• 2020-2021 Return to Learn FAQ - Updated 8/6/2020

    *Texas Education Agency (TEA) and local guidelines are fluid and continuously developing.  Hillsboro ISD will continue to communicate as changes are made.

    •  Are we still starting school on August 26th?
      • Yes
    • What are the learning options for students and families?
      • We believe that it is important for students to be at school with their teachers, friends, and peers to develop academically and socially.  However, we understand that might not be the best option for every family during this time.  Therefore, we have created two learning options for the 2020-2021 school year. The two learning options for district learning will be communicated through a three-color system with each color representing the type of learning that will be available for students.  Red represents ALL learning will take place virtually due to local health recommendations that require time away from campuses for staff and students. Yellow represents face-to-face and virtual(synchronous and asynchronous) learning throughout the district.  Green represents ALL face-to-face learning on campuses. 
        • Face to Face Learning (PK-12)
          • On-campus classes with face-to-face instruction will be taught by HISD teachers.
          • Curriculum, grading, and attendance policies will apply.
          • Transportation will be provided to and from school.
            • HISD encourages families to drive, carpool, ride bikes, or walk if possible.
        • Virtual Learning (PK-12)
          • A structured schedule of online classes with teacher support using a digital platform will be utilized.
          • Curriculum, grading, and attendance policies will apply.
          • Classwork will be done independently with virtual teacher support. 
    • Is homeschooling the same as Virtual Learning?
      • No. 
      • If a parent chooses to homeschool, that would mean they choose to withdraw their child from public school and the parent is solely responsible for educating their child at home. 
      • When a parent chooses virtual learning, the child is still enrolled in HISD, we provide the on-line instruction, students will follow our attendance and grading policies.
    • Will virtual learning be the same as it was at the end of the last school year?
      • No.
      • This is a new school year with new content.  Unlike last spring, we have had time to work and plan for the delivery of online instruction.  We will use Google Meet Video Conferencing, Zoom, and Google Classroom as a primary platform for online learning.  Additional resources including personalized on-line programs will be used. 
      • Based on the guidance from the State, the virtual instruction option will require a higher level of rigor, workload, and time commitment from the virtual learning that occurred in the spring of 2020.
      • Virtual instruction will require support from caring adults at home and within the online classroom environment.
      • Virtual instruction will follow the schedule of classes at the student’s home campus (secondary) or daily time expectations per content area (elementary).
      • The virtual instruction schedule will require students to participate in asynchronous (online without real-time interaction) and synchronous (real-time) online learning.
      • Each day, students will engage in daily lessons, activities, and assignments in all classes in order to be marked present for the day.
      • Grading for all virtual courses will follow the same grading policy as the courses in the on-campus model.
      • Due to the rigor and participation expectations of virtual instruction, each student will need their own device and access to high-speed internet at home.
        • Families indicating through online registration that wish to have virtual instruction will be contacted to discuss device needs and expectations of online learning. 
      • If high-speed internet is not available through your home internet or a district hotspot, then virtual learning will not be an option due to limited access to on-line learning.
    • How many hours per day will the virtual classes be?
      • A minimum of 4 hours per day can be expected for virtual learning. 
    • What will the daily schedule for online learning look like?
      • Students will be required to check in each day to ensure they are adequately participating. These check-in guidelines will be up to the discretion of the campus.
      • Students can work during a time frame that is most suitable for their family, but teachers will only be available for assistance with assignments during regular school hours. We strongly encourage virtual students to work on classroom assignments during normal school hours to ensure they are receiving guidance from the teacher when needed. 
    • Will children participating in virtual learning be able to participate in extracurricular activities (athletics, band, etc.)?
      • No.
    • Will paper copies of lessons be available for at-home learning like the end of last year?
      • No. Students participating in virtual learning will be required to complete all lessons online.
    • Will computer devices and internet hotspots be made available to students who need them?
      • Computer devices will be distributed from students’ home campuses for those students who need them.
    • If a child that chooses face-to-face learning has to quarantine, will they be allowed to switch to virtual learning during that time?
      • If the school requires a student to quarantine, the student may do virtual learning while at home and can then return to school once he/ she has been cleared by a health professional.
      • However, if a child is not required to quarantine and still chooses to do so, they may switch to virtual learning, but must remain in virtual learning throughout the remainder of that six-week grading period. 
    • Will ALL teachers be virtual?
      • No. Select teachers from each grade level and/or content-area will be responsible for delivering virtual instruction.
    • When is Registration?
      • July 28th and 29th at the campus the student will be attending. 
        • Only one parent and/or the student being registered will be allowed in. Please wear a mask. 
      • New student registration 
      • Returning student registration
        • On-line beginning June 17th through Skyward Family Access.
    • How do I choose a Learning Option?
      • When registering your student, you will be prompted to choose one of the learning options mentioned above:
        • Face-to-Face Learning
        • Virtual Learning
      • Students and their families will have the opportunity to change their selection before the end of the first 3 weeks and at the end of each 6 weeks grading period.  
      • Changing the learning option will be done at the end of each six weeks and not in the middle of a six weeks grading period. 
    • Will students be allowed to change their learning option?
      • Significant time and planning will be spent establishing class ratios and scheduling students. Therefore, students will not be able to continually switch back and forth between learning options.
      • Students will be allowed to change after the end of each six weeks. 
    • Will Attendance and Truancy laws still apply?
      • Yes, whether learning in a virtual or face-to-face environment, attendance and truancy laws still apply and will be enforced.
    • How will students be graded?
      • Regardless of which instructional option is selected, grading will return to HISD grading policy standards, not the pass/fail grading system used this past spring. 
    • Will STAAR/EOC be administered in 2020-2021? 
      • Yes. 
