Distance Learning: SBCISD releases opening plan


Virtual learning
Saíd Esquivel, a San Benito CISD elementary student, participates in remote learning during the April lockdown earlier this year.
(Courtesy photo)

During Tuesday’s Curriculum Committee Meeting, San Benito CISD Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman presented staff with a guide on re-opening instruction for the 2020-2021 semester.

However, in an email sent to campus principals and administrators on Wednesday, Carman stated that due to the dramatic increase in COVID cases across the county, next Tuesday he is proposing to the board that they delay the start of remote instruction to after Labor Day, September 8.

“That will push our face-to-face instruction into starting in November, hopefully enough time for this pandemic to slow down,” read the email.

In anticipation of his proposal being approved, Carman asked all 207 employees to head home that Wednesday to return on Aug. 14.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Carman first discussed Section 1, which concerned the safety of students, staff, and visitors.

Phase 1 would see August 26 as the first day of remote learning until October 20. Carman said they are waiting for a waiver from the Texas Education Agency to grant the district additional weeks of remote instruction.

The period will also see the opening of facilities with limited access in use by employees.

During Phase 2, live instruction will become optional. On October 21, after eight weeks of remote instruction, the district will begin expanding its use of schools, as per recommendations of the CDC, TEA, Texas Governor’s office, and state and local authorities.

Carman said that Phase 3’s date remains to be declared, which will see schools opening to their full capacity and operation. Carman said this would be based on recommendations from the same entities, with some guidelines and restrictions remaining in place.

According to the superintendent, teachers will not have to provide 100 percent live instruction in terms of curriculum. “We do have an amount of minutes per day we want our teachers to reach out live to students; they’ll also be able to post videos of their lessons, assignments, we have learning management systems for each grade level that we’ll be using to disseminate the work and then to collect it back, allowing more flexibility than synchronous instruction.”

Editor’s note: This article has been edited for length. To read the full story, click here or grab a copy of the Aug. 7 – 13, 2020 issue of the NEWS.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.sbnewspaper.com/2020/08/07/distance-learning-sbcisd-releases-opening-plan/

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