WISD CommEd cancellations lead to online opportunities

Despite cancellations of several Weatherford ISD Community Education programs, the closings have allowed CommEd to offer new online course options for children and adults.

Cancellations of the Weatherford ISD Community Education programs has created hardships not only financially, but also for parents during the summer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly affected the WISD Community Education program. Our programs include community education classes, sports leagues, adult education classes and the Kids Unite program,” Director of Community Education Jenny Morris said. “We have obviously lost revenue, but more importantly, the cancellation of our programs such as Kids Unite Summer Day Camp has created a hardship for working parents who have relied on us to provide care for their children.”

The community education program has been a part of Weatherford ISD for almost 50 years.

“Weatherford ISD’s Community Education program started in 1971 and was the first program of its kind in Texas. From chartered bus rides to the Silos in Waco, youth sports programs, arts and crafts, hobbies, cooking, adult literacy, GED and ESL courses, we offer a variety of programs to meet the needs of our community and promote lifelong learning,” WISD Executive Director of Organizational Culture Charlotte LaGrone said. “As we enter our 50th year, we are so proud of the positive impact community ed programs continue to have on our community.”

However, a new opportunity has been sparked amongst the cancellations — online courses.

“On a positive note, the COVID-19 closing allowed us to offer new online course options for children and adults,” Morris said. “For example, we are currently offering an online summer art camp for student who are ages 6-13 with professional award-winning artist Susan Garden of the Robert Garden School of Art.”

Community Education Supervisor Emily Wright added, “Everything for summer has been moved to an online format, with the exception of the Strength and Conditioning program being held for student athletes. Some of our online classes include art and Spanish camps for children, beginner American Sign Language, technology classes and much more.”

Morris said as of now, they are planning to resume normal operations for the fall semester.

“Our goal is to continue growing the sports leagues and classes we currently offer. We will follow TEA’s guidelines for social distancing to offer classes and sports leagues in the safest manner possible for our participants. We also hope to grow our online course offerings,” Morris said. “The Weatherford ISD Community Education program fills so many needs within the community. Our classes and sports leagues for adults and children are open to anyone in our area — not just those who live within the Weatherford ISD school zone. Another important area is our Adult Education program. Free Adult Education classes are available to individuals who reside in Parker, Palo Pinto and Wise counties. Adult ed classes prepare adults to get their GED and assist adults who are learning to speak, read and write in English.”

Wright said the program is really trying to spread the word that participants do not have to live in Parker County and more information will be announced in the fall catalog, which will be sent out and made available in early August.

For more information about WISD Community Education visit weatherfordisd.augusoft.net

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