Venus ISD will offer two modes of instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. Parents can choose to enroll their children in On-Campus Learning or in Connected Learning. Please read about both options below before enrolling your child. Also, please review the Education Rights & Responsibilities for COVID-19 (español) flyer to better understand the parents' important role in this unique school year.
Venus ISD plans to offer in-person classes that will take place on all of our campuses, in the same manner in which we have in the past. Numerous precautions and measures will be taken to protect the health and safety of students, families, and staff.
We will follow health and safety protocols recommended by state and local officials on all campuses, including:
Parents will screen students for fever, among other symptoms, and for potential exposure to COVID-19 at home, before they travel to school
Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school on campus if the child has COVID-19 symptoms or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19
Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and students will be required to use it as they enter the classroom
Surfaces and high-touch areas will be routinely cleaned and disinfected, and all instructional areas will be deep-cleaned regularly
Students will wear masks anytime they are in the hallway
Passing periods will be strictly monitored to enforce proper use of PPE and to minimize potential exposure
Enhanced cleaning and disinfection of office spaces and restrooms daily
Students will need to remove masks for meals, so cafeteria spaces will be expanded (example: using gyms, outdoor spaces, or classrooms) as necessary on each campus to enable students to maintain appropriate distancing
Hand sanitizer will be available in cafeterias, and students will be encouraged to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to eating
Any individuals who themselves either: (a) are lab-confirmed to have COVID-19; or (b) experience the symptoms of COVID-19 (listed below) must stay at home throughout the infection period, and cannot return to campus until the school system screens the individual to determine any of the below conditions for campus re-entry have been met:
In the case of an individual who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to school when all three of the following criteria are met:
at least one day (24 hours) has passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications);
the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and
at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
In the case of an individual who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, such individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to the campus until the individual has completed the same three-step set of criteria listed above.
If the individual has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above stay at home period, the individual must either (a) obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis or (b) receive two separate confirmations at least 24 hours apart that they are free of COVID via acute infection tests at an approved COVID-19 testing location found at https://tdem.texas.gov/covid-19. (TEA SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance, page 4).
The most effective means of education is face-to-face instruction with the teacher. However, it is easy to understand why some parents are unsure about whether to send their children back to school. Therefore, parents may choose to register their children for Connected (online) Learning. Either way offers parents the flexibility to choose what is best for their family situation. Students will have the ability to have their classroom setting changed at the Six Weeks grading period.
Connected Learning is online instruction that leverages technology to facilitate learning, while still allowing students to remain connected to Venus ISD teachers and curriculum. Students enrolled in Connected Learning will receive daily instruction from Venus ISD teachers and be engaged in a variety of interactive and independent learning activities.
All students who enroll in Connected Learning will receive a district-issued device and parents can request a Hot-Spot for internet connectivity if there is not adequate connectivity at home. As with all instruction, student success is greatly enhanced by parental involvement. Parental involvement in Connected Learning will be closely tied to a student’s maturity level and motivation; please be prepared to monitor your child’s progress and encourage them to be resilient, self motivated learners.
See the list below for key details about Connected Learning:
Students in grades 2-12 will receive a Chromebook
Students in grades PK-1 will receive an iPad
Those without an internet connection, or who have a slow home internet connection, can request a HotSpot
HotSpots will only work with Venus ISD devices
Dates will be posted soon for parents to pick up the devices
Students enrolled in Connected Learning are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities as long as they meet all other requirements
All activity-specific practices and procedures must be adhered to as if the student were on campus
Bus transportation to practices will not be provided
Parents are responsible for transporting students to and from school for practice and the applicable class period for the activity
The campus will provide you with specific drop off information for your student
Parents must pick up students within 5 minutes of the scheduled end time of the activity
If the rules are not followed, the student’s schedule will be changed, and they will not be allowed to participate in the extracurricular activity for the remainder of their enrollment in Connected Learning
The immunization requirements for enrollment are the same for Connected Learning and On-Campus Learning
Compulsory attendance requirements remain for Connected Learning, and are the same as traditional On-Campus Learning (hyperlink compulsory attendance law)
As much as possible, students should be engaged in learning during regular school hours, 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM, as this is when their teachers will be available to them
Curriculum & Instruction
Core academic courses will be offered to all Connected Learning students
Secondary students will be able to select from a menu of courses to earn required elective credits
Primary and elementary students will engage in enrichment activities provided by their assigned teachers
Connected Learning teachers will provide instruction equivalent to that of On-Campus Learning, and all Connected Learning students will be responsible for daily work in the timelines set by their Connected Learning teachers
The grading policy for Connected Learning will be the same as the grading policy for On-Campus Learning, and students will be accountable for all assignments, assessments, and activities
Students should expect to spend a similar amount of time on school activities as they did in the classroom. Daily participation in instruction is required for a student to be counted present.
