While educators and state leaders agree that the best place for children to begin school is in a classroom, the reality is the coronavirus pandemic is forcing Texas officials to reconsider those plans.
That’s according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott during Thursday’s ABC13 Town Hall on reopening the state.
“We want to start schools on time as scheduled,” Abbott said. “If we continue to see COVID spreading the way that it is right now, it may be necessary to employ that flexibility and use online learning.”
The governor said the health and safety of students and teachers has to be the primary concern.
Registration for the fall semester is scheduled to begin later this month.
Houston ISD is still considering whether to offer in-person instruction, online learning or a combination of both. HISD offices are closed until July 19 due to the very problem that is forcing the question: Rising COVID cases.
So parents do not know if kids will be going to school or learning from afar.
Elsewhere in the Houston area, parents have expressed worry over how the school year will proceed.
A survey conducted by Fort Bend ISD showed more than half who responded are either ‘not very comfortable’ or ‘not at all comfortable’ sending their children back to the classroom if conditions don’t improve.
“We are definitely going to have face-to-face and we are definitely going to have online,” Fort Bend ISD superintendent Charles Dupre said. “However, the hybrid learning model we discussed will be a fallback alternate position in the event we do not have physical space in the building to serve all kids full time.”
Fort Bend ISD will allow parents to choose which option they want and then will allow them to reassess that choice after nine weeks.