Parents should start preparing for the possibility of year-long school

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 19:31:27-04

There's a very good chance school in Texas may look very different when classes begin in the fall.

From staggered calendars, to remote learning, to no change at all, school leaders across the state have begun to consider what the fall will look like.

25 News investigates what changes parents and children may have to adjust to.

Jenny Gonzales currently has three children in Waco ISD Schools, and will next year too, as one graduates, and another will start classes in the fall.

"My little girl is starting Pre-K. I have another going into 3rd grade and one going into 5th grade, so I hope they can keep everything together so we don't have to change too much," she said.

Many, like Waco, embraced distance learning early on in the outbreak, even passing out computers and tablets to students to continue their studies.

But when it comes to the fall, districts from the Brazos Valley to the Heart of Texas have their options open for now.

"We're certainly having conversations on everything from school being normal to a continuation of remote learning and whether or not we'll need to make adjustments to the schedule and other scenarios," said Joshua Wucher of Waco ISD.

The smart money has classes starting earlier and going later in the year with more, and longer breaks, extending a recent trend in public education.

Right now, Bryan ISD plans no major changes to the fall schedule, except for a start a few days earlier, and ending a few days later....all to stay in sync with A&M and Blinn College.

Either way, school leaders say they'll carefully consider the impact to students and to families.

"As far as the fall is concerned, again we're working in close communication and coordination with The Texas Education Agency, and we're analyzing options about potentially modifying any type of schedule because we do realize that any deviation from what has already been proposed will be significant and will have a significant impact on many many families," said Dr. John Craft, Superintendent of Killeen ISD.

In fact, the Texas Education Agency released this report in the past week, with guidance on modifying school calendars.

It gives many scenarios, mostly along the lines of the model of college with more breaks in between, which teachers can use to help students struggling academically.

It all sounds good to Jenny Gonzales, as long as she has enough time to prepare, in the case of additional child care.

"Well, it looks like it's going to be a little bit harder for us as parents because we have to find daycare for kids, and I also heard they were gonna break like the grade levels, so it's a little difficult," she said.

Most school districts say they’ll continue working hard to sharpen their focus on the new school year with many hoping to have a plan in place by Independence Day at the latest.