WFISD moving to school at home during the closure of public schools

Local News

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The WFISD school board is implementing a new plan of action to help cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting next Monday school will be going to the student’s home whether that be through a hi-tech option or a low-tech option until April 3, 2020, when Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order is set to end.

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, school district leaders are having to come together to figure out the best plan of action moving forward.

“School at home,” WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt said. “We are planning this week. We’re working with administrators today and tomorrow and we’ll bring back teachers, assistant principals and people like that on Wednesday. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday we’ll be planning school at home. WFISD’s version of school at home.”

The WFISD met on Monday to discuss COVID-19 preparedness among other things and at the meeting they promoted social distancing by none of the board members being in attendance. Instead, they attended virtually. Originally WFISD teachers were set to return to their school buildings on Wednesday even though Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made an executive order closing all public schools until April 3, 2020, but that now has changed.

“Teachers have never been required to come to work,” Kuhrt said. “Teachers are required to work but not physically be in the buildings. Teachers are going to have the option to work from home should they so choose.”

Another item of discussion at the meeting was wage payments during emergency school closings. The board decided to pass a resolution that allows the district to continue to pay its para-professionals staff, or hourly staff while they are idle.

“We have para-professionals that provide personal care for students,” Kuhrt said. “In other words, they push students around in a wheelchair, they provide hygiene needs that students have, they work with individual students in a classroom with students.”

Monday’s meeting was just another step in making sure the school district is prepared during this abnormal time.

During the meeting, Kuhrt also brought up how COVID-19 is impacting the long-range facility planning. He said the virus has put another kink in the planning process because they can’t go to other schools to tour them but everything is still on schedule for a November bond election.

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