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Education & Workforce Council: Aldine ISD Battles COVID-19 to Continue Educating

Published Jun 04, 2020 by A.J. Mistretta

Student Writing

What’s it like running the state’s 9th largest school district during a pandemic? And how does that district, with an overwhelming number of underprivileged students, continue to support those students and their families during the crisis? 

The answers to those questions were part of a presentation this week from Dr. LaTonya Goffney and her team at Aldine ISD. In the Partnership’s Education & Workforce Council meeting on June 2, Goffney, who serves as superintendent of Aldine, discussed how she and her staff worked to serve the district’s 67,000 students remotely since March. 

Located on the north side of the city and bisected by the North Sam Houston Tollway, Aldine ISD is made up almost entirely of minority students—73% of students are Hispanic and 22% are African American. Most come from disadvantaged backgrounds. In fact, 88% of the students in the district qualify for low cost or free lunch based on their family income. 

Goffney said the district’s strategic priorities going into 2019/2020 academic year were focused on: student achievement, school culture, mission-driven leadership, organizational efficiency, and community engagement and outreach. The arrival of the coronavirus in Houston in March threatened to put those priorities on hold when students weren’t able to return to school following spring break. 

“What I’m most proud of is that we had leaders who were able to stand up and meet the needs of our students and not abandon our strategic priorities,” Goffney said. 

Here are just some of the ways Aldine ISD has worked to continue student education in the midst of the pandemic. 

  • On March 16, the district launched the Aldine At-Home website, enabling remote digital lessons and connections between students and teachers. 
  • The education team also developed non-digital resources for remote learning and utilized Schoology as a virtual teaching and learning platform. 
  • The district provided 20,000 Chromebooks and 5,000 wifi hotspots to students who didn’t have the needed resources. 
  • 12 weeks of curated learning opportunities were developed at all grade levels. 
  • The district has extended virtual learning opportunities through June and July to enable students who may have fallen behind in the last weeks of the school year to catch up or get a jump start on next school year. 
  • The district has served more than 1 million meals to Aldine students and their families through 22 different sites since March. 
  • The district has also gone to great effort to address the social and emotional needs of students and staff during a difficult time through various initiatives. 
  • Officials are working to ensure that health and safety protocols are in place at campuses district-wide when school resumes in the fall. 

Learn more about Aldine ISD’s efforts via the district’s website

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