Oak Cliff Teacher Fears In-Person Instruction as Dallas ISD Mulls Options

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A North Texas teacher is prepared to put up a fight through her union if she’s required to return to class in-person.

Dallas ISD has decided to delay the start of the school year until September 8, but it has yet to announce if and when in-person instruction will be allowed.

Teachers have a lot of questions about a potential return like, would a classroom be shut down if a student or teacher contracts Coronavirus?

Rosemary Curts doesn’t see herself stepping foot inside W.H. Adamson High School come September.

She finished her fourth year teaching Math, Algebra 2 and Advanced Quantitative Reasoning.

“We’re going to fight for virtual learning,” she said.

Oak Cliff is among the areas hardest hit by COVID-19, according to online records.

“We have a lot of students that work in the service industry. A lot of parents who work in the service industry,” she said.

While Dallas ISD has yet to decide if in-person instruction will be offered, it has released a video showing what a return to campus would look like.

Curts feels that’s just wasting valuable time.

“It’s better to just throw all our effort and time into improving the virtual learning experience rather than continue handwringing about whether we’re going back in-person,” she said.

DISD also released ‘COVID Positive Reporting Steps’ for campus administrators detailing steps to take when cases are confirmed among students or staff.

A health services hotline would be alerted, as would a campus administrator and the school nurse.

Health services will follow up with the county health department to begin contact tracing, according to the district.

The district said it will handle the cleaning and alert families about the case.

‘Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow district protocols including isolating away from students and other staff,’ states the protocols.

“It’s very reactive,” argues Curts. “Somebody gets the virus, we can do contact tracing but it’s too late. The contacts have already been made.”

NBC 5 spoke with Jennifer Finley, DISD’s director of health services about the protocols and Curts assertion.

“We really have taken a proactive response in trying to glean and learn everything we can and put those preventative measures in place,” said Finley.

When asked if an entire classroom would be quarantined if a case is confirmed among a student or a teacher, Finley said: Whoever was impacted less than six feet or in close contact would be the ones who would have to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

She said an entire classroom would not ‘necessarily’ be quarantined.

If the district asks teachers to return for in-person instruction, Curts said she would find herself struggling to decide.

“I definitely don’t think that I’d be coming back without a fight,” she said with a small laugh.

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