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Early this week, South San Antonio Independent School District asked teachers to begin developing lesson plans for an uncertain future.
Teachers drafted plans that students could follow from home, should school closures be extended because of coronavirus. On Tuesday, interim Superintendent Dolores Sendejo and district leaders from around Bexar County made the official call to close school through April 3, and those lesson plans became that much more important.
“Everything has been pretty proactive,” Shepard Middle School teacher Toby Walters said. “We were told to continue planning but also be mindful that a lot of our students have little brothers and sisters at home to take care of.”
Districts, including South San ISD, are mindful that relying on Google Classroom and similar online tools might be insufficient for the San Antonio families who lack access to reliable internet or devices needed to continue instruction online. School districts are adapting to family needs, offering instruction in the form of paper packets and lending school-owned electronic devices to overcome technological barriers.
“You can expect from us that we are going to serve [our kids’] academic needs,” Edgewood ISD Superintendent Eduardo Hernandez said in a Facebook video Thursday morning. “We are still doing school. We are just reinventing it.”
Here is how different districts around Bexar County are implementing distance learning:
Online instruction broken down by grade and content area will be available to all Northside students on the district’s website. The material was prepared by district instructional specialists.
Northside leaders are working to create a process for students who don’t have access to internet or electronic devices. Families can contact their campuses for assistance or fill out a form online.
North East ISD
Students will begin at-home instruction Monday. The district is preparing plans for online and paper lessons. The district said plans will be communicated to families via email and on the North East ISD homepage.
Additional learning resources can be found here.
San Antonio ISD
SAISD launched a new website with lesson plans broken down by grade level and subject. Paper resources will be available at food distribution sites starting Monday.
On Tuesday, Superintendent Pedro Martinez told trustees the district was looking into purchasing between 15,000 and 30,000 Chromebooks to support families without access to devices at home.
East Central ISD
While schools are closed, the district is concentrating on having students review previously taught materials, with both online and print options available. No new material will be taught through distance learning, according to a district website.
Students can work online via Google Classroom or pick up print packets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. alongside meal pickups. Families can also contact their campuses directly to coordinate other pickup times.
East Central ISD is encouraging families who need help accessing the internet to contact providers like Spectrum and AT&T, who are offering some plans discounted or free. Families are also welcome to access district Wi-Fi by parking their cars in their campuses’ parking lots.
East Central teachers plan to contact their students in a variety of ways: phone calls, video conferences, Google Hangouts, or the Remind app. More details about East Central ISD’s distance learning plan can be found here.
Edgewood ISD students can pick up paper lesson packets at their home campus during meal distribution periods Thursday and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A schedule for instructional materials pick up from Monday until April 3 will be posted on Edgewood’s website sometime on Friday. Families can call their campuses for more information.
Instructional documents will also be uploaded here by the end of the day Thursday.
South San Antonio ISD
The district is posting lesson plans for each grade level and subject here. Campus employees have been passing out paper packets to families who don’t have access to internet or devices.
South San leaders are also encouraging families who need assistance with district devices or accessing online resources to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The district will pass out instructional packets at Heritage Elementary and Southside High School on Tuesday and Thursday, March 26. Pick up times will be from noon to 1 p.m. with additional pickup times on Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Packets for prekindergarten through eighth grade students will be available at Heritage Elementary, Southside High School, and the ACES Building. Packets for high school students will be available at Southside High School.
More information on the district’s response to coronavirus closures can be found here.
District administrators created a website with links to curriculum resources for students and parents. The website also encourages families without internet to contact providers who are offering services for free.
Campus leaders have been checking out district devices to students.
Alamo Heights ISD
The district is crafting plans for continuous learning that will be released to parents and families soon, a district spokeswoman said Thursday.
At-home learning will begin Monday. Students can access lessons online or via paper packets. The remote learning plan will be communicated to families on Friday via email and on the Harlandale ISD website.
The district is encouraging families to fill out this survey so Harlandale ISD leaders can get a better idea of who needs devices and internet.
District leaders emphasized that students should plan to continue learning at home even as school campuses are closed. Instruction will be offered in both paper packets and online, according to a letter Superintendent Jeanette Ball sent families earlier this week. Families should expect to receive further details from their campus principals, she said.
District officials are posting online resources for remote learning here. Families without access to internet or devices can contact their campus principal for help.
Fort Sam Houston ISD
On Tuesday, Fort Sam Houston ISD leaders announced remote working would start Monday for all students. Campus principals will communicate with families about the remote learning plan. The district encouraged families to sign up for free online tutoring here.
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Some instruction will be delivered via paper packets and some of it will be online, district officials said in a letter to families. The district is asking families without access to appropriate devices to fill out this form and pick up a Chromebook on Saturday.
The district is shifting to online instruction and asks that families have access to a laptop, desktop, or tablet with both a microphone or camera for students to use for a significant portion of the day. If families don’t have access to such a device, they can pick up an iPad from the district on Friday. More details on pickup can be viewed here.
The district is directing families without access to the internet to Charter, the parent company of Spectrum. Charter is providing free service for K-12 and college students for 60 days.
Randolph Field ISD
Interim Superintendent Susan Bendele wrote to families Tuesday, telling them the district would switch to remote instruction. Families should direct questions about remote instruction to their student’s teachers and campus administration, she said.