There is no doubt that since we first announced the district’s closure last week that much has changed with the nation’s response to the coronavirus. As a parent, like you, these developments cause me to not only be concerned about the health and well-being of my children, but also about how to keep them occupied while they are out of school.
For our family, we have structured a three-hour time period each morning during which our kids must accomplish certain learning goals, such as acquiring a certain number of points on Vocabulary.com, and utilizing Khan Academy to reinforce what they have already leaned. After this three-hour period – and if they have accomplished their goals – their time belongs to them. While I’m pushing for chess, I can tell you that my boys have already organized their X-Box tournaments with their friends.
I know that you are facing the same challenges and in effort to provide you some guidance, we are launching the Comal Continues: Home Learning Opportunities (HLO) resource webpage. The HLO webpage includes resources and activities organized by grade level to help keep your child’s learning moving forward and help structure their day while we are closed. There are also links to resources such as Vocabulary.com and Khan Academy, and guidance on how students can reflect on their learning activities.
I want to emphasize that the purpose of these resources is not to continue instruction and deliver new material online, nor are these graded assignments. Rather, the goal is to focus on reinforcing the basic foundations so that when our students do come back to school, they are ready to get back into the routine of learning.
While these resources are online, we also recognize that not all of our families have access to technology or have internet access. As such, later this week we will be providing HLO packets that parents can pick up at designated sites. We will let you know when those are ready.
I know that there are many more questions out there regarding grades, graduation, AP exams, SAT, class rank and so on. To be quite candid with you, I don’t have the answers to these questions yet…although I can tell you that STAAR testing has been canceled this year.
I would rather wait until we have solid answers for you, rather than cause unintended consequences by trying to give incomplete responses. Rest assured, however, that we will respond to these questions as soon as we have the answers.
Again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters, and thank you for letting me communicate with you daily regarding our work.