Leander - Cedar Park | August 2020

that special-needs students will have more live learning in the fall. When in-person instruction begins, new safety protocols will be in place for special education sta and students during in-per- son instruction. Special equipment to aid with instruction, such as see-through masks for speech pathologists, will be implemented as well. “We want this to be very dierent from the spring and very meaningful for our students,” she said. For in-person learning, health and hygiene will become a top priority, Padavil said. Sta and students in grades 3-12 will be required to wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. All students, including children in pre-K through second grade, will be required to wear masks during transitions, including entering and leaving school. “We know that the act of wearing a mask is one of the best preventive measures,” Padavil told trust- ees July 23. LISD ocials have also said they are working to close the digital divide with some families. LISD Chief Technical Ocer Jason Miller said 315 district families lacked internet connectivity during the spring semester. As such, Miller said, the district has purchased hot spots, which are devices that allow computer users to access the internet via Wi-Fi through cell phone companies. There are still 60-70 families who live in areas with weak cell reception, and those families are being addressed on a case-by- case basis, he said. Although the deadline to choose an instruction

VIRTUAL LEARNING ACADEMY All district educators attended Leander ISD’s Virtual Learning Academy, which aimed to prepare them for the rst three weeks of 100% virtual instruction and beyond.

• Curriculum model complies with state requirements • Consistent daily schedule that replicates in-person instruction • Substantial live, face-to-face learning that includes teachers and classmates • Full-group, small-group and one-on-one activities with teachers • Independent learning through activities, projects and assignments • Employment of user-friendly teaching platforms

type was Aug. 7, as of press time Aug. 10, Leander ISD spokesperson Matt Mitchell said the district was still nalizing how teachers will be distributed across in-person, virtual and hybrid learning. The decisions surrounding when school should reopen have resulted in spirited conversations with those who want schools to reopen sooner and those who want a more gradual reopening, trustees and ocials said. LISD ocials’ consensus is that starting the school year with virtual learning is the safest approach. “I get that we have parents that absolutely have to work,” trustee Jim MacKay said. “As a board, we have the obligation to do what is right for the great- est number of people in our district.”

IMPORTANT DATES Sept. 7: in-person football and band practices resume Sept. 8: LISD campuses open to students Families may change their chosen instruction method if requests are made before the end of the grading period.

Sept. 18, Oct. 30, Dec. 18: end dates of fall six-week grading periods Oct. 9, Dec. 18: end dates of fall nine-week grading periods

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