Humble ISD will open schools in August with a blended return plan for students.

Parents received an email June 24 asking they make a reservation for their children from one of three options - on campus instruction or fully online or online with a choice for athletics and fine arts on campus. The district also announced that the 2020-21 calendar will be retained.

Social media was full of comments about the choices, expressing both gratitude to the district for putting forth a thoughtful plan and concerns about individual needs.

One post stated, “Wow! Good for Humble ISD! I'm actually quite impressed and surprised with their requirements for school (elementary).”

Other parents expressed concerns about special education plans, athletics and concern about splitting their families' students among the schedules.

The dsitrcit addressed this in the email. “Humble ISD understands that each family has unique concerns, due to health or other circumstances, about returning to daily routines while coexisting with COVID-19. We want you to know that Humble ISD will support parents in making the decisions that are best for your families,” it said.

Parents were asked to send in their preference with a caveat that there will be an opportunity to change if circumstances change.

Elementary students will attend school each school day while middle and high school students will go on an alternating schedule based on last names. The announcement made note that as the summer progresses and developments concerning COVID-19 change, the overall plan may change as well.

Masks for students, staff and faculty are encouraged but not required.

The district also announced that graduation for the Class of 2020 will be held outdoors at Turner Stadium. Earlier, the district had indicated that inside ceremonies were being considerd at NRG Stadium. However, now in-person graduation ceremonies will be held at 8 p.m. July 20-25 at Turner Stadium. The ceremony’s starting time has been updated from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. A schedule is available at humbleisd.net.

 

The full email about back to school plans is below.

  • Humble ISD has developed our 2020-2021 Back-to-School Plan based upon the latest guidance from TEA, the Governor, and parent input.  We look forward to providing excellent educational experiences, including fine arts, athletics and electives, for all students.

    Humble ISD understands that each family has unique concerns, due to health or other circumstances, about returning to daily routines while coexisting with COVID-19. We want you to know that Humble ISD will support parents in making the decisions that are best for your families.

    Humble ISD has developed three options so that parents can choose what works best for each child. On June 24, 2020, each guardian received an email with a link to submit your child’s reservation for one of the three options:

    • On Campus Instruction (For secondary schools, students would likely begin the year with blended learning, participating both on campus and online on an A/B daily schedule. Details for elementary and secondary schools are posted in the On Campus FAQ section below.)

    • Online Instruction (asynchronous learning - students are not always online at the same time; Humble ISD teachers post instructional plans/learning sets, teaching in large groups, small groups and individually)

    • Online Instruction / UIL Athletics and Fine Arts On Campus (middle and high school students)

    Grading policies will be the same for all students.

    Your reservation will be shared with your child’s school. Parent requests will be honored to the extent possible. If your circumstances change, there will be a process to change options before or during the school year. 

    We know you have many questions! As you know, community health data is quickly changing and we are constantly monitoring it. However, at this time, we want to bring preliminary plans forward with the understanding that as we get closer to August, they could change. 

  • FAQS

    On Campus Instruction

     https://www.humbleisd.net/backtoschool2020

    • What will the schedule be for students who attend school on campus?

        • Elementary school students will attend from 7:55 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

        • Middle school students will attend from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

        • High school students will attend from 7:25 a.m. to 2:52 p.m.

    Elementary schools will open to all students, every school day.

    Middle schools and high schools will likely begin 2020-2021 on a modified schedule, with students attending classes on campus every other day so that only about half of the students would be on campus at the same time. There would be an  A-K Group and an L-Z Group, based upon students’ last names. Accommodations can be made if students within a family have last names in different groups so that all students within a family could go to school on the same days. Students would participate in assignments/online instruction on days that they are not on campus.

    Sample Schedule

    Mon. Aug. 10

    Tues. Aug. 11

    Wed. Aug. 12

    Thurs. Aug. 13

    Fri. Aug. 14

    Teacher
    Workday

    A Day
    A-K On Campus

    B Day
    L-Z On Campus

    A Day
    A-K On Campus

    B Day
    L-Z On Campus

    Mon. Aug. 17

    Tues. Aug. 18

    Wed. Aug. 19

    Thurs. Aug. 20

    Fri. Aug. 21

    A Day
    A-K On Campus

    B Day
    L-Z On Campus

    A Day
    A-K On Campus

    B Day
    L-Z On Campus

    A Day
    A-K On Campus

    The rolling A/B schedule would continue for at least the first two weeks of school while the district monitors the impact of coronavirus. We hope that it would continue no longer than Labor Day, but it may be longer.

    • When would a decision be made regarding whether middle and high schools would be on a regular or modified schedule?

    The need to be on a regular or modified schedule will be finalized in August based upon the trajectory of coronavirus cases in our area. Middle and high schools will open at either 100 percent building capacity or 50 percent building capacity.

    • What options will be provided for special education students in self-contained classrooms?

    All self-contained special needs secondary students will have the option to be on campus every school day, even if middle schools and high schools open at 50 percent building capacity.

    • Why would elementary schools operate with all students on campus every day, while middle schools and high schools operate with only about half of their students on campus every day?

