FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
GENERAL QUESTIONSWe anticipate students spending around two hours per day on a device. After checking assignments, etc., via Google Classroom, study/reading and project-based activities should be done offline before returning online to submit work.We are focusing on assessments for learning in order to measure where students are and how students progress. In addition to a variety of assessments for learning, teachers will still administer tests. The District has plans to implement innovative technology systems that will provide security for online testing.ARD Committees will determine the unique needs of students who receive special education services and will make service recommendations for students attending the Midland ISD Online Academy. Parents will continue to attend ARD meetings virtually and will receive digital copies of their student’s IEP. The nature of special education interventions will likely require a heavier concentration of synchronous supports and services to ensure that individual student needs are met. Students receiving special services will continue to receive technology, services, accommodations, and modifications required by the student’s IEP. Progress will be carefully monitored and ARD Committees will convene as needed to make appropriate recommendations to meet individual student needs. This will ensure continued growth in the general education curriculum and on IEP goals and objectives.ARD/504 committees will help determine the unique needs of the students who receive special education or 504 services and will make a schedule of services to ensure an appropriate IEP/504 plan is developed for online learning.The first day of class for the 2020-2021 school year is Wednesday, August 19. Sam Houston Collegiate Preparatory Elementary starts August 5 and IDEA Travis Academy starts August 11.Midland ISD will begin the 2020-2021 school year under the At-Home Instruction Model. Please see this document for more information. We strive to return students to On-Campus instruction as soon as possible. The district is in close contact with the Midland Health Department and Midland Memorial Hospital regarding hospital capacity, positivity rates, and community transmission rates.During the spring, schools offered enrichment and students were graded on a pass/fail basis. If the district operates in At-Home Instruction during the 2020-2021 school year, students will be required to sign in daily and turn in assignments. Additionally, students will be graded as if they were receiving instruction in class based on the MISD grading guidelines.Yes, bus routes will be published on midlandisd.net two weeks prior to the start of On-Campus or Blended Learning Instruction.Yes, the district will continue to provide bus services for students. The district will also implement safety procedures to ensure that buses are properly ventilated and cleaned.If it is necessary to close school for either a short or long term due to COVID-19, students will continue learning under the At-Home Instruction model. In this setting, teachers will provide virtual instruction, learning resources and support through the use of Google Classroom.Yes, MISD will provide grab and go meals to students if there is another school closure.The School Board approved the purchase of 1:1 technology for all teachers and students as part of the 2020-2021 budget. Technology will be distributed during this school year. In the meantime, WiFi hotspots and learning devices (Chromebooks and iPads) will be available for those families who need them, similar to last Spring.As many of our families are encountering a range of struggles financially as well as the challenges of actually "shopping" during COVID-19, uniforms will be optional during the first semester. Standard attire and adherence to the student dress code will still be in effect. The Dress Code can be found in the Student and Parent Handbook.The UIL has announced a delayed schedule for schools competing in Divisions 5A and 6A. This includes Midland and Lee High Schools. The move means fall practices for volleyball and football cannot begin until Sept. 7, with games beginning Sept. 14 (volleyball) and Sept. 24 (football). Our athletic department and coaches are meeting to determine any other necessary changes for our programs.Recess and PE are important parts of the day for physical health and well-being. Recess should occur with social distancing and staggered use of play areas wherever possible. Students will be encouraged to engage in games and activities that do not require physical contact or for students to be in close physical proximity with each other. The use of playground structures will be discouraged.School supply lists are available on each campus webpage. For virtual learning, you do not need access to a printer, however your child will need internet access and access to a learning device like a laptop or tablet. Please fill out the form on each campus webpage or call the school to request devices.This is a possibility. We plan for things like bad weather make-up days, but if the number of closure days exceeds that allotment, this is something that could happen. An intersessional calendar as was proposed but not adopted in the summer is one way to plan for this. The TEA continues to develop guidelines around dealing with COVID-19 impacts to public education and will continue to monitor these.
