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Home | Tag Archives: episd covid19

Tag Archives: episd covid19

EPISD unveils guidelines, plans for commencement ceremonies

Friday afternoon, El Paso Independent School District officials announced that they will have outdoor commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 in June to celebrate the accomplishments of high-school seniors while remaining compliant with local and CDC guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are happy to be able to provide our high-school seniors with a ceremony that celebrates their accomplishments,” Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera said.

“We know these ceremonies will be different from our traditional graduations, but we’re confident that they will provide our graduates with the opportunity to close their high-school career in the company of their classmates.”

The District received approval from the City of El Paso to move forward with its plan to have outdoor graduation ceremonies for all high schools at three different stadiums on June 15-20.

The change in dates reflects state and local allowance to have ceremonies sooner, and to all the majority of students an opportunity to participate before moving on to their next plans.

The ceremonies will impose rules that must be followed by participating students and guests.

The schedule for graduations is:

• June 15 at El Paso High stadium: CCTA at 9 a.m. and El Paso High at 8 p.m.
• June 16 at Franklin High stadium: Transmountain Early College at 9 a.m. and Irvin at 8 p.m.
• June 17 at Franklin High stadium: Franklin at 9 a.m. and Coronado at 8 p.m.
• June 18 at Franklin High stadium: Chapin at 9 a.m. and Andress at 8 p.m.
• June 19 at Bowie High stadium: Burges at 9 a.m. and Austin at 8 p.m.
• June 20 at Bowie High stadium: Jefferson/Silva at 9 a.m. and Bowie at 9 p.m.

The three stadiums were selected because of capacity to allow for social distancing and parking capabilities for guests.

To promote a healthy and safe environment for graduates and attendees, the District has implemented the following rules and regulations that will be followed without exception:

  • Each graduate will be given two guests tickets that must be presented at the door. All ceremonies will be livestreamed.
  • Face masks will be required for anyone in attendance. Graduates will be allowed to remove their facemask as they walk the stage.
  • Social distancing for graduates on the field and guests in the stands will be enforced.
  • Health Services staff will conduct temperature checks of participating graduates and staff members. Anyone with a fever will be denied entrance into the stadium.
  • Guests are allowed to bring a bottle of water, but no coolers are allowed.
  • Stadiums seats will be allowed. Umbrellas are not allowed.
  • Graduates and guests will be released from the ceremony at staggered times to facilitate social distancing and discourage gatherings

Middle school principals stay connected to parents via virtual coffee, lemonade socials

It’s bring your own coffee to the virtual ‘Coffee with the Principal’ these days as middle school parents zoom into meetings to connect with their children’s schools and keep informed.

“We are getting more people at our virtual meetings than we sometimes get in our in-person meetings,” said Lincoln Middle principal Haidi Appel. “It is even more important to reach the parents right now as they are in a very new reality.  We need to be there to support them as well as their children.  Parents are not teachers in the same sense as classroom teachers and they want to be able to help their child as much as possible.  Parents are the most important teachers.”

Questions and topics addressed vary from campus to campus but include: STAAR, grading policy, attendance, credits, virtual learning, yearbooks, picking up items, algebra readiness, physical fitness/wellness, social emotional and promotion celebrations.

“Parents are currently the main line to the students and are essential members of the team in trying to reach and educated the students in this new platform,” said Jason Yturralde, principal of Henderson and Ross middle schools. “The more that is communicated to the parents, the better the team will work and the more successful the students and both campuses will be.”

At Brown Middle, principal Corina Favela themed her meeting “Lemonade with the Principal” – setting up lemons and lemonade as her backdrop and asking parents to share recipes with lemons to keep the meeting light before getting into business.

“The Tuesday afternoon Lemonade with the Principal is one way to connect with our parents in a fun and casual way and answer questions they may have,” Favela said. “COVID-19 is a sour lemon, but we can’t let it stop our drive to provide our Brown Bulldogs with a quality education.  Through collaborative efforts with all stakeholders, we can turn this lemon into sweet lemonade.”

