KILLEEN, TX — Some parents and students in Killeen say they want to stick with virtual learning in the fall and that's something the district is looking into.
Killeen ISD conducted a survey that showed just over 850 families say they want to stay on some kind of virtual learning platform It is a small number that raised several questions in Tuesday’s workshop meeting.
”It really looked at why we need to examine the modality of instruction. Look at if virtual learning as a whole is something that Killeen ISD wants to buy into and provide for our families and, if it is feasible and sustainable for the entire school year,” said Taina Maya, Chief Communications Officer for KISD.
Though the percentage is low, experts say some families just might not be ready to return to the classroom given the past year. There are still a lot of families that have a fear their child might catch COVID-19 if they return to campus.
”Families that have vulnerable individuals, for kids that have preexisting medical conditions or if there is someone in the home that is particularly vulnerable, there certainly can be lingering fears. Very valid fears,” said Dr. Sam Fiala. Assistant Professor of Psychology. Texas A&M University-Central Texas
But there could be reasons other than COVID-19 that families want to stay virtual like flexible scheduling or social anxiety.
”A lot of kids, going to school and socializing is great and it’s healthy and it’s good for them. For some kids sadly, that’s not the case. School isn’t always a safer welcoming place,” said Dr. Fiala.
Understanding why some families want to continue learning from home is something Killeen ISD is looking into.
”Maybe doing a little bit of a deeper dive into what their reasoning is, is something we can do to understand what those needs and wants are for those families,” said Maya
Right now, Killeen ISD is discussing virtual learning for next year, but TEA has not yet said whether or not they will approve or fund virtual learning in the fall.