DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Get the ‘back-to-school’ hashtag ready again.
Tens of thousands of Dallas ISD students will return to campuses Monday for the first time in months.
“It’s nerve wrecking, but exciting nonetheless,” says mom Alyssa Vega. “He’s excited to meet his teacher and make friends, and have a great experience.”
Vega’s kindergarten student was one of those returning to campus earlier this week.
The district’s youngest learners and those moving to a new campus, 6th and 9th graders, were allowed to return a week early.
District leaders say the gradual return allowed schools to test if their plans passed the “practical” test.
“You can imagine it in your head, but unless you actually are doing it with a group of kids, you don’t know that this will work better than that,” says DISD Asst. Supt. of School Leadership Leslie Stephens. “Each school got a chance to perfect the practices.”
Stephens says PPE has been delivered to the campuses and they are ready, but the biggest test of those plans will depend on the parents.
“I’m most worried about people taking seriously that if you’re not feeling well to not come to school,” says Stephens. “If you wake up, and you’ve lost your sense of taste, or your sense of smell, or you’ve got a fever, don’t come to the building, please.”
In order to accommodate the roughly 90,000 students expected to return for face-to -face instruction, high schools will have a hybrid learning model.
As will Lakewood Elementary, because of capacity constraints.
District leaders are urging parents to have critical conversations over the next few days about the importance of face masks, and social distancing.
“I feel like they are prepared,” says Vega. “From what you can see, they are very on top of things, and I think they will do their best to make sure he follows the guidelines so we can have less outbreaks and hopefully one day get back to our regular schedule with no masks.”