VIRTUAL LEARNINGARD Committees will determine the unique needs of students who receive special education services and will make service recommendations for students attending the Midland ISD Online Academy. Parents will continue to attend ARD meetings virtually and will receive digital copies of their student’s IEP. The nature of special education interventions will likely require a heavier concentration of synchronous supports and services to ensure that individual student needs are met. Students receiving special services will continue to receive technology, services, accommodations, and modifications required by the student’s IEP. Progress will be carefully monitored and ARD Committees will convene as needed to make appropriate recommendations to meet individual student needs. This will ensure continued growth in the general education curriculum and on IEP goals and objectives.ARD/504 committees will help determine the unique needs of the students who receive special education or 504 services and will make a schedule of services to ensure an appropriate IEP/504 plan is developed for online learning.Our Kindergarten students will be engaging in a full day of learning, but that does not mean they will be sitting in front of a computer all day. Kindergartners learn best through activities, developmental play, and even physical education. The online and offline learning activities are designed for 3 hours of instruction, with suggestions on how to structure the rest of the day with your student.MISD families are empowered to select which learning environment is the best fit for their student(s). If electing to attend face-to-face at school, no action will be needed. To enter or exit Midland ISD Online Academy, please enter your request via the form on each campus website. For more information, please see the Midland ISD Online Academy page. This will allow MISD to plan for student schedules, staffing, and preventative health and safety measures.Yes, you may move between the two learning environments. Because this change could also result in your child being assigned to new teachers, changes can be made only at the end of each 6-week grading cycle. The deadlines are listed here.Yes. Students will remain enrolled at their school and will retain their seat at their assigned school. This applies to all schools include magnets and schools of choice. Parents will continue to receive communication from the campus.No. If a parent elects to withdraw their student from Midland ISD, the seat will be released for other interested students.Yes. Both virtual and on-campus learning will be designed for mastery of student learning outcomes based on the academic standards called the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for each content area. Expectations for coursework and guidelines for grading for virtual and face-to-face learning will be the same.Grading will be consistent with the guidelines and practices used in all face-to-face instruction.Technology devices and hotspots may be checked out and distributed from students’ home campuses. Please visit your campus website for more information. Students must adhere to the District’s acceptable use policy when utilizing technology and must return the devices to the campus at the end of the school year or if the student withdraws from Midland ISD.Virtual learning will be taught by MISD teachers. Your student’s teacher may or may not be from your student’s home campus. In turn, students in your child’s virtual learning class may or may not be limited to students from your child’s home campus.Families will have an opportunity to switch between in-person and online instruction at the end of each six weeks grading period.Yes. All teachers have received training specific to online instruction. Teachers identified to provide virtual instruction to begin the school year will be provided on-going professional learning.Yes. Students who participate in Midland ISD Online Academy will be permitted to participate in extracurricular activities. However, students wishing to participate will still be required to participate in practices.No. If a parent selects Midland ISD Online Academy, they will not lose their seat in their choice school. All schools will do their best to provide the same educational programming virtually as provided on campus.Yes.Parents are never required to step in and become the teacher. On days when students are at home, instruction will be provided by MISD teachers via Google Classroom.This will vary based upon the grade level and courses your child is enrolled in.Midland ISD Online Academy programming will consist primarily of asynchronous instruction.
Asynchronous learning is a curricular experience where students engage in the learning materials on their own time, interacting intermittently with the teacher via the computer or other electronic devices.
Students in grades Pre-K-12 who are enrolled in the Midland ISD Online Academy will be assigned a virtual class schedule and must be able to engage in learning daily.
Asynchronous instruction will provide opportunities for small group, project based learning and other group activities at times.
Students in grades 7-12 choosing the Online Academy must be able to participate in on-campus classes for extracurricular activities (in accordance with UIL requirements) and/or electives that cannot be offered in the Online Academy setting.
