The Huffman ISD Board of Trustees met Dec. 14 to approve the SRO contract with Harris County and discuss numbers and statistics for districtwide remote learning in terms of average grades and attendance.
At the beginning of the meeting, David Start gave the audit report and financial statement for the year to the district.
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Joel Nolte continued the meeting by giving a report regarding the district’s “Goal 2-Provide Safe, Secure and Student-Focused Facilities.” The district approved an interlocal agreement for law enforcement services between Harris County and Huffman ISD for March 1, 2021-Feb. 28, 2022. This means that there will be two dedicated officers at assigned campus locations to provide another level of security for the entire school day.
Nolte continued student updates with attendance numbers by stating, “Huffman ISD has a total enrollment of 3,457 students between all campus schools. In the second cycle, the district experienced a total attendance of 3230.5 [through the district], showing attendance to be lower than expected districtwide.”
Through the onset of COVID-19, students and families were given several options in terms of learning locale, which included the opportunity to receive face-to-face education or continue remote learning. As of the meeting, there were 525 remote learning students between all campuses combined. The district and all board members have kept a close eye on not only attendance, but also overall grades.
Huffman Superintendent Dr. Benny Soileau said, “Our teachers have gone above and beyond the normal call of duty to ensure that students are engaged in the classroom – regardless of the location of their learning. These efforts have included phone calls to family homes, Zoom calls with students, and even house calls to residents in need. These are extraordinary efforts to bring students into the learning environment that is right for each student or family.”
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released a set of minimum standards by which districts can now hold all remote students accountable for achievement. Elementary students will now be expected to return to face-to-face if they have an overall average of less than 70% in their five core classes of reading, English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, and they must have had five or fewer semester absences.
Likewise, all remote secondary students are expected to return face-to-face if they have a semester average of 70% or less in two or more of their courses or they have been absent five or more times during the semester duration.
Remote learning students that have not at least met the minimum TEA standards are being sent a letter to their home address requiring the student to return to face-to-face learning post holidays. If a student/family receives a templated letter from the district, they will have a short time to appeal the decision, such as in the case of a medical need.
As of the meeting, there were nearly half of the remote learners that could be required to return to their respective campuses if their grades are found to not meet the minimum standards at the time the letters were sent out.
Soileau said, “Our goal is to engage students in their learning and help in any way that we can as educators. Sometimes that means making tough calls while ensuring safety of the student-staff population and content retention.”
The next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Jan. 21. Be sure to refer to the website for detailed information at www.huffmanisd.net.