HometownBell County


School districts plan how to follow TEA guidelines regarding COVID-19

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 19:45:27-04

As coronavirus cases spike across the state many parents are wondering how schools will be impacted in the fall.

Many parents are raising flags about the safety of their students when they return to the classroom.

Come August 17th, school in Killeen is back in session.

And as concerns over coronavirus are top of mind, places like Killeen ISD are gearing up for all possible scenarios.

"The simple fact remains we cannot allow a public health crisis to become a generational education crisis." says Mike Morath, the Texas Education Agency Commissioner.

On Tuesday, the TEA released a draft of reopening guidelines asking teachers to screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily, and students to screen at the beginning of each school week before coming onto campus, as well as suggesting everyone to wear masks, wash their hands, clean regularly and keep a 6-feet distance from others.

Despite these guidelines, parents still have concerns.

"Sending my middle schooler into the hallways where there's just kids everywhere, it gives me great anxiety." says Killeen parent Rebekah Moon.

Killeen ISD surveyed about 2,000 parents on how they feel about reopening schools.

Seventeen-percent said they were comfortable starting school as normal as things were last year, meanwhile 47% of parents said they were willing to send their students back with significant social distancing changes and guidelines.

"And that to us is what we wanted to see is that there's a green light from our our families and our community to do this, because one message from our state is one thing but a message from our community is so much stronger." says Killeen ISD PIO Taina Maya.

On top of the guidelines, Killeen ISD is also looking into ways social distance will work during in-class learning, including making class sizes smaller, which could mean converting art rooms, and cafeterias into classrooms.

"Even though there may be some minimum requirements, it's really about how we can make that one step further because families are trusting us with their children." says Maya.

With the start of school just 2 months away, KISD plans to continue to adapt as developments with coronavirus take place.

"We have to put a lot of trust in KISD. It's just hard knowing that we're taking that control from something that we would provide to keep our kids safe and giving it to someone else." says Moon.

Parents will still have the option to have virtual and distance learning.

So far, the TEA has not finalized it's guidelines.

Killeen ISD hopes to have fall plans set in place by July 15th.