AUSTIN, Texas - In-person classes are set to begin in one week for Austin ISD students and parents are weighing in on the phased reopening.
A group called AISD Kids First is made up of more than 1,000 members advocating for students to return to school in person.
Martha Small Dyess helped create the group to provide a space for people to stay informed on the district's plans. “What AISD Kids First is hoping to press upon is that AISD offers safe face to face in-person instruction and safety being for paramount,” said Dyess. “I am sure and have faith in AISD that they have done what they need to do to prepare campuses and prepare teachers and our students for what that safe reentry will look like.“
In a press conference, Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde said despite previous discussions the district will reopen campuses October 5th at 25 percent capacity.
“We will continue to only move forward in the safest manner and utilize the guidance of those who are trained to make all of those recommendations to us,” Elizalde said. “For teachers and staff who are able to return we are asking that they return. We are doing this in a safe manner using all of the protocols including screening and temperature checks of every single individual before they enter our campuses.“
Over the weekend, Education Austin led a caravan of teachers, parents, and staff to AISD headquarters to demand the district delay in-person classes. The district has granted more than 656 medical waivers for employees, 426 of them are teachers.
Instructors are expected to teach classes both online and in person.
A concern, Dyess said, was addressed by the district in Thursday’s press conference. Dyess would like to see AISD clarify what classes will look like for those returning. She along with parents in AISD Kids First want their children to be taught in a traditional setting.
The board of trustees is expected to hear an update in-person learning plans from Dr. Elizalde Monday night.