Fort Bend ISD focusing on what school will look like in fall

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Fort Bend ISD launched its extended learning program, which is designed to keep young students engaged during the summer, at three of its elementary schools this week.

The question is what school will look like when the new semester begins in August.

FBISD Superintendent Charles Dupre said these three options are on the table:

1. Traditional classroom instruction, online instruction and teaching, or a combination of both.

It's a work in progress on how to accommodate health concerns, social distancing and constant sanitizing of surfaces or continue with teachers working from their home computers and students attending from their own homes.

It could also be a hybrid, in which students would have class online and at home for several days a week, and the remainder of the school week would be in a smaller-sized classroom.

"It's been a challenge for this district," said Dupre. "We have some students who do well online with a lot of involvement from their parents. We're also a diverse district and there are families, some of whom work two jobs each, and they don't have the tech connectivity and that's where some of the gaps need to be closed."

As the months go on, more parents will swap working at home for returning to workplaces.

That would complicate lives for parents whose children are taught online. Educator and parent, Christian Winn, said her children do well with virtual classrooms and online learning.

"I wouldn't be comfortable with them being unsupervised and home all day," Winn said.

The emergency switch to virtual classrooms brought more students to Shahin Mamdani, who has a private tutoring business called Study Dorm.

"Some students don't absorb the learning from the online classes," Mamdani said. "What I do is use a whiteboard and give them equations and instruct them on how to solve them.

"I make sure they absorb and comprehend," Mamdani said.

She realizes not all families can afford the tuition, so she said she's going to offer a discount for summer instruction, and in some cases, scholarships for deserving students.

The Fort Bend school board continues to study the options for school. A vote on a plan will take place during the summer

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