent ideas. When encountering any predicament, the first step is to better understand the challenge.


On June 23, 2020, Texas Education Agency provided information to school districts regarding remote instruction. Prosper ISD will be offering two options for instruction in August.


  • In-person instruction at the campus.

  • Remote instruction in real-time.

Instruction that does not require having the instructor and student engaged at the same time. In this method, students learn from instruction that is not necessarily being delivered in-person or in real-time. This type of instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, such as prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper. The instructional method must address the required curriculum, per TEC, §28.002.

Measurement frequency is daily. Under an approved learning plan, students earn daily attendance through daily engagement measure(s). The approved engagement methods are listed below:

  • Daily progress in the Learning Management System (LMS), as defined in the approved learning plan; or
  • Daily progress via teacher-student interactions, as defined in the approved learning plan; or
  • Completion/Turn-in assignments from student to teacher (potentially via email, on-line, or mail).

This is what we know at this time:

  1. Schools will restart on August 12, 2020.
  2. Prosper ISD will offer both in-person and remote instruction.
  3. The assistance of staff and parents will be needed.
  4. COVID-19 will still exist in the community.
  5. We have not received specific guidance for schools regarding face masks from federal or state officials.

This is what we DO NOT know at this time:

  1. What will be federal, state, and local regulations or guidance required to open schools?
  2. How will social distancing determine allowable capacities in buildings and classrooms?
  3. Will teachers and students be required to wear face coverings?
  4. Will extracurricular activities occur?
  5. What testing and cleaning protocols will be required?

With so many knowns and unknowns, students, staff and parents have understandable and legitimate concerns. Everyone deserves a safe environment in which to learn and work. Prosper ISD will provide the option for parents to indicate whether they want to return to school in person or remotely in the near future.


Please remember that registering your child is vitally important no matter your choice so we can appropriately staff our campuses both in person and virtually. Because of the complexities inherent in these options, individuals are asked to make a commitment for one full semester. Understandably, should a student or staff member become ill, that individual may need to quickly default to remote learning. Prosper ISD's goal is to safely re-engage students and employees in the 2020-21 school year based on current constraints and considerations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following information is provided for consideration as individuals exercise possible options when returning to learning on August 12, 2020.


PLEASE NOTE: The details are subject to change as directives from governing authorities, health officials, or environmental conditions may determine.

Information for All Families to Consider Prior to Determining an Option:

  • Both in-building and remote students will demonstrate mastery of concepts using traditional methods as well as assessments emphasizing application over memorization.
  • Following the schedule provides more structure for our students and gives them peace of mind knowing that they are learning at the same time as their classmates.
  • Both remote and in-building students will have frequent breaks throughout the day.
  • Both remote and in-building students will have the same expectations and experiences regarding the curriculum.
  • Remote students who take a class for which there is no remote teacher (due to course requirements, equipment, materials, etc.) may need to virtually attend the in-building classroom for instruction (for example Career and Technical Education courses, athletics, fine arts, dual language, etc.). Please be aware that as we receive more guidance from the state/UIL we will communicate with you the specific details.
  • Similarly, students who come into the building for learning may need to virtually attend a remote classroom for instruction if the teacher is only available remotely. In situations such as this, an area will be available in the building for students to both social-distance and to access their class remotely.
Elementary

Elementary specifics regarding lunch, recess, and specials for in-person instruction.

Lunch

  • Depending on the number of students enrolled in grades K-5, plans for lunches to be eaten in the cafeteria as well as the classroom will be developed accordingly.
  • Six-foot distance "where feasible" around all occupiable assigned seats will be provided while maintaining the student’s consistent cohort for “in-person” lunches.
  • Lunchtimes will be staggered by class every 10 minutes with sanitation blocks between hallways.

Recess

  • Campuses will consider limiting the number of students per recess group.
  • Staggered schedules can be utilized when needed.
  • All students and staff will be required to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before entering the playground and upon exiting the playground.
  • Brain breaks will be implemented as needed, at the discretion of the campus/teacher.

Specials

  • PE classes will be conducted outdoors whenever possible. Appropriate social distancing measures "where feasible" will be followed.
  • Students will use their own art supplies.
  • Music and PE equipment will be sanitized and wiped down after each use.

Please know that we are committed to the health, safety, and academic well being of our students. Prosper ISD is a unique and special school district and we will do our very best to meet the expectations of those we serve. Please know that some decisions are based on federal and state decisions but we will do our best to stay true to Prosper.