McAllen ISD issues plan to address COVID-19

McALLEN —The McAllen school district issued a plan Friday to address the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement from the district. 

The district’s four-stage plan ranges from standard operating procedures with intensified sanitation protocols to all students and staff staying home; currently, the district has adopted a stage in which staff will report to work and students have the option to come to school or stay home without penalty.

The district will remain at that level for the week following spring break,  March 23 until the 27.

“The primary goal is to minimize risk by reducing the number of people in the school,” the statement read.

Whichever route parents decide to take, the district is implementing plans to ensure students keep receiving instruction.

“Parents would have the option of keeping their children at home or to send their children to school. For the children who attend, instruction will be provided in person,” the release said. “For children who stay home, instruction will be provided through the use of technology and packets. All students will still be able to attend practices and to attend events within McAllen ISD and within Region One.”

Students will not be penalized if they are unable to attend classes, practices or events, the statement said.

“This decision was made following a thorough vetting of all information including new data from the state level. During a teleconference call at 3 p.m. today, the Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency Mike Morath informed superintendents across the state that school districts are given full latitude to make their own decisions without it impacting funding, student individual attendance records and testing requirements,” the release read.

According to Board President Marco Suarez, students at the district all have the equipment necessary to work from home. 

“They’re able to do their work online through Google classroom,” he said. “The advantage that we have is that for the kids that do not have access to the internet there’s hotspots around the city where they’re able to logon.”

Suarez said the district would decide on March 27 whether to continue allowing students to work online based on how the COVID-19 situation unfolds.

“The health of our students in our community is what’s paramount,” he said.

The district intends to use the following four-stage plan of action to respond to the pandemic:

 

Stage 1: Standard operational procedures with intensified sanitizing protocols; all students and staff report to school.

Stage 2: Parent Choice School Attendance Plan (PCSAP): All staff report to work. Parents have the choice to send children to school or keep them at home without penalty.

Stage 3: All teachers and all students stay home. Other employees report to work.

Stage 4: All students and staff stay home.

mwilson@themonitor.com