KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
August 18, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD starts its 2020-21 academic year tomorrow, and for the following three weeks, the District’s more than 80,000 students will be instructed virtually. How will that look?
Katy ISD celebrates its first day of school tomorrow, August 19. The new academic year will look very different with students and staff navigating online classes for the first three weeks.
On September 8, 49% of students enrolled in Katy ISD will resume in-person learning while the rest will remain with Katy’s Virtual Academy. At the end of each grading period, families can keep or change their child’s educational plan.
Virtual learning will be different from the spring, when the District was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic’s surge after spring break.
“Over the past couple weeks, our teachers have been working hard training for online instructional delivery, getting curriculum and learning tools ready, and preparing to provide the unparalleled learning experiences for which our Katy ISD schools are known,” states Katy ISD Superintendent, Dr. Ken Gregorski.
The District is offering frequent Zoom sessions to walk parents through what the first day of school will look like, and for the first three weeks, or as long as a student is enrolled in Katy Virtual Academy (KVA).
The hour-long sessions walk parents through what this year’s virtual set-up will be and allows time for questions. The District has added features to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
“We are giving you the tools to get through this but are here to help as questions or problems come up,” says Darlene Rankin, Instructional Technology Director for Katy ISD, in one of the sessions. “We ask for your patience if you issue a trouble ticket this first week but know that we have a lot of great people here to help you.”
To attend one of the sessions or access a recording or the slideshow visit Katy ISD’s website.
My Katy Cloud will be your student’s home page for everything this year. The login is the same as your student’s Home Access Center login (not the parent’s login). This information is the same from previous years. The username/password will be given in the back-to-school packets picked up from your student’s home campus yesterday or today. The District also has a new password recovery system.
Home Access Center (HAC) now has your student’s teacher and schedule listed. This will still be your go-to page for grade information. Rankin also points out in the presentation how parents can set parameters in HAC to be alerted when grades drop or rise to certain limits.
Free or reduced cost internet information is available for those who need it under the Parent Tech Help section. These options were compiled by the District to help parents, teachers, and staff during this time when reliable internet is crucial.
Other helpful tips:
Google Chrome works best with these programs
Reboot computers/devices 2-3 times a week
Clear cache often
While classes start virtually tomorrow, Katy ISD is already prepared to welcome in-person learners on September 8. To learn more about the added safety protocols and how that experience will look, watch the District’s demonstration videos.
Last Day to Pick-Up Supplies
Today is the last day, before the first day, to pick up needed supplies from each campus. Every school has its own schedule so please check with your home campus.
As lines got long yesterday, many Katy ISD parents were encouraged by the organization of the system.
“It’s the first time since this began that I was impressed and feel like the trust I’ve lost in them is being earned back,” says Katy mom Jennifer Skelton.
School is more about academics. It’s about building connections and many schools are stepping up to foster those experiences. The Pattison Elementary PTA has set up a special Facebook group where students can feel connected through sharing their talents and stories, and by participating in fun challenges.
Pattison students Kally Vlahos and Piper Mezger help students have fun by demonstrating the school’s “Eat It or Wear It Challenge.”
Although the beginning of this school year will look different, through constant communications and online tools, Katy ISD is showing that they are ready for the first bell.