Dripping Springs ISD board approves plan to return to school

by Chase Rogers

Dripping Springs ISD approved a return-to-school plan Monday, July 28, cementing guidelines for in-person and remote instruction for the fall semester.

The DSISD Board of Trustees voted 7-0 in favor to approve the “Return, Reimagine, Connect” back-to-school plan, taking effect after four weeks of remote instruction which begins on Aug. 18 and allowing parents to opt into in-person or remote instruction.

Parents selecting remote instruction will see a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous instruction with some choice depending on grade level. Synchronous instruction is remote instruction that is given in real-time, via Zoom or other services, and is two-way, allowing teachers and students to communicate as they would in a classroom setting. Distantly, remote asynchronous instruction utilizes “prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper,” defined by the Texas Education Agency.

According to the district, the curriculum will not change between students selecting in-person or virtual learning. In-person instruction will come with a mask requirement when in school facilities.

Superintendent Todd Washburn added that Hays County health officials have indicated their intent to implement a public health order restricting in-person learning until September, similar to Travis County’s.

Families will be able to enroll students in their chosen instruction model July 29.

To help inform stakeholders the district has created a web portal with the guidelines, frequently asked questions and surveys for viewing.

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