Meal pickup will be available for Connected Learning students via a drive-through process at Venus High School
Connected Learning teachers will be actively engaged in instruction during regular school hours, 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Teachers are expected to respond to students via online communication during this time. If students reach out to teachers outside of these hours, they should not expect to receive a prompt response.
The best way for parents to reach their teachers is via email, and teachers are expected to respond to parent emails within 24 hours of receiving them
If you are having an issue that needs an immediate response, please call your child's campus office
VHS Connected Learning Information
English Courses: English 1 (Teacher led) English 2 (Teacher led) English 3 (Teacher led) English 4 (Teacher led) Dual Credit English (Hill College)
Social Studies Courses: World Geography (Teacher led) World History (Teacher led) US History (Teacher led) Government/Economics (Teacher led) Dual Credit US History (Hill College)
Electives: Music Appreciation (Odysseyware) Art History (Odysseyware) Principles of Health Science (eDynamic Learning) Medical Terminology (eDynamic Learning) Principals of Information Technology (eDynamic Learning) Principals of Law and Public Safety (eDynamic Learning) Careers in Criminal Justice (eDynamic Learning) Principals of Engineering (eDynamic Learning) Engineering and Design 1 (eDynamic Learning) Engineering and Design 2 (eDynamic Learning)
LOTE Courses Spanish 1 & 2 (Teacher led) American Sign Language 1 & 2 (eDynamic Learning)
*Advanced Placement and Honors classes will not be offered online (except for Dual Credit)
VMS Connected Learning Information
We are offering the following subjects as online classes taught by Venus ISD teachers:
Classes not offered online:
AG Wildlife and Fisheries
Online electives will use curriculum from eDynamic Learning, and Venus ISD teachers will facilitate the online classrooms. Online elective choices will be:
Band (no instruments)
Principals of Ag (High School Credit)
Frequently Asked Questions
General Registration Questions
Does the student need to have a checkup from the doctor to register? No, but if you choose On-Campus learning for your child, you will need to screen your child daily for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms at home before sending them to school.
Is online learning more challenging for teachers and students? The most effective teaching and learning involve a face-to-face interaction between students and teachers. Connected learning takes a greater degree of initiative on the part of the student. If your child is not a self starter, they will likely find online learning to be significantly more challenging than on-campus instruction. On-Campus and Connected Learning classes will use the same curriculum. Grading policies are the same in both On-Campus and Connected Learning classes. Attendance will also be taken for both. We are training and equipping all of our teachers to effectively lead Connected learning should the need arise, and they are supported by a professional support network. While teachers have been working to blend elements of online learning into their traditional classrooms for some time, completely online instruction poses new, but achievable, challenges to our teachers. Principals are working with their faculty members to ensure the teachers’ who are best suited to teaching Connected learning have the opportunity to do so.
Now that other districts are choosing to delay the start of in person school is this something Venus is considering? Is there a possibility of pushing back the start of school till September? VISD is planning to begin classes on August 18, 2020. Both online and in-person classes will be offered on this date. While we remain flexible and responsive to new orders from TEA and the State of Texas, VISD is not currently planning to make further calendar changes.
Is there a potential for A Day and B Day groups or alternating schedules, such as one week on, one week off to limit the number of students on campus at the same time? No. Alternating days or weeks would place many parents in a state of hardship trying to arrange for childcare when their children are at home.
Is there a hybrid model between Connected Learning and On-Campus Learning? Technically no. However, some Connected Learning students will choose to take courses for which they must be present. Example: Athletics, Band, Welding, etc.
Has Venus considered staggering school schedules per grade to reduce contact? Is the school district considering staggered school start and release times? We currently do not plan to stagger start and end times. Campuses are making efforts to minimize the number of students in hallways throughout the day. We are continuing to investigate how we can leverage creative scheduling to keep our students and staff safe.
If my children attend Connected Learning classes in the beginning, can they switch to On-Campus classes later? Yes. Changes can be made between On-Campus and Connected Learning at the end of the Six Weeks grading period.
What will be the procedure to make a change from On-Campus to Connected learning? Simply make a request in writing seven (7) days prior to the end of the grading period. Requests should be made to the campus Principal’s office.
Will there be designated teachers for each option? Meaning, are all teachers going to have to teach on campus and at-home at the same time or will there be specific on campus teachers and specific at home teachers? For self-contained grade levels, such as PK-3, some teachers will teach only Connected learning students while others teach only On-Campus students. In grade levels where students change classes, teaching assignments will vary greatly depending on the number of students enrolled in Connected and On-Campus learning.
Will each student still have a "homeroom" teacher that they can interact with every day if Connected Learning is chosen? Yes.
Will there be online pre-k? Yes
Will Chromebooks, iPads, and hotspot be available for all grade levels? Yes, VPS students will use iPads, and students in grades 2-12 will use Chromebooks. Students enrolled in Connected Learning will be issued a device. HotSpots will be available if requested by a parent; we will only issue one HotSpot per household.
