General Questions

When will school begin for the 2020-2021 School Year?

August 17 virtually. October 12 in-person.

Was DVISD approved to become a District of Innovation?

The Board of Trustees approved District of Innovation at their July 21 meeting.

Who do I contact in government to voice my opinion on schools reopening?

You can reach out to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Commissioner of Education Mike Morath or Governor Greg Abbott.

What is the best option at home if we choose not to let our children attend in-person?

Students who learn remotely (away from school) will learn online (virtually). The will have opportunities to learn through online lessons with their classroom teachers as well as opportunities for independent work. They will still have access to their teachers. During meet the teacher, students will learn about their schedules and how to work remotely from school online. We will also provide opportunities for parents to attend a virtual session on how to help their childen with learning remotely.

Safety Protocols

Will students have to wear masks in school?

Yes, students will be required to wear masks all day when in-person instruction resumes.

How will schools ensure students wear masks at all times?

Campus administrators will have protocols at every campus to ensure that all students wear masks.

Why are you letting students go back to school if the Coronavirus cases are increasing? Can parents choose to keep students home after the end of 100% remote learning?

The requirements for students to return to school comes from Governor Abbott and Education Commissioner Mike Morath. Superintendent Dr. Tielle and the Board of Trustees approved the maximum time for students to remain remote, which is the first 8 weeks of school with a return date of Oct. 12th. At that time parents will still have the option to keep students home.

If a student or staff member is positive with Covid-19, what protocols will be made?

We will follow the CDC and Travis County Public Health Guidelines.

Has the district considered UV light disinfecting systems for use in classrooms?

We are researching the effectiveness of this type of disinfecting, including the current guidance from the CDC.

How will fire drills and lockdown drills be performed this school year?

When the in-person instruction resumes, fire drills and lockdown drills will take place with facemasks and social distancing precautions.

When school returns to in-person instruction will there be A and B day options for parents? How will this work if TEA guidelines say “Daily on-campus learning will be available to all parents who would like their students to learn in school each day?"

At this time TEA is allowing hybrid learning (A Days/B Days) at high schools. TEA also will permit A/B days at elementary and middle schools, only if a 100% in-person option is also available.

Will classrooms be fitted with sinks for hand washing?

Some of the classrooms already have sinks. As an additional safety measure, classrooms will be equipped with hand sanitizer stations in order to allow students to continuously sanitize their hands. In addition, there will be multiple hand sanitizer stations installed throughout each campus to allow students and staff to sanitize their hands frequently.

Where will the plexiglass be placed in school buildings?

Plexiglass will be placed in high traffic areas such as the front desk, registrar area, nurses station, etc. In addition, each campus will be provided with a large number of portable plexiglass units that can be moved to any area where it is needed.

How often would the classrooms be sanitized if schools are to reopen?

Teachers and staff will have sanitization materials to allow them to sanitize classrooms during the day. Each night custodial staff will use a sanitizing spray to disinfect classroom desks, door knobs, and other common areas. There will also be a deep sanitization done on all campuses prior to the start of school. This disinfectant lasts for longer time periods on surfaces in order to allow for continued elimination of viruses. This disinfectant will be utilized throughout the year to maximize levels of sanitization for the campuses.

Will schools have Covid-19 tests to use if students or staff have a fever or other symptoms?

Individuals who have a fever or other symptoms would need to contact their healthcare provider or local health authorities to determine where they could be tested.

Is the hybrid option (after reaching stage 2) the goal?

Yes, the hybrid model is the goal if CDC guidance requires social distancing in Stage 2. The only way to meet the 6 feet social distancing requirement is in a hybrid model or if 50% of the students choose to stay home.

Instruction

What is the plan for teacher absences?

Substitutes currently employed in DVISD will be invited to all Back to School Professional Development to ensure our substitutes are prepared to provide high-quality instruction in the event of a teacher’s absence. In addition, we will continually recruit, hire, and train substitutes throughout the school year. The Human Resources Department will work closely with campus administrators to develop plans of support for substitutes, as well as to create plans to provide seamless instructional services for short-term teacher absences.

Will learning be asynchronous or synchronous?

Learning will be offered both asynchronous (independent/off-line) and synchronous (students and teachers online together).

