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Miscellaneous » Information for Parents & Students » Return to School FAQ

Return to School FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions Header
 
Smithville ISD has created a Google Form for our parents and community to submit questions. Questions submitted through the form will become part of the FAQ posted on this page.
 
Please submit your questions and Smithville ISD administration will post the answer here as soon as possible.
 
To submit a question, click this link Frequently Asked Questions Form
 
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 

VIRTUAL LEARNING

 

Q: Will the district employ a three-week virtual start?

A: The district will begin the school year with a virtual and face to face model.  Parents are able to choose for their students to participate in either mode. 


Q: Will there be an opportunity for Virtual Learning students who are new to a campus to tour the campus just to see it?

A: At this time, we do not have plans to allow Virtual learning students into the building for tours.  


Q: Where can I find a school supply list? Is there a different list for Virtual Learning and On-Campus Learning? Will Virtual Learning students keep their supplies at home?

A: You can find the school supply list for students attending on campus on the Smithville ISD website under Back to School Information.  Teachers of Virtual learners will communicate with parents the specific supplies they need before school starts. 


Q: What are the guidelines for turning in schoolwork? Since some parents will not be home during the day, will students be allowed to turn in assignments later than the end of the school day?

A: Students must submit work on the due date set by the teacher no later than 11:59 pm. 


Q: How is attendance collected for Virtual Learning students?

A: Attendance will be collected daily through student participation in synchronous and asynchronous instruction. "Exit Ticket" or some type of required academic interaction/exchange must take place daily, by 11:59 pm in order for a student to be marked present.


Q: How will Virtual Learning students access additional assistance and tutoring from their classroom teachers?

A: Teachers will have office hours in which students can log on for additional assistance. If students are identified as needing additional assistance, the teacher will schedule additional synchronous learning times during their scheduled intervention time.


Q: When and how will parents receive information on best practices for Virtual Learning and how to access it for Smithville ISD?

A: Teachers will be contacting parents during the week of August 24th. They will provide detailed information regarding virtual learning requirements.


Q: Will Virtual Learning instruction include live lessons with their teachers?

A: Yes, students will be expected to participate in live lessons with their teachers.  Teachers will communicate specific times before school starts.


Q: For Virtual Learning students, how will families be notified about the initial check-in?

A: Teachers will be reaching out through email and phone calls.  Please make sure you have a current email address and phone number on file with the campus. You can also update your contact information through the Ascender Parent Portal here or through the link on the district home page.


Q: For Virtual Learning students, how will lessons be delivered?

A: Lessons will be provided through Google Classroom. Students will login to their Google account using their Smithville ISD username & login. (ex: s123456@ad.smithvilleisd.org / Password is set to Tigers01 -- students will be prompted to change their password.)

Student’s Google Classroom list of classes will automatically populate. Simply click ACCEPT on each one for access.

Direct link to Google Classroom https://www.classroom.google.com


Q: For Virtual Learning students, what processes are in place for families to participate in synchronous lessons when parents are working during the day?

A: Students can log onto Google Classroom independently to participate in lessons. Our goal is to keep the format of the lessons as consistent as possible.

 
 

ON-CAMPUS LEARNING


Q: What are the first day procedures for Brown Primary and Smithville Elementary for On-Campus Learning?

A: Parents at Brown Primary and Smithville Elementary will be able to walk their students to their classroom for the first 2 days of school, however, they must follow the guidelines below:

  • Parents who want to walk their students to the classroom for the first 2 days of school must follow a staggered schedule for entry into the building. The staggered drop off schedule will be posted closer to the start of school. You will not be able to enter at times other than your assigned staggered start time. You will have 15 minutes in the building before being required to exit so that the next group can enter.
  • Time in the classroom/hallway will be very limited (15 minutes) to avoid crowding and possible exposure.
  • Parents wishing to walk their students into class these 2 days will be REQUIRED to correctly wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth. No exceptions will be made to this requirement.
  • No more than 2 adults can accompany the child to the classroom.

Q: What procedures are in place for getting school supplies to the classrooms for PreK - 12th?

A: Parents may bring their supplies when they walk their students to the classroom on the first day of school.


Q: What is the process for students using the bathroom and filling water bottles?

