WATCH OR READ: 2020-21 Planning Update (6/16/2020)
I’m here with an important update as we continue planning for 2020-21.
I know there have been many questions and concerns about what instruction will look like next year. While we do not have all the answers, during this week’s Board meeting, we shared our initial, preliminary ideas with the Board of Trustees. The conceptual framework we shared is a model we are calling 2020 Future Forward.
And here’s what you need to know:
Our intent is to support our continued commitment to the FBISD Core Beliefs and Commitments, even during this unique and challenging season.
We remain dedicated to making sure all students fulfill his or her full potential, we are committed to collaborating with parents, our community, and other team members each step of the way, and, the mental and physical well-being our students and staff will be our highest priority at all times.
Our goal is to provide equitable learning experiences for students, which will include both face-to-face and online instructional delivery. It is also important that we provide systems for flexible student support, as well as ongoing and targeted interventions and enrichment.
The 2020 future forward model includes having our youngest learners – Pre-k through sixth grade – back at school, in classrooms five days a week. However, at this time we have not determined the length of the school day. We have heard concerns and know that childcare is an issue as parents return to work, so we want parents of younger students to know that we are working to provide the usual, full-length school day, if at all possible. But, we cannot make that promise today.
At this time, we expect our older learners, in 7th through 12th grade, will participate in a combination of at school and at home learning.
The instructional program for students at all grade levels will include some components of online learning. This will allow students and staff to be prepared to shift to full-time online learning if it is necessary to temporarily close a school because of a Covid-19 outbreak.
Providing a safe, appropriate learning environment for all students might require using our school buildings differently, which means students might be asked to learn in pods or even buildings typically used by a different grade level.
As I previously shared, parents will also have the option of choosing full-time at home, online based learning for their children.
In all scenarios and at all grade levels, fine arts and PE will be a part of the instructional program, along with co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to the fullest extent possible. However, it is possible these activities could be modified somewhat to mitigate health and safety risks. We will comply with guidance issued by the UIL.
So, what’s next?
As a District, our planning will shift to developing systems and operational details to open school in August. This includes extensive staff training to make sure they are prepared to receive and support our students.
I want to reinforce that these ideas are preliminary because the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has not yet published guidance regarding reopening schools this fall, and there will be many, many logistical details to coordinate. We are also still receiving feedback from parents and staff through surveys and focus groups. Therefore, the plan we shared with the board is subject to change as we receive guidance from TEA and work out the details locally. However, to honor our commitment to transparent and timely communication, we want parents to be informed about our current thinking.
Please know the bottom line is this: our Mission, Vision and Core Beliefs and Commitments are not changing… but we are reimagining how we can best serve students and keep everyone safe.
You can trust that we will continue to keep you updated as we have more answers… and until then, know that we are working to support our families in this extraordinary time.
It will take all of us working together to help our students learn, grow and stay safe in the months ahead… and we appreciate your continued support.