SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus pandemic has been causing concern for parents, educators and students since schools were closed in March and some are still wondering how to safely move forward in the upcoming academic school year.
KSAT viewers have been sharing their thoughts about the impending school year and while some people aren’t ready for students to head back to classrooms, others think the time is right.
Some of the viewer responses sent to KSAT have been listed below and if you have an opinion you’d like to share - you still have a chance to weigh in. Fill out the prompt under the responses and you might see your opinion published in our next Classroom Confessional. Find other confessionals here.
Find more background information about where things stand currently with the Texas education system and find the latest education news in our back to school section.
I am a parent of 3 elementary-age children. I want my kids back in the classroom ASAP. They have been out too long. We must learn to coexist with this virus and it cannot come at the cost of our children’s mental well being.Kira
We CANNOT risk our children. I have 3 kids that range from 15-7yrs old and I am not going to allow their health to be compromised. If you can’t control the outbreaks now, what makes you think you can control what happens at schools?! We need to stay closed for the safety of ourselves and the kids!Anonymous
January 5, 2021 is an absolutely, perhaps, workable date for in-person [learning] but until then distance learning is the safest. I don’t want to experiment. I don’t want to take a chance with my child. Remember we still have irresponsible PARENTS WHO CAN INFECT THEIR child and then yours dies!Richard
After 3 weeks of online learning what safety measures will be taken for our lower-functioning special education students. Most will not wear a mask and most need one on one assistance so the rule of social distancing will not work for them. Many also have preexisting health conditions.Anonymous
Kids following CDC guidelines? Will they really? The only way to protect each other is using a mask and social distancing. But even if they do so, how healthy is it for kids in development not being able to breath fresh air for 5 days a week, covered with a mask even while running? Just thinking...Anonymous
Sending our children back to school when guidelines for returning aren’t set in stone is a mistake. I’m not willing to send my child to school as a test subject. Also, the STAAR testing should be discontinued so our teachers can focus on teaching our kids.Nancy
Schools should reopen in person and people should have a choice based on their situation.Anonymous
Do not open schools, do not play sports. Children are not immune to this disease as data has proved. Keep children and teachers, office and cafeteria staff, bus drivers, and custodians safe from this virus. Do not risk their lives when virtual school is possible. Safety is the most important concern.Anonymous
I have zero issues sending my kids back to school. There is little to no risk to children. Both my kids have been in daycare since this has all started. Never missed a day, no social distancing nada. 0 issues. Even with teachers catching Covid. 98% death 55+ 50% all deaths are in nursing homes.Anonymous
My 13 y/o has gone to a FT summer program for 8 weeks. They check for a temp etc before they get out of the car. They’re in small groups and wear masks when not in their room. She is thrilled to be out of the house and there haven’t been any problems. Kids need socializing, she hated homeschooling!Diana
There is so much hypocrisy and lack of common sense going on. Close schools but leave daycares open and encourage working parents to send their kids. Our local representative Steve Allison wrote a letter to the state urging schools to close but yesterday asked nursing homes to open for visitors?!Valeria
Cases have been on the rise all Summer because the state opened too quickly. It is ludicrous to think about having in person class without a vaccine. Our students were kept safely at home for the last 9weeks of school and the outbreak was low and controlled. No way am I risking my child’s safety!!Anonymous
As a teacher I believe that children should be in the classroom, but not now. As a parent, I am scared because I don’t see children social distancing. Love Catholic School education but they should not be listening to politics, they should be listening to the medical experts.Anonymous
I am an educator in an elementary school setting . Lice take like wildfire, just imagine something as dangerous as this pandemic… children go to school to learn and socialize. Tt’s not fair that they may get sick in their innocence of going to school, this would be tragic and sad.Anonymous
Parent of five. I want my children in school. I am no educator. I know they show their best potential in the classroom.Anonymous
Highly contagious virus + A/C + less mature population = Many spreaders. Some spreaders are asymptomatic. It increases the probability that people with the worst reactions will get it. Hospitals fill up. Everyone’s care for anything is then restricted. Flattening the curve indirectly protects everyone.Anonymous
