It's back-to-school time for most, but at Killeen Independent School District thousands of students missed their first day after holiday break. Hundreds of staff were also absent.
The school district says they are urging students and staff to stay at home if they feel ill.
“We’re certainly excited to have our doors back open we know a lot of our students have returned to our campuses but we also on Monday sent a letter to all of our parents and employees urging them to stay home if they were not feeling well," said Taina Maya, Chief Communications Officer for KISD said.
Maya said their current absentee rate is a small drop in comparison to the norm.
“And when you think about the average amount of attendance, we traditionally have about a 92 percent attendance rate, we saw that dip down to about 88 percent yesterday," said Maya.
Parents however have varying opinions on their kids even having to attend school in person.
"I’ve been very seriously considering homeschooling … just because of safety,” parent Camilla Wilson said.
Others feel comfortable with the school's decision to keep those who are sick at home while continuing in person learning for the latter.
Killeen parent Brandy Barnes said, “Children have a hard time staying at home doing what adults do … you can't run away from COVID.”
It was not made clear if the current absentees were all COVID-19 related. The KISD dashboard shows 0 cases among approximately 45,000 students and 5 cases among 6808 staff.
Killeen ISD said it believes its current approach is a sure way to keep its doors open for the rest of the school year.