SAN ANTONIO – As the school year looms closer, parents, educators and students are still concerned about how the effects of the coronavirus pandemic will play out in schools and classrooms.
KSAT viewers have been sharing their thoughts virtually about the upcoming academic year and the messages are mixed. Some say stay at home, others want kids in classrooms.
Some of the viewer responses sent to KSAT have been listed below. Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? If so, you still have a chance to weigh in. Fill out the prompt under the responses and you could see your opinion published in our next Classroom Confessional article. 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 both a teacher and a parent. I am completely torn. My heart wants nothing more than to return to school. I miss my kids and my coworkers. My daughter desperately wants to return to campus, as do most kids. However, I am also in the at-risk health category. What happens to my daughter when I die?Anonymous
We do not need a babysitter so my kids will stay home until we feel it is safe to return. Teachers should be given the same option, parents may need to find alternative care if needed, save that second stimulus money for daycare.Jim
Why is SAISD sending the teachers back to the front line doing virtual teaching from their classrooms? I thought SAISD was better than that! I know they have to return one day - but not this soon!! Please don’t put their health at risk!!!Anonymous
As parents, we are responsible for the well being of our children. We are to nurture them and create a healthy environment for their well being. If big corporations have learned to switch work from home or even virtually to better the safety of their employees - then what are we waiting for?Anonymous
Honestly, since jr school, my kids have done all their school work at home anyway in the form of homework! I think it might be different for elementary age children, but I don’t like to hear that parents use school as their babysitters! Things are going to be different for a while so adapt.Anonymous
Kids think they are invincible and can’t catch this virus or worse - die. They’re too comfortable with each other, letting their mask/guard down. Then, come home and possibly infect their household. If you can’t see it, you can’t capture or stop it. It’s sad and scary.Anonymous
This virus is real and does not discriminate. We can’t send our kids to school and expect them to wear a mask all day even more so to social distance. I think it would just be spread more all over. You just don’t know how someone will react to this virus everyone is different healthy or not.Anonymous
For the safety of ALL students and educators, I believe the fall semester should be done virtually throughout the UNITED STATES and evaluate it again for spring semester. It’s not worth risking the lives of all of these PRECIOUS PEOPLE.Anonymous
My husband is a double organ recipient, with no immune system. I have lung problems. What happens if the kids become asymptomatic and bring it home to us!!?Anonymous
If a child goes to school and another child is found to have Covid-19 in the same class do you plan on quarantining the entire class including the teacher? This will force some parents who cannot work from home remotely to be in a bind. This is a double edge sword where some are going to get cut.Luvert
I’m a parent to 2 special needs boys that are both in middle school. I’m disabled and have 2 spinal cord injuries and I’ve had a brain injury. I will try my hardest to help them succeed no matter what it takes but they won’t be going to school. I’m extremely high risk and can’t take that risk.Anonymous
I am a mother of 5 with two of my children being asthmatics. It is very scary for my spouse and I to make the decision to send them back. I have been in close contact with the Pediatrician who cannot recommend the children return at this time. I pray every day for guidance.Tasha
They can’t even control kids’ dress code. Dropping off my child I have seen many kids not following dress code... How are they supposed to keep the kids wearing their mask?!?!?!?Anonymous
I really think the best way for some students to learn is in the classrooms and I will send my hs student back to school as soon as it’s approved in SAISD.Tanja
Looks like the majority agrees - schools should not resume yet. I agree too! If they were not safe back in March when things weren’t even this serious yet, how the heck would it be safer now??Anonymous
I will not be sending my children to school to be a pandemic test subject. Appears all of the “poorer” districts are in a rush to get back. These are our most vulnerable future assets, is the money that important?Charles
As a 10+ year SAISD elementary school teacher with an elderly, immune-compromised mother at home, I am very worried about exposing her to germs from school anyway. But with the Covid-19 virus... it could be deadly for her. I worry about our students learning but more importantly their safety.Anonymous
