SAN ANTONIO – The school year has officially started for some San Antonio-area school districts and the debate between in-person vs. virtual learning rages on.
Many parents, students and teachers are sharing their thoughts about the best option for how to continue student’s education amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Viewers have been sending in their “classroom confessionals” over the last few weeks and you can see some of the newest submissions below.
If you have an opinion you’d like to share, fill out the prompt under the responses and you could see your opinion published in our next Classroom Confessional article. Find the other confessionals here.
Find more background information about where things currently stand with the Texas education system and the latest education news in our back to school section here.
I’m a parent of 4. I noticed my kid’s grades drop with the virtual learning versus being in the classroom they had A’s and B’s. My kids tend to learn better in the classroom. I’m scared to send them to school but they benefit more being in a classroom setting.Anonymous
The TEA administration offices remain closed for the safety of their employees. Your children should go to school and risk catching the virus and/ or bringing it home and expose an entire household? Very considerate, TEA!Anonymous
Either selfish indifference or ignorance would want to send kids to schools. It is a fact, the virus will spread in school, home, workplaces, etc. A broken leg leads to death because there is no more ER capacity, the economy is further trashed. All for a virus that has a 99% death rate, cause we didn’t wait.Anonymous
Parent of two middle schoolers. Send them to school! With people returning to work there is a high probability that one or both parents has already come in contact with someone else that is carrying the virus by going to various shopping venues and bringing it home to their families.Anonymous
Staff and students should not be exposed unnecessarily. Now Congress created a bill that schools cannot be sued if people catch COVID-19 there. We need to rise up and protect the staff and students. If they force us to go, then they should be responsible.Anonymous
For ALL USA SCHOOLS. If a child dies from COVID-19, while attending face to face classroom studies, WILL THE SCHOOL PAY FOR THAT CHILD’S MEDICAL BILLS AND FUNERAL EXPENSES? Better to wait 7 months or so for a vaccine & vaccinate all students & faculty.Anonymous
Kids should be back in classrooms. The last semester of last year was an entire waste and keeping them away from classrooms will just allow them to fall further behind. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics both suggest the best option is for them to go back to school.Anonymous
As an ex-teacher, I had some parents that would drop off their child to school with a fever, diarrhea or worse. The school nurse has to deal with a sick child while also trying to deal with an entire campus The Nurse’s Office Is not a Med Clinic. It’s true. These kids are never absent.Anonymous
I think most of us want the kids to return back to normal. I’d love for my girls to be back in school, but there is no future if you die. As parents, our job first and foremost is to raise the humans we brought into the world. Downsize if need be. No job is worth their safety, or the teachers.Anonymous
It is frightening how much responsibility the parents want to dump on the districts. If you’re worried about your kids socialization, do something about it. Not the school’s job. Your kid has underlying issues, be a stand-up parents and actually do something other than complain. Let teachers teach.SB
I see a pattern in these responses. The opposition to opening schools never seems to have kids. However, the parents (of which I am included) all seem to think the schools need to open now. So, are there conflicts of interest playing into these decisions?Robert
Teachers are not babysitters. For a parent to demand THEIR children go back into the classroom is selfish on their part. We cannot “co-exist” with a virus. It has no reasoning in that thought is so ignorant. It can leave permanent damage to heart or other organs. Parents need to protect their children.Anonymous
I’m not putting my life in danger. I’m not about to go to school and die.Anonymous
I heard Holmes High School is telling students who want to play sports must attend on-campus - no virtual learning!Anonymous
A lot of people want their children to return to school because of mental health. Do they not realize that children returning to school will be in one classroom - including lunch and special. One classroom all day, this is not okay for mental health. I’m an educator and my children will stay home.Anonymous
I’m a classroom teacher. Have you been inside an elementary school all day? The kids can’t stay in their seats for 10 minutes, let alone keep six feet apart for an entire day. And keep their masks on? Good luck. Wait till strep and flu season come around.Anonymous
I am terrified of my children going back to school right now. I am a single mother to 4 beautiful children that will be attending 3 different schools. That’s extremely dangerous for us and the school staff. The health and safety of students and staff are supposed to be our main concern.Joy
