2020-2021 School Year Information
We are excited to begin making preparations for students to return to school in August. The end of the 2019-2020 year was challenging and ended in a very unpredictable way. We are pleased with the efforts our students and families made. Everyone worked together to provide direction and reassurance to the students. We thank you and appreciate all you did!! As we prepare for the 2020-2021 school year, we understand there is a possibility that some students will be educated virtually (remotely) at times. We are working to make adjustments and changes to better educate our students from a distance.
Many things are still being planned, but we want to provide information about the two options our school will offer for 2020-2021. In order to meet the needs of our families, we will offer both “on-campus (in-person) learning” and “remote (virtual) learning” opportunities. As we near the start of school, we will have more information available.
On-Campus (In-person) Learning Remote (Virtual) Learning
Students will be educated in school100% online learning at home
Daily Temperature ChecksDaily Attendance Taken by School
Social Distancing GuidelinesReliable Internet Needed
Preventative Measures being usedDaily Assignments are required
Extra-Curricular ActivitiesNo Extra-Curricular Activities
90% Attendance rule in effect90% Attendance rule in effect
Standard Response Protocol in place Day will mirror on campus learning
STAAR Assessment RequiredSTAAR Assessment Required
Grades Reflective of TEKS MasteryGrades Reflective of TEKS Mastery
No attendance at school activities
Families should select an option they feel is best for their child(ren). Remote learning last spring was a result of a global pandemic. Remote learning for 2020-2021 will be more structured and will involve more rigorous requirements. Remote instruction will closely mirror the normal school day with classes and schedules. Once remote learning is selected, a student will need to remain in that method for the entirety of the 6-weeks grading period. We will ask for parents to commit to remote or on-campus learning by July 29, 2020. While these unpredictable times are challenging for public education, together we can make this year safe and successful for all. Thank you for your continued support.
Hart ISD teachers and staff are excited to welcome everyone back to school in August, whether we see students in-person or virtually. The District is working to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for all. See below for current information regarding plans for reopening schools.
**Please note that details are subject to change based on guidelines from local, state, and federal authorities.**
Hart ISD will offer Two Learning Options for Students
Hart ISD families will select from two options for their children.
*All students will be held to the state mandated 90% attendance for all courses in order to receive credit for the course and/or be promoted to the next grade level.
*At this time, STAAR assessments will still be administered for the 2020-2021 school year.
School Year Calendar and School Minutes Change
School hours now include additional instruction time each day. General school hours for the 2020-21 school year will be:
Hart ISD staff is currently working to develop instructional models that support both in-person and virtual learning. We are continuing to closely monitor the potential impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Castro County following guidance provided by local health organizations
Reopening: Frequently Asked Questions
If I choose one option and want to change the choice later in the year, can I make a switch?
Yes. Virtual school is a fluid option that can be accessed at any time. It is highly recommended that students only make a change at the end of a grading period. We also asks that students only make this change once during the year. Changing options mid-grading period may have a negative impact on a student’s ability to receive credit, especially in elective courses.
What if most families choose the in-person option? Would there have to be changes to accommodate social distancing or will there be a limit of how many students can select the in-person option?
We will continue to work closely with TEA and local health authorities to ensure the safety of our students. We believe we will be able to provide instruction to students in whichever format their families choose. Keep in mind, HISD will comply with all mandates regarding social/physical distancing, as well as health and hygiene protocols.
How will you address social, emotional, or mental health concerns?
Hart ISD will continue to offer counseling services to our students. Counselors are available to support students academically, socially, and emotionally and can provide mental health support or resources for families who may be struggling emotionally.
Will teachers get to choose if they want a virtual or in-person schedule?
At this time, all Hart ISD staff will report in person. If the need arises, staffing decisions will be determined based on student choice of instructional delivery. Principals, in cooperation with teachers, develop work assignments.
What will staff do if they have to quarantine due to COVID-19? Will the district provide extra sick or personal days for staff?
Requirements to quarantine are determined by the health department. In addition to existing leave balances in effect for employees, Hart ISD will follow all provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which is in effect through December 31, 2020.
Will we still have open house, assemblies, or concerts?
At this time, large events will not occur in person. We are working on a plan to offer these in a virtual setting. We will continue and monitor the CDC guidelines.
Will virtual instructed students participate in UIL events?
Virtually Instructed students will remain virtual for 100% of the school day. Hart ISD students who want to participate in UIL events need to choose in-person learning. We are closely monitoring guidelines from UIL and TEA on this matter.
