Area school districts are working diligently to create solutions to the education dilemma surrounding the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the first spring break extension and the subsequent school closures East Texas school districts have been working harder than ever to ensure their students, and communities, are supported in every way they can manage. From online classes to worksheet packets, Rusk County schools are finding ways to meet this crisis head-on.
While the community concern is apparent and school systems are going above and beyond there is still concern from homebound students about the status of their educational career. Area Seniors have expressed concern over their opportunity to graduate and how these closures will affect their graduation dates and ceremonies.
“The online/hardcopy learning will count for high school credit for those that complete the assignments,” said Byron Jordan, MEISD Superintendent, when asked about the concern over gradation. “The GPA for class rank was taken after the 4th six weeks instead of the normal 5th six weeks due to school closure. Our seniors will be able to graduate that have completed coursework, and we are working on a graduation ceremony solution if we have to remain closed into May.”
Mt. Enterprise ISD is utilizing Google Classroom to hold classes for any students with internet capabilities. The school will issue a laptop to any student with internet capabilities but no computer access. For those that don’t have access to either a computer or the internet, printed packets are made available for parent pick-up Mondays from 7 a.m. through 7 p.m.
Overton ISD is also using the packet pick-up option and Google Classroom but has added Study Island, an academic software provider of standards-based assessment, instruction, and test preparation e-learning programs. Assignments can be picked up and dropped off with the student’s curbside sack lunch each day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. There is a second drop off and pick up time of 5 to 7 p.m. scheduled for families who still have parents or guardians working on an essential basis.
Tatum ISD is utilizing Zoom software to have class meetings and all weekly assignments are downloadable from their website at www.tatumisd.org.
Leverett’s Chapel students can get their packets delivered on Mondays and Tuesdays. For those that can’t be hand-delivered, they will be mailed or parents can pick them up at the administration building.
West Rusk ISD has online classes available for upperclassmen while elementary students are given printed packets. West Rusk teachers are diligently following up with students and parents to ensure the work is being completed to combat any lapse in the educational process.
Laneville ISD while pick-up and mailing of the packets are available options the district has instructed the school’s bus drivers to travel their regular routes to deliver work assignments directly to the students. Yellowjackets Seniors must pick up their packets.
Henderson ISD very quickly set up online learning opportunities. Their students can access weekly lessons, aimed at reviewing and reteaching the skills they’ve learned throughout this year, at www.hendersonisd.org/campuses/online_lessons.
Staff from each level of the Henderson school district have taken special convoys throughout the student’s neighborhoods to remind them of the fondness their teachers feel for them and to uplift their spirits during such a trying time.
Rusk County has a lot to be grateful for in its school districts and their big-hearted staff. From the largest school to the smallest and from kitchen staff to Superintendents, these schools have excelled when confronted with never-before-seen circumstances and proven their dedication to the education and well-being of this area’s students and their future.