Texoma superintendents prepare for 20-21 school year after abrupt shift

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Students have been out of the classroom since before spring break and superintendents are now looking to the future. It’s hard for superintendents to imagine exactly what the next school year will look like.

From when kids will get back in the classroom to how they’re taught.

“Our routines and what’s normal for us in the past is probably going to be out the window,” Vernon ISD Superintendent Jeff Byrd said.

Ideas have been thrown around, but nothing is set in stone for Vernon ISD and Wichita Falls ISD.

“Even if we have a traditional setting of school, we’re gonna have to have some kind of plan to instruct and educate and provide instruction for those parents who don’t want them at school yet,” Byrd said.

“It’s amazing how much things can change in a week’s time,” WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt said. “We’re definitely going to do some [professional development] this summer with our staff, capacity building and stuff related to blended learning where that’s just more of a normal thing for everybody.”

City View ISD Superintendent Tony Bushong plans to start a fresh school year the way it’s usually started.

“Until I hear something different from TEA or our commissioner, our plans going forward is that we start school and I know we need to start school,” Bushong said.

Based on a recomendation from the Texas Education Agency, each superintendent is preparing for the possibility of short-term distruptions related to COVID-19.

“I think our teachers and our kids understand that if we have to take off more time than what we’ve allotted then we’ll have to go into June before we’re out of school,” Bushong said.

The TEA also warning of a potential “COVID slide”

“It is too early to tell what the learning loss is going to be,” Kuhrt said. “It’s not like ‘oh my gosh’ they’ve missed three months of school, well that’s not true, they may have missed three or four weeks of key solid instruction and the rest of that then is normally review and testing.”

Only time will tell when, or if, the classroom goes back to a traditional setting.

Burkburnett ISD Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Missy Mayfield describes planning next year “like pinning jello to the wall”.

They’ve adapted their calendar, but are still looking at all possibilities.

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