Monday, certain Dallas ISD students returned to the classroom for in-person instruction for the first time in months.
Based on leveling out of Dallas County COVID-19 cases and a downward trend, the district opened school doors specifically to students moving to a new campus starting Monday. Other students who have opted to take in-person classes will return a week later on Oct. 5.
That group of students includes pre-kindergartners, kindergartners and students moving from elementary school to a new middle school or middle school to a new high school.
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DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa welcomed students back at Winnetka Elementary School. He went room to room to greet students and their teachers.
Students wore masks and face shields - excited, and anxious to see their teachers face-to-face, for the first time in six months.
The option of an early start for those students is only offered to students transitioning to a new building.
The superintendent says he’s been in contact with officials from other school districts who’ve already gone back to in-person learning.
“I’m actually glad we are one of the last ones to go back, because we have learned what to do and what not to do. I learned from the superintendent in Odessa and Tyler. They had some issues, but they took care of them, and they can be handled,” Hinojosa said.
He said he’s happy to see so many children back on this second first day back to school at Winnetka Elementary.
“I’m not surprised it happened this well here. We’ve got to see how well do we do all over the district. We have 150 elementary schools, and some of them aren’t as organized. This principal has been here for 13 years, so I had a high degree of confidence it was going to be good,” Hinojosa said.
The district recently released a new dashboard that allows parents to monitor COVID-19 positive cases across the district. Parents can see information by facility, ZIP code and trustee district.