MIDLOTHIAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – With about a month left of summer break, some North Texas families are still unsure of how the new school year will look during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re in the same boat as a lot of parents. The Perrine family now faced with some big decisions for their incoming kindergartner.
“He’ll go to McClatchey here in Midlothian,” Taylor Perrine said. “Great elementary school, but 650 kids with bigger classes.Really just trying to understand.. are the kids wearing masks? Is there Plexiglass? Especially for a kindergartner, that’s a lot different for a 7th or 8th grader.”
Right now, they don’t know what next school year will look like. ”There’s a lot of back and forth every day.”
“Here we are.. we’re about 4-5 weeks from the start of school.. and we still have a lot of decisions that haven’t been made,” Midlothian ISD Superintendent Dr. Lane Ledbetter said.
Ledbetter said the district is working to keep the community involved in the decision-making process.
Through online updates on Facebook Live and Zoom every Thursday and a parent survey, district leaders have been able to gauge parents thoughts and expectations for next school year.
“Right now, the feedback we’ve received is about 70% of our parents have an expectation of face to face learning,” Ledbetter said.
At this point, the district plans to offer parents two options: In-person instruction five days a week at the schools and a virtual learning option which would include a good portion of live instruction with teachers.
“Our priority is the safety of their children and we’re going to do what we can to protect them and also the safety of our staff, but we just ask for flexibility and understanding,” Ledbetter said.
“I think they are going to take all the proper protocols and procedures,” Perrine said.
School officials say two weeks before the start of school parents will have to make their decision on whether they want to do at home or in-person learning, but if they feel uncomfortable with their child going to school at any time, they can move them during the school year to at-home learning.