    • Many parents believe that on-campus instruction is the best opportunity for youngest students to be successful and a full start meets childcare needs for many families, including Humble ISD staff.

    • Elementary students mix less, as they are mostly in self-contained units, and adjustments to limit mixing will be encouraged. Keeping groups separate when possible is one measure that will be used to protect against the spread of illness.

      With an emphasis on outdoor learning/play spaces, many seating/spacing options, and reduced sharing of materials, we believe we can offer an in-person environment for healthy students.

    • With larger populations that constantly mix on secondary campuses, a more cautious approach is prudent.  Opening with 50 percent building occupancy will provide extra space in classrooms, eating areas, hallways and school buses. Should indicators be positive, we will move to 100 percent in-person capacity and our normal schedule as soon as it is possible  — hoping no later than Tuesday following Labor Day, although it could be longer.

    • Would there continue to be weekly late arrival/early release days at middle and high schools?

    If middle and high schools are operating on a modified, rolling A/B schedule, there would not be late arrival/early release days until school returned to a regular schedule.

    • Will there continue to be Elementary Holiday/Staff Workdays?

    Yes. Elementary Holiday/Staff Workdays will be held as marked on the 2020-2021 calendar.

    • Will Humble ISD change its 2020-2021 calendar?

    The district plans to keep its 2020-2021 calendar. Other districts have changed their calendar to be similar to Humble ISD, which provides breaks throughout the year.

    • Will masks be required?

    No. Staff and students will be welcome to, but not required, to wear masks and/or gloves.

    • Will students’ temperatures be checked?

    Temperature checks of asymptomatic students at school is not recommended. The district found that conducting temperature checks during summer activities was ineffective. High school students participating in athletic camps had their temperature checked each day and some who did not have fever ended up testing positive for COVID-19. 

    All nurses are being provided with updates on a regular basis and have received guidance on screening and evaluation protocols. Nurses will keep a close watch on any student who comes to the clinic with fever or flu-like symptoms. If a student has a fever of 100 degrees or more, parents will be called to pick up their child.

    • What health precautions will be in place?

    Students and staff may wear masks/gloves if they choose. Humble ISD staff will continue to educate our students, staff, and community members about the importance of frequent hand washing; covering a cough or sneeze; not touching one’s eyes, nose, and mouth; staying home when sick; and other measures to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

    Humble ISD Custodial Services are routinely cleaning and disinfecting all Humble ISD facilities, including cleaning frequently touched objects and surfaces with H2Orange2 cleaner which is effective against multiple disease-causing viruses and bacteria. Sanitizing also includes the use of fogging machines. In addition, extra hand sanitizer will be available at all Humble ISD campuses.

    Parents/Guardians can help by keeping children home who are sick. If a child has COVID-19 symptoms, under TEA guidelines that were issued on June 9, the child cannot return to school until at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever reducing medications); and the individual has improvement in symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, etc.)

    • Will students eat lunch at their desks in classrooms?

    Plans are being developed to provide physical distancing options for students in the cafeteria, outside, and in other areas of the building for lunch. Additionally, Child Nutrition Services is developing plans to minimize lines and expedite food service.

    • Will elementary school students have recess?

    Yes. Outdoor play and learning will be encouraged.

    • What will passing periods look like at middle and high schools?

    Schools are developing plans to minimize, as feasible, the number of students in the hallways during passing periods.

    • Will exam exemptions for high school students include an attendance factor?

    This year, attendance will not be a factor in high school exam exemption requests. The factors will be grades (80 and above in the course) and discipline (not more than one Saturday class, no time at alternative school, no suspensions including ISS, no expulsions).

    • If a student or staff member on campus tests positive for coronavirus, would the building be shut down?

    Humble ISD will follow TEA Guidance. Under current guidance, the building will be sanitized. Any person with COVID-19 will stay home until they have met TEA standards for documented recovery. Contact tracing will occur. Contacts will be notified and screened for symptoms. The school could remain open unless there are extenuating circumstances.

    What online platforms will schools use for teaching and learning?

    Each school will choose no more than two online platforms that all teachers at the school will use. This will reduce complexity for students and families, while allowing each school choice in determining the best platform for their students.

    • Will grades count?

    Yes. Online school grades will count toward GPA, class rank and UIL eligibility, just like on campus grades will count. Grading policies will be the same for all students.

    • How much time will students be online?

    Students must be engaged in learning each day. They will show progress daily and submit assignments to be marked present.

    • Who operates Online Instruction?

    Humble ISD teachers provide the instruction. Teachers will participate in specialized professional development during the summer.

    What is the Online Instruction/On Campus Athletics and Fine Arts option?

    Secondary school students will be allowed the option of taking all classes online except for Athletics and Fine Arts. They would be allowed to learn at home online, while joining their on- campus classmates just for athletics or fine arts periods and activities. Parents would be responsible for transportation.

    • Will students who choose Online Classes/On Campus Athletics and Fine Arts be eligible for UIL activities?

    Choosing this option would not prevent a student from participating in UIL activities.

 
Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner
A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.

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