Richardson ISD

Richardson ISD School Board Approves Staggered Start to Year

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The Richardson ISD school board approved a plan to slowly bring students back to class. It’s called a “staggered start” and will bring students at certain schools back to the classroom before others.

Physically going back to school during the pandemic can be daunting.  When hundreds of students are happy to see one another, social distancing isn't always top of mind.

"That’s what this is really about keeping the virus out of our schools," Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone said.

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All summer, when lawmakers, health leaders and education agencies gave schools suggestions on how to open school, a staggered start was one option.

You let two or three grade levels start first, see how it goes, and then another group, while slowly inching to full capacity.

Monday night Richardson ISD’s school board voted to give it a whirl and bring the youngest kids back first, as they have the hardest time with virtual learning.

Richardson ISD won’t phase in individual schools, but phase in the district.  

First elementary schools, then middle schools and finally high schools.

"As you know, in junior high and high school you have more class changes, entrances and exits and things that need to be worked on, especially at high school," Stone said.

The district is watching districts like Prosper ISD which has offered in-person learning for about two weeks now to learn from their steps.

"We’re all learning as we’re building this airplane as we’re flying. We know we can learn a lot from each other," Stone said.

While few schools in Texas have tried "staggered starts" it’s been popular in other parts of the country.

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