Duncanville ISD students will all begin Virtual Learning when school starts Sept. 8, and continue through Oct. 2. The Duncanville ISD Board made the announcement following their board meeting earlier this week.
Dr. Marc Smith, Duncanville ISD Superintendent, said, “Students – including those who committed to In-Person Learning during enrollment- will be virtual for the first four weeks of school. All students enrolled in prekindergarten through eighth grade will be in the Virtual Learning program. A limited number of Duncanville High School students, whose courses require in-person training and access to technology and equipment that can only be provided on campus, will participate in a hybrid model that will include both Virtual Learning and In-Person Learning.”
District leaders outlined the steps being taken to provide a healthy and safe environment for staff, students and families in their presentation. Trustees unanimously voted to begin the first four weeks of school with all students in the Virtual Learning program. The district will continue to evaluate COVID-19 data to determine how to proceed after Oct. 2.
Duncanville HS Students
A limited number of Duncanville HS students will participate in a hybrid model. Students participating in the hybrid model require specific equipment or environments to further their learning. These include students in the Career & Technical Education programs. Auto tech has a garage where students are able to use industry-grade equipment to repair cars. Another example is the cosmetology program that features a simulated salon where techniques are taught. Architecture students also use special computers and printers to draft their plans.
Students who completed their enrollment process will not need to take any additional steps. All students, regardless of choosing in-person or virtual learning, will participate in the Virtual Learning program. The district will continue to evaluate the county and state data and guidelines to determine if they will begin offering in-person classes starting Monday, Oct. 5, or continue in a virtual model for another four weeks.
Preparation for the start of school includes addressing the students’ technology needs. The Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees recently approved $2.8 million to purchase new devices. These include iPads, Chromebooks, student and staff laptops, and hotspots. Almost 7,000 new devices have been purchased, but due to demand from schools across the country, some of the orders may not arrive before Sept. 8. The District will distribute devices to students and staff as they arrive.
Virtual Learning Program Devices
A majority of students had already selected the Virtual Learning program. Those students had notified the district about their technology needs upon enrollment. The Technology Department sent a message to those families choosing In-Person Learning to determine their technology and internet access needs. The district will start by providing one laptop or Chromebook per household.
Starting September 1, the Technology Department will begin distributing the first loaner devices. They will initially provide one device per household. Students and their families will be notified by email and phone. All families should confirm their contact information is current in the Skyward Family Access.
Duncanville ISD serves four communities, covering the city of Duncanville plus portions of Dallas, Cedar Hill, and DeSoto. The district educates over 12,800 students at 18 campuses. There are nine elementary, three intermediate, three middle schools, one high school, and to alternate campuses in the district.
Elementary schools serve students from Pre-K through fourth grade. Intermediate schools serve fifth and sixth grades, and middle school is for grades seven and eight. High school students are those in ninth through twelfth grades. For more information about Duncanville ISD, visit Duncanvilleisd.org.