Due to the city’s recent extension of the Stay Home emergency order, students in the Ysleta Independent School District will not physically return to classrooms for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, and the final day of virtual learning instruction has been set for mid-May, officials announced Wednesday.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Xavier De La Torre said the official last day of instruction for 2019-20 for students with passing grades is Friday, May 15. Students with an “incomplete” in their lessons will have until Friday, May 22, to complete their instruction.
As a result, teachers and administrators will have additional time – from May 18 to June 5 – to complete end-of-the-year tasks, such as submitting final grades, determining grade-point averages (GPA) and class ranks, and packing up classrooms. During these three weeks, leadership will also consider possible Class of 2020 commencement exercises, and plan the launch of a Virtual Summer School.
“By doing this, we will relieve some of the burden for our teachers,” Dr. De La Torre said. “Our high school principals can also plan for what commencement may look like this year – without committing to a time or date or location – in the event these ceremonies will be allowed to take place.
“The school closures and stay-at-home orders in effect these past several weeks have been a sobering experience for people everywhere, to say the least,” Dr. De La Torre added. “Providing this extra time for our teachers, principals, and instructional leaders will not only aid them to smoothly close out this uncommon end to the school year, but to examine the public school system through a different lens and prepare for instruction this summer and fall.”
In a letter to Dr. De La Torre and the Ysleta ISD Board of Trustees, Ysleta Teachers Association (YTA) President Arlinda Valencia commended the commitment, loyalty, and dedication shown to all students, staff, faculty, and the community during The District’s closure, which began March 23 after a weeklong Spring Break.
“The fact that employees are being paid without needing to take sick, personal, or family/medical leave shows the great commitment to everyone associated with the Ysleta District,” Valencia said, adding that she is in support of ending the school year early.
“In a school setting, social distancing is unattainable. While other businesses may be able to function, education cannot,” she added.
“Keeping children and employees safe at home should be the main priority. We look forward to returning to normal operating procedures when this crisis ends, but until then, we thank Superintendent De La Torre and the Board for making this experience as easy as possible.”
More details on Ysleta ISD’s Virtual Summer School will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, district officials said. In addition, students will be allowed to keep their district-assigned digital devices over the summer to use for instructional purposes and continue their learning online; however, arrangements will be made to pick up devices from high-school seniors.
For any questions or concerns, students and parents are encouraged to click on the “Ask The District” tab located on the bottom right corner at www.yisd.net while the school closures remain in effect.