Remote or on campus? For many families, this was a stressful question during the pandemic. Here’s a look at what parents across Texas have chosen so far.
Many districts began studying on campus weeks ago. However, Monday was the first day of personal tuition in the Austin Independent School District.
Prior to this week, the majority of ISD students in Austin were engaged in distance learning off-campus. Eddie Villa, communications specialist at Austin ISD, stated in an email that less than 1% of students were on campus due to specific educational needs that limited their ability to receive virtual classes.
AISD parents were interviewed between September 10 and 25 about their preferences between in-person or distant classes.
The results show that 43% of elementary school respondents planned for their students to start school on campus starting Monday. For middle school students, 27% of families chose to study on campus. At the high school level, 76% of families opted for distance learning, 15% for campus, and 9% for a mix of both options.
When it comes to getting to school, the majority skipped the bus. Of the families who chose to study on campus, more than 60% planned to make their own arrangements for dropping off and picking up the student.
At Dallas ISD, Robyn Harris, Director of News and Information, said, “It’s roughly 50% who chose in-person and virtual.”
Houston ISD reported that by September 29, 61% of families in the district had chosen virtual learning.
San Antonio ISD did not respond to RA News’ request for up-to-date statistics on on-campus learning.
In the North East Independent School District in San Antonio, the class occupancy increases to 15 students. Superintendent Dr. Sean Maika said that as the situation in Bexar County continues to improve, the district plans to bring more children back into the classroom.
El Paso ISD will remain closed at this time due to personal instruction.
In some Texas school districts, underperforming students are required to return to the classroom based on the results of the progress report. For the 2020-2021 school year, there was little enrollment for preschool-age students in North Texas. The Dallas Morning News reported that thousands of students are not yet enrolled, and pre-K Dallas ISD enrollment has changed significantly from 12,237 students last year to just 4,000 students this year.