Attendance will be taken based on completion/progress toward class expectations and daily activities, assignments or engagements. All assignments will be due by 11:59 pm on each instructional day.The Midland ISD Online Academy is a long-term learning environment for students. This option is designed for families confident that they do not want their students to return to on-campus instruction, for at at least 6 weeks. The At-Home Instruction status is for when campuses are temporarily closed to on-campus instruction. By selecting and staying in the Midland ISD Online Academy, students would be able to build relationships virtually with their instructors and classmates.If a student qualifies for Bilingual services, then this student will be served in the same manner they would in a campus classroom. Students identified for ESL services will also be served in the same matter as they would in a campus classroom.Every student will be addressed individually. This goes for in-person or virtual models. Teachers will have access to the plans, to know each student's needs. For students with specific needs, we can create 1-on-1 lesson plans catering to their needs.
HEALTH, SAFETY AND OPERATIONSAll staff are required to wear masks or shields. All students grades 3-12 will be required to wear masks in accordance with governor’s orders. Students grades PK-2 are urged to wear masks if they are able.Any family that wishes to keep their child in 100% virtual learning may do so through the Midland ISD Online Academy.Students with Symptoms
- The school nurse will immediately isolate the student, ensure the student is wearing a mask, and contact the parent and health care provider.
- The student will be sent with the parent to isolate at home or report to a health care provider based upon the guidance of the health care provider.
Employees with Symptoms
Each campus will identify a room where students/staff can be isolated if they present COVID-19 symptoms.If a child goes to an isolation room, we will contact parents as soon as possible. Please update Skyward, and leave another trusted adult as an emergency contact.Employees are required to wear a mask or face shield while on campus. Students who are over 10 years of age are required to wear a mask while on campus facilities as well as on school buses. Instructional staff will be provided a clear face shield.Bus drivers will thoroughly disinfect all interior surfaces of buses and keep windows down when temperatures allow, to encourage air flow. Please see the section on School Bus Safety for more information.We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Following CDC guidance and taking steps such as maintaining 6 feet of distance from others when possible, wearing a mask or face covering, and washing hands frequently all play a part. In addition to encouraging the wearing of masks for all teachers and students, MISD is sanitizing and disinfecting buildings every night, enforcing frequent handwashing breaks, providing hand sanitizer, and encouraging social distancing wherever possible.MISD requires that all employee confirmed cases of COVID-19 be reported. After learning of a confirmed case, MISD Health services will reach out to any individuals who came into close contact with the infected person including parents of students. The areas where the teacher was last present will be disinfected, and temporary closure of the building may be necessary for the disinfection process. In this event, learning will continue through At-Home Instruction. All staff and parents connected to the facility where the infected individual was last present will receive notification of the positive case. The name and identify of the infected teacher will not be disclosed.All student confirmed cases of COVID-19 are required to be reported to the campus nurse. After learning of a confirmed case, MISD Health services will reach out to any individuals who came into close contact with the infected student, including the parents of other students. The areas where the student was last present will be disinfected, and temporary closure of the building may be necessary for the disinfection process. In this event, learning will continue through At-Home Instruction. All staff and parents connected to the facility where the infected individual was last present will receive notification of the positive case. The name and identify of the infected student will not be disclosed.MISD follows the CDC definitions for these levels of community spread. Substantial means there is large-scale community transmission of COVID-19 (either controlled or uncontrolled), including communal settings. Moderate means there is sustained transmission of COVID-19 with high likelihood or confirmed exposure within communal settings and potential for rapid increase in cases. Low means there is evidence of isolated cases or limited community transmission, and no evidence of exposure in large communal settings. Midland ISD is in close communication with the Midland Health Department and Midland Memorial Hospital on COVID-19 tracking.In many cases, the individual with COVID was only in certain parts of the building, which can immediately be closed off and disinfected without needing to close the entire campus.Each campus will work to ensure that students observe social distancing protocol during lunch. In the event that social distancing protocol is difficult to observe in the cafeteria, schools will serve box lunches in classrooms.Yes. Open lunch will still be available.Not this year. To maintain distancing, parents should not come to campus to deliver meals.Each positive test is handled on a case-by-case basis including how many close contacts the individual had and how many areas of the campus they touched.
- Employees who have symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, or shortness of breath, etc.) should notify their supervisor and stay home.
- Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees and students should not return to work or school until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in consultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
- Employees or students who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor or their school nurse and follow CDC recommended precautions.