COVID-19 impact on WFISD school year

COVID-19 impact on WFISD school year

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Monday night the Wichita Falls ISD school board discussed their plans for dealing with the coronavirus’s effect on education.

While it’s still uncertain when students will go back into the classroom, the big thing starting next week is classes are moving to at home only. District superintendent Michael Kuhrt says their number one priority will continue to be making sure every student gets the education they deserve.

“I don't see us being back to school April 6th so we are planning an extended closure of school in Wichita falls ISD,” Kuhrt said.

Instruction is moving to at home, in either an online or offline way. That’s being determined on a case by case basis. This week each student will be getting a call from either their teacher or another district official.

“We’re going to check on their health and well being first and then we are going to ask how do we contact you on a regular basis do you have internet access, do you have a device at home,” Kuhrt said.

Teachers will have the option to either work remotely or from their classroom.

“If we have a campus that has 35 classrooms and there are 35 teachers there, the teachers should be able to walk down the hall and into their classroom and be fairly safe,” Kuhrt said.

In a move that will help keep many employed, hourly staff will remain employees of WFISD while the schools are closed.

Long range facility planning is being affected too. In person meetings will be to come to work or provide any services to the district,” Kurht added that some people will be called in but will get extra pay.

“They’ll receive time and a half because they are already seeing the same pay as everybody else. They’ll just have an opportunity to get additional pay their services are essential to the district and we can’t have them idle.”

Long range facility planning is being affected too. In person meetings will be reworked.

“We are going to come up with online options for our community to still be engaged for our teachers to be engaged and for our students to still be engaged in our planning process. We are just going to do it now through google meets,” Kuhrt said.

STAAR testing requirements for the year have been lifted, meaning high school seniors won’t need to have taken this year’s test to graduate.

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