Kilgore ISD administrators, faculty and board trustees announced plans for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, with regards to registration, campus tours and the first few days of classes. School is slated to begin Wednesday, Aug. 19 and, in keeping with state guidance, the district will provide both on-campus learning and remote learning options for students this year. These options give parents a choice when sending their children back to school as the COVID-19 pandemic continues nationwide.
Mark Lane, KISD Director of Technology, delivered a report on the progress of this year’s effort to get thousands of students registered for the coming school year.
“As of 2 p.m. this afternoon when we finalized this report, we’ve been open and accepting registrations for right at a week now and we have 2,076 students that have registered so far,” Lane said, adding the figure represents about 50 percent of the KISD student body.
“That’s a really great number. Last year, at this point, we had 1,231 (registered). We’ve really been trying to promote online and taking care of it. Parents have responded well.”
Registration information can be accessed at www.KISD.org. Parents and guardians can also begin the registration process online.
Lane said 143 new students have been registered so far, with 83 of those signing up at Kilgore Primary School. Of those who have registered so far, 84 percent have opted to register in person on campus while 16 percent have chosen to register remotely online.
The regular registration period will continue for the remainder of this week. However, registrations will continue to be accepted in next week’s late registration period. According to Lane, the district will increase its efforts to reach out to parents and increase the number of students who complete registration.
“We really need to get all these students entered into the system so our campuses can schedule them and get them in the right classes and make plans for them,” he said.
KISD Superintendent Dr. Andy Baker stressed the important of tracking online registration numbers to get an accurate representation of the number of students enrolling for the coming year and the new scheduling options it will include.
“The importance of the online registration right now is to try to give us an idea of what we’re looking at in terms of how many kiddos we’re going to have, at the school environment and the amount of kids we’re going to have in the remote environment,” Baker said.
“As of this afternoon, with about 2,000 kiddos, you’re halfway there. With your teachers coming back on Monday, it’s absolutely necessary information for us in terms of class sizes, where we’re going to put kids and how we’re going to put kids and spread them out, etc.”
As noted by Baker, KISD will implement extensive measures to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff as the new school year begins. He noted the district is in the process of receiving large amounts of protective gear for students and teachers, including disposable face masks, reusable face masks, gloves, face shields and hand sanitizer.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Texas students could return to school this year, and some districts have already done so. However, the state and Texas Education Agency are continually releasing guidance for districts about proper social distancing and sanitization procedures to keep students safe.