By Charlotte Aguilar
Families who have worried about their youngsters’ “screen time” are going to have to get used to it as a way of life, as Houston ISD unveiled its “HISD@HOME” learning plan Monday (March 23) to continue educating more than 200,000 youngsters during its shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. The district is currently projecting an April 13 date to restart classes.
Starting with an online survey about students’ access to electronic devices and the internet, HOME (Home-based Online Mobile Education) will link families to their schools and the district to meet both academic and non-academic needs while HISD is closed.
Campuses also launched personal outreach today to assess access so that they can determine the needs for traditional, paper-based learning.
Electronic needs are expected to be largely covered at HISD’s high schools, which already provide laptops to each student under the PowerUp program.
Teachers began electronic “meetings” today by campus to learn how the new system will work and what is expected of them in connecting with their students and parents to provide daily learning.
At West University ES, teachers began reaching out to their families to begin adjusting to what Principal Scott Disch called “uncharted waters” that “will look very different from the traditional learning environment for students, teachers, and parents.”
Special attention is being paid to parents, too, with webinars being planned to help them assist with their youngsters’ digital learning. The district’s Social and Emotional Learning and Wraparound Services staffs will also be uploading learning materials and reaching out to families with support.