POTH, Texas – After months of online learning, most students who go to schools at Poth ISD will be required to return to the classroom starting Monday, except for those with certain medical issues or those who have high-risk family members in their home.
School officials said productivity was low with virtual learning. Their decision to bring students back to campus was made with consideration of research in collaboration with health officials and a low number of coronavirus cases in Wilson county.
“We’re going to be as safe as we can here at school,” said Poth ISD Superintendent Paula Renken. “We are masking all students all the way down to pre-K. We are doing a really good job of having the social distance in the classrooms.”
As of Thursday, Wilson County officials reported three active coronavirus cases, with 1,030 recoveries and a total of 20 deaths.
Poth ISD school officials only one student, a kindergartner, has tested positive for COVID-19.
“So we know by working with our health department and with our nurse, our school nurse, that we’re doing the right things health-wise,” Renken said.
After Poth ISD officials sent parents a letter Thursday announcing the decision, dozens took to Facebook with concerns.
“A lot of the concerns are people don’t know that they have COVID, then they get sick. But by then, it’s already spread,” said Rayann Pawelek Mahler, alongside her husband, Fred Mahler.
The couple has two children at Poth Junior High School and one at Poth Elementary School.
“I’m more concerned about how the kids feel about it,” Fred Mahler said.
Another concern is that parents were only given four days' notice of the decision. As parents hurry to rearrange their plans, school officials say they’re working to keep the school environments safe.
“We cannot guarantee that a child will not get sick. But they do have options if they’re medically exempt,” Renken said.