Summer, fall plans unknown due to COVID uncertanties
Boerne ISD Superintendent Tom Price told his board of trustees on Monday that it’s obvious the 2019-20 academic year was one of the “toughest for us all.”
Trustees gathered publicly this week in the BISD board room for the first time in a couple months to conduct business and hear Price give the most up-to-date report about the future of BISD as he could while continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Boerne schools, as well as schools across Texas and elsewhere, have not been in session since mid-March. Virtual learning has taken place instead.
“I’m proud of how everyone pulled it together,” Price said. “But I think everyone will have a big sigh of relief when it’s over.”
Price said the last day of the academic year was Thursday.
“Two months ago this all started in the middle of spring break,” he said. “The two months seems like two to 20 years.”
Price spent a few minutes talking about the recently scheduled graduation ceremonies before he discussed what may occur in the fall when school resumes.
“We are trying to make graduation as traditional as possible,” he said. “We will do our best (for the senior class) to celebrate 12 years of school success.”
Champion seniors will participate in commencement exercises on Thursday, June 4. Boerne High seniors will have their ceremony on Friday, June 5. Both will begin at 8 p.m. and take place at the Boerne ISD Stadium.
It’s been reported that each graduate will receive five tickets for family members. Strict COVID-19 protocols will be observed.
The superintendent also touched on summer school, although much remains unknown at this point as the Texas Education Agency continues to distribute and update guidelines.
“It will be a combination of traditional and blended learning,” Price said. “Our first choice would be to do everything in person, but we don’t think it’s going to work that way.”
He said guidelines currently in place will allow for 11 individuals in a classroom, including the teacher. Some classes will be online only.
“The kids who went through the pandemic and struggled are those we’re most worried about,” Price said. “We want to try to help those kids in person if possible.”
He said updates will be provided as they become available.
As far as the fall, Price said the district will be “second guessed” no matter what happens.
“I can’t see how anyone can tell us now as we start looking at the next school year what is going to happen three months from now,” he said. “We will try to have as traditional of a year as possible.
“Our priority is to accommodate our kids and their parents. Right now, we just don’t know what August will look like.”
Price said the district has formed committees that will study and review protocols, recommendations and situations and come up with proposed plans of actions. The committees will look into how to deal with classrooms, hallways and buses full of students, as well as other areas of concern. Principals and teachers will be included on the committees.
He said the goal is to have an idea of what will happen in the district for the fall by the end of June.
“The ultimate goal is safety and then academics,” Price said.
Several options may end up being considered, he said. But one of them at this time will not be moving to year-round classes.
“What matters is what the community’s vision for our schools is,” he said. “We want to reflect the will of the community.” Price also said the district
Price also said the district has not been told how and if it will have to make up days next year if schools again are forced to close.
“We’re trying to keep up,” he said. “We will have a plan, we want your input and we will keep you posted.
“We will send out our plan when we can.”