Thousands of North Texas Students Return for In-Person Learning Monday

Fort Worth, Duncanville and Desoto ISDs will phase many students back in for the first time since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Multiple school districts in North Texas welcomed students back to the classroom Monday.

For the first time in the 2020-2021 school year, all students could either return to in-person learning or continue virtually in the Fort Worth Independent School District.

The Fort Worth ISD took a phased-in approach and staggered the return of students to class over the past few weeks.

Of the approximately 80,000 students served by the Fort Worth ISD, about half have opted for in-person learning, according to a survey released by the district.

The Duncanville Independent School District has numbers much lower with about 30 percent of their students opting to go back into the building for the first time since the start of spring break last March.

Duncanville ISD welcomed students for in-person learning Monday. NBC 5’s Laura Harris spoke with Superintendent Marc Smith about the reality that some students are behind when it comes to the curriculum because of hardships with in-person learning.

Wendy Tate, the principal of Hastings Elementary School in Duncanville ISD, noted that the return to in-person learning has required a lot of flexibility and preparation on behalf of teachers and district staff.

“What I feel really good about is the staff being confident, being kind, and just being careful as a staff to take care of our students,” Tate said.

Superintendent Marc Smith said with so many students out connectivity is still an issue. 30% of the students who have asked for a Chromebook or hotspot are still waiting to get one.

Smith is also concerned about the learning loss he says students have experienced not being in the classroom since the spring.

The DeSoto Independent School District began phasing students back into district classrooms on Monday, beginning with kids in Pre-Kindergarten through Second Grade, as well as Sixth and Ninth graders, and all elementary school-aged special education students.

The DeSoto Independent School District will begin phasing students back into district classrooms starting on Monday, NBC 5’s Ben Russell reports.

Tanya Dillard teaches math at McCowan Middle School in the DeSoto ISD. Ahead of the start of in-person learning, Dillard spoke about the change in her routine she has already adopted.

“One thing I am finding myself doing is every day I make sure I take home everything I would need just in case I won’t be back the next day, because we will never know,” Dillard said.

Desoto ISD leaders told us only 20% of their students have chose to return the school but the district did not have numbers on how many were waiting on a device.

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