AUSTIN, Texas - Monday is the last day for Austin ISD parents to submit a survey asking if they plan to send their students back to school, or keep them learning online.
The data will be used to create an estimate of how many students plan to return to campus.
Students have been learning virtually since September 8. On October 5, the district will reopen at 25 percent maximum building capacity. During those two weeks, COVID-19 cases will be monitored. If all goes well, the district will expand building capacity to 50 percent two weeks later on October 19.
Students will have a phased return to campus. At any point throughout the year, families can request to change the method of learning they have selected for their students. A request to transition from virtual learning to on-campus learning should not exceed five days. A transition to virtual learning will take effect immediately.
Autumn Middleton hopes her son Lucas will be able to soon attend classes on campus at Kocurek Elementary. The family just moved to Austin from Lubbock.
“We had pulled him out of pre-k in March, so he has not been around anybody his age. He's an only child... so, one of my biggest factors was this his first year of school and he definitely needs that socialization and that peer to peer contact,” said Middleton.
In a year full of fear and uncertainty, she hopes school can act as a constant for Lucas. “If I have the opportunity to send him in person, to get as close to normal as we can, then ultimately that was my choice," she said.
Middleton says “the communication (with the district) has just been great.”
However, Gloria Vera-Bedolla feels differently. “The communication's been very poor,” she said.
Vera-Bedolla plans to keep her daughter Daniella at home, learning virtually for at least the near future. “As a mother, it’s my job to champion for my 6-year-old baby and I’m going to do that at whatever cost that is and I don’t plan to send her back until I feel that it’s safe,” she said.
Daniella is a first-grader at Zavala Elementary. “I would feel comfortable sending my daughter back once the governor's mansion is open for business and people can traipse through there. That’s when she can go back to school,” said Vera-Bedolla.
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