The Plano ISD school board recognized student successes, new learning opportunities, and listened to parents’ concerns about bullying and class ranking during their meeting on Tuesday.
Board members praised the Plano High School girls’ basketball team and their UIL 6A state championship last month. They also congratulated the 2018 winners of the Texas Science and Engineering Fair.
After the acknowledgments, Dr Lisa Tribodeaux of PISD Academic Services and Matt Sipes, Deputy Director of PISD eSchool, discussed the new additions to the District Blended Learning Program, commonly referred to as eSchool. Tribodeaux described the blended program as student learning focused on online learning and personal control over pace, place, time and path as opposed to formal and physical education.
Through blended learning, students benefit from more focused individual instruction and capacity for action during their learning experiences. According to a PISD survey of 30,000 students, 2.4% of students do not have access to the Internet or technology at home. However, Tribodeaux maintains that the program seeks to remove barriers to children’s learning, even if students are at a technological disadvantage. Students have access to technology in their school to continue their work, and the district also has tools to help students at home.
“Our district provides the technology to the students who need it, and there is a way to take learning offline so that students don’t necessarily need Wi-Fi at home,” Sipes said. . “We have workarounds for this, so it’s a fair play.”
Tribodeaux and Sipes examined what e-learning and blended learning could look like in the future of Plano. After observing co-ed eighth and ninth grade programs at Lewisville ISD, Sipes said the department is working to expand the program to middle and high school alongside established high schools.
Staff identified 20-30 courses that could fit the blended learning model. Therefore, by the 2019-2020 school year, Tribodeaux said, they may be implementing these programs in a small number of middle and high school campuses in the first or two years. This year, PISD is firmly committed to equity and reducing achievement gaps, and for Tribodeaux, blended learning aligns with this mission.
“A lot of our equity discussions focus on student access to advanced learning experiences. We see blended learning as an advanced learning experience, ”she said. “These will be students who will then be equipped to enroll in any school, enroll in double credit courses, go to college and be equipped to access all kinds of classes and experiences as well.” college level. ”
At the close of the meeting, the board heard from four parents in the public comment section.
Resident Walter Barnard spoke about bullying at Clark High School. He urged the board to intervene in the ongoing investigation involving his daughter, the three students bullying and harassing her and the administration’s response, “which at this point has been mismanaged at best”, Barnard said.
Three parents spoke about the proposed interim school ranking system at three parent advisory meetings. The proposed system suggested two systems – a cumulative GPA that appears on the transcript and another GPA ranking system that only represents the top 10% of the class – was too confusing and too difficult for parents to understand. students and even college counselors. Parents continued to urge the council to take its time and make the decision another year before implementation.