LEANDER, Texas - Under Texas Education Agency guidelines, school districts have been able to start the new school year virtually for the first four weeks and with an approved waiver, they can have an additional four weeks of online learning.
Leander Independent School District is using that approved extra time to phase students back onto campuses.
Starting today, pre-K, kindergarten, 1st grade, 6th grade, 9th grade, special education, students of staff, and those without internet access will start in-person learning if their parents choose. It will be the first time back in the classroom since March 13.
If all goes well, the second phase will start on September 21 and allow 2nd and 7th graders, as well as seniors, and students who get direct dyslexia services to return to campus.
Officials say the phased-in approach will help schools adjust to the many changes that come with in-person learning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Leander ISD Chief Communications Officer Corey Ryan says this method should also make it easier to tweak plans where needed. He says it'll help with mitigation of risk and allow the district to monitor any spread if COVID cases become an issue. If a positive COVID case arises, the district will notify families and staff that their specific campus or building has been affected.
Ryan reminds parents should self-screen students before sending them to school each day.
Officials say that the health and safety of students, staff, and the community is their top priority.