Abilene ISD cancels secondary Family Program, fall final exams


Failure rate too high to continue program

ABILENE TEXAS (KTAB/KRBC) – High school students in the Abilene Independent School District (AISD) going into the spring semester will have to choose between in-person or at-home remote learning. For some this wont change anything, but middle and high school students participating in the district’s Family Program, decisions will need to be made before January.

The Family Program is a learn-at-your-own-pace option for remote-schooled students that is less structured and allows for work to be done without as much supervision from school staff, freeing them up to focus on those that require more attention. The only problem is that students enrolled in this program just aren’t participating enough.

For middle school students enrolled in the Family Program, the failure rate for the second 6 weeks decreased from 85.4% to 85.1%, which is not enough of a change to outweigh the large number of students failing under this program.

Whether they choose online or in-person learning for the spring, students will have one less grade to worry about this fall: final exams. The district sent out a poll to AISD teachers recently that found 90% of educators were in favor of dropping the fall semester finals altogether or allowing each teacher to decide to give one or not.

“This has been a hard enough semester from a social, emotional, mental health type standpoint for kids and for teachers. We just feel like this is an opportunity for us to preserve instructional time and to drive on through the end of the semester doing, teaching, and learning, and skip the assessment piece this time.”

-Dr. David young, aisd superintendent

This decision applies only to the fall semester finals and will not effect STAAR tests or end of course testing, which have already begun and will take place in person.

Any questions about remote learning moving forward can be answered at the AISD website.

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