Longview ISD shares plan for final six weeks of school, graduation

Longview ISD shares plan for final six weeks of school, graduation
Longview ISD

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Remote learning has become an acceptable norm across the country, but many educators say those students can fall behind. The Longview ISD superintendent shared more about the board’s decision to ask students who can, to learn in person for the last six weeks of the school year.

The first thing LISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox wants to point out is that online is still an option.

“We are still going to have the option of online instruction,” Wilcox said.

That being said Wilcox says he and the board agree that in person instruction is the best option.

“We feel like face to face, in the classroom with one of our great teachers is where we want every student.” Wilcox said.

“We’re going to maintain our social distancing; we’re going to maintain our mask mandate. All our hand washing stations are open,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox said the district wants to make it abundantly clear to parents, “we want your child back in our classroom, if it’s safe.”

And he says what got the conversation started was spring break.

“We had zero students with a positive COVID test, and we had zero staff members,” Wilcox said.

Of course, not everyone was tested, which is why if students or their families are considered high risk, students may continue remote learning.

“It may not be their health, but it may be the health of someone in the home,” Wilcox said.

But he knows it’s a challenge for kids to focus remotely, and there’s a price to falling behind.

“It will take us four to five years to catch all the students up to the slide in reading and math level that they have been subjected to in the last year,” Wilcox said.

He and other educators feel there is no substitute for learning in person.

The last six weeks of this school year has begun. Dr. Wilcox says LISD families were notified several weeks ago that the district would like students back in the classroom if they or their families are not categorized as high risk.

LISD is also offering several options for graduation: a drive through where families can get out and present the diploma to a child, the traditional way with a Friday ceremony at Lobo Stadium, or through the mail.

Dr Wilcox also says they were one of the first school districts in the state to offer onsite testing and that every teacher who wanted the COVID-19 vaccine was able to get it.

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