Holliday ISD unviels back-to-school plan

Holliday ISD superintendent Cody Carroll breaks down the district’s back to school plan during the Wednesday, July 22, school board meeting.

The Holliday ISD school board approved the district’s back-to-school plan for the 2020-21 academic year at the school board meeting on Wednesday, July 22.

The 12-page plan highlights learning options, health protocols, facility safety measures, COVID-19 positive test response and transportation. The complete plan is available online at hollidayisd.net.

“The crew sitting back here has been tremendous in helping put this plan together,” new Holliday ISD Superintendent Cody Carroll said at the school board meeting. “Their input has been invaluable. They’ve got such a great understanding of what goes on here at Holliday. It’s been real good and refreshing to me to talk through some of these things with them so we know what we’ve put in place will work good with the community and hopefully everybody will understand the situation we’re in.”

According to Carroll, the plan is a combination of various recommendations and plans implemented at various school districts around the state.

“I was asked, before the meeting, how this was put together. It’s a combination of things,” Carroll said. “A lot of it came from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) recommendations. Some of it came from other plans that we stole from that we thought were worded well. We added in everything that was specific to Holliday. It’s a conglomeration of all those areas to put this thing together. We feel like it’s a good plan. There’s still some details that will have to be worked out, but as far as putting this out and giving parents a little bit of understanding on what we’re doing as kids come back. We hope enough of that is in here.”

The plan also adds a remind

er that the situation with COVID-19 is constantly evolving and changing. The district states it will continue to monitor information as it becomes available and adjust accordingly.

Along with traditional in-person learning, Holliday ISD plans to offer an asynchronous model for pre-K through second grade levels and a synchronous model from third grade and up. The asynchronous model allows students to log on at any point throughout the day to receive a prerecorded lesson from instructors while the synchronous model requires students to log on during a specific time each day for live instruction.

When asked about allowing students that elect to enroll in virtual learning the ability to also participate in extracurricular activities, Carroll believes there are two sides to the coin.

“There are two thoughts with regard to extracurricular activities,” Carroll said. “We can draw a hard line that says if you choose remote learning, you do not have access to extracurricular activities. I don’t think you can pick and choose doing one and not doing the other. Or we could say remote learners will have access to extracurricular activities with the understanding that they will be required to come to campus for practices, whatever the requirements of the coach or sponsor of that activity requires, and they will be responsible for their own transportation. Those are the two thoughts on the sides of it.”

After a lengthy discussion on the topic, the board elected to allow students that choose the virtual learning option to participate in extracurricular activities.

“We’ve gone back and forth on this,” Carroll said. “There’s been lots of good discussion. What I base decisions on is what I can defend and fall back on. I think you’re going to run into some issues, particularly ADA issues, if you do not allow access to extracurriculars (…) I think you run the risk of some ADA complaints.”

It was stated the school board plans to hold an additional meeting regarding the logisitics of extracurricular activites either before or during its next meeting .

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