Copperas Cove ISD weights summers school options
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Independent School District will be holding summer school for grades 1-12, with the possibility of either remote learning or by face-to-face instruction.
Which direction the district goes will depend on Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders and whether COVID-19 cases increase or decrease.
CCISD Superintendent Joe Burns told the board of trustees during its meeting last Monday that summer school is creating “dilemmas” for the district.
Currently, the district has 71 elementary students scheduled to be retained for the next school year.
“We have some serious concerns about doing virtual learning with those 71 kids because we’ve been doing virtual learning, and what we anticipate is that they have not been successful in that thus far, and they need some more concentrated and focused instructions in a very small group,” Burns said.
The district will be reaching out to city and county to propose offering summer school in groups of six to eight students with one staff member, while practicing social distancing where possible, wearing masks and sanitation measures, to “get those kids to a point where they could have some direct instruction because we do think that that’s going to make a difference to these kids that are struggling.”
Another option that Burns mentioned was the possibility of bringing students who were on the verge of failing but did not or who are struggling in a single content area back during July for a week of learning, through a program called JumpStart, “with hopes that maybe by August, we would be able to start school back.”
CCISD presented options for instruction to the board, for both remote and face-to-fact instruction.
The remote learning option would take place June 8 through June 26, for all students. For elementary students, this would include individualized i-Ready or Khan Academy lessons based on his/her area of weakness, as identified by an Accelerated Plan of Instruction.
For junior high and high school students, remote learning would be through Edgenuity Credit Recovery. Students would be able to recover failing courses for credit. Junior high students would be retaught portions of the course based on data from the released STAAR test.
For each grade level, there would also be a “low-tech” option of a TEA instructional packet, similar to the packets offered following campus closures after spring break, and an API for grades 6th through 12th.
Devices will be issued to students who have an API, according to the written report discussed the board on Monday, with the potential to issue WIFI hotspots to those who do not have internet access, thanks to the recent Technology Lending Grant Program Award.
The results of a technology survey completed by the households of 830 out of 8,380 students, revealed that 52 households do not have internet access at home and 158 households do not have student devices.
The district received a 2020-2021 Technology Lending Grant Program Award for $100,000. With this award, the district will purchase 194 student laptops and 72 WIFI hotspots in addition to 240 student laptops to continue to support remote learning and online assessment.
These devices join those that the district already offers to students to check out for academics, both on and off campus. The district has also been offering WIFI access at each of its campus parking lots during the school closures.
The other option the district is looking in to is a week-long face-to-face model, called Reboot or JumpStart.
This Reboot/JumpStart program would be located at Fairview/Elementary July 22 through July 29 for elementary students. There would be a 9:1 student/teacher ratio. This program will focus on literacy and math only.
For junior high students, the Edgenuity JumpStart program would be the same week, at Copperas Cove Junior High School. For high school students, the JumpStart program would be held in classrooms at Copperas Cove High School and at Copperas Cove Junior High.
All students at these JumpStart programs would receive breakfast and lunch.
For Credit for Acceleration at Copperas Cove High School and Crossroads High School, students would use Edgenuity and meet on campus.
The district is also hoping to offer the DoDEA Grant Summer Ranger Reading Literacy Camp for elementary students July 8 through July 23. This camp would be located at Fairview/Jewell Elementary School, with students meeting 7:30 a.m. through noon. There would be one camp administrator, 19 teachers, one library, one secretary/nurse aide and eight aides, with 200 anticipated students.
Additionally, CCISD will hold Extended School Year and ESL Summer School, as required by law, in conjunction with one of the existing programs previously listed.
During its meeting, the board approved the purchase of 71 water fountains with a water bottle refilling station to be installed every campus, for a total cost of $103,920.00 through Winston Water Cooler, LTD.
The district will claim this purchase under COVID funds because the installation of these fountains will help reduce cross contamination by allowing students to fill their water bottles instead of drinking directly from the fountain. Every campus will have at least one of these fountains, with some campuses getting more, depending on student population.
The board of trustees also approved the purchase of 1,080 TI NSpire graphing calculators for students to use on state standardized math and science testing as well as ACT/SAT testing. The cost is $219,390.48 for 36 classroom sets of 30 calculators plus instructional software for teachers as well as two days of professional development to train teachers in the use of the calculators in the classroom.
The board also approved a contract for PresenceLearning to provide teletherapy services/evaluations as needed district-wide for $15,000, in addition to the contract for $20,000 previously signed in April by the superintendent.
The board also approved the district’s request to seek a waiver from TEA for CCISD seniors who have not had CPR instruction due to school closures.
The district, along with other districts in the state, could learn more on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m., when Governor Greg Abbott is scheduled to make an announcement on the latest update for the continued opening of the state of Texas.