KILLEEN, Texas – KISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft announced classes for the Fall semester will start on August 17th, both in-person and online.
“This is going to be a real test for our staff, for our students, as well as our community. But I think that we’ve developed a plan to try to mitigate risk as much as possible,” said Dr. Craft during a press conference Wednesday morning.
Parents will receive intent forms through email on July 17th so they can tell the district how their children will attend class. They are asked to return it by July 27th.
Dr. Craft warned that if COVID-19 cases continue to climb, all classes may be moved online for safety reasons.
KISD released these safe return guidelines:
- Encourage social distancing on campus and during extracurricular activities
- Limit large gatherings, close playground equipment use, and cancel field trips
- Keep campuses closed to external visitors and require appointments
- Provide school supplies to reduce communal use
- Serve breakfast and lunch in the cafeterias, not in classrooms
- Disinfect buses following each run
- Train KISD employees and student on COVID-19 virus spread mitigation
“It will be very similar to the traditional experience that students had prior to spring break with the exception of some pretty intense cleaning protocol, face covering protocol, other mitigation efforts that we are publishing as we speak to ensure that we are doing everything we can to decrease the potential spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Craft.
This comes after Killeen Independent School District asked students, parents and staff what they want when it comes to returning to class.
The district released the results of a detailed survey they completed a few weeks ago.
The survey includes thousands of parents, employees, and students within Killeen ISD showing where they stand on returning to class this fall.
According to the data – initially, parents are the most uncomfortable with students returning to class this fall at 58 percent. Yet 56 percent of Killeen ISD staff members say they are comfortable.
Almost three out of every four students expressed “total comfort” with resuming class in August.
The biggest contributors to overall comfort when returning to school or work were cleaning and hand washing, as well as offering smaller classes to enhance social distancing.
The majority of parents and staff members say schools should implement changes before returning, while a small portion of both groups think courses should be done online only.
Nearly 60 percent of parents and staff members expressed a serious concern with their overall health and health of their households being impacted by COVID-19.
Killeen ISD’s Taina Maya says while the information from the survey provides a wealth of insight, the district’s plan is to take the new data and balance it with the mandates handed down by the state.
“It is a balance, of course. TEA has different mandate requirements and suggestions, and we want to know what really is a moving point for out families. So we’re working to develop something that really answers the needs that they had, so that we educate children because that is our core business,” Maya said.
Rick Beaule, the president of the Killeen Educators Association, says he’s happy with how the district asked for feedback and he knows pleasing everyone won’t be easy.
“Every choice we have has a price tag attached to it – whether it’s learning gaps or whether it’s equity of access, whether or not it is how comfortable kids are in terms of learning,” Beaule said.
But data shows that parents’ comfort levels with returning to school rise as they became more informed.
“You’ve got a combination of people who truly feel that the school and the body and the community that we bring and value with going to a Killeen ISD school is important to them, and that if they know that we are taking it seriously, then they are ready to come back,” Maya said.
Parents would feel better about sending their children back to class if schools enforce social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face masks.
The majority of parents and school employees want schools to open in the Fall with some changes or online only. Only a small number of both want classes to return as normal.
The full survey results can be viewed and downloaded here.
Source: Killeen Independent School District