A: Students will take group restroom breaks so that they can be monitored for social distancing and proper handwashing.  If students are in a room that has its own restroom, students will use this instead of group restroom areas. Students will be taken to fill their water bottles throughout the day as needed.


Q: When is Meet the Teacher?  

A: Meet the teacher is Thursday, August 26th, and will be held virtually.  Campus teachers will reach out to students and a link to the Meet the Teacher event will be available here and via the district website.


Q: How will PreK - 5th grade students get their cafeteria lunches and where will they eat?

A: Students will be escorted to the cafeteria by their teachers to pick up their cafeteria purchased lunches.  Students will then eat in their classrooms.  On days that the weather is nice, teachers can take students outside for a picnic.


Q: For Virtual Learning students, what should their day look like?

A: Students will be expected to complete both synchronous and asynchronous activities each day.  Synchronous activities will require students to log onto Google Meets at specific times and participate in face to face learning with their teachers.  Asynchronous activities are activities that students complete at their own pace throughout the day when not participating in synchronous learning activities.


Q: For On-Campus Learning students, what will their day look like?

A: On-campus learning will look the same as it has in the past.  The only difference will be the safety measures that are put in place.  These include things such as social distancing requirements, masks, and students not mixing with other classes or groups throughout the day.


Q: What is the registration process for a Kindergarten student who attended Pre-K last year?

A: Students who attended PK at Brown Primary will not need to go through new student registration. Parents only need to log into the Ascender Parent Portal to update student and parent information.


Q: What if my child has special needs and cannot walk himself to class? Will someone be available to assist him?

A: Yes, the support staff will be available to escort students to class.


Q: When will we be notified if our child qualified and was accepted into Pre-K?

A: Please contact the Brown Primary registrar and she can assist you with this.


Q: Where are the drop off spots at each campus?

A: Brown Primary: There are two locations to drop-off and pick-up car riders. The West Side, closest to Hwy. 95 is for ALL Pre-K and Kinder students and their siblings. The East Side is for First and Second Graders.

A: Smithville Elementary: All student drop-offs and pick-ups will take place in the circle drive at the main entrance to Smithville Elementary.

A: Smithville Junior High: Parents will loop through the staff/visitor parking lot and drop off/pick up students at designated points.

A: Smithville High School: Parents will drive to the back of the student parking lot and circle around by the athletic wing to drop off/pick up students.


Q: Where will first and second grade start the school year?

A: First and second grade will begin their year at Brown Primary. They will transition to the elementary campus to begin the second semester.  (January 6, 2021) 


Q; Where will each grade level attend classes now? Where will each meet after construction is completed? When is the transition?

A: From August to December 1st, the 2nd grade will attend Brown Primary Campus

    Beginning in January, the 2nd grade will be housed in Building #1

    Beginning in August, the 3rd  grade will be housed in Building #2

    Beginning in August, the 4th and 5th grades will be housed in Building #3


Q: Since the school day is starting earlier this year, will 10:00 A.M. be the official attendance time change?

A: Brown Primary and Smithville Elementary will take official attendance at 10 AM.

Smithville Junior High and High School attendance will be taken each class period. 

Virtual Attendance (PreK-12) will be taken based on student engagement activities determined by the teacher submitted by 11:59 PM.


Q: What is the vision for the use of the additional instructional time at Brown Primary this year?

A: Early literacy instruction is very important to student success at all grade levels. We will use some of this additional time during our reading block to provide additional guided reading groups to ensure that any potential gaps in learning are addressed. Some of the time will also be used during transitions/lunch/restroom breaks/etc. as they will take longer as we focus on safety protocols.


Q: Does each campus have a list of which teachers will instruct On-Campus Learning and which teachers will instruct Virtual Learning?

A: All teachers are planning and preparing for both learning platforms, as we have to be prepared for a transition to virtual learning at any given point. As numbers of virtual and face to face students are finalized and teachers continue to work with the new virtual learning platforms, the final decision regarding who will teach in which platform, or both platforms, will be made.


Q: Has the attendance policy changed during the pandemic?

A: The Texas Education Agency has allowed for virtual attendance during the pandemic. Current guidance from the Texas Education Agency extends the ability to be in virtual attendance to the end of the 2020-21 school year. However, the 90% attendance rule to receive credit for course work is still in place. Virtual attendees must meet district virtual attendance protocols.


Q: What is the maximum number of students the district will allow a classroom to have?