As a 4th grade teacher I would love to go back to my classroom and my new students, but I have always cared for my students and their families in all aspects, so I would rather meet them in person later in the school year, safe! Let’s go step by step.Anonymous
If restaurants can’t operate at full capacity why in the world would be pushing to open schools? Very irresponsible and dangerous as our infection rates are especially high.Anonymous
The number of new cases will soar off the scale after kids go back to school and many kids are now being raised by grandparents. Who will raise them after grandma gets COVID and dies? I don’t see our governor or president offering to visit classrooms to demonstrate that it’s safe......Richard
What happens if a child takes off their mask & refuses to wear it? I don’t see kids social distancing around friends. I think it’s a problem waiting to happen. Masks will be a distraction. After Christmas break, it should be an OPTION to return, not labor day. Are schools providing masks? My kids are scared!Jennifer
I am an educator and strongly believe it is unsafe at this time to reopen schools. Teachers are being required to teach online classes from schools even if they have high risk health conditions. The only option they are being given is to see if they qualify for a leave of absence. This is negligent.Anonymous
I think it’s a hard decision to decide whether to send my kids to school. I have a 1st grader and 8th grader and a special needs son who was supposed to start Pre-k but he is high risk. It defeats the purpose if I send my older children and they get sick and bring it home to me or my son.Anonymous
We all know that this virus WILL spread within schools. However, most districts have not put forth a plan as to what will happen next once the virus has spread within the school. All that we see are preventives to ‘help’ the control spread, but what happens when it is there?Alisia
Parent/ Psychotherapist here: We can no longer sacrifice our children for something with a 98% survival rate. Please, consider your child’s mental health in all this. Many can’t express their feelings well at this age & most feel invisible. Mental health is JUST AS important as physical.Courtney
I don’t understand how any of us can even think of using our children and teachers as guinea pigs with this virus.Anonymous
Sending staff and children back is very irresponsible. Children can make years of gains in a few months. Also, who would be liable if a child dies? If a staff member dies?Yvette
As a parent of two, this is a very difficult decision. I know my kids are tired of being at home and want to get back to some normalcy. But to have us make a decision right now is too soon. How are we supposed to know what the pandemic is going to be like?Anonymous
This year my kids are not going to school, they will only be online. If they stop doing that, I will be keeping my children safe at home. My children’s lives matter more. I am not going to put my children at risk. They could always start next year, if things get better.Maritsa
I myself am a high schooler with horrible asthma. Having to wear a mask for 30 minutes to an hour is already a struggle but for 8? We shouldn’t have to risk OUR lives because everyone else thinks its a good experiment.Anonymous
TEA needs to reduce the standards. 3rd graders are expected to do work that 6th graders used to do etc. The standards are rigorous. As far as students getting behind, they are not behind, they are ahead. I encourage parents go to the TEA website & look at what they have to learn it will blow your mind.Anonymous
I do not understand why “they” want to send kids back to school yet are releasing inmates. If it wasn’t safe in March, why is it safe now?Anonymous
I have concerns both as a parent of three and as a Head Custodian for SAISD, but we all should. Opening up in phases as the district is planning is a good start. As for us custodians, we are the district’s last priority. We are the front line workers with no respect for what we do and have been doing.Anonymous
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Most local schools are set to start the academic year in August, however, it’s left districts, teachers and parents wondering how to keep kids and educators safe while still providing the best possible learning environment.
CDC recommendations for in-classroom learning, in addition to wearing masks, include, spreading out desks, staggering schedules, eating meals in classrooms instead of cafeterias and adding physical barriers in certain areas.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that the grade promotion requirement for STAAR testing for the 2020-2021 academic year would be waived in light of “a uniquely challenging school year.”
The Texas Education Agency gave school boards final say regarding the reopening of schools in mid-July.
“They can choose dates in August, September, or even later. But, whenever the local school board chooses to open, the board must comply with the requirement to provide the necessary number of days and hours of instruction for students,” according to a press release from TEA officials.
The TEA also gave permission to school boards to “close the campus for up to 5 days to sanitize the campus” if a positive COVID-19 case is confirmed. Schools that choose to close for sanitization will still be funded for providing virtual instruction.