Can we get a schedule of our child's schooling online?

Students will receive a schedule for how their day and weeks will go. Teachers will also use google classroom to post assignments, due dates so that parents and students are informed. (This pertains to grades 3rd-12th. Grades Pre-K-2 will also receive a daily schedule. Students and Families can participate in meet the teacher the Thursday or Friday before school begins.

How many hours a day is the online learning?

The district will follow the state guidelines for the number of hours. Daily schedules will be shared with students and families at meet the teacher.

Will substitutes be trained and prepared the same as teachers?

All substitutes will receive extensive safety training before being allowed on campus. In addition, substitutes will be provided with campus-specific safety protocols and procedures.

Will students be penalized if parents choose to have children continue virtual classes once Austin-Travis Co reaches stage 2?

According to the state Commissioner of Education, parents nor schools will be penalized if parents choose to keep their children home as long as they participate in online remote learning.

Will there be standardized tests this school year?

At this point, the Governor and Commissioner of Education both have stated that districts will be required to participate in state testing in spring 2021.

How will students receive assistance since parents may need to work and would be unavailable to help with their schoolwork while doing remote learning?

Teachers will be live streaming so that students receive direct instruction from their teachers.

How will you support students in Class of 2021?

Many of the extra activities normally offered for the senior class will continue to be provided. Last year we created new activities, as well as continuing some of our traditional activities. We remain committed to supporting our students by providing counseling services remotely until we return to campus.

Will there be an online academy?

Yes, all students will have access to online learning.

Is there a plan for children who live in single parent homes where the parent needs to work?

Campus and district personnel will be available to work case-by-case with families who have specific needs that impact their student’s ability to participate in remote learning.

What services or programs will you be using to ensure proper virtual learning?

Virtual learning will be provided using Google Classroom and Google Meets for live lessons. Teacher professional development will be provided to ensure teachers provide rigorous classroom instruction through live lessons and independent learning.

What should I do if my high school classes conflict with my ACC classes?

High school administrators will work with each student’s individual schedule to minimize conflicts for students and ensure each student is able to access and be successful in remote learning.

Are you planning to do paper packet and meal drop offs before 8 a.m.? Parents work 8 to 5 so it was difficult to get paper packets or food because of the time available.

The paper packets will be available on bus route stops and also at campus food distribution sites. Times for the bus routes and meal pickup will be announced closer to the start of the school year. If you are not able to obtain the packets at either of those locations, please contact your campus so that alternate arrangements can be made.

How will classes like welding, mechanics, and others take place?

We will offer online instruction for these types of classes.

What would be the criteria for students to attend Friday intervention sessions?

This will be communicated when and if we are required to go back to school and permitted to implement a hybrid model.

Will the district assign counselors to check in with students to ensure their needs are being met?

The DVISD Remote Learning Instructional Plan will include expectations and guidance for counselors to ensure all students are supported during remote learning.

Will Pre-K be virtual? How will that look for my 4 year old?

Pre-K will also be conducted in a remote learning environment. Campus leaders and teachers will be reaching out to parents of Pre-K students to ensure accessibility and explain the instructional model for this grade level.

New 9th grade students usually get to experience an orientation at the high school. What will this look like this year?

Information about the high school Freshman Camp will be communicated to all incoming 9th-grade parents and will also be linked on our campus website. The Freshman Camp is an orientation for our incoming 9th graders and their families. the orientation will provide you with the information as well as give students and parents an opportunity to ask questions.

How will the Early College be handled? Can it also be done possibly Virtual?

Early College High School students will be receiving virtual instruction as well. In addition, all ACC classes will be virtual.

Is the district implementing tuition-based Pre-K this fall?

Due to the current situation, district administration determined that it would be best to resume plans for tuition based Pre-K in the 21-22 school year.

Special Education

How will Special Ed operate?

We will work closely with all staff, students and parents to ensure students with special needs receive an appropriate educational experience. As soon as we are able to successfully and safely transition students with special needs into a classroom with a face-to-face teacher we will do so. We acknowledge that there are some students who do better with live, in-person educational experiences.

What is the plan for students with special needs?