At Armendariz Middle and the Young Women’s Academy, bonus sessions with themes such as “Coffee with the Principal” such as “Baking with Parents,” “Picasso with Parents” and “Pizza with Parents” are held in addition to “Coffee with the Principal” to keep families engaged with their schools.

“We wanted to host some fun ‘stress-free’ sessions to help parents as we’re all in quarantine in addition to our ‘Coffee with the Principal’ sessions. This allows our students to have fun with us and their families,” principal Dr. Cynthia Ontiveros said.

Question and answer sessions are the biggest part of the virtual meetings as parents seek answers and reassurance.

“It’s extremely important to connect with parents and make ourselves available to answer questions or address any concerns they may have during this time,” Ontiveros said. “Our students learning process has changed overnight. We know our parents are going to have questions and we knew we had to provide an avenue to keep an open line of communication with them.”

Story by Reneé De Santos – EPISD

EPISD changes meal distribution to Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to limit contact during COVID-19 pandemic

On Wednesday, the El Paso Independent School District officials announced that will continue to provide five days’ worth of meals to any child under the age of 18 during the COVID-19 campus closures, but will shift distribution to three days a week starting on Monday.

Starting on April 20, EPISD will distribute meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in order to lessen potential exposure to the novel coronavirus for families and cafeteria workers.

“We are proud of the efforts EPISD has made to make sure all children in El Paso have access to healthy meals during these difficult times,” Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera said. “However, we want to make sure that our employees and our families reduce the risk of being infected by the virus. This move to three days a week will help us continue our service to the community and safeguard the wellbeing of everyone.”

The take-home meals will be distributed curbside using social distancing guidelines on those days from 11a.m. to 1 p.m.

Although meals will be distributed three times a week, children will receive breakfast and lunch for five days. Children will receive two breakfasts and two lunches on Mondays and Wednesdays, and one breakfast and lunch on Friday.

EPISD offers free take-home breakfast and lunch for children ages 1-18, regardless of their enrollment status with the District. New federal guidelines allow parents to pick up meals for students without having their children present at the point of distribution.

Parents can bring their children to a distribution site to be officially counted by EPISD Food and Nutrition staff. Once counted, a parent will be issued a card noting how many children live in that household, and that card can be presented every day from then on to receive meals.

A second option for parents is to bring one of five documents to show proof that a child lives in that household. The parent will then be issued a card noting the number of children in the home, which can be presented every day from then on to receive meals.

Parents need to present one of the following documents to participate in this option:

• An official school enrollment document (letter or email)
• Student report cards
• School attendance records from a school district parent portal
• Birth certificate for children not enrolled in school
• Student ID cards

The cards issued will be site-specific and will be valid only at the school that issued them. Parents are asked to use the meal distribution service only at one location.

EPISD meal distribution sites are:

