Posted Date: 06/01/2021
To the Parents and Guardians of Pampa ISD Students,
Notice: Suspension of Voluntary Virtual Remote Learning
Since the beginning of school, the administration has been reviewing student academic performance and attendance data on all of our students in the PISD. Unfortunately, large portions of voluntary virtual learners are not fulfilling the expectations for academic engagement and attendance as clarified in the Pampa Academic Virtual Experience (PAVE) agreement. In fact, more than 50% of the voluntary virtual learners are not attending regularly and in some cases, not at all. Additionally, more than 60% of the voluntary learners are not making adequate academic progress. We have attempted to work closely with all of the virtual learners to remove barriers such as internet connectivity, devices, and at home learning strategies. We believe it is in the best interest of students to return to in-person, on campus instruction as soon as possible.
Please know that the decision to end voluntary options was not taken lightly. After much deliberation, the Board of Trustees took action to suspend voluntary virtual learning options for students in the PISD with only a few exceptions. The exceptions include those students who receive a positive COVID-19 test result, are quarantined due to exposure risks, have documented medical reasons, or meet other specific and unique criteria such as be an identified medically fragile student in a special education program or be a 6-12 student who is meeting the definition of success in their current educational setting.
Beginning Monday, November 16, 2020, Pampa ISD will end voluntary virtual instruction and expect all students who selected this option who do not meet the exceptions to return to in-person instruction as soon as possible. Additionally, all students regardless of success factors who choose to participate in any school related and University Interscholastic League (UIL) events/activities must return to face-to-face, on-campus instruction beginning November 16, 2020.
During the coming days, campus administration will be contacting voluntary virtual students and their families to ensure a smooth transition to return to face to face, on campus instruction. Should you have questions or want to inquire on special circumstances, please contact your campus. Students and staff have been and will continue to follow all COVID-19 safety guidelines established in the Start Strong, Stay Safe Back to School Plan, including wearing masks during the school day and school-sponsored events and activities. Our data indicate that our efforts to minimize the exposure to and spread of the COVID-19 virus are working. We feel that it is a safe and academically sound decision to encourage students to return to on-campus learning.
We recognize and respect that some parents and students may prefer a different option. We are not mandating that your family return to school. We suggest that you make a decision that is right for you and your student(s). If you plan to unenroll your child, please make arrangements with your child’s campus to return all district-owned technology and resources. Should you choose to pursue alternative means of education for your student, below is a partial list of available educational possibilities that meet compulsory education laws:
• Come to school for in-person, on-campus learning
• Withdraw your child to homeschool (a signed form is required for this)
• Transfer your child to another district offering voluntary virtual instruction
• Utilize the Texas Virtual Academy or another online school program (public or private)
We genuinely hope that you choose to return to in-person, on-campus learning. We will continue to monitor our data and the situation and will make modifications as necessary for future decisions. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented situations for our students, staff, and our families. The Pampa ISD and the Board of Trustees are committed to our mission of producing learners who are compassionate, competent, confident, and future-ready!
Dr. Tanya Larkin, Superintendent Pampa Schools
Published on 10/30/2020