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updated 3:04 AM, Nov 27, 2020 America/Chicago

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Trinity ISD OKs distance learning plans

110520 trinity isdCOURTESY PHOTO - Misty Coleman was named professional employee of the month, Keri Dobbs the paraprofessional employee of the month and Ben Stubbs the support employee of the month at the Oct. 26 Trinity ISD School Board meeting.

By Tony Farkas

TRINITY — The Trinity Independent School District board approved a distance learning plan, while at the same time approving a plan to get students back into the classroom.

Superintendent Dr. John Kaufman said the state approved its learning plan on the first go-around, which was rare.

However, Kaufman said that with the board’s approval, he hopes to have everyone back in class by the end of the semester. The plan is to start with one or two grades per campus, wait two weeks, and bring back two more.

Currently, 65 students use distance learning throughout the district, which has about 1,200 students.

“We’ve had a non-success rate of 64 percent of students doing remote learning,” he said. “That’s alarming, especially when there’s a 14 percent non-success rate for face-to-face.”

Kaufman said students that have failed in the first six weeks could either come back for face-to-face learning, be homeschooled, move to a virtual learning environment, or transfer to another district for virtual learning. Students who maintained passing grades will remain in virtual learning until the third six weeks, and plans are to then start phasing them back for face-to-face instruction.

“Face learning is more productive, and has a social aspect that kids need to have,” Kaufman said. “We need to get them back to the classroom. I understand about how parents feel about the safety of their children; but our mitigation efforts at the schools have been very good. We’re taking every precaution to keep our kids safe.”

However, students can remain on virtual learning can remain there if there’s a verified medical condition that would require that separation, Kaufman said.

In other business, the board:

•approved moving the November meeting to Nov. 16, when election results will be canvassed;

•approved resolutions for the Trinity County Appraisal District; and

•discussed all board members meeting their continuing education credits.