A: There is no maximum number of students in a classroom, other than the traditional 22:1 ratio in grades PK-4.


Q: What is the deadline for changing from Virtual Learning to On-Campus or from On-Campus to Virtual?

A: A student may switch from On-Campus to Virtual learning at any time. Parents will be given the opportunity to move between in-person and virtual learning models at specific times throughout the year. To request a change in learning format, you will need to complete a Change In Learning Platform Request by the deadline listed below. Forms can be requested by contacting the campus front office. Please understand that moving between virtual and in-person instruction may require a change in teacher, as different teachers will be focusing on students in each platform. Below are the dates and deadlines for requesting a change.

 

                        Initial Commitment Deadline - August 9th 

Change Period

Deadline for Requesting Change

Start Date of New Format

After 3rd Week of Instruction

Friday, September 11th

Monday, September 21st

After 1st 9 Week Grading Period

Friday, October 23rd

Monday, November 2nd

After 2nd 9 Weeks Grading Period

Friday, December 11th

Wednesday, January 6th

After 3rd 9 Weeks Grading Period

Friday, March 26th

Monday, March 5th

 

Q: Will school start as Virtual Learning only, On-Campus Learning only, or as each family designated?

A: Each parent/guardian will choose how their student will start the school year, either On-Campus or Virtual.

COMMUNICATION


Q: What is the expectation for teacher communication with Virtual Learning students?

A: Teachers are expected to communicate frequently with the parents of all students. All BP and SES teachers will communicate through a single communication platform (Seesaw) or through school email. JH & HS teachers will communicate via Google Classroom and school email.


Q: How do I get my student's school ID number?

A: Please call the campus registrar.

Primary: 512-237-2519

Elementary: 512-237-2406

Junior High: 512-237-2407

High School: 512-237-2451

TRANSPORTATION

 

Q: How will parents know what time to meet the bus? When will this information be available?

A: Bus routes will be the same as during the last school year.  If your child(ren) rode the bus last year please have them at their pickup location 10-15 minutes early.  If your child(ren) have not been transported via an SISD school bus before please contact the SISD Transportation Office at 512-237-2487 and ask for Zack Harris or Lucy Kirkby.

After the 2nd day of school bus route pickup and dropoff times may change based on ridership.

COVID-19


Q: What is the transition process for students who start Virtual Learning then move to On-Campus Learning?

A: A student may switch from On-Campus to Virtual learning at any time.

Parents will be given the opportunity to move between in-person and virtual learning models at specific times throughout the year. To request a change in learning format, you will need to complete a Change In Learning Platform Request by the deadline listed below. Forms can be requested by contacting the campus front office. Please understand that moving between virtual and in-person instruction may require a change in teacher, as different teachers will be focusing on students in each platform. Below are the dates and deadlines for requesting a change.

                   

                        Initial Commitment Deadline - August 9th 

Change Period

Deadline for Requesting Change

Start Date of New Format

After 3rd Week of Instruction

Friday, September 11th

Monday, September 21st

After 1st 9 Week Grading Period

Friday, October 23rd

Monday, November 2nd

After 2nd 9 Weeks Grading Period

Friday, December 11th

Wednesday, January 6th

After 3rd 9 Weeks Grading Period

Friday, March 26th

Monday, March 5th


Q: What is the protocol for staff who show signs of COVID symptoms?

A: If at work, the employee reports to his/her supervisor and leaves to get medical care, or 911 will be called if life threatening symptoms are present. If unable to leave the building, the employee will be isolated until transportation is possible. The employee must stay home throughout the infection period. The following conditions must be met before reentry: 1) 24 hours without fever 2) improvement in symptoms 3) 10 days passed since onset of symptoms.


Q: What is the protocol for staff who test positive?

A: The employee must stay home throughout the infection period. The following conditions must be met before reentry: 1) 24 hours without fever 2) improvement in symptoms 3) 10 days passed since onset of symptoms. In addition, all members of the campus or department where the lab-confirmed positive employee works will be contacted in writing and informed of positive case.


Q: What is the protocol for students who show signs of COVID symptoms?

A: If at school, the student will be isolated and parents/guardians contacted and asked to come pick up their child. The following conditions must be met before reentry. 1) 24 hours without fever 2) improvement in symptoms 3) 10 days passed since onset of symptoms.