I have 2 students in Elementary. Will they both be getting Chromebooks if they stay home or would they share a device? They will each be issued a device.
Will parents be notified of COVID cases in the school? Yes, just as we would with any communicable diseases and conditions.
If someone gets a positive Covid-19 case, what will the protocols be for dealing with this? What is the plan if someone in the class or the teacher tests positive? Does the whole class have to quarantine for 3 or 14 days? What is the procedure if a home teacher is positive to COVID-19? Is that specific class going to go on quarantine? What if an Art/PE/Music teacher is positive to COVID-19, is the entire school going to go on quarantine? We will follow ALL applicable guidelines and regulations regarding COVID-19 exposure and infection. This guidance is best summarized on page 4 of Texas Education Agency’s SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance, found at https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/covid/SY-20-21-Public-Health-Guidance.pdf
Will quarantine days be counted against their attendance? If students are physically able to continue their school work during their quarantine, they will be marked as “present-asynchronous” for attendance when they are showing appropriate daily progress on their assignments. If they are not able to do so, they will be marked absent. Absences associated with quarantines will be recorded as such, and that information will be available to campus attendance committee members, and will factor into related decisions.
Are teachers required face coverings and temperature checks? Yes, teachers will wear face coverings and will be screened for a fever daily.
Will buses still be available? Yes, bus transportation is available to students attending On-Campus learning.
What accommodations are going to be made available for bus drivers to safely complete their job? Bus drivers will be provided with necessary training and PPE to ensure they can safely carry out their duties.
Will buses be cleaned and disinfected? Yes, bus drivers will clean and disinfect buses after each route.
How are students being seated on the bus? In the morning students will be seated by household loading from back to front Afternoons may be different – all students from the same household may not all be on the same campus
Will my child be able to remove their mask when eating on the bus? Open food or drink containers will not be allowed on the bus, and students will not be allowed to eat or drink on the bus. Students must wear masks while on the bus.
Will group tables be replaced with desks? No, but groups will be smaller, and tables will be spread farther apart.
How will outside equipment and gym equipment be sanitized between classes? We are currently investigating disinfectant sprayers and cleaning methods with our custodial contractor. Equipment will be sanitized between classes.
Will the kids be allowed to bring water bottles into class? We are working with our nurses to make sure all kids have access to water in class and at any activities. Each campus will have a procedure that works best for their students. The primary and elementary are working to purchase refillable bottles for each child - they will have a name on them and be kept in the classroom for their sole use.
If we choose on campus learning and our child does not follow the distance rule or can’t seem to keep a mask on will they get in trouble or be disciplined for not being able to follow the new procedures? Our teachers and staff have a great deal of empathy for our children as they navigate this difficult time. At the same time, we are tasked with enforcing applicable health directives in school facilities. We hope that teaching students the why new procedures are necessary will motivate them to comply. As our partner in your child's education, we will undoubtedly need your support as well. Please feel free to contact your child’s principal to discuss any disciplinary questions.
Will each student be able to use their own school supplies as opposed to having shared supplies with the class? Will the supplies my child brings only be used by my child? Primary or Elementary students will use the supplies they brought.
Is there any option we have for Synchronous Learning - distance learning but a live classroom with a set schedule? No. Due to relatively low bandwidth home internet connections throughout the district, we cannot ensure an effective learning experience for synchronous learning.
If my student is doing online instruction do they still need to purchase school supplies? Students will need some supplies at home to complete assignments and will need to bring supplies to the classroom if/when they transition to in person classes.
Will Connected Learning last all day? Minimum daily class times are set at 180 minutes for Primary and Elementary students and 240 minutes for Secondary students. Your student can expect to spend more than the minimum amount of time working on school work, but less than the 8 hours they would normally spend at school on a “normal” school day.
Will there be a meet the teacher for virtual and attending students? Yes – we are working on a plan for both.
When will virtual students receive their schedules? Soon after the initial enrollment is closed in Skyward.
Will virtual students be able to select the same electives as physically attending students? (Athletics? Band?) A listing of available classes is on the Connected Learning section above. Some classes may not be available online. Dual credit will be available. Athletics and Band are available for Connected Learning students. Be aware that parents are responsible for transporting students to and from school for practices and the On-Campus class period.
Are attendance guidelines still the same? The 90% rule still applies. How we capture attendance for Connected Learning is based on student progress and engagement – more detailed guidelines to follow.
If a student has a 504 plan will that student still receive services and accommodations? All SPED and 504 plans and accommodations will be honored.
Has the board considered setting up video cameras in the classrooms during class time for teachers to teach the children live stream? Ex. Zoom Yes, this was considered and explored. Due to the relatively low bandwidth of home internet connections throughout the district, we would not be able to ensure an effective learning experience.