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New Timelines Announced for District’s Planned Specialty Programs

HOUSTON - May 4, 2020 - Spring ISD is holding on three new specialty programs, which were scheduled to roll out this fall as administrators work hard to support students and teachers during this extended closure period.

“We understand the challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, and we don’t want to distract from the work that is being done to make sure all of our students successfully complete the 2019-20 school year,” said Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson. “We are going to keep planning for these specialty programs but with an extended timeline so that we’re directing all of our immediate resources to Empowered Learning At-Home and preparing for the 2020-21 school year, which may require adjustments to school operations to ensure continued social distancing.”

The new timeline affects the planned International School at Salyers, the polytechnic program at Claughton Middle School and the prekindergarten through eighth-grade School for International Studies at Bammel, currently Bammel Middle School. All of those programs are now scheduled to launch in the 2021-22 school year.

The Bailey School of Performing and Visual Arts is moving forward this fall with the addition of several new course offerings to support arts integration at the campus.

With more time to plan, Watson said campus principals and administrators can focus on ensuring all students have the support they need to finish the spring semester strong, working remotely from home. Over the weekend, the second of three required Project-Based Learning plans was released and students will have until May 22 to complete that work.

“We are continuing to accept assignments from the first Project-Based Learning plan even as we roll out the new one,” said Khechara Bradford, chief of curriculum and instruction. “Our goal is to encourage students to complete their work. We understand that families have a lot of different challenges right now so we are trying to support their needs.”

The addition of the new specialty programs was announced in February by Watson, who has made expanding choice in the district a key priority. At a work session with district trustees last week, Watson reiterated his commitment to all of the specialty programs with the extended timeline.

“We are excited about moving forward with these new programs and all the new opportunities they will bring for our students,” Watson said. “The new schedule will just give us more time to create the best programs possible for our community.”