Remote learning

Kyle Mosley, left, and Rylan Seymore pass out a remote learning packet to Lamar Middle School eighth-grader Ashley Wells.

Temple ISD transitioned to remote learning Tuesday, passing out more than 3,200 printed packets in addition to its online resources.

Superintendent Bobby Ott emphasized how pleased he is with how teachers, students and parents all have handled the unexpected transition to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“To me it demonstrates that the communications have been very effective, because people knew where to go and what to expect. So we feel really good about our level of engagement on day one,” Ott said.

Last Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered all Texas schools closed until at least April 3. Area schools had been on extended spring break due to concerns about spreading the disease.

Ott noted how the district’s number one goal is to maintain a connection between the school, home and student.

“It’s important for a community to be connected to their school district, it’s important for parents to be connected to the school their child attends and it’s important for a child to be connected to their classrooms,” Ott said.

He continually extended praise to his teaching staff, citing how their blended learning model has given them an advantage.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the staff at Temple ISD. They are nothing short of heroes with what they have done in terms of stepping up … no matter the volume of logistics that we’ve had to go through with respect to this new reality,” Ott said. “Blended learning has not only given our students a competitive advantage in this new environment with respect to the education platform, but it also has with respect to taking ownership of learning and being a more self-directed learner.”

Belton ISD

Belton ISD also launched its remote learning initiative this week, but opted not to mass distribute learning materials in an effort to avoid putting staff at any additional risk.

“This week our teachers have been making personal phone calls to engage families on what their needs might be to create a customized plan for their students,” Deanna Lovesmith, Belton ISD’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said. “If and when printed materials are utilized, they will be distributed on a case-by-case basis to fit the needs of the student and family.”

Lovesmith said Belton ISD is working quickly to increase connectivity opportunities for their community, which would support access to the district’s “extended learning website and resources.”