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Asynchronous Learning Method to be Discontinued Following Thanksgiving Break

October 27, 2020

At a special-called board meeting on October 26 Wimberley ISD trustees unanimously approved a revised administrative proposal that will discontinue the asynchronous learning option for students in grades 3-12 following the Thanksgiving break, effective November 30. Asynchronous learners at Blue Hole Primary School (where synchronous learning was never offered, per TEA) will be allowed to remain in their chosen option or switch to on-campus learning.

Current asynchronous families that have circumstances that meet specific exceptions (see below) may contact their campus principal to develop a plan moving forward. As approved, the proposal also institutes a set of criteria (see below) for students to remain in any form of at-home learning. 

Wimberley ISD has a standard of academic excellence. Maintaining and improving upon this excellence is a leading factor in every decision we make. The decision to discontinue the asynchronous option is no different, and it came after analyzing feedback and data from the first 10 weeks of school. Administrators reviewed teacher survey responses, failure and absence rates that are significantly higher than past years, and parent concerns. This collection of feedback led to the conclusion that continuing to offer all three instructional delivery options is not sustainable for our teachers and is preventing many of our students from being as successful as they can be.

In an effort to reach ALL WISD students, the approved proposal includes exceptions for families that have extenuating circumstances, they are:

  • Documented health concerns for the student or an immediate family member in the same household, under the care of a physician
  • Internet issues that cannot be resolved by the WISD Internet "hotspot" seats available at the Scudder campus
  • Other extenuating circumstances not addressed in this document

WISD acknowledges there are students that are successful in the asynchronous option. Their focus on remaining successfully academically during this stressful time is appreciated. During the transition to synchronous or on-campus learning, we will continue to work with these families to find a model that allows them to remain successful.

While reviewing feedback from the first 10 weeks of school, it is clear there are some students that are not achieving academic success within the synchronous option as well. In an effort to reach these students, WISD has developed a list of criteria that students need to meet in order to remain in synchronous learning. These criteria go into effect immediately:

  • Compliance with Compulsory Attendance Rate of 90%. At the junior high and high school level attendance is required per period.
  • Students must continue to make academic progress with a passing average. If a student is failing one course that is a core subject or required for graduation (HS-level and Algebra I and Spanish I at JH), they will have until the 3-week progress report to raise the grade to passing or be required to return to on-campus learning.
  • Attend mandatory tutorials for students as assigned by teacher(s).
  • Compliance with the Student Code of Conduct and WISD Student/Parent Handbook.
  • PreK-2 students must participate in remote video calls and turn in weekly packets in order to remain in the asynchronous option.

Failure to comply with the listed criteria will initiate a meeting with campus administration and may result in removal from at-home learning options. For students with disabilities, any concerns related to this criteria that involves disability-related needs will require a review of their Service Plan/IEP in coordination with the relevant ARD/504 Committee.

WISD thanks our teachers, staff, parents, and students for continuing to be flexible with us as we navigate through this unprecedented school year.