Remote instruction: San Benito CISD ventures into new school year

SAN BENITO — From material distributions to staff training and planning, this school district has been gearing up all summer for its first day of school, and now the time has come.

San Benito CISD will begin the 2020-2021 school year today with remote instruction.

In the school district’s latest edition of “Super Talks,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nate Carman discussed plans for reopening schools amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The school district’s virtual instruction will carry on for eight weeks.

According to Carman, live, face-to-face instruction will begin on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Parents will have the option of choosing face-to-face instruction or continuing with remote instruction.

“ In preparation for the school year, we have taken several steps,” Carman said. “We have provided training and technical assistance to our teaching staff to help give them the tools necessary to provide remote instruction.”

Additionally, Carman said the school district has distributed technology devices and school supplies to students who need them.

“ We’ve also distributed Wi-Fi hotspots to our families who don’t currently have internet in their homes,” he said. “Our instructional technology team has developed easy-to-follow videos to assist our students and parents with the technology aspects of remote learning.”

The videos can be found on San Benito CISD’s website at www.sbcisd.net.

Carman said the school district developed a comprehensive reopening plan that’s focused on the safety of students and employees, while providing a gold standard education.

Some of the safety protocols include — how and how often the school district cleans buildings, treating the air being circulated in schools, facial coverings, social distancing, limiting the number of employees on campus during the remote instruction stage, taking temperatures of employees and students, hand sanitizing and student desk dividers.

“ We postponed the start of this school year to allow time for the COVID infection rate to decline and to give us adequate time to be as fully prepared as possible,” Carman said. “Additionally, we have identified challenges other districts have had during the past few weeks and have learned from their experiences.”

Carman said the school district is anxious to have their students back in the classroom. He said faculty and staff are ready to provide instruction and support so that when they do have students back, they’ll be prepared and safe.

“ Due to the dedication and tenacity of our fantastic San Benito employees, we are prepared to start the school year unlike any other, but with promise to be a great one at the same time,” Carman said. “We also stand ready to modify our plans as we know this pandemic situation can be very unpredictable.”

Carman said the school district would do so while maintaining the safety of students and employees at the forefront of all decisions made.

To view the entire reopening plan, visit the school district’s website.

ahernandez@valleystar.com