Launch to Learning 2020-21

Update #3 for Leander ISD Planning l July 6, 2020

Good afternoon LISD Families,

We hope this letter finds you healthy and safe as we enter July. We want to connect with our families as we continue our planning for starting school Aug. 13, including parent choice for their students and the proactive steps we are taking to provide a safe and healthy environment for students, teachers, and staff.

Thank you for your partnership in these uncertain times as we continue to monitor the public health crisis to COVID-19, including the on-going guidance and orders from both the governor and the Texas Education Agency (TEA)’s commissioner.

Options for Families in 2020-21 School Year

Based on the rules being set by the state of Texas regarding school funding and our ability to support teachers and school operations, we will be offering families the following two choices for next school year:

  • 100% enrollment in our Virtual Empowered Learning program where teachers will lead both live and self-paced instruction for students; and

  • 100% in-person instruction where we will adhere to the safety and public health guidelines set by our local and national public health agencies, including face coverings, minimizing large gatherings, personal hygiene, contact-tracing, health screenings, and facility sanitization.

Earlier this summer, we were exploring the possibility of a third option for families in middle and high schools to include a “hybrid 50/50” approach, combining in-person and at-home learning. At this time, based on guidance from the state, feasibility, and concerns about teacher workload, we are not pursuing a hybrid 50/50 option.

Thank you to our families who completed our survey last week. We used this data as a general benchmark for setting expectations for the next school year. Later this month, you will have the opportunity to select either 100% Virtual Empowered Learning or 100% in-person learning for your student(s). This process will be offered in multiple languages and in multiple formats (not exclusively electronic) so we can include all families.

If you would like to hear from our district leadership and ask questions about our planning, you can register for one of two webinars this week. We will be offering a webinar on Wednesday, July 8 at 1 p.m. for elementary school families and on Thursday, July 9 at 4 p.m. for middle and high school families.
Launch to Learning 2020-21 Webpage

Details on our plans to start the 2020-21 school year will be included on this webpage. Please check back for details as we continue to plan and prepare.

Classroom and Campus Safety

We are working to ensure students and staff are in an environment that is sanitized, provides access to handwashing, and ensures social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Campus and district support will outline the following:

  • Social distancing during meal times and adequate protective gear used by the cafeteria staff.

  • Guidelines for the wearing of facial coverings, appropriate to age and setting, to protect the health of self and others.

  • Sanitation of surfaces within the classroom and throughout the building throughout the day, including the utilization of CDC cleaning protocols each evening after dismissal.

  • Hand sanitizer and student handwashing procedures utilized throughout the day.

Social Distancing and Student/Staff Health

District and campus leaders are working to ensure social distancing to the greatest extent possible. This includes the configuration of classroom and distance between students and staff during arrival, dismissal, and transitions. Our team will be sharing details regarding the following:

  • Clear protocols for communicating campus responses if any student or staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Social distancing within classrooms as much as possible.

  • Staggering arrival, dismissal, and transition time in hallways to reduce crowding.

  • Screening of staff and student health upon arrival to buildings.

Student Learning

As we prepare to welcome students back to school, LISD is committed to:

  • Strengthening relationships and ensuring that our students and families are connected to their teachers, classmates, and LISD campus community

  • Providing the highest quality educational experiences our families are accustomed to

  • Offering a choice of safe and healthy learning environments

In fulfillment of these commitments our current plan prioritizes the following:

  • The social and emotional well being of our students and staff

  • The choice for students to attend school “in-person” on campus or virtually

  • A newly designed 100% “Virtual Empowered Learning” experience:

    • TEKS-aligned LISD curriculum

    • Consistent “school day” schedule and routines

    • Synchronous “face-to-face” virtual learning with teacher and classmates

    • Meaningful independent activities, projects, and practice

    • Assessments and numerical grading system aligned to “in-person” learning

    • Teachers who have attended LISD virtual teaching academy training

  • Districtwide utilization of learning management platforms that are user-friendly, streamlining access, and procedures for students, parents, and staff

  • Professional learning and trainings for all educational staff to focus on:

    • Addressing academic as well as social and emotional needs of returning students

    • Providing foundational districtwide capacity to transition into Virtual Empowered Learning if the need arises

  • Addressing IEP and 504 plans, tailored to meet the needs of each student that may include in-person and/or virtual (synchronous and asynchronous) learning

Future Communication and Next Steps

We are thankful for your patience during this stressful and uncertain time for you and your family. We know this letter does not address all the details that you may need. Please look for our next communication on Thursday, July 9.

About Us

The School and Community Relations (SCR) team publishes Our Voice for Leander ISD employees every month. For archives and more details, click here.