PALESTINE, Texas (KLTV) - Palestine Independent School District students will soon feel as though they’re back in the classroom, though they may not be for several more weeks.
“Everyone’s been faced with the challenge of how to address educating students and even meeting their needs with the lunches and breakfasts,” said Larissa Loveless, the director of public relations for Palestine ISD. “As we had to stop school to address the COVID-19 crisis.”
For Palestine ISD, addressing those need meant looking at all the different ways they could get homework to students.
“We know we have a large number of kids that don’t have internet access and some of them that did have access to internet, it was very limited,” said Loveless. “In a nutshell, we didn’t have reliable internet access, so we had to design a plan that was multi-faceted and part of that approach would be getting paper packets to kids.”
One way the district is distributing paper packets to their students is with the help of some donated news racks from the city’s newspaper.
“A friend of mine at the newspaper texted me and said, ‘hey, is there anything we can do to help you guys, as you try to get ready for at home learning?'," said Loveless. “I said, ‘yes, do you have any news racks?’ and we put it together and went from there."
The district is also distributing paper packets with their meal deliveries via school bus routes.
“We also have a component where our buses are traveling their routes and they get to a bus route and honk and the children get their food and packets,” said Loveless.
Students and parents can turn in completed assignments via email, if they have internet access and for the paper packets, they can be dropped off into return boxes at the campuses or brought in for the meal pickup lines.
Loveless said the first week of remote learning was a success, but they’re still working out kinks as they go. She said news racks will be reloaded on Friday afternoons each week.
“We’ll reload the news racks with next week’s packets and our online website will switch over to the new week’s assignment,” said Loveless. “We hope we’re as successful as we were last week, this week, at getting everything into everyone’s hands.”
Loveless said the district heard concerns about how many people would be touching the news racks and they have since taken steps to clean them throughout the week.
She also said the district is receiving a lot of positive feedback from families about the different platforms they’re using to get the work to kids.
Loveless said they’ve even been contacted by a principal in Colorado asking for advice on implementing these methods in their school district.