The Killeen Independent School District will conduct all classes virtually for the first three weeks of the 2020-2021 school year.
Classes will begin virtually on Monday, August 17. The district said it intends to provide on-site, in-person instruction beginning on September 8 for parents who elect the option.
Killeen ISD said it came to this decision after assessing its ability to expand its virtual platforms to include all students. The move will also keep the original school calendar intact.
The Bell County Public Health District issued an order last week barring in-person classes until after September 7. However, on Tuesday, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance stating health authorities do not have the ability to issue sweeping school closures as a means of preventing COVID-19.
Dr. Janice Smith, Local Health Authority, Bell County Public Health District, issued a statement saying the health district is reviewing Paxton's letter.
"We are currently reviewing Attorney General Paxton’s letter. We are also continuing discussions with the area Superintendents. I believe we are all seeking the best cooperative and collaborative approach in our collective efforts to best plan for, and provide for, the health of our children, families and communities."
Virtual learners will engage in live-online and recorded lessons from their teachers during normal class times aligned to a normal school schedule. Training on various platforms will be available to students and parents. Attendance, assignments, assessments, and grades will be required.
Killeen ISD says the following plans are in place:
- All students will have access to instruction designed and delivered by KISD’s trained, highly qualified teachers.
- Teachers and other staff will return as scheduled August 4 and dive into 9 days of professional development addressing multiple platforms and technology integration.
- KISD will open a technology hotline for students and parents who need assistance with technology and the KISD learning platforms beginning on Monday, August 10.
- KISD is planning to host a series of roundtable discussions to answer questions from parents and employees.
- Plans are in place to issue devices and internet connectivity as requested and to provide instructional and technical support through videos, tutorials and hotlines for students, parents and staff.
- Hotspots will only allow a student to access the learning platform websites outlined by the district.
- Grab & Go breakfast and lunch will be provided for students who qualify for free and reduced meals and those who opt to purchase meals.
Parents will be able to register students in-person at every campus on July 29 - 30 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. to accept documents, answer questions, and assist with enrollment.
Superintendent Dr. Craft will hold a press conference Wednesday to discuss the changes.