Mansfield ISD Magazine Fall 2020 | Page 13

Preparing for Fall 2020 communication and positivity were key to a successful start of the year .

There was a lot of work happening behind the scenes when campus employees returned to work for the new school year .
Educators were adjusting their lessons to better fit a virtual environment ; counselors and clerks were working around the clock to match students with their selected classes ; nurses were focused even more on the processes to keep students and staff healthy ; and the custodial staff worked tirelessly to clean , disinfect and sanitize facilities .
With all the moving parts to manage , campus leaders worked hard to juggle it all .
Douglas helps students in the library who have a question about an online assignment .
“ Every year has its unique challenges , but this year is like none other ,” said Derrell Douglas , principal of Timberview High School . “ Whenever we ’ re making decisions , we always do what is best for students . It might be inconvenient for the adults , but the ultimate value that we lean on is what ’ s best for kids .”
Staff members said the work was overwhelming at times . There were new procedures to learn while also working to field the numerous questions from parents .
Catherine Wimbrey , counselor at Rogene Worley Middle School , said

Helping Online Learners Succeed

“ It was a learning curve for everybody ,” she said . “ At times , it was stressful because the situation was everchanging . However , we knew that we had to get it done , and we had to make sure everyone was on the same page to serve our community effectively .”
With the help of staff feedback , MISD has tweaked some processes at the district and campus level , such as creating an easier way to report attendance and forming various committees to review other measures and protocols .
It is this commitment to continuous improvement that some teachers said keeps them motivated .
“ It means that district administration is listening to the teachers , and they value our input to make changes ,” said Demeter Moore , teacher at Judy K . Miller Elementary School . “ We are valuable to them , and they try to assist with what we ’ re doing . We ’ re in this together , and we ’ re trying to make the most of a unique situation . And I think we ’ re overcoming pretty great .”
To ensure all students have the tools they need to stay connected from home , Mansfield ISD entered into an agreement with the City of Mansfield for more technology funding .
The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act ( CARES Act ) provided financial aid to Tarrant County to reduce the impact of necessary expenditures incurred due to the coronavirus outbreak .
The City of Mansfield gave its $ 500,000 aid to the school district to go toward the purchase of technology and high-speed internet access .
Since the funds also qualify under the state ’ s Operation Connectivity initiative , the Texas Education Agency will match the city ’ s amount , bringing the total to $ 1 million to enhance distance learning .
“ We live in a community that puts students first , and I ’ m proud of the work being done to ensure all of our students stay connected in these unprecedented times ,” said Michele Trongaard , associate superintendent of business and finance .
The additional technology has been purchased , and MISD is currently awaiting the delivery .
Approximately 40 % of MISD ’ s student population is enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy .