FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: When does school start?
A: 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.
Q: What is the plan for students to return to school?
A: Midland ISD will begin the 2020-2021 school year under the At-Home Instruction Model. Please see this document for more information. Students will receive instruction at home through Midland ISD teachers using Google Classroom from August 19 - September 9, 2020. As we approach the end of this period, MISD will re-evaluate the level of COVID-19 transmission in Midland.
Q. How will the At-Home Instruction Model compare to the virtual instruction provided last Spring?
A: 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.
Q: Will bus transportation be provided during Blended Learning Instruction?
A: Yes, bus routes will be published on midlandisd.net two weeks prior to the start of On-Campus or Blended Learning Instruction.
Q: If I select to send my student for in-person instruction will the district provide bus services?
A: 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.
Q: What happens to on-campus learning if another closure occurs?
A: 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.
Q: Will MISD provide meal service to students if another closure occurs?
A: Yes, MISD will provide grab and go meals to students if there is another school closure.
Q: How close is the 1:1 technology to becoming a reality? Especially given the possibility of at-home learning?
A: 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.
Q: What am I supposed to do about my childcare if we are in Blended Learning Instruction?
A: MISD is partnering with Right at School and others to provide childcare off site for days when students are learning virtually.
Q: Are uniforms required this year?
A: As many of our families are encountering a range of struggles financially as well as the challenges of actually "shopping" during COVID-19, campuses will extend grace and flexibility in the first semester in requiring students to wear "uniforms" or adhere to Standard Attire requirements. Uniforms will be optional during the first semester. Second semester, we will plan for Standard Attire to be enforced. Throughout the year, the MISD Dress Code is still in effect. The Dress Code can be found in the Student and Parent Handbook.
Q: What is the status of fall athletics and other UIL extracurricular activities?
A: 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.
Q: What are plans for PE or recess if students return to campuses?
A: 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.
Q: What kind of supplies do kids need to have to be prepared for virtual or on-campus learning?
A: 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.
Q: Will schools that close have to make up time at the end of the year?
A: 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.
Q: How do I select fully virtual learning for my student?
A: 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. Families wishing to choose the Midland ISD Online Academy (fully virtual) can do so through MISD’s Apply Midland application portal. To plan appropriately, we are asking all parents who are selecting the Online Academy to submit their application in Apply Midland prior to the start of the school year. This will allow MISD to plan for student schedules, staffing, and preventative health and safety measures. The application period will begin in August.
Q: Can students move from in-class to online?
A: 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. We will provide updates in the upcoming weeks regarding how families can make these changes.
Q: Will students remain enrolled at their school if they choose virtual learning?
A: 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.
Q: Will my student retain their seat at a school of choice if I choose to withdraw and homeschool this year?
A: No. If a parent elects to withdraw their student from Midland ISD, the seat will be released for other interested students.
Q: Will the Midland ISD Online Academy curriculum be the same as on-campus instruction?
A: 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.
Q: Will grading be the same for on-campus instruction and the Online Academy?
A: Grading will be consistent with the guidelines and practices used in all face-to-face instruction.
Q: Will technology and hotspots be provided and how will they be distributed?
A: 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.
Q: Who will be my child’s Online Academy teacher and will that teacher be from our home campus?
A: 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.
Q: What is the deadline for parents to make a decision?
A: Families will be asked to commit to Midland ISD’s Online Academy by August 14, 2020. Families will have an opportunity to switch back to in-person instruction at the end of the six weeks grading period
Q: Will teachers be trained to instruct in the new format?
A: Yes. All teachers will receive training specific to online instruction in the event that a school closure is necessary during the 2020-2021 school year. Teachers identified to provide virtual instruction to begin the school year will be provided on-going professional learning.
Q: If I select Midland ISD Online Academy, will my student be able to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities like sports, band, theater, UIL academics, etc.?
A: 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.
Q: If you are a choice school student and opt for virtual only learning, do you lose your spot since you are not participating in the fine arts, science, technology portions etc? Do you feel those spots should be reserved for those willing to attend in person daily over a virtual only since it would not necessarily be a home teacher for those students?
A: 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.
Q: Do I need proof of residency to enroll in the Midland ISD Online Academy?
Q: For the Blended Learning model: on the virtual days, will the parents be teaching the material or will the teachers be online teaching the material either live or prerecorded?
A: 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.
Q: What will be the estimated time spent on school work through Midland ISD Online Academy?
A: This will vary based upon the grade level and courses your child is enrolled in.
Q: What will a typical week or day look like for a Midland ISD Online Academy student?
A: 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.
- Students in grades PK-2 are eligible to enroll in the Online Academy and will receive instruction through asynchronous instruction. 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.
Q: I am trying to apply to the MISD Online Academy but do not remember my child’s student ID. What can I do?
A: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call your home campus for assistance.
Q: How does the Midland ISD Online Academy experience differ from the At Home Instruction experience in the event of a long term At Home Instruction instructional status across the district?
A: The Midland ISD Online Academy is a long-term learning environment for students just like for on-campus instruction. This option is designed for families confident that they do not want their students to return to on-campus instruction. 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.
Q: Will online learning be available in Spanish/Hakha Chin?
A: 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.
Q: How will students with special needs be accommodated in virtual learning?
A: 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 OPERATIONS
Q: What health screening protocols will be in place?
- 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
- 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.
Q: What are the protocols for isolation?
A: Each campus will identify a room where students/staff can be isolated if they present COVID-19 symptoms.
Q: How do I pick up my child if they’re in an isolation room?
A: 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.
Q: What are the protocols for personal protective equipment (PPE)?
A: 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.
Q: What are the safety protocols for students riding the bus?
A: Students will have their temperature checked before entering the bus every day. If a temperature above 100.3 is registered, they will not be permitted to ride the bus and parents will be contacted. Bus drivers will thoroughly disinfect all interior surfaces of buses. Please see the section on School Bus Safety for more information.
Q: How will you protect my child from contracting COVID-19?
A: 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 developing detailed cleaning and sanitizing procedures for all campuses and school facilities, and paying extra attention to the maintenance of sinks and soap dispensers.
Q: What happens if my child’s teacher gets sick?
A: MISD requires that all employee confirmed cases of COVID-19 be reported via the form. 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.
Q: What happens if my child’s classmate gets sick? Will I be notified?
A: 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.
Q: What are the definitions of Low, Moderate, and Substantial on your chart?
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 COID-19 tracking.
Q: I see a confirmed case at my child's school on the dashboard. Why would the school not close?
A: The school could stay open based upon the amount of time that has passed between when the individual received a positive test result and when they were last on campus. For example, If the employee or student has not been on campus since before they reported their confirmed case.
Q: What does lunchtime look like if students return to campuses?
A: 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.
Q: Can HS students leave campus for lunch?
A: Yes. Open lunch will still be available.
Q: Can parents bring lunches to their students at school?
A: Not this year. To maintain distancing, parents should not come to campus to deliver meals
Q: Will an entire campus close if one student or staff member tests positive?
A: Yes, the facility would close for cleaning and disinfection.
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