An Adaptive Iteration Approach: Victoria ISD’s Pandemic Response Planning Process

Quintin Shepherd, Superintendent, Victoria ISD
Susanne Carroll, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability, Victoria ISD
Sherri Hathaway, Risk Manager, Victoria ISD
Regina Bryan, Health Services Coordinator, Victoria ISD

In response to the COVID-19 scourge, school facilities physically closed, but instruction needed to continue for 13,800 students — without a 1:1 program or widespread community connectivity. On a more fundamental level, students needed to be fed seven days a week. With no other options at its disposal, the superintendent and his team engaged in a collaborative decision-making and planning process and wrote their own playbook: The VISD Safe Start, Strong Start Plan.

Reflection on Best-laid COVID Plans

Eliza Loyola, Principal, Austin ISD
Taryn Kinney, K12 Education Studio Leader, DLR Group
Raechel French, Educational Space Planner, DLR Group

In an effort to make sense out of unprecedented times, DLR Group gathered firsthand data from school leaders, teachers, students, and parents in Texas and across the country. Aggregated results of the interviews will be shared with reflection on how these initial directions were tested and implemented in the fall. Panelists will reflect on successes and challenges over the last six months and respond to attendee questions.

Social/Emotional Planning and the Built Environment

Chris Allen, Superintendent, Marble Falls ISD
Kerri Ranney, VP of Educational Practice, Huckabee
Jason Andrus, Principal, Huckabee

How can schools create well-rounded, healthy environments that address a variety of student needs? While threats of harm and infectious disease control are guiding the narrative, mental wellness rounds out a more holistic conversation. Session leaders explore social/emotional planning, student perspective and design, and culture building for positive mental health.

Rural Education and the Virtual Environment

Christine Bedre, Assistant Superintendent, Westwood ISD
Chance Mays, Principal, Mount Enterprise ISD
Deanna Ramsey, Math Interventionist, Detroit ISD
Daniel Crable, Virtual Partnership Manager, Edmentum

A panel of rural administrators will discuss and guide participants through their journey into the virtual environment created by the pandemic. They will discuss the preparation of, and adaptation to, a virtual learning setting, as well as best practices for planning around a continuously changing educational landscape in our rural communities.

Preparing for Post COVID-19 by Narrowing Focus to Things that Really Matter

Jeff Burke, Superintendent, Splendora ISD
Cade Smith, Superintendent, Brock ISD
Benny Soileau, Superintendent, Huffman ISD
Erin Warren, Interim Superintendent, Luling ISD

Four Texas districts are collaborating to develop a system for accountability to board, staff, parents, and community. By increasing community involvement and transparency, they have increased trust and community support during these challenging times. This systematic process positions these districts to be ready for post-pandemic strategic action.