Home-based Learning FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Home-based learning

As of March 23rd, all classes in Ballinger ISD have been suspended and replaced with virtual instruction and other alternative learning options.

 

Education is a service to which our district is resolutely committed and we are taking this strategic approach to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 through Home-based learning opportunities. While the District continues to work with local and state health officials on this rapidly changing situation, we want to continue to meet the needs of students at a safe distance. We appreciate your support and patience during this time and encourage your family to stay home during this remote learning period.

 

While the frequently asked questions below address some issues, some of your questions may best be answered by your campus teachers and administrators. Please check back periodically as this page will change based on the needs of the community.

The BISD home-based learning plan is focused on facilitating a flexible approach to education within the home. Self-paced learning allows groups of students to study independently at different times and locations from each other, without real-time communication taking place. Flexible home-based learning is student-centered and provides more flexibility. The idea is that students can learn on any device, anywhere, anytime and on any browser. 

Flexible home-based learning provides flexible support. This approach respects the variety of situations students might be encountering at home, allowing students to log on at different times throughout the day. 

  • Teachers will be available during virtual office hours. The virtual office hours are 9:00-11:00 AM and 1:00-3:00 PM.
  • Students work will be assessed weekly. 
  • Teachers will monitor student work and provide feedback. 
  • Teachers will respond to student questions in a timely manner. 
  • Students have until Friday at 11:59 PM to submit/complete the work for each of their classes. 
  • The learning is self-paced so students can complete assignments at any time within the assigned work week. 
  • If students have questions (including technology-related questions), they need to contact their content area teacher first. 
  • Teachers will respond within the virtual office hours each day. The virtual office hours are 9:00-11:00 AM and 1:00-3:00 PM. Teachers will actively monitor email and do their best to get back with you each day. 

Parents and students will find lessons by logging into the Microsoft TEAMS App. On the main page of each campus website you will find a new tab labeled home-based learning. Links and instructions related to the campus home-based learning curriculum will be available there. 

Amounts of work are largely dependent upon the grade level. A student will not be asked to complete unreasonable amounts of work, and activities should not require initial instruction from parents/guardians or other caretakers. A student may need some assistance just as they would on typical homework. If work becomes overwhelming and time-consuming, please make a note for your student’s teacher and move on to the next activity. 

  • Teachers will have plans and activities posted no later than 8:00 AM and will be available to answer questions via email from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM and 1:00 to 3:00PM. Teachers will do their best to respond to emails in a timely manner. 
  • The campus principal is also available via email to answer questions. 

Elementary: jamie.dudley@ballingerisd.net 

Junior High: leslie.griffis@ballingerisd.net 

High School: ryan.knickerbocker@ballingerisd.net 

Each student has the week to complete his/her required activities. Additional time will be given if circumstances warrant it or if required per accommodations. 

During this unprecedented time, Ballinger ISD continues to work with local and state health officials to meet the needs of students at a distance. We are taking the situation day by day and look forward to communicating updates with the community. 

No, self-paced home-based learning provides student-centered flexibility. Students can learn on any device, and anywhere at anytime on any browser through the Microsoft TEAMS App or web-based version and should expect to turn in their work by Friday at 11:59 PM. 

Students receiving ESL services will continue to receive supports remotely through TEAMS and/or alternative paper activities provided by the ESL teacher. Contact your child’s teacher for additional information. 

  • Many services can be provided online, including specially designed instruction. Teachers will continue progress monitoring to ensure students are not slipping. As this evolves, ARD meetings may need to occur to make certain student needs are met. 
  • A student’s special education teacher will work with classroom teachers to ensure work is appropriate and modified when necessary. In addition, please check your student’s resource teacher’s page for additional directions or support. 
  • Instructional staff who provide services to our students with disabilities will make every effort to deliver the service minutes indicated in each student’s IEP utilizing the platforms available. When services return to the classroom setting, IEP teams can meet to determine if additional services are needed. 
  • The education of our students is dependent on our entire community. While the idea of online instruction or blended learning is not new to our instructional team, moving instruction fully online is a journey that we will all navigate together. 
  • Please reach out directly to your Special Education teacher or Diagnostician for guidance on your child. 

Students receiving Dyslexia services will continue to receive services remotely through TEAMS and/or alternative paper activities provided by the Dyslexia teacher. Contact Mrs. Halfmann (brenda.halfmann@ballingerisd.net) for additional information. 

ARD and 504 meetings will still be able to happen virtually, if all parties agree. We will work with individual families regarding timelines to ensure maximum participation and compliance. The District is expecting additional guidance from the Department of Education and TEA. 

Parents should expect to receive a call regarding their child’s educational needs. 

Howard College Dual Credit Courses resumed on March 23. In an effort to maintain quality instruction and a healthy, safe learning environment, we are working with our area school districts to create opportunities for dual credit students. Howard College believes that Career and Technical Education, Health Professions, and Academic Transfer courses are and will continue to be critical to our economy; therefore, we are exploring every innovative opportunity to continue serving these students. As we collectively reach a viable solution, we will communicate this and work to support the schools, students and parents. 

Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-20 school year. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) plans to develop additional methods to ensure that students are learning and ready to succeed at the next grade level. These discussions are ongoing and the state will provide more information as it develops.  

Also, the make-up testing for the SAT during the school day that was scheduled for March 14 and the SAT on May 2nd has been cancelled. 

We understand that not every family may have access to the internet and a connected device (computer, laptop, iPad, Chromebook, smartphone) at home and are prepared to work with families that may need additional support to continue student education remotely. If your family needs assistance in accessing these resources, please contact your campus principal. 

Elementary: jamie.dudley@ballingerisd.net 

Junior High: leslie.griffis@ballingerisd.net 

High School: ryan.knickerbocker@ballingerisd.net 

Ballinger ISD will be providing "to go" breakfast and lunch to BISD students beginning Monday, March 16. Breakfast may be picked up between 7:45 and 8:30 AM and lunch may be picked up between 11:30 and 12:30 PM. The drive through pick up location will be in front of the third-grade entrance to the elementary school. At the time of pickup, a packaged meal will be provided. Meals will be provided free of cost to students.  

 

We ask that families remain inside the vehicle, as staff will be present to bring meals to you. 

Username: firstname.lastname@students.ballingerisd.net 

Password: birth date and birth month ddmm (for example, December 25th would be 1225) 

Junior High: TEAMS login will match their laptop login 

Username: firstname.lastname@students.ballingerisd.net 

Password: Same as laptop password

High School:  TEAMS login will match their laptop login    

Username: firstname.lastname@students.ballingerisd.net 

 Password: Same as laptop password