Dr. Rollo Talks New Year, Vaccinating Teachers, and Learning Gap
Tuesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, the Superintendent of the Lubbock Independent School District Dr. Kathy Rollo joined Dave and Matt to talk about the new year, preparing kids to return to school, substitute teachers, virtual learning, vaccinations, basketball, learning gaps, and more.
A new year has started, and the winter break for Lubbock ISD is almost over. Dr. Rollo explained that teachers have already been back at work this Monday and Tuesday for professional work and development days, and that students will return on Wednesday, January 6th. Schools have been cleaned and prepared, and Rollo said that they are ready for students to return.
Dr. Rollo was asked about the shortage of teachers and substitute teachers. She explained that they currently have less teachers than they have in past years, especially with a few quarantining, but that the number of quarantines has drastically reduced over the holiday. Despite this, the Lubbock Independent School District has still been struggling with having enough substitute teachers, and with many regular teachers quarantining, Rollo said that she anticipates that the need for substitutes will continue to grow.
Rollo also discussed the state of virtual vs face-to-face learning. The schools provided Chromebooks for older students and iPads for younger students in anticipation of a possible shutdown last year, and recently have even been providing mobile hotspots to help kids who need internet. At the beginning of this school year, about 30% of the students went with virtual learning, and Rollo said that some students really thrive with that kind of learning, but with other students struggling with that format, many have come back to school, and so the number of virtual learners now is about 20%.
The Superintendent also talked about the number of kids who have fallen behind this year. Students falling behind is always expected in any school year, but Rollo explained that with the COVID pandemic, they really expect many kids to have some learning gaps, and are working on helping kids early on in their development, as well as preparing enriching activities after school and for the summer. Rollo also said that standardized testing will help Lubbock ISD find out what gaps there may currently be in kids learning.
Finally, Rollo was asked what upcoming issues they anticipate. The Superintendent said that she anticipates that COVID is going to be with them through the school year. She says that they were able to, over the holiday, vaccinate about 500 of their staff who met vaccination requirements, and she hopes that as they get more opportunities for vaccinations, that things will improve. Rollo said, "We're still going to be dealing with Coronavirus, but at the same time we must still continue to strive to provide the best education possible."
Watch the full interview with Dr. Kathy Rollo in the video above.