GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Students had their first day of school on Grand Prairie ISD Monday… Part Two.
Nearly a month after the district launched with online classes only, Pre-K through 2nd grade students opting for face-to-face instruction were allowed to return to campus.READ MORE: Fight Between Brothers Ends With 1 Shot, Critically Injured And 1 Arrested In Alvarado Friday Night
“I was nervous, I’m not going to lie, I was nervous,” said a Moseley Elementary mother, Kylisha, while grasping her first grader’s hand and adding the district’s efforts to communicate new procedures and safety plans helped to put her at ease.
Roughly 40% of the district’s students have chosen to return to the classroom.
“I felt real comfortable with it, after watching the video to show me in the classroom, the setting and how everything was going to work. It seemed real put together.”
Meanwhile, her first grader says the day gets two thumbs up because he got the chance to draw.
GPISD leaders say it was an intentional decision to bring the district’s youngest scholars back to campus, first.READ MORE: 'I'm Afraid We're Going To See A Surge Of Violence' Says Texas Criminologist Following Recent Mass Shootings
“We started with our PreK through second grade because we felt like our youngest learners are those who need a lot of help,” says Grand Prairie ISD Supterintendent Linda Ellis. “So we’re looking forward to beginning with them and welcoming back our 3rd through 12th grade next Monday.”
District staffers say they’ve done everything they can to keep the campus safe for students and staff.
Students must wear masks, classrooms desks and cafeteria spaces are spaced far apart. Hallways are often just one way.
Still, a big part of keeping everyone well involves parents doing their part at home.
“We’ve created a symptom screener, and we sent that out by email. It’s also on our website,” says Sam Buchmeyer, district spokesperson. “It’s really for them to go through and make sure their kiddos don’t have temperatures, all of those things that we have been schooled to look for.”MORE NEWS: Texas Grand Jury To Consider Charges In Shooting Death Of Protester Garrett Foster Last Summer
The plan obviously operates on the honor system and a shared desire to keep the campuses healthy.