  • A student may return to school earlier if they receive a negative acute infection test from an approved testing location, or if they receive an alternate doctor certified diagnosis.

Q: What is the protocol for students who test positive?

A: The following conditions must be met before reentry. 1) 24 hours without fever 2) improvement in symptoms 3) 10 days passed since onset of symptoms


Q: What is the trigger point for the district to close campuses and move all students to Virtual Learning?

A: The exact “trigger point” is still being determined in consultation with the Bastrop County Health Authority. We plan to produce a process map explaining the rational, or “trigger point”, for closing a campus.


Q: What safety precautions is the school taking for students who return to school?

A: Parents are required to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms prior to sending them to school each day. All students will be required to wear masks. Hand sanitation will be required and emphasized throughout the school day. Mixing of student cohorts will be limited as appropriate. Students will be distanced on buses and in classrooms as feasible. Water fountains will be available for refilling of water bottles only. Lunches will be staggered and procedures implemented to reduce group numbers as feasible.  The District will be performing additional cleaning of facilities, including “spot cleaning” as necessary.


Q: Are students allowed to wear face shields?

A: Yes.


Q: Are students allowed to wear gaiters?

A: No


Q: What are the guidelines for types of masks students will wear?

A: Masks need to fit over the nose and mouth and be tight enough so that they don’t easily slip off. No inappropriate graphics are allowed.


Q: Why are children under ten required to wear masks?

A: Smithville ISD is attempting to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while at the same time allowing for in-person instruction. We are trying to protect the lives of our students, staff and community members, and to that end we are requiring masks for all people on campus.


Q: If my child is an On-Campus Learning student and our family must quarantine, what is the process?

A: Your child will switch to virtual learning for the duration of the quarantine.


Q: Will desks be six feet apart?

A: Desks will be spaced as far apart as feasible, but 6’ will not be possible in many instances.


Q: What happens if an On-Campus Learning student leaves the state then returns?

A: Action taken will depend on whether the campus is declared a “hot spot” or not.  We will review on a case by case basis.


Q: What are the guidelines for students wearing masks during the day, including during P.E. and lunch?

A: Students must wear masks throughout the school day, with the exception of while they are eating, or if they are participating in PE, Athletics, or Recess outside the school building. If students are not wearing masks during these activities, efforts will be made to maintain social distancing as feasible.


Q: Will the school be checking the children’s temps before letting them in the building?

A: Temperatures will not be checked on all students entering the school building.


Q: What procedures are in place to safeguard against FDA-declared unsafe hand sanitizer?

A: Hand sanitizer is procured through known vendors. There are no SISD procedures in place to address the FDA-declared unsafe sanitizers.


Q: Will parents have an opportunity to observe social distancing protocol and hand sanitation in the schools?

A: Visitors to campus will be limited to mandatory meetings, therefore observing social distancing protocols and hand sanitation will not be possible in most cases.


Q: What is the contingency if there is not enough space to house On-Campus Learning students while maintaining proper social distancing?

A: There is no contingency. SISD will maintain as much space between students as feasible, but it is entirely dependent on the number of students in the building.

Out of School Activities

ACE PROGRAM


Q: Will ACE offer programming this year?

A: ACE programming will begin on Tuesday, September 8. Programming will run from 3:30-5:30 P.M. Monday-Thursday afternoons. In order to maintain proper social distancing guidelines, students will attend on an A/B schedule. During registration, parents can choose which schedule best meets their needs - Monday, Tuesday session or Wednesday, Thursday session. There is no ACE programming on Fridays at this time.

  • ACE also has a morning program from 6:30-7:30 A.M. Monday-Friday starting Tuesday, September 8.
  • More information on the ACE program is available on the SISD ACE website.

TECHNOLOGY


Q: What is the process for a family to request and obtain a district Chromebook?

A: Parents may request a Chromebook for their child(ren) through the school website through this Google Form. The form can also be accessed by going to the website at www.smithvilleisd.org selecting Parents, Google Classroom, and clicking the Chromebook Request Form.


Q: Is there a deadline for parents to request a Chromebook?

A: There is currently no deadline to request a Chromebook.  


Q: How do I open the forms in the registration portal?

A: Some forms in the portal are not “fillable”.  They must be downloaded, completed, and returned to the campus.