I believe teachers are essential and crucial members of society and if we can go to school amid all the school shootings, we can weather this as well. Just stop the crazy protesters wanting to defund the police who help keep our schools safe.Anonymous
Teachers and school staff are being completely undervalued and disrespected during this process. Teachers are not even at the bottom of the totem pole, support staff is even less respected in the schools right now. I’ve never felt so unheard and undervalued as a school employee.Anonymous
Those advocating for schools to remain closed are just hitting talking points. They are not discussing what kids ACTUALLY NEED. Kids NEED an education. They NEED to get out of the house. They NEED a routine. They NEED to see their friends. Kids NEED to go back to school in-person. It is safe.Robert
Very concerned about how fast this virus spreads. Many teachers and students have underlying health concerns. Many teachers are forced to retire and others dying or home sick or in the hospital. What type of education would the children really receive under so much stress?Jeanette
I will not be sending my children to school. It is not safe. I have parents who have heart conditions. And my children have really bad asthma, their pediatrician is not recommending school for my kids at this moment. Schools should prepare and keep virtual instruction in case this pandemic worsens.Jennifer
Want? I WANT to produce rainbows when I pass gas! However, the science says that is not possible. If the science says kids, parents, teachers, grandparents are going to die or suffer permanent damage then the WANTS need to be re-evaluated.Robert
I’m a college student so I remember what high school was like vividly. Unfortunately, many kids in high school don’t have the maturity to properly social distance and wear a mask all day. They think that the happiness they gain from being social is more important than keeping people safe.Katherine
Just like some TX universities are doing, I think it’s a good idea for all students & staff to quarantine themselves for a 14 day period before returning back to school. If anyone becomes infected w/ the virus, narrowing it down to outside sources will be easier than assuming the schools at fault.Kacie
My son’s life is more important! Not worth sending him to school and then he gets COVID.Anonymous
As a Professional Reading Specialist, one of my objectives was to teach fact vs opinion. The medical experts are giving facts and unless you have those types of credentials you are stating an opinion. What will we be teaching if we allow our schools to open in-person learning without being guided by facts?Anonymous
I don’t feel that schools should open yet. We currently have 40,000 plus cases and they want us to feel comfortable sending our children back. We weren’t in this situation in March, the numbers of cases are too high. How will children be able to sit at their desk all day long and keep a mask on?Anonymous
I babysit 4 of my grandkids half a day while both of their parents work. Ever since they have been home NOT 1of them has been ill. So I’m for them “starting” at home until SAN ANTONIO can “flatten the curve” so that EVERYONE can return to school & work...#strongertogether.. #MASKUPSANANTONIOAnonymous
I’m opting for remote learning for the first nine weeks. If the school district doesn’t offer remote learning for the whole year, I’m just going to opt for homeschooling for my daughter. My boyfriend and I both have compromised immune systems, and I don’t want to risk our lives.Anonymous
We may publish your thoughts on our website or feature them on our newscasts, but you can remain anonymous if you wish.
Some San Antonio-area school districts have already resumed the academic year in person and others are starting online.
The Texas Education Agency says it’s up to school boards to decide when their students can go back to in-person learning. With board approval, schools have the option of staying remote-only for up to eight weeks without funding implications. After that, a district would need a waiver from the TEA to avoid losing state funding tied to student attendance.
One concerned parent called out the TEA for working from home while advising students to attend school in person but a Trust Index report from KSAT in mid-July disproved the rumor that TEA employees were working from home.
Another commenter mentioned that COVID-19 has a 99% death rate but there is no data that supports this claim. The exact percentage is still debated between major world health organizations but daily updates on the number of total cases vs. the number of deaths can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.
CDC recommendations for in-classroom learning include wearing masks, spreading out desks, staggering schedules, eating meals in classrooms instead of cafeterias and adding physical barriers in certain areas.
Many parents who responded to the KSAT prompt are still concerned that safety measures schools are putting in place still aren’t enough to protect their children. A common theme appears to be the idea of homeschooling students as opposed to having them return to school once campuses reopen for in-classroom learning.
The Texas Homeschool Coalition recently compiled a list of commonly asked questions to help parents who have chosen this route instead of opting to allow their children to return to campuses.