What precautions will be in place on campus?
We will implement increased signage around campuses promoting disease mitigation strategies, increased cleaning and sanitation practices, as well as frequent reminders of hand hygiene and social distancing. Masks will be required for all staff and students age 10 and older. Temperatures will be monitored daily. Hart ISD will comply with all health and safety recommendations established by the health department and Texas Education Agency. Classrooms will be arranged to maximize space between students as much as possible.
We encourage students and staff to provide their own PPE. However, in an effort to get school started, with the support of the State, Hart ISD has secured the following:
Child Disposable Face Masks
Adult Disposable Face Masks
Child Re-Usable Masks
Adult Re-Usable Masks
Adult Face Shields
Will students and staff be required to wear masks?
Face coverings are mandated by the Governor at this time for all staff and students age 10 and older. We will revisit this option if changes arise, however Hart ISD will follow the mandates of the state.
Will buses run?
Yes. Transportation will continue to be provided for all who qualify. We do encourage parents who can transport their students to school to do so to prevent exposure. Hart ISD adopted a new transportation policy for 2020-2021. Hart ISDtransportation will be provided for all ARD approved special education students, homeless students, and eligible general education students who live two or more miles from the school or across a highway.
Will social distancing be observed on buses, and how will seating arrangements be determined?
Students will be instructed with specific safety protocols. The bus driver and students will be strongly encouraged to wear face coverings and use hand sanitizer that will be provided. Students will remain seated, keep hands feet and personal items to themselves while on the bus. School buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
Will CDC social distancing guidelines be observed?
All areas of the campus will be monitored frequently to encourage social distancing. Social distancing will be observed as much as possible, but at times students will be closer than the recommended 6 ft. apart. When social distancing requirements cannot be maintained, such as class change times, lunch, etc., students will be strongly encouraged to wear face masks.
Signage reminding students and staff about handwashing, social distancing, and infection prevention will be posted throughout the school and in areas mentioned above.
What precautions will be in place for athletics, fine arts, and other extracurricular activities?
Safety guidelines have been developed for conducting summer workouts, rehearsals, and practices. The district will continue to follow all guidelines provided by UIL, TEA, and the state.
Will students have recess or the ability to play and socialize with other students?
We are awaiting guidance from the Texas Education Agency on recess activities. However, we anticipate elementary students will have recess time with restrictions that reinforce social distancing.
What happens if a student or a teacher tests positive for COVID-19? Will the entire classroom have to quarantine and enroll in virtual school? What if multiple classrooms and students/staff are impacted?
When notification of a possible exposure occurs, Hart ISD in coordination with local health authorities, will begin contact tracing and complete a thorough risk assessment. Based on this assessment, a determination as to whether an entire classroom or multiple classrooms are required to quarantine will be made. Students will have the opportunity to access virtual content during the quarantine period. Please see the Hart ISD COVID-19 Protocol for more guidance.
How will we register for virtual school? Will I be able to make a choice or does the district choose me?
At the end of July parents will be asked to make a firm commitment to virtual school in order for schools to staff accordingly. All parents will be required to enroll their child in either virtual or in-person school.
Can students who select virtual school still participate in athletics and extracurricular activities?
Students who want to participate in extra-curricular activities will need to choose the in-person option.
Will students remain enrolled at their school if they choose virtual school?
Yes. Students will remain enrolled at their home school.
Will meals be provided for students who select virtual school?
Options are being evaluated for providing meals to qualified students who select virtual school. There are currently no state or federal regulations that allow districts to serve meals to students who are not present on campus, although guidelines are expected in the near future.
Are immunizations required for virtual school?
Yes. At this time the Texas Department of State Health Services has not waived the vaccine requirements for students.
How will virtual school be different from at-home learning during the closure last spring?
Students who select virtual school will be required to attend and participate in class daily during regular school hours, and instruction will be led by a teacher. In the spring last year, students’ assignments were limited. Virtual school this year will be a full course load of instruction and assignments that is equivalent to what students who are attending school in-person will be required to complete. Teachers delivering virtual instruction will receive additional training and support in digital teaching strategies and using online curriculum.
Who will be accountable for State assessments?
Students participating in both in-person and virtual learning will be required to participate in state (STAAR/EOC/TELPAS, etc.) testing.
How will virtual school be staffed?
Schools will continue to be staffed based upon student enrollment and student course selections.
How will technology be distributed?
Hart ISD is working on how we can effectively distribute technology devices. We will make an announcement on this soon.