Friday was the first-day third-grade students and their teachers at a Bedford school turned to temporary online learning due to high cases of COVID-19.
In a notice sent to parents and published online, Meadow Creek Elementary School officials announced they were experiencing a high number of positive test results for COVID-19 in the third grade.
Online learning started for third-grade students and their teachers on Friday and will continue until Friday, Sept. 3, with the exception of students in their FACI program.
“Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) has also required that siblings in the same household of third-grade students must quarantine for the same period of time,” the notice reads.
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Jonathan Rangel is the father of a fourth-grade student at Meadow Creek Elementary and while her grade has not had to return to online learning, he is considering homeschooling.
“I’ve honestly grown quite upset, so I’ve kept her home,” Rangel said. “It’s just a matter of time. A lot of parents are confused what was the threshold to send third graders to online school.”
A spokesperson for HEB ISD told NBC 5, there are 97 third-grade students at Meadow Creek Elementary. The decision to move the third-grade students to a temporary virtual classroom was the first time the district has to take this kind of action in the new school year.
Classrooms and common areas will receive additional cleaning and disinfecting before students return to the building. This includes the use of electrostatic sprayers with a disinfectant that meets or exceeds guidelines set by the CDC and approved by the EPA for use in treating COVID-19, the notice from the school states.
Earlier this week, the HEB ISD school board voted against a Temporary Virtual Classroom Option (TVCO). The meeting included public comments on mask mandates with strong opinions from people for the measure and those against, including a teacher.
“The only real statistics we should be looking at in this district are our own. Those are three, one, and zero. Three suicides, one OD, and zero COVID deaths in the school year 2021,” he said. “I get that people are afraid of COVID. I get that they’re afraid of the possibility that their child might get sick, but that’s again fear of something that may or not ever happen.”
Another board meeting is scheduled for Friday at 5 p.m. The meeting will include discussions on mask options at HEB ISD and a decision is expected, a spokesperson said.