Nearly two years after school districts first shifted to virtual learning, Lancaster ISD will once again hold classes via the screen.
It's a decision the district announced by email and social media saying in part:
“Dallas county's covid-19 risk level is listed as red, local hospitals have a limited number of beds, and several individuals within our community have unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19."
On Facebook, parents like Yvonne Young supported the district’s decision.
“I think it was the best decision to make, because the health and safety of the children should always be top priority. So, i support the district 100%. We're all just doing the best that we can at this moment,” said Young.
But with just a few days’ notice, it's a decision Dallas ISD's teacher union president Rena Honea said could bring challenges.
“Everyone is just alerted to be on their highest safeguards. Not only to consider themselves and their families, but in education, we have to consider students, parents, communities and a lot," said Honea. "And for these districts that decide at the last minute to go virtual, they could cause some real issues for parents who have not been aware or have not made for someone to be with them to you know to provide that support for digital learning.”
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As of now Dallas ISD, along with others in the region, plan to return from winter break in person.
Honea said while the intent is to prevent further learning loss, it must be done with precautions.
Earlier this week, Cook Children’s medical director of infectious diseases said that begins with vaccinations and masks.
“If they’re able to do that, I think there's good data that kids can go back to school and be safe. That also includes things like spreading out and good ventilation, those multiple layers of trying to increase safety,” said Dr. Mary Suzanne Whitworth.
Lancaster plans to reassess its situation come Friday.
In the meantime, it will use Tuesday as a transition day, working with families to make sure everyone's able to connect remotely again.