      • The Texas Education Agency had indicated that STAAR testing will still occur during the 2020-2021 school year. 
    • How will these options affect a special education student?
      • HISD will continue to support students who receive special services, such as Section 504, and those served by special education if they are part of our online learning community. Our goal is to ensure that all students receive the needed support based on their Individual Education Plan or 504 accommodations.
      • In some cases, this may require students who are participating in virtual learning to come to the campus to receive services. In those instances, we will ensure social distancing requirements are met and contact with others is limited.
    • Will meals be provided to those who are virtual learning?
      • Yes, HISD will provide breakfast and lunch for all students, in-person or virtual.  To receive free or reduced meals, students must qualify.  However, this could change and all students will be provided with free meals. 
    • Will transportation be provided?
      • HISD will provide transportation only for students choosing the face-to-face learning option.
      • HISD encourages families to drive, carpool, ride bikes, or walk students to school if possible.
      • Safety protocols on buses will be enforced, e.g. wearing of masks for all riders, using hand sanitizer, social distancing at bus stops, and when loading and unloading.
    • Will children be confined to the same room all day in the face-to-face instruction option? 
      • No. Students will still participate in recess, athletics, art, music, CTE courses, etc. We will do our very best to make school as engaging and normal as possible, while also doing everything we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. 
      • Students will be grouped with their class and will practice social distancing during activities outside of the classroom as much as possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students.
    • How is HISD addressing the health and safety of staff and students?
      • Staff will be required to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose, including protective face shields.
      • Teachers and staff will screen for symptoms daily.
      • Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and instead should opt to receive remote instruction until conditions for re-entry are met
      • Social distancing to the extent possible
      • Reducing large gatherings to the extent possible
      • Plexiglass shields in various locations
      • HISD will increase and intensify cleaning efforts of all facilities and buses
      • Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces
      • Frequent hand washing
      • Hand sanitizer stations
    • Are students required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
      • Due to the recent Texas Education Agency guidelines, Hillsboro ISD will require students in grades 3-12 to wear a mask covering the mouth and nose or a protective face shield
      • Masks must meet dress code requirements. Consequences will be in place for students refusing to wear masks.
      • Face shields may be superior to cloth face coverings in many circumstances, given improved ability to see mouth movements and improved air circulation.
      • It may be impractical for students to wear masks or face shields while participating in some non-UIL athletic or other extracurricular activities. When it is impractical for students to wear masks or face shields during those activities, schools must require students, teachers, staff, and visitors to wear masks or face shields when entering and exiting facilities and practice areas and when not actively engaging in those activities. Schools may, for example, allow students who are actively exercising to remove masks or face shields, as long as they maintain at least six feet of distance from other students, teachers, and staff who are not wearing masks or face shields. However, schools must require students, teachers, and staff to wear masks or face shields as they arrange themselves in positions that will allow them to maintain safe distancing.
    • Will masks be required all year?
      • Hillsboro ISD will only require masks to be worn as long as state and TEA officials mandate them. 
      • If we receive guidance that masks are no longer required state-wide HISD students and staff will no longer be required to wear them on campus. 
    • If a child has a medical disability that makes it difficult to wear a mask all day, will they be able to remove it when needed?
      • If a child has a documented medical condition, they will be allowed to remove their mask when needed but must practice social distancing while the mask is removed.
      • If a student has a documented medical condition that prevents him/her from wearing a mask, they must wear a face shield instead.
    • Will the District provide students with PPE?
      • Students are highly encouraged to bring their own masks, but the District will provide a mask if needed while supplies are available.
    • Will social distancing be practiced? 
      • Students and staff will be expected to follow social distancing guidelines.
      • HISD aims to reduce large gatherings and limit the number of students in common areas like the cafeteria, gyms, etc. 
    • How will the District plan for social distancing in classrooms for the face-to-face model?
      • We do not anticipate having full classes. The District will follow the guidance from our state and local health authorities. Guidelines could possibly change between now and the beginning of school. Social distancing is currently recommended, so the District will take the appropriate measures to properly space out students, which may include reducing class sizes and using all available spaces for learning.
    • How will social distancing be practiced in the cafeteria?
      • Students will be spaced out to accommodate social distancing guidelines.  Other campuses will allow students to social distance and eat in classrooms/gymnasiums/auditoriums. 
      • When available, students will also be able to sit outside during their lunch period. 
    • How will social distancing be practiced in the classrooms and transition periods? 
      • Elementary - staggered transition times,  desks will be spread out as much as possible in the classroom.
      • Secondary- one-way hallways; desks will be spread out as much as possible
    • What are the protocols for when/if a student or staff member tests positive? Will parents be notified? Will the class be expected to quarantine?
      • If a student or teacher tests positive, parents will be notified per classroom.
      • TEA will release an action protocol for schools to follow for different scenarios of infection. 
      • If students are wearing masks and following proper social distancing guidelines, it is not likely the entire class will be required to quarantine. Parent discretion...
      • Due to FERPA regulations, we will not communicate who tested positive. 
    • When will student schedules be available for pickup?
      • Individual campuses will release updates regarding student schedules as they become available. 
    • Will parents be allowed to visit their student(s) during the day?
      • To limit the possibility of increased exposure, no visitors will be allowed on campuses during the school day. 
      • No outside lunches will be allowed. Students will either need to eat a meal prepared by the cafeteria or bring their own lunch from home. 
      • Parents can still schedule a meeting with the campus administration if needed. These meetings will be held via phone call,  Zoom, or Google Meet if possible.

     

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