Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Dear Bulldog Parents & Guardians,
Kilgore ISD has always believed that the best learning option for our students has been, and will continue to be, On-Campus Face-to-Face with our classroom teachers. The advantages of on-campus learning are tremendous in regards to academic performance and the social/emotional growth and well-being of our students. However, in response to our current Covid-19 pandemic, many Texas public school districts, including Kilgore ISD, chose to begin this school year by offering a temporary At-Home Remote learning option. This parental choice of At-Home Remote Learning was created as part of our Back to School Covid-19 Mitigation Plan and was implemented with the specific intention of allowing our Bulldog parents a remote learning choice to help ensure a safe start for their families and medically fragile children.
What Kilgore ISD has learned throughout our first 9-Week Grading Period of 2020-21…
- KISD’s Back to School Covid-19 Mitigation Plan including routine cleaning, social distancing procedures, contact tracing practice, and face-covering requirements has successfully helped to keep the spread of the Covid-19 virus in our schools to a minimum. During the first 9-week grading period, our school district has had 27 positive Covid-19 cases among our 3,946 students which equates to less than 1% (less than 7 positive cases per 1,000 students).
- Of the 663 students who chose to begin the year as At-Home Remote students, 222 have already successfully transitioned back to On-Campus Face-to-Face Learning since the start of the school year.
- Many families chose to begin this school year with the At-Home Remote Learning Option for reasons other than family/student health and safety.
- Alarming first 9-week grading period failure rate among At-Home Remote Learning students
- Failing at least 1 class at 9 weeks: KHS – 69%, KMS – 56%, INT – 40%, ELEM – 27%
- Of these students, a great many earned failing grades in multiple courses to the point where grade promotion and even the ability to graduate are now problematic concerns.
- Alarming first 9-week At-Home Remote Learning online class attendance. The Texas Education Agency requires students to be in attendance, at a minimum, 90% of the time each course is offered to obtain credit. This applies to individual course subjects at middle school and high school, and to all grade levels at the elementary level. Students who do not complete this 90% attendance requirement will be required to repeat the grade and/or subject the following school year.
Given the positive outcome results of Kilgore ISD’s Back to School Covid-19 Mitigation Plan and the fact that an alarming percentage of our At-Home Remote Students are not learning and/or not attending online courses at an acceptable level, Kilgore ISD will begin the process of removing the parental choice option of At-Home Remote Learning for all PK-12 students. Parents/guardians who have medically fragile children or serious immediate family household safety concerns may apply to continue At-Home Remote services, but all other students currently receiving At-Home Remote services will be required to return to On-Campus instruction by Monday, November 9, 2020.
- KISD will continue to provide At-Home Remote Learning services as necessary to our medically fragile students and students that must quarantine at home because of a positive Covid-19 test or determined close contact with a positive Covid-19 person.
- At-Home Remote Learning Services will only be an option for students with confirmed medical and/or Covid-19 concerns. Parents/guardians wishing to request the continuation of At-Home Remote Services should:
- KISD parents/guardians of current At-Home Remote Learners are strongly encouraged to contact their child’s appropriate campus as quickly as possible to begin the back to On-Campus transition. Only those students who receive approval from their campus to continue At-Home Remote Learning will be allowed to do so, all other current At-Home Remote students will be expected to return to On-Campus Learning by Monday, November 9, 2020.
- Even though KISD will discontinue At-Home Remote Learning as of Monday, November 9, 2020, Texas Education Agency guidelines outline that parents/guardians who wish to continue remote instruction have the following options available to them:
- Unenroll your child from KISD and transfer them into another public school district that offers remote instruction.
- Unenroll your child from KISD and begin Home School education.
- Unenroll your child from KISD and enroll them into a private school or a charter school that offers remote instruction.
While the November, 9th deadline to return to On-Campus Learning is currently several weeks away, we strongly encourage parents to contact their child’s campus to begin planning for the return of their student to our KISD campuses as quickly as possible. Campuses will soon begin contacting the parents/guardians of current At-Home Remote students about their child’s transition back to On-Campus Learning. It is our goal to provide our students and their parents all the resources necessary to ensure a smooth transition back to On-Campus Learning.
We know that this school year has brought with it many unknowns and many unprecedented uncertainties, and we sincerely appreciate the support our Bulldog parents and community have provided our campuses as we’ve opened our classrooms to our students. Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we begin our school district’s transition back to On-Campus Learning.
Kilgore ISD, Superintendent of Schools