Need to Know: Blended Learning Approach
Numerous models and potential approaches for fall 2020 are being studied by the Austin ISD task force charged with examining options for reopening. After extensive review, the task force is now looking primarily at models that use a blended learning approach. This means the school year, scheduled to begin Aug. 18, will likely begin with both on-campus and at-home learning. No decisions have been finalized.
While exactly what school will look like next year is to be decided, AISD will be prepared to deliver effective continuous and in-person learning.
The task force is preparing to make a specific recommendation to AISD administrators and the Board of Trustees.
During the deliberation process, we continue to receive feedback through a variety of platforms including:
- Thoughts from our conversation circles with staff and families.
- Information gathered from the family, staff and student surveys.
- Conversations with the Austin Council of PTAs.
- Comments through our engagement tool Let's Talk.
It is important to remember that health-related data points and guidance from public health officials have led and will continue to inform decisions in this rapidly changing environment. As such, any suggested educational models could change due to circumstances. AISD is dedicated to remaining flexible while making the best decisions for students, teachers, staff and families.
Need to Know: Social Distancing on Campuses
AISD is committed to taking the necessary precautions to provide our students, teachers and staff with the safest learning environment possible.
For any on-campus learning that proceeds in fall 2020, new precautions will include the following at every AISD campus:
- All staff will receive extensive training on new health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.
- Students and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival at campuses.
- Measures will be implemented for students to maintain six feet between each other to support social distancing.
- Staff and students (ages 6 and older) will be required to wear facial coverings.
- Commonly used surfaces and areas will be thoroughly and frequently disinfected.
- Frequent hand washing practices will be implemented, including easily accessible hand sanitizer dispensers stationed across each campus.
- Campuses will operate in smaller groups and at a lower capacity.
- Students and staff will be required to stay home if they, or anyone in their household, have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or are showing any symptoms.
Additionally, each campus operations plan will be developed and tailored to the specific facility in order to ensure compliance with COVID-19 safety protocols. As determinations and policies are made, it is important to remember that changes can be made at any point to better ensure the safety of students, teachers, staff and families.
Good to Know: TEA Grants to Joslin Elementary and Travis Graduation Preparatory Academy
Joslin Elementary School and Travis Graduation Preparatory Academy will see new opportunities to thrive thanks to a combined $1.7 million in Texas Education Agency grants.
Joslin (near Menchaca Road/Ben White Boulevard) will transition into a new academic model that will include a foreign language elementary school program. The school will offer an experience that exposes students to Chinese culture and Mandarin Chinese while continuing primary courses in English and/or Spanish. The program is the first of its kind in South Austin and has been made possible through strategic partnerships and grant funds.
The mission of Travis Graduation Preparatory Academy (on the Travis Early College High School campus, near Oltorf Street/Interstate 35) is devoted to offering students personalized pathways to graduation through a self-paced curriculum, with options for flexible attendance. The 2020-21 academic school year will bring new academic offerings, which will include dual credit, access to courses at other schools, college visits, Pre-AP/AP courses, End Of Course and college entrance exam prep, and more. Travis GPA is open to students districtwide.
Joslin elementary and Travis GPA each received $850,000 in TEA grant funds.
Get in the Know: Student Survey Now Open
Austin ISD students in grades six through 11 are invited to provide feedback on the past spring semester as the district considers possibilities for the 2020-21 school year.
In planning, the health and wellness of students, staff and families will continue to be a top priority. Feedback from students on continuous learning will provide valuable information.
Questions focus on the student experience, including:
- How supported they have felt these past few months.
- What their greatest needs may be.
- What they need to learn to their best ability.
- What concerns they may have regarding the possibility of returning to school.
The survey takes five to 10 minutes to complete. Students must enter their student ID number to access the survey, and all submissions will be confidential. Students can participate via the student survey link. Information gathered through the student survey, the family survey and a staff survey is being used to assist the reopening task force in decision making.
Click to Know:
AISD in 3 is Austin ISD’s exclusive, three-minute current events newscast. View the latest episode for the week of June 1.
It’s Time to Register Your Student at Austin ISD.
Learn more about the program that could provide Austin ISD families a one-time benefit for eligible families to buy food. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer application is now open through June 30.
Superintendent Paul Cruz and the Board of Trustees provided a statement regarding Juneteenth.
AISD Celebrates 2019-20 Retirees.
Edition 2, 6/11/2020
A publication by the AISD Dept. of Communication and Engagement