Despite the emergency measures starting Monday to help curb the spread of the COVID-19, Frisco ISD staff will continue to get paid. Board members gathered Sunday afternoon for a special meeting to provide the official notice on this and the planned educational services. The district has more than 8,000 employees, including more than 4,000 teachers.
This is a fluid time and community members should continually check the website for updates. Parents can expect to receive communication from their campus administrators regarding the unique needs of their campus.
“As a district, we are navigating this challenging situation together and I am thankful for the community and staff working hard in the interest of students,” said Dr. Mike Waldrip, superintendent of schools. “We will continue to have challenges in front of us, and I know we can meet these challenges because together, all things are possible.”
Despite the emergency measures, all Frisco ISD full and part-time staff will continue to receive full pay.
In regards to the nonexempt staff who provide emergency-related services and will be working during this time, the Board concluded that these employees will be paid at a premium rate, time and a half.
“During these unprecedented times, the last thing we want our staff to worry about is their livelihood,” said Kimberly Smith, the District’s Chief Financial Officer. “Our history of conservative financial planning ensures that we have the ability to continue to pay our employees. The State has also assured us that they will continue to wholly fund us as long as we are providing instructional support to our students.”
As teachers gather remotely to plan authentic remote eLearning experiences for more than 63,000 students, they are embarking upon a path where they will rely upon each other and on personnel across the district for ideas and thoughtful approaches that meet the unique needs of their students and campus culture.
All in-person classes have been suspended and will be replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options starting Tuesday. School buildings are closed to the public March 16 through March 20. Additional days may be necessary after March 20.
Of note, parents who need to pick up items such as medication are welcome to go to the campus on Monday, March 16 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to acquire the necessary items.
As of 9 a.m. on March 17, students will have access to teacher lessons and teachers will have virtual office hours to respond to student needs. Teachers will provide feedback and continue to monitor the progress of students while providing remote learning experiences. Elementary and secondary students should expect to spend 20-25 minutes a day on each subject while Early Childhood students can expect 10-15 minutes per subject each day.
Teachers will collaborate virtually with their peers and provide their resources through the campus website. This centralized location will provide ease of access to materials and provide consistency from campus to campus. Parents who have questions regarding their student’s progress are encouraged to reach out to their classroom teacher.
This week focuses on the review of concepts, not new material, to get used to alternative learning options, and students have the expectation to have their work completed by the end of the day Friday.
TEA has issued guidance that districts will be granted instructional minutes waivers as long as instructional support is provided to students.
The District has been in conversation with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath regarding instructional minutes and school funding. While the District plans to apply for an instructional-minute waiver and looks forward to continued direction from the State, TEA has assured the District that its focus on the continuing education of students should continue to be the priority.
Frisco ISD is monitoring how these emergency measures will impact the school year and state testing. The District sent a letter along with 57 other districts urging Governor Greg Abbott and Commissioner Mike Morath to cancel STAAR testing for the 2019-20 school year so that school districts and teachers can focus on providing the best possible instruction to students in an “impossibly difficult situation.” In short, while student assessment is important, student instruction and safety must be paramount when faced with such significant challenges.
All Digital Learning Coaches, Area Technology Specialists and District Technology Specialists will be onsite on campuses to help students get situated with devices. Principals are directly communicating with the families of the students who have requested support.
At least 13 percent of students qualify as low socioeconomic students. With this in mind, many people may be facing challenges with being able to feed their children without the availability of school meals.
Frisco ISD will be providing "to go" meals to FISD students beginning Monday, March 16 between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. At the time of pickup, a packaged lunch for the day will be provided as well as a breakfast for the following day. Meals will be provided free of cost to students. Families interested in participating in the pickup meal program must complete the form sent to them from their principals so that we can accurately plan for meals.
Hunt Middle School, 4900 Legendary Drive, Frisco, TX 75034
Lawler Middle School, 12921 Rolater Road, Frisco, TX 75035
Pearson Middle School, 2323 Stonebrook Parkway, Frisco, TX 75036
Roach Middle School, 12499 Independence Parkway, Frisco, TX 75035
Scoggins MS: 7070 Stacy Road, McKinney, TX 75070
Trent Middle School, 13131 Coleto Creek Drive, Frisco, TX 75033
Frisco ISD is working with Frisco Fastpacs, which will be providing weekend meals, and Lovepacs, which plans to provide pacs for families starting Wednesday. The community is encouraged to reach out to these organizations for opportunities to donate and support their cause.
The District is immensely thankful for their partnership.
As the District continues into uncharted territory and providing for the needs of students and families remotely, Frisco ISD encourages families to monitor the website and to stay home, healthy and safe.