Humble ISD smoothing out kinks as 45,000 students begin virtual learning

School districts like Houston ISD don’t start school until after Labor Day, so they’re watching and learning as Humble ISD takes the first plunge into educating 45,000 students all online.

After a few virtual learning hiccups, Humble ISD is working out its kinks in the first week of classes.

“Try to get the schedule down,” said Melanie Wright, an Humble ISD parent. “Make sure they have every single Zoom link.”

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Humble ISD parents and students are getting in the rhythm of a new school year learning from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The new normal of virtual learning started with a few glitches including a server attack Tuesday.

“After Tuesday it’s been going like a breeze,” said Wright. “They’ve been able to get online and login.”

With the start of any school year there’s hiccups, and we’re work with parents when something is brought to our attention, but overall it’s been a fantastic start, said Trey Kraemer, assistant superintendent of high schools for Humble ISD.

“It’s actually a lot more interactive, and I actually can ask teachers a lot of questions because they give you their time,” said Jozie Dhayer, said Summer Creek High School junior.

Many parents are praising the teachers who are making virtual learning a reality, while a few parents complained of Zoom class sizes as big as 150 students.

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“If you’re a full time virtual teacher, you have 160 kids in your virtual roster, so if I teach English, I’ve got 160 kids, so what we’ve done is we’ve put out opportunities through choice and through flexibility for kids to be able to log on at any point in the day to address this, and what we’ve found in these first few days is that kids took the first opportunity,” said Kraemer.

Other complaints have included students abusing the Zoom chat feature with inappropriate comments during class.

“We have security measures that are put in the Zoom, however sometimes with technology kids figure out how to do what I call innovative things, but the bottom line is we’ve had very few of these,” said Kraemer. “When it happens, it’s just like a regular classroom, so students are identified who were disruptive, they’re sent to their assistant principal, and the assistant principal addresses it just like they would in a face to face class.”

Humble ISD will be adding back the option of in-person learning starting August 24, despite the county order banning in-person learning until after Labor Day. The school district says it is erring on the side of the Attorney General’s opinion, who said local governments don’t have a legal right to stop schools from reopening.