As the year goes on, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge society by forcing it to adapt in order to avoid high infection rates. Nearly every institution on the planet has been affected in one way or another and rarely has it been an easy fix. One of the most affected institutions in our society seems to be our education system. Schools all over the country have begun to make changes to their curriculum and teaching methods in order to adapt to the virus. Here in Arlington, the AISD is now in the beginning stages of its Return to School 2020 plan. The AISD’s “Return to School” plan uses six guiding principles. Health and Safety, Rigorous Learning, Educational Equity, Stakeholder Services, Flexibility and Grace, and Clear and Concise Communication.
Health and Safety
All students will be required to wear masks for whom it is “developmentally appropriate”. Social distancing will be used wherever possible. Everyone who enters the building will be required to wash/sanitize their hands. Students will be required to use hand sanitizer as they move from to room and each room will have its own set of sanitizing supplies. Each desk will also be sanitized between students.
A health-screening questionnaire will be used throughout the semester in order to identify possible COVID-19 infections. Students will be required to take the questionnaire once a week, while staff and visitors will do so on a daily basis. In addition, temperature checks will be required for all students, staff, and visitors as they enter the building.
The sudden impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has not allowed a convenient reason to adapt school curriculum into a virtual setting. However, AISD ensures that quality of education will remain high whether teaching is done physically or virtually. Resources normally available to students in previous years will be made available this year as well, wherever possible. Teaching online will be treated just as seriously as teaching in a classroom.
AISD has done its best to make sure students are well equipped for this new learning environment. Throughout the summer, local Arlington schools have been able to provide laptops for students to use for their online classes. The district will continue to accommodate students to the best of their ability.
Many of the changes being implemented this semester have been due to concern from parents, staff, and other community members. By receiving and using feedback from everyone as the semester continues, AISD hopes that the concerns of all parties are being considered and will factor into future adjustments.
Flexibility and Grace
Although a great amount of effort has been put into transitioning an in-person curriculum into a series of online modules, the AISD recognizes that this is not the ideal learning situation for most students. AISD currently plans to open school doors after September 27th 2020, at which point students will be allowed to return to physical classes. However, due to rapidly changing information about COVID-19, this date is subject to change. AISD hopes that parents of students understand the unique and challenging situation that COVID-19 presents to schools and asks for patience as they continue to adapt.
Clear and Concise Communication
With constantly updating information, it is difficult for parents and staff to keep track of the new changes. The district maintains that communication is one of the most important functions of the AISD, now more than ever. New information, protocol changes, important dates and more will be posted on social media as well on the official AISD Return to School 2020 site. It is vitally important that parents understand the new changes that are taking place as well as any future changes that may come. AISD is doing everything possible to make sure that information is easily available.
More info on AISD Return to School 2020 can be found at: https://www.aisd.net/return-to-school-2020/
Questions for AISD can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org