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Old 05-28-2020, 08:07 AM
 
14 posts, read 13,937 times
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Hi All - With Covid-19 all schools have gone remote. How has your experience been with your schools? Our current (out-of-state) elementary school has done a decent job, but we have not been happy with the middle school experience.

We are moving to the Austin area and I am looking for recommendations for specific schools (elementary and middle) that have maintained the education quality in these unusual circumstances.

Thank you!
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
13,500 posts, read 30,034,829 times
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We have a 6th grader in an AISD middle school. She got her assignments are the beginning of the week via their online software system ('Blend'), with each teacher creating their own block of curriculum. It basically consisted of meeting once or twice a week via Zoom for her main classes and then completing the assignments. The assignments varied quite a bit - some where as simple as worksheets she printed off, completed, imaged, and uploaded back to Blend. Others consisted of interactive videos that you watched and answered questions either during, after, or both. Some were online worksheet type assignments. There were several classes that used third party sites that helped teach a subject via online interaction.

Some classes did not meet via Zoom/face-to-face - i.e. choir and P.E. The choir instructor went over and above in his efforts to continue the education, but very difficult remotely. P.E. was kind of the easiest, she just had a list of things to do and some videos (where appropriate) to explain the mechanics.

My daughter is special education and she got her speech therapy in a 'small group' (two kids) once per week. She actually very much liked the structure of the online learning. She started at 9 am and worked for a couple of hours, took a break for an hour or so, then would work for 2 or 3 more hours. 'Regular' kids could have completed it in less time, but maybe they had more work or more time-intensive work, I don't know. The loss of her assistance at school is hard to replace (we are both working from home), but we can help some. She got a chrome book and loves it and loves the independence of work on her own. We did buy a huge white board and schedule out her week with check boxes - Blend is not (imho) the best graphically and that seemed to help her (and her younger sister in elementary school).

In short, it worked out passably well considering it was rolled-out without much prior warning. The younger teachers took to it easier than the older teachers, who did seem to have a bit more of a tech challenge but worked through it. Special areas (choir, dance, P.E., art, green ag, etc) are very difficult to do remotely and I don't know how you easily get around that.
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,918 posts, read 9,445,123 times
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Where is work? What is a bearable commute (we will get back to normal). What is your budget?
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:35 PM
 
14 posts, read 13,937 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashbeeigh View Post
Where is work? What is a bearable commute (we will get back to normal). What is your budget?

Work is in downtown Austin, and 30-40 minutes max (Ideally 15-20min). Looking to rent for now <2.5K 3Bed/2bath.


I know things will get back to normal, but a year of remote learning just doesn't sink in!
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX via San Antonio, TX
6,918 posts, read 9,445,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nytown View Post
Work is in downtown Austin, and 30-40 minutes max (Ideally 15-20min). Looking to rent for now <2.5K 3Bed/2bath.


I know things will get back to normal, but a year of remote learning just doesn't sink in!
Maybe Mueller at the 2.5k or a bit higher. It would be on the smaller side. Maybe southwest Austin in 78745. That’s all I can think of that would be within that budget, size and commute. If you go the mueller route look for homes west of Berkman. East Of Berkman are not as good. 78745 schools are so-so. If you want stellar schools within that commute time you’ll need to consider private, or spend more time in traffic and live out towards Leander it around Rock ISD.

If I’m remembering correctly, Trainwreck’s 6th grazer goes to a school in far south Austin which is great but well out of that 30 minute commute range.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:58 PM
 
14 posts, read 13,937 times
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Thanks Ashbeeigh. How is 78749 - Kiker/Clayton/Gorzycki? How do these compare to LISD?
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:36 PM
 
360 posts, read 539,385 times
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I heard mixed things about the elementary schools (I have older kids). I think a lot of it boiled down to the family and how much they want to participate. My understanding is that there were plenty of learning opportunities there though. AISD was pass/fail after we started online learning which impacted some people's level of participation. If we continue primarily being online in the fall (ugh), I think there will probably be more traditional grading again. My experience with middle schools and high schools was ok. It was definitely watered down and I have concerns about missed or shortened content, but I think they did about as well as can be expected. Most of my kids classes (including fine arts, PE, and other electives) had either regular meetings or recorded lessons with various assignments and expectations.

Kiker/Clayton/Gorzycki are very good/excellent schools. Kiker is getting a new principal (former assistant principal at Clayton) in the fall who is fabulous. Personally, I think that if you like the area that there would be no advantage to Leander or Round Rock with schooling. Others might disagree, but Kiker/Clayton/Gorzycki are all high performing schools and the commute downtown is much easier from SW Austin than Cedar Park or Round Rock.

I've said it before, but I'm not a fan of Mueller. If public schools are a priority, I would strongly encourage you to research the schools Mueller is zoned to carefully. Some people are comfortable with the schools Mueller is zoned to, but just make sure you look at it closely and make an informed decision.
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