It’s a busy time of year as students and parents get ready for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 24.
While the district is not making any big policy changes for the upcoming school year, there will be a few technology enhancements throughout the district to help both students and parents.
GPS technology on buses
One enhancement that will help students who ride the bus is the implementation of GPS technology on school buses. If a child’s bus is running late due to traffic or other reasons, a parent can call the bus dispatch line and find out in real time where the bus is and its expected arrival time.
“For safety and security, that’s a great enhancement for us,” said LISD Superintendent Bret Champion. “We’ll know immediately where each bus in our fleet is.”
Because bus schedules are constantly being modified up through the first week of school to improve efficiency, Assistant Superintendent of Community and Government Relations Veronica Sopher said she encourages parents to visit the “Bus Information” link on LISD’s website or contact the dispatch line at (512) 570-0700 for the latest schedule and route information.
Mobile learning initiative
Canyon Ridge Middle School students will continue taking part in a pilot project for the district’s Mobile Leander initiative that began in the 2014-15 year. CRMS is one of three LISD campuses taking part in the pilot program. While only sixth grade students participated last year, the program will expand to include all CRMS students this year.
The pilot campuses were selected based on a variety of factors including campus readiness (as measured by the annual Texas Teacher STaR Chart: School Technology and Readiness), the number of teachers who have participated in EDUCATE Academies, the age of the existing equipment on campus, and representation for economic and geographic diversity.
Each student participating in the pilot project will receive a Windows-based, convertible, touch-screen laptop to support classroom learning.
The district is planning to roll-out the program to the remaining campuses as early as the spring of 2016 and continue to full implementation by the fall of 2017 or 2018, according to the LISD website.
New elementary school opens in Leander
The district’s 25th elementary school will open next week in Leander. Christine Comacho Elementary is named for longtime LISD elementary school registrar Christine Comacho, who lost her battle with cancer in 2013. Comacho worked at Whitestone and Pleasant Hill elementary schools.
“Christine captured what we believe in LISD, which is that we need to have this courageous spirit about us,” Champion said. “When she was going through her battles, she never wavered in her positive attitude. We’re so delighted to have a school named after Christine.”
Sopher said there are no new schools planned for the Four Points area. She said all future schools are planned for the Leander.
No big policy changes
Sopher said there are not any big policy changes this year. Dress code rules will remain the same with the only addition being that shoes are required at all times.
Regarding cell phone usage, she said discretion is left up to each campus and each classroom teacher.
“At the end of the day, the classroom teacher has discretion on devices,” she said.
Tips for parents
Sopher suggested a few tips for parents to prepare for back to school.
- Make sure current contact information is included in registration in the event that parents need to be contacted.
- Download the LISD mobile app for easy access to district news and updates.
- Download the 2015-16 LISD District calendar from the LISD website.