Students in the Garland Independent School District return Monday for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
All 56,000 students, aside from those in special education, will participate in mandatory remote learning for at least the first four full weeks of classes. The current plan is to allow students to return to their classrooms on Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Students participating in remote learning will have the choice of two methods for getting their lessons – participating in a live session with their teacher and other classmates or follow along to a prerecorded lesson and then following up with the posted assignments.
Principal Jade Hobbs from Giddens-Steadham Elementary School noted that she will miss being able to literally welcome students back with open arms, in the form of hugs and high fives. But Hobbs stressed that she and other educators will do their best to ensure that their students will feel the love from afar.
“My best hope for them is that they realize that they are important, that we love them, and they matter,” said Hobbs. “[I hope] that we grant each other grace through the process because we are all learning together, because we're all kind of treading in new territory together.”
When students do eventually return to the classroom setting, they will see that the district has spent millions of dollars on the purchase of personal protective equipment, including plexiglass partitions that have been installed on many desks.