The plan for students with special needs parallels the plan for all students. Students will have options for on-line learning or paper packets, whichever is the best fit for individual learners. An individual contingency plan was created for every student with special needs in April. These plans will continue or continue with modification as we start the school year.

How will remote learning work with Early Childhood Special Education students and their IEP/therapies? Also with students with 504 plans?

The ECSE students will be some of the first to transition back to face-to-face instruction. The therapies they receive will be able to be done remotely for the most part until such a time as it is safe to return.

Will special needs students return to receive direct medical services?

Once it is safe for students to return to school, all students will be able to return to school and receive the services they need. We plan to schedule meetings with parents prior to students returning to discuss the services that will be needed while at school.

Students in Special Education may struggle with remote learning. Will teachers provide them more support?

We realize that some students with special needs do better in a face-to-face learning environment. These students will be identified and be some of the first to transition back to a face to face classroom environment when it is safe to do so.

Will Special Ed teachers be available to provide help if a student is struggling?

Yes, there will be small group and individualized virtual learning opportunities for students with special needs who are struggling.

Will students in the 18+ Program receive remote learning?

Yes, the plan for students in the 18+ program will be the same as for others students.

If a student with an IEP requires a hybrid of online and paper instruction, how will they successfully receive their education with the current situation?

We also want to assure that all students are successful. We can certainly accommodate a hybrid plan of on-line and paper instruction. We realize that students with special needs often need a variety of experiences to find the right match for success.

Technology

Will the district be making electronic devices available for the students? Is there a schedule for distribution?

Yes, all students will be receiving a school-issued device if they do not have access to a device at home. Grades Pre-K, kindergarten and 1st grade will receive an iPad, and students in grades 2-12 will receive a Chromebook.

Internet connections are not reliable in all areas of our community. Will the district help families to connect to virtual learning if they have limited access or cannot afford it?

We are researching options to improve connectivity issues for families in the district. This is a top priority for the district.

Do we have enough WiFi devices because last spring we did not have a chance to get a loaner?

We are contacting all families in the district to determine how many devices are needed by students in the district. We are purchasing additional hot spots to provide to families.

Why are you collecting Chromebooks when students will need them for the start of school?

We are collecting computers so that they can be sanitized and updated. Computers will be reissued to students for the fall semester.

If my student has their own laptop will they still need a district Chromebook?

Students can use personal devices for online learning. However, each student will require their own device, sharing one device at home between multiple students would not allow for access to learning as required.

What kind of device or tablet should I get for my student?

The district will provide any student in need of a device the opportunity to check one out. Chromebooks are the recommended technology for students in grades 2 through 12. iPads are recommended for Pre-K through 1st grade.

What is the plan to train Pre-K through 1st grade students and parents on iPads?

Parent sessions will be provided by our Instructional Technology Team in conjunction with campus Parent Liaisons to ensure parents are able to support students during remote learning. We will communicate information on the parent sessions when dates and times are finalized. Campus leaders and teachers will reach out to families to ensure the students are able to access and navigate the technology successfully.

Meal and Bus Service

Will meals be available like they were in the Spring?

Students who are participating in remote learning will be able to pick up meals at bus stops or at designated campus sites. A detailed schedule including pick up times will be provided prior to the start of school.

Will additional buses be added so that students are not crowded on the bus? Will students still ride the bus with 3 children per seat?

We are working to ensure social distancing is in place on busses, through various measures like having a reduced number of students on campus at any given time and maximizing the efficiency of our bus routes. We do not plan to have 3 students in a seat on our buses.

How will CDC guidelines affect student transportation regarding school buses?

We are monitoring and assessing guidance from the CDC and directives from the county health director so that we can maximize the safety of all students while using district transportation.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

How will extracurricular activities be handled for the first 8 weeks?

There will be no extracurricular activities through September 7th. Under current guidance, we would then begin extracurricular activities on September 8th. We will provide more information as local health guidelines are updated.

Will athletics continue?

We continue to monitor guidance from the Governor’s Office, CDC, the county medical director, and the UIL. We will make adjustments as necessary to maximize the safety of all students.

Can students who participate in hybrid extra curricular activities such as sports and music work if they end up doing the hybrid learning?

Under current guidance, students who are participating in remote learning would be allowed to participate in UIL activities after September 7th.