How are teachers and school administrators going to “police” all kids in schools to wear their masks properly (over their nose & mouth) all day long? What will the repercussions be to the student or parent that are constant offenders? How will this be controlled?Melissa
The district I work for has said teachers will be teaching on campus, alone in their classrooms. Teachers can bring their K-5 grade age child to school with them. Kids will be monitored and placed all together to do work. Why wait to open schools if you are allowing that???Anonymous
If I send my oldest back to High School and he acquires COVID his chance of being in the military is over. They published that with unknown effects of COVID anyone that gets COVID is automatically disqualified from all branches. This is his dream and future. Not to mention my other two kids.Tracy
I’m a parent with 2 kid’s. One is a really bad asthmatic and I have heath issues too. I’M NOT GOING TO SEND MINE BACK TO SCHOOL THIS YEAR! It’s ridiculous. Numbers keep growing, people keep dying, yet it’s OK to go back to school. That’s the crazy part - I will continue distance-learning. No vaccine, no school!Connie
My mom is a middle school teacher and I have a son in elementary. I think it’s very irresponsible to let anyone return to a setting with groups of people during a pandemic. Online teaching is a more safe and precautious way for kids to continue learning and keep away from the virus.Anonymous
It’s a choice that parents will need to decide for themselves. It’s a choice teachers need to decide for themselves. I homeschooled my children. All have graduated from college now. That was my choice. Choosing for your own situation and self is the right way to go.Anonymous
As a high school teacher who also shares your concerns, if forced back to school, I will resign. This pandemic is real and look how many have lost their lives already. It has touched many families and lives. I will not return until the pandemic is near straight-lined.Anonymous
The schools should remain closed. The teachers can keep the same schedules as if they were in the classroom, just do it on Zoom. I think that would work better than these digital assignment pages that, many times, didn’t even work correctly! Just do ZOOM classes!Carol
Adults won’t even follow the safety procedures, and we expect children to. Kids share everything and put items in their mouths. How are educators supposed to stop them from doing that? Who takes care of a teacher’s classroom when he/she is in quarantine? Even more difficult to find substitutes now.Anonymous
Na this ain’t right sending our kids to school. If NBA players and NFL players ain’t comfortable playing yet - and they have a choice to play - so should we. We should have a right not to send our kids to school yet.Anonymous
I disagree with sending students to school but having them at home has not been successful. I would still choose safety over their education! I am a mother of 16 yr old twins.Dalinzia
If there’s not enough personnel to do daily checkups and log them; If there’s not enough substitutes when a teacher becomes infected; if there’s not enough teachers, counselors, and nurses to begin a school year, schools should not open. October is almost here- the beginning of Flu season!Betty
Free childcare should not be the deciding factor on opening schools. It should, however, be available for kids in homes with safety concerns and to ensure proper meal distribution to those kids in need. My kids, however, will not be returning to the classroom.Anonymous
It’s ridiculous to think little kids will follow the guidelines! You are risking people’s lives by sending them to school. Not enough people taking this seriously.Anonymous
My 11th grader feels like he’s responsible enough to return to school and he probably is. That being said, as a former teacher, I wonder if educators and other necessary employees will be safe. Will children with underlying conditions (some of which may be unknown) be safe? It’s too soon to open!Anonymous
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Most local schools are set to start the academic year this month, 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.
The Texas Education Agency has given school boards the final say regarding the reopening of campuses for in person learning through the first eight weeks of school.
“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 for 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.
One of the worries expressed to KSAT from a parent was whether her son would be eligible to join the military if he gets exposed to COVID-19 at school.
According to a report from the Military Times in early May, a memo was released by the Military Entrance Processing Command that stated anyone with a history of COVID-19, confirmed by either a laboratory test or a clinician diagnosis, is permanently [disqualified]” from entering military service.
Later that month, the Pentagon reversed course and reverted back to pre-coronavirus acceptance standards, a follow-up report from Military Times states. “The policy is to look at each recruit on a case-by-case basis. "