What will the first few weeks of Austin ISD classes look like?


AUSTIN (KXAN) – As the Austin Independent School District prepares to vote on whether the new school year will be delayed until after Labor Day, many parents have begun receiving plans from their child’s school for online classes. While AISD has given its schools’ guidance on how to structure online classes, each school has leeway to decide what’s best for their students.

KXAN looked at plans for three schools — an elementary, middle and high school — to get a better idea of what the beginning of the school year will look like. While many of the plans aren’t finalized and are subject to change, they give us a better idea of what to expect.

What could elementary school look like?

Lee Elementary School has not finalized its plans, but a preliminary note was sent to parents. In it, parents were told to expect a morning block of synchronous learning, meaning classes that will occur over some sort of video chat.

This block will be followed by lunch and then an afternoon with either asynchronous or small-group synchronous learning. School will still end at 3 p.m.

Teachers are working on supply lists and packets of materials that will be distributed in the coming weeks.

Baranoff Elementary also released their plans to parents. Children there will receive specific plans from their teachers for synchronous and asynchronous learning. They will not be expected to be on their computers all day.

Hard copy, paper packets will be given to students who request them. Students will be counted present as long as they engage in their daily activities, either through assignments or teacher-student interactions.

What might middle school look like?

Kealing Middle School sent out its plan on July 26.

Students there will do four hours of learning together over Zoom, then spend the rest of the day managing their own time. The synced-up classes are split with a lunch period that will feature an optional video chat so kids can interact.

Block scheduling will continue with “A” days happening on Monday and Wednesday and “B” days on Tuesday and Thursday. Students will attend all of their classes on Friday, but for shorter time periods.

Students will be required to submit a daily assignment for each scheduled class. This could be a discussion, quiz or something else. The students must have their cameras on to be counted present.

What might high school look like?

Stephen F. Austin High School says it will announce its plan in the coming days, but the school released a distance learning schedule on July 30. That schedule includes four-hour synchronous learning periods. Each of these periods is divided by half-hour periods of independent work time and teacher office hours.

Block scheduling will also occur. According to the schedule, the synchronous learning will include live class interactions, discussion board and small group work.

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