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3rd, 6th & 10th grade Port Arthur students transition back to in-person learning

Port Arthur Independent School District is moving forward with the school year amid the challenges of COVID-19.

Monday marked the third phase in the transition plan for in-person learning, bringing in third, sixth and 10th grade students from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.

Oct. 2 is a student holiday.

Superintendent Mark Porterie explained the reasons for the phase-in of grade levels.

“Obviously, we’ve been separated for six months and protocols are in place to assist with lunch, assist with social distancing, with masks, etc.,” he said. “It is earlier for us to phase in in order to be proactive with the protocols.”

More than 2,000 students have elected to return to school face-to-face, so staggering their returns helps ease the transition, officials said.

The return to school has gone well, Porterie added, saying the students are coming in with masks and the parents have been wonderful — “it’s been a great transition.”

The next entry dates are Oct. 5 to Oct. 9 for fourth, seventh and 11th graders, then Oct. 12 to Oct. 16 for fifth, eight and 12th grade students.

Prekindergarten, kindergarten, preschool programs for children with disabilities/early childhood special education, life skills, career and technical educations began their school year earlier in September, followed by ninth, first and second grade students.

The in-person learning, at this time, is limited to students whose parents chose that option during the registration period that ended July 31.

Changing in-school & virtual

Parents will have the opportunity to change their students from in-person learning to virtual and from virtual to in-person learning between Oct. 5 and 14, Porterie said.

The option to change the mode of learning comes at the end of the nine-week grading period.

Progress reports, report cards

PAISD no longer prints progress or report cards for students in first to 12th grades, though elementary campuses still provide hard copies to parents of pre-k and kindergarten students.

Parents may access progress reports through the district portal; www.paisd.org, click the “parents” tab at the top of the page, click the “home access center” tab, then click the “login to home access center” tab at the top of the page, according to information from the district.

Porterie said the change in the timing of the progress reports and report cards provides more time to work with students, and it is better for the district’s schedule.

“Parents receive two progress reports and a report card,” he said, adding this gives parents a better understanding of where students are academically and a chance to move toward success.

Information on progress reports/report cards, transition plan for learning and more are available on the district’s website.