Just like the rest of the school districts in Bastrop County, and like many schools across the state, McDade ISD has been closed down since the end of spring break and will remain closed until May 4. However, instruction is continuing remotely, and like many other schools, McDade ISD is continuing to provide meals for its students.
According to McDade ISD Superintendent Barbara Marchbanks, the school has been in contact with all students via email and phone several times over the past three weeks. Students from pre-kindergarten through fourth grade are using Google Classroom, packets and ClassDojo, an education app and website for primary schools. Students in fifth grade and older have been issued Chromebooks and are continuing their education through online instruction. McDade ISD is also continuing instruction for special education students, students with disabilities and students with English as a second language.
The McDade ISD cafeteria still prepares breakfast and lunch for all McDade students every day, and the meals are delivered by bus to the homes of each student who rides the bus. For students who do not ride the bus, there is a pick-up line at the high school.
The schedules of faculty and staff have been adjusted to make sure there are a limited number of employees on campus to ensure their safety, giving everyone time on campus and time working online from home, Marchbanks said. Teachers work online and come to the campus only as needed, while cafeteria, custodial, office and maintenance employees and paraprofessionals are on a shortened on-campus schedule with some time to work online. All employees that work on-campus are provided with gloves and a mask, which they are required to wear while they are on campus.
“We have not had to lay anyone off and we want to ensure that all employees continue to get paid during this difficult time,” Marchbanks said.
A number of teachers, such as Codi Kadlecek and Lynette Grantham, have also recorded themselves reading to their students, and the videos have been shared on McDade ISD’s Facebook page. Additionally, counselor Darla Jackson shared a video challenging students to do random acts of kindness for a chance at a prize.
This week, McDade ISD began a canned food drive to help restock the McDade Community Pantry at Faith Lutheran Church from April 14 through the 20th. Students are encouraged to bring canned and non-perishable food when they receive their meals from the school.