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Struggling remote learners to return to school for in-person learning

The presence of the COVID-19 virus has dramatically altered the way we live our lives, and the way we operate our schools. For the first time ever, Ector County ISD is offering students the chance to come to school and learn in-person or stay home and learn online. ECISD is embracing and is committed to continuing this kind of innovation that ensures all students receive a quality learning experience that helps them grow and pursue their interests.

 

There is no question, however, the disconnect from daily school attendance is hurting a number of our children. Together, District leaders and campus principals have been reviewing attendance and academic performance of our remote learning students. We are finding that some students have not been successful in this environment. We also have remote learners that are not meeting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) mandated 90% attendance rule, despite repeated attempts by principals and teachers to contact them. Our District must ensure that all students experience a learning environment that enables them to be successful; and we believe it is now time for students who are failing academically or those who have excessive absences to return to school for face-to-face instruction.

 

Failing academically is defined as:

  • PreK-K: Failure to achieve benchmarks in one or more core areas for any grading period
  • 1st-8th grade: Failed one or more core subjects for the semester (<69%)
  • High School: Failed to receive credit for the first semester in any course required to graduate (<69%)

 

As we begin this second semester, District leaders are closely monitoring the presence of COVID-19 in our community to determine the date on which ECISD will terminate the option for remote learning specifically for those students who are failing academically, or who have excessive absences. Once the date is determined, our staff and principals will be reaching out to those students who need to return to campus for face-to-face instruction. Families will receive a letter with data supporting the return to face-to-face instruction. The letters will provide families a two-week window for the transition.

 

Those remote learning students who have been successful in their academics and attendance will be allowed to continue to learn virtually for the remainder of the school year.

 

Understanding that student health during this pandemic remains a concern for parents, families will have the right to apply for a COVID-19 High Risk Exemption due to risk of severe illness, as designated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Those conditions, such as asthma, chronic lung disease, compromised immune systems, (including from smoking, cancer treatment, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, or use of corticosteroids or other immune weakening medications), diabetes, serious heart disease (including heart failure, coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies, and hypertension), chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis, liver disease, or severe obesity.

 

A Medical Certification for COVID-19 High Risk Exemption must be completed and signed by a Health Care Provider. You may request the medical certification form from your campus office.

 

ECISD is committed to safely providing an excellence educational experience for every student. Ensuring that struggling students have a place, face-to-face with a highly qualified teacher, every day is paramount to that mission.