State pushes forward with in-person school in fall

State pushes forward with in-person school in fall

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced last week that students will be returning to in-person classes in the fall.

What that will look like will depend upon which district students attend.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said that students, teachers and staff will return to school campuses for in-person instruction but did offer some flexibility for parents who are concerned about sending children back to school in the fall. He said that families with those concerns could have their children learn remotely if they so choose.

Remote learning became a staple among school district across the state during the final month of spring semester when schools were shut down because of COVID-19. Districts provided virtual lessons for students and interaction with teachers via computer.

“We want to return to Face-To-Face instruction,” Van Vleck ISD Superintendent John O’Brien said. “We know that some students may not return and choose to do online, and we have a plan for that. We are ready for almost any scenario that COVID-19 throws at us.”

Van Vleck ISD posted a survey on its website to get an idea from parents on what they would like to do in the fall as far as in-person instruction is concerned. Bay City ISD also posted a link to a similar survey on its website, which ended on June 18.

One of the questions is, “assuming all guidelines for reopening of schools have been met, how would you prefer your student to attend school in 2020-2021?”

Choices given parents included:

A - Physically at school adhering to the guidelines set forth by the CDC (including social distancing, cleaning, etc.)

B - Distance learning with teachers delivering standardized course content virtually

C - A combination of options A and B with staff attending school physically as well as online

Another question on the survey pertained to how face-to-face schooling should be conducted.

“Van Vleck ISD’s intent is to have school face-to-face with social distancing. In the event that state mandated modifications are needed to reopen schools to ensure social distancing, which option would you prefer?” the survey said. 

Answers to choose from included:

• Attending school all days of the week with social distancing

• Attending school all days of the week, but instituting two shifts during the day to maintain smaller classes

• Attending school on alternate days, for example, attending school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and participating online the other days

• Attending school virtually only

The district also asked if students who ride the bus to school would wear a mask that they would provide.

The final question asked on the survey was, “VVISD is considering the following disease prevention measures, according to the CDC and DSHS guidelines. Please check all options below that you are in agreement with.”

Answers included:

• Temperature Checks

• Washing Hands

• Wearing Face Masks

• Eating Meals in the Classroom Instead of Cafeteria

• One-Way Movement In The School Hallways

• Modified or Not Outdoor Recess

• Modified or No Gym

• Modified Access to Restrooms

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