Greenville ISD Cancels, Then Un-Cancels, At-Home Learning for Current Semester
The school board for Greenville Independent School District announced Wednesday that their decision Tuesday for all GISD students to return to in-person classroom instruction by May 3rd, and then by May 12 in a later announcement, has now been nullified; at-home learning will be an option for students for the remainder of the spring semester.
At an April 27, 2021 meeting of the GISD school board, a motion was made to resume in-person instruction on May 3rd. After some discussion and a vote of 5-1 (with one member absent,) the motion passed. Following the meeting at 10:14 p.m., an email was distributed to district families justifying the decision, citing the following, according to the email:
- "In person learning is more effective than online instruction, on average"
- "Socialization is important to mental health for students"
- "Many teachers are experiencing high stress levels due to being split between online and in-person instruction"
The email went on to share that 80% of district students are currently attending school in person full-time or, in the case of Greenville High School, two days per week.
Forty-three minutes later, at 10:57 p.m., district families recieved a second email on the subject of returning to 100% in-person instruction. While details regarding the vote and the reasoning remained, a date change was noted - the day that all students would be expected in class was now May 12. The messaging noted on that that the start date was being amended due to a state mandate.
Wednesday morning at around 11:42 a.m., the district once again reached out through its various channels to indicate to families that the decision to return to in-person instruction had been reversed. The following language was included:
Since last night's announcement, many partents, students, employees and community members have contacted Greenville ISD to voice their strong concerns. We appreciate and respect the feedback. Upon careful review, it has been determined that since the effective date of May 3 was part of the motion that was voted on by trustees, the vote is no longer valid. The proposed May 3 effective date does not comply with the Texas Education Agency's 14-day notice requirement. GISD will continue to offer the current learning options to families for the remainder of the school year. All at-home learning days will continue as previous scheduled, including May 7 and the May STAAR testing days.
The messaging goes on to note the district's appreciation from those who contacted the district.
It is not clear whether the district would have been obligated to nullify the vote by the school board (or rather, to have prevented it from receiving a vote) based on the guidance from the Texas Education Agency regardless of whether any "strong concerns" were voiced from "parents, students, employees and community members" to the district.
The April 28 email also did not address the concerns cited as justification for the original board decision to return to in-person instruction.