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District releases instructional plan for 2020-2021

Dear Princeton ISD community,
Princeton ISD and its staff have developed multiple plans in order to continue to offer the same level of superior education that our parents and community have come to expect. These plans are continually evolving because of the ever-changing landscape that is COVID-19. The district continues to monitor the situation and receive regular updates and guidance from Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath and other local, state and federal agencies. We have continued to make decisions we believe are in the best interest of our students as a whole. We know there are still changes to come, but below is the current plan that best meets the needs of our students using the information currently available.
Princeton ISD will offer both on-campus and virtual instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents will be asked to register students for the model that best meets the needs of their children.
On-campus instruction
On-campus instruction will be predominantly face-to-face and is designed to return students to some sense of the normalcy they experienced in years past. Students will be placed in classes based on their educational needs, while great care will be taken to reduce the number of staff and students they come in direct contact with through the use of self-contained classes where possible and pods or groupings when feasible.
Desks or tables will be socially distanced as much as instruction allows. In addition, there will be increased cleaning measures in place, as well as increased access to hand sanitizer/hand washing stations.
Procedures and practices for personal protective equipment are also being developed for when it is practical to help decrease risk of exposure. At this time, face masks will be required for all students in 3rd through 12th grades. Students in Pre-K through 2nd grade may be asked to use face coverings during transitions and time in common areas. We are also investigating the use of workspace dividers when social distancing is not possible.
Screening procedures at the entrance to buildings will be implemented to mitigate the effect of exposed teachers and staff. The protocols proposed are to ensure the safest possible learning environment.
More information will be available in the 2020-2021 “PISD Instructional Practices Guide” that will be posted on the PISD website.
Virtual instruction
While home-based education during the recent spring semester was implemented as a stop-gap to reduce a slide in the retention of knowledge gained during the 2019-2020 school year, PISD is developing a more comprehensive and rigorous program for the 2020-2021 school year that will better serve the educational needs of our students. Princeton ISD will offer an asynchronous model that has several synchronous components available to assist students and provide a more traditional feel to the virtual environment.
While instructional videos and lessons will be posted (asynchronous) for students to view as needed, teachers will provide live, interactive lessons (synchronous) in core subject areas that will allow students to interact and ask questions and receive immediate feedback. These lessons, both synchronous and asynchronous, will be prepared and taught by a group of dedicated teachers focused on providing the best possible virtual experience during these trying times.
For some elective and honors classes, PISD will continue to use Edgenuity to deliver lessons. While PISD is attempting to offer a full continuum of advanced courses, enrollment numbers could limit the availability of some classes.
Reduced capacity
While the above plan fits the guidance currently in place, if federal, state or local requirements change and we are asked to reduce capacity, PISD has prepared plans for both A/B-type schedules, as well as 100 percent virtual plans. We do not believe these options are necessary at this time, but will be prepared to switch gears should the need arise.
Next steps
PISD has included a link below to an electronic decision form. Parents will need to fill out the form for each student in order to commit to an instructional plan for the first 6 weeks or longer. In order to assist with this decision, review the information below:
On-campus instruction
• Learning in school buildings
• Full-day attendance
• Face mask/coverings required grades 3-12
• Honors/Pre-AP/AP courses
• Dual credit courses
• Social distancing as feasible
• Parent partnership in monitoring health
• Extracurricular activities
• Full offering of CATE courses
Virtual instruction
• Online learning at home
• Minimum of:
          180 minutes daily grades Pre-K-5
          240 minutes daily grades 6-12
• Limited honors/Pre-AP/AP courses
• Dual credit courses
• Daily attendance log-ins
• Reliable internet required
• Daily assignments required
• Extracurriculars as allowed by UIL guidelines
• CATE courses requiring lab hours will require partial day attendance
As we navigate the best way to educate the children of Princeton ISD in the safest manner possible, it will be important for parents to complete the decision form at the link below as we continue to plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
Thank you for your commitment to help Princeton ISD open our schools and offer the children what is best for each of them.
Donald McIntyre
Superintendents of Schools
Princeton ISD