Decisions Based on Data
When making decisions about Galveston ISDs 2020 return to learning options, the district bases its recommendations on guidelines provided by local, state, and federal authorities such as Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas Department of State Health Services, Galveston County Health District, University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), and the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
TEA resources and instructions for districts can be found on the agency’s COVID-19 page. Relevant TEA documents resources include:
Galveston ISD continues to commit to respecting and protecting the emotional and physical safety of every student, teacher, and staff member while continuing to provide a high quality educational experience focused on student achievement and equity in education. This guide was developed around five commitments that Galveston ISD will uphold as we strive to be an excellent school district offering a world of opportunity.
Commitment 1 – School Safety
The safety of our students, staff, families, and the community is our priority. We are committed to ensuring that all appropriate safety measures are implemented in order to reduce and/or prevent exposure to COVID-19 through the consistent implementation of:
- Social distancing practices
- Cleaning and sanitizing practices for all facilities, equipment, buses, commonly used items/locations, etc.
- Implementation of screening practices to adhere to recommended guidelines for symptoms of illness and requirements for return to school/work
- Implementation of protocols to ensure that students who are ill remain at home until all fever/symptoms improve without the use of fever reducing medication and that students who become ill will be sent home
- Discipline steps created for any purposeful contamination
- Masks/Face coverings will be worn by all staff who are within 6 feet of a student.
Commitment 2 – SEL & Mental Health
Galveston ISD is committed to supporting the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) and Mental Health needs of the students and staff. Training will be conducted on the possible impacts of trauma due to COVID-19. Students’ social and emotional needs will be addressed by:
- Collaborating across child-serving systems to coordinate supports for interventions that target the emotional needs of our students
- Providing students with the tools to develop a healthy sense of self and social awareness, embrace diversity with empathy and respect for others, and make responsible decisions
- Engaging in professional learning so that staff will be able to facilitate a physically and emotionally safe learning environment and address the emotional/mental health needs of their students
- Actively monitoring the progress of students to identify necessary supports for student engagement in learning connected to the school and the broader community
- Collaborating with parents and staff to ensure student access to both SEL and Mental Health supports
- Developing positive relationships with parents and students in all learning environments
- Committing to explicit training for instructional staff
- Committing to explicit monitoring for student well being
- Utilizing student voice to help drive change within the district and greater community
Commitment 3 – Learning Models
Galveston ISD maintains the goal of providing an excellent education to all students through engaging learning models and rigorous instruction while prioritizing student, family, and staff safety. Models will value student needs and maintain a focus on increased student achievement and equity within a responsible economic lens. We understand the need to design multiple learning models for the 20-21 SY return and in doing so, we have the following plans available to be selected at the need of GISD:
- On-Site model with all safety precautions in place
- Hybrid models (part of the week at school and part of the week from home utilizing virtual/remote learning) with safety measures in place during school attendance
- Virtual/Remote learning (entire school day is completed at home with use of GISD curriculum and teaching)
With the possibility of sporadic closures due to COVID-19 or other circumstances, that the models could be fluid and used as a combination of response for the 20-21 SY.
- For Hybrid models, a use of rigorous and engaging face-to-face pedagogy and virtual/remote learning tools to participate in positive and useful knowledge-building experiences
- Allow parent choice of the virtual model independent of the model determined by the district, for at least the Fall 2020 semester, possibly complete 20-21 SY, as the state permits
- Opportunities for synchronous and asynchronous instruction that provide academically and emotionally sound interactions and growth as needed during model implementation
- Opportunities to provide intervention, enrichment, and acceleration to ensure that students maintain agency and movement toward both short- and long-term graduation goals
- Progress monitoring of student growth, interaction, completion of content and assessments for feedback and support
- Continuation of opportunities for extra-curricular and co-curricular activities that meet safety protocols
- Development of support systems for social and emotional well-being for all models
- Strive for equity between schools and educational models
Commitment 4 - Technology
The technological needs of students required to participate in the Galveston ISD Hybrid and Virtual learning models must be taken into consideration. In the event that the Hybrid or Virtual learning model is necessary, we are committed to providing a borrowed device for every student who is without a personal device. We are committed to support internet connectivity options for student’s usage within the district boundaries.
- Systems are in place to issue and track devices for each student who may need to borrow a device from GISD
- Information will be collected, and the necessary internet connectivity options and locations will be provided for households in need
- We will continue to strive to include elementary students in the device plan
- We will continue to strive to become a 1:1 device complete district
- Mobile internet hubs on GISD vehicles
Commitment 5 – Professional Development & Support
Galveston ISD will provide and ensure professional development for appropriate staff members for operational and safety elements.
- Operational and training elements will include the safety guidelines and protocols that are established in this document, as well as any additional recommendations based on medical leadership
- The Learning Management System, Canvas, will be the instructional portal for GISD
- Training and support in Canvas will be provided to all instructional staff, parents, and students