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During last night’s special meeting of the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees, board members approved a change in the district’s Virtual Learning Program. 

 

The virtual option will be eliminated for the students who are currently failing academically or those who have excessive absences that warrant violation of the 90 percent TEA mandated attendance rule. Parents who have students impacted by this decision will have the following options for their student: return to school for on-campus face-to-face  instruction, withdraw to homeschool, attend a private school, or request a transfer to a school district that offers a remote learning option.

 

Students who are doing well academically, logging-in, and meeting TEA attendance guidelines will still be able to continue virtual learning. 

 

The decision came after board members were advised last week that over 60 percent of remote learning students, K-12, had failed at least one class during the first 6-weeks. 

 

The following is a letter from BSISD Superintendent Jay McWilliams to Parents and Guardians of BSISD Students, dated for 10/12/2020:

 

 

 

To the Parents and Guardians of Big Spring ISD Students: 

 

Our administration leadership team has been reviewing remote learning students and looking at their academic performance, attendance data, and speaking with campus principals and teachers. Discussions have revealed that the concept of remote learning has not been successful for the majority of our students, and the added burden of a full scale instructional system on our teachers as also been extremely difficult to sustain. At the end of the first grading cycle over 60% of our remote learners are failing one or more classes. We also have many of our remote learners that are not meeting the TEA mandated 90% attendance rule, even after repeated phone calls from our campus leaders. We believe it is time for those students who are failing academically or who have excessive absences to return to school for face to face instruction. We are accountable for the educational growth of all students, and we truly believe there is no substitute for an in-person, on campus learning experience. Those remote learning students who have been successful in their academics and attendance will be allowed to continue to learn virtually. Our teachers and staff at Big Spring ISD have worked extremely hard to ensure that our students have had all the tools necessary to succeed in their learning, both virtually and face to face. 

 

On Monday, October 12, 2020, the Big Spring ISD Board of Trustees approved eliminating the option for remote online learning for those students who are currently failing academically, or who have excessive absences. (Under TEA attendance mandates) Our staff and principals will be reaching out to those students who need to return to campus for in-person learning. Beginning Monday, October 19, 2020, students will need to choose from the following options to comply with state compulsory attendance education laws: 

> Come to school for on campus, face-to-face instruction 

> Withdraw to homeschool

> Enroll in a private school

> Request a transfer to another school district that offers remote, online learning 

 

We understand that student health during these times remains a concern for many parents, which is why Big Spring ISD will continue to follow proper health protocols to provide a safe learning space for our face-to-face students. 

 

Students will be allowed to learn remotely only if they fall into the following categories: 

> Students who are being successful academically and are meeting attendance guidelines

> Students not in face to face attendance due to school closure

> Students with a documented medical COVID-19 diagnosis 

>Students determined to be a COVID-19 close contact and asked to quarantine

> Students with a medical diagnosis of Flu, Strep, etc., that would create absences for 3 or more days

 

Our administrators, teachers, and staff look forward to the opportunity to work with those students that will be returning to the classroom for in-person, face-to-face instruction. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at (432) 264-3600 or email me at jmcwilliams@bsisd.esc 18.net. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Jay McWilliams

Superintendent

Big Spring ISD 

 

 

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