Arlington ISD

Social Distancing ‘Becomes Challenging' If Most Students Choose On-Campus Learning, Arlington ISD Superintendent Says

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Arlington ISD is promising parents at home learning will be vigorous, high-quality, and a strong option to keep their children safe from the coronavirus.

The school district is concerned about Texas' mandate that anyone who wants to learn on campus is welcome. 

Arlington ISD Superintendent Marcelo Cavazos said when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19 the options are limited.

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"The fundamentals are wear a mask and do social distancing, but when you can only do one of those things because of state requirements it becomes challenging," Cavazos said.

Cavazos said the Texas Education Agency put all the power in the hands of parents to choose whether kids should learn in school or at home. Potentially he could have more than 90% of his students on campus.

"That becomes very difficult to manage and actually accomplish," he said. "It is critical for students to be face-to-face for instruction, we know that the question is when is that safe and appropriate. That's the fundamental dilemma."

If he had his way the students would be staggered. Some students in school some days, other students on other days, so that class size could be reduced. But that's not on the table.

The only way left to social distance would be for a significant number of parents to choose to keep their kids home.

"We're encouraging parents to make an informed decision about your student and family with your risk levels and we will serve you at home, and we will serve you well at home," Cavazos said.

The district asked parents to please reach out to them and let them know their intentions for the fall as quickly as possible so that the district could have some idea of how many students they're dealing with and plan accordingly.

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