FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Today is the first day Fort Worth ISD parents can begin to elect if they would prefer their kids to return to school in the fall in an in person classroom setting or continue with virtual instruction.
District officials say the enrollment period will last between now and even after the start of the school year on August 27.READ MORE: FDA Authorizes COVID-19 Booster Shots From Moderna, Johnson & Johnson
A spokesperson for FWISD said the number of students in a classroom will be determined by how many choose to return.
They will follow CDC guidelines for sanitation, and they will observe social distancing safety measures.
In a statement sent to CBS 11 News, a district official said:
“Today is the first day of online registration in the Fort Worth ISD and this process will continue until even after the beginning of school. Although we are asking parents to indicate a preference for online or virtual instruction, we are also cognizant that conditions may change and we will make every reasonable effort to accommodate parents’ concerns. We look forward to working together for student success in this unprecedented time.”
While the district is asking parents to begin making the decision, many we spoke with say it’s too soon to pick one option or the other, especially with a recent spike in COVID-19 cases across Fort Worth and Tarrant County.
Jennifer Bates is the mother of FWISD 5th grader and said, “I would say there is still a lot of information I would like to know to make that decision. So if I had to say yes or no I would probably say NO I am not ready.”READ MORE: DFW Nonprofits To Start Holiday Drives Early Due To Supply Chain Concerns
Steven Maher, another FWISD parent echoed the sentiment saying, “I think it is a little too early to make a decision right now based off of what we are seeing happening in the state and locally.”
While parents may still need more time to decide, leaders at the union representing FWISD teachers say it’s a decision the district needs to make now mainly for logistical purposes.
Steven Poole, is the Executive Director of the United Educators Association.
He added, “There are a lot of decisions that need to be made right now. One of the first things students do is get on a bus. So how do we transport students? How do we feed students? How do we social distance in schools? Those are decisions that need to be made right now.”
However he sympathized with parents who say it’s not a decision they can make right now.
Poole said, “It’s not fair. It’s not fair for anyone until more information comes from the state. What the district is preparing for right now may not even be what we are experiencing in August.”MORE NEWS: Arlington Police Officer Shoots, Kills Suspect Who Allegedly 'Drove Directly Towards Officer'
Poole said of the teachers in the union polled 65 percent reported not being comfortable or ready to return to in person instruction this coming fall.