DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – With just a little more than two weeks until the start of the new school year, many Dallas ISD families are trying to figure out arrangements for at-home learning.Tarrant County Public Health Director Talks With Concerned Moms About Kids, Classrooms And COVID-19
“Very different, who would have ever thought?” said Consuelo Mota, who has two children in DISD schools.
Mota said she is glad the district plans to go with online learning only until at least early October.
“I think it’s a great idea, because I have a baby at home and I’m thinking of his health if they go to school and come back with something,” said Mota.
She will be home to help her children stay on top of their virtual lessons.
Stephanie Dunbar can do the same for her two grandkids, but she knows others aren’t as fortunate.
“Not every family will be able to do it, and I hope they have somebody that can kind of help them with going back to school,” Dunbar said.
The district knows it will be hard for many families to juggle work with limited access to childcare or the proper resources for learning at home, but the decision follows a recommendation from a Dallas County Health and Human Services advisory committee.
“I think it’s good because right now with the pandemic being at high numbers, I think it’s a little safer for the children,” said Melanie Arrga, another DISD parent.
DISD said it has invested $20 million to ensure every student has the technology needed for virtual instruction.
The district is currently in the process of deploying those iPads and Chromebooks, along with hotspots for families who don’t have internet access at home.READ MORE: 'Wow, There Goes The Ground': North Texan Wally Funk Shares Story Of Her Dream Journey Into Space
“I guess this is our new norm,” Dunbar said.
The school district said it may want to extend online learning beyond the first four weeks, but will need the school board’s approval to do so.
The first day of classes will be Tuesday, September 8.
Parents in Cedar Hill ISD are also preparing for online classes for their kids.
“I am a mama bear,” says Cedar Hill ISD parent Dana Holden, “I am sending him with an extra mask, big bottle of hand sanitizer, his own water bottle.”
The mother of Cedar Hill senior Jarron Holden, II, says her son has been responsible, and desperate to return to campus, so she and her husband had decided to allow him to return.
Now that’s no longer an option, but they say they’re prepared.
“His room is ready. He’s got his desk and his chair,” says Holden. “We’re trying to decide should we buy a laptop or use ours.”
Cedar Hill ISD is still surveying parents about technology needs.
A school district spokesperson said they have secured enough devices to provide at least one per family. More are expected in October.
DeSoto, Duncanville and Lancaster announced plans earlier to move the first four weeks of instruction online to limit the spread of the coronavirus.MORE NEWS: Texas' Latest COVID-19 Wave Climbing Steeper Than Past Waves, State Health Leaders Say
Robbie Owens contributed to this report.