• Andress High, 5400 Sun Valley
• Aoy Elementary, 901 S. Campbell
• Armendariz Middle, 2231 Arizona
• Austin High School, 3500 Memphis
• Barron Elementary, 11155 Whitey Ford
• Bassett Middle, 4400 Elm
• Bonham Elementary, 7024 Cielo Vista
• Bowie High, 801 S. San Marcial
• Brown Middle, 7820 Helen of Troy
• Canyon Hills Middle, 8930 Eclipse
• Chapin High, 7000 Dyer
• Charles Middle, 4909 Trojan
• Clardy Elementary, 5508 Delta
• Coldwell Elementary, 4101 Altura
• Cooley Elementary, 107 N. Collingsworth
• Crockett Elementary, 3200 Wheeling
• Crosby Elementary, 5411 Wren
• El Paso High, 800 E. Schuster
• Fannin Elementary, 5425 Salem
• Franklin High, 900 N. Resler
• Green Elementary, 5430 Buckley
• Guerrero Elementary, 7530 Lakehurst
• Guillen Middle, 900 S. Cotton
• Hawkins Elementary, 5816 Stephenson
• Henderson Middle, 5505 Robert Alva
• Herrera Elementary, 350 Coates
• Hillside Elementary, 4500 Clifton
• Kohlberg Elementary, 1445 Nardo Goodman
• Lee Elementary, 7710 Pandora
• Logan Elementary, 3200 Ellerthorpe
• MacArthur Elementary, 8101 Whitus
• Magoffin Elementary, 4931 Hercules
• Mesita ECDC, 220 Lawton
• Morehead Middle, 5625 Confetti
• Moreno Elementary, 2300 San Diego
• Moye Elementary, 4825 Alps
• Nixon Elementary, 11141 Loma Roja
• Park Elementary, 3601 Edgar Park
• Putnam Elementary, 6508 Fiesta
• Rivera Elementary, 6445 Escondido
• Roberts Elementary, 341 Thorn
• Ross Middle, 6101 Hughey
• Rusk Elementary, 3601 N. Copia
• Stanton Elementary, 5414 Hondo Pass
• Terrace Hills Middle, 4835 Blossom
• Tom Lea Elementary, 4851Marcus Uribe
• Travis Elementary, 5000 N. Stevens
• Whitaker Elementary, 4700 Rutherford
• Wiggs Middle, 1300 Circle
• Zach White Elementary, 4256 Roxbury

EPISD outlines grading procedures for distance learning

On Tuesday, officials with the El Paso Independent School District announced its guidelines for student assessment and grading during the COVID-19 related campus closures that forced students and teachers to shift to distance learning in March.

Grading procedures were crafted using guidance from the Texas Education Agency and best practices from other local and state education experts who also are dealing with school closures during the pandemic.

EPISD developed three different grading systems: one each for students in elementary, middle and high school campuses.

Elementary School Grading Guidelines

• Once a week for eight weeks, a grade of Progressing (P) or Not Progressing (NP) will be recorded.
• Students in grades second through fifth will not have an overall numerical grade during the fourth nine-weeks.
• Students in grades Pre-K to first-1st will continue to receive a P or NP during the fourth nineweeks in TEAMS.
• Final grade for the semester will be determined by the average of first three nine-weeks grades.

Middle School Grading Guidelines

• Teachers will provide feedback through both numeric grades and participation in EPISD@HOME with at least eight weekly grades through the reminder of the year.
• Once a week a grade of Passing (P) or Not Passing (NP) will be recorded.
• An overall grade for the fourth nine weeks of P or NP will be recorded.
• High-school credit courses (Spanish and algebra) will follow high-school grading procedure.

High School Grading Guidelines

• Teachers will provide feedback through both numeric grades and participation EPISD@HOME
with at least eight weekly grades through the reminder of the year.
• Once a week a grade of Passing (P) or Not Passing (NP) will be recorded.
• An overall grade for the fourth nine weeks of P or NP will be recorded.
• Spring semester grades will be based on the third nine weeks. Subject to the exceptions listed below:

o Exception No. 1: Students eligible for credit averaging (Example: Student earned 60 during the first semester, a 70 during the third nine weeks, and a 90 during fourth nine weeks, would reflect average 80 in semester grade and earn credit for both semesters.)
o Exception No. 2: Students with third nine weeks failures (Example: Student earned 60 during third nine weeks, and 80 during fourth nine weeks would reflect average 70 in semester grade)
o Students enrolled in EPCC Dual Credit or UT OnRamps courses will be affected by the colleges’ decisions.

EPISD also announced on Tuesday procedures for the State Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and End of Course (EOC) examination for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year.

As previously announced by the state, students in grades third through eighth will not be subject to STAAR examination or regulations for this academic year.

EOC requirements, which are mandatory for graduation, also will be waived for the year.

Students currently enrolled in EOC-tested subjects will not have to complete the corresponding exam if they earn credit for that course during this school year. Any student who does not earn credit for an EOCtested course will be subject to examination during the 2020-2021 school year.

Seniors who have not passed all required EOC exams and/or credits needed for graduation will be contacted by their school in regard to the Individual Graduation Committee Process outlined by the state.

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