In ABC13 Town Hall meeting on reopening the state Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said students may be learning from home this Fall due to the coronavirus.
Although educators, state leaders and many parents agree that the best place for children to begin school is in a classroom, the reality is the coronavirus pandemic is forcing Texas officials to reconsider those plans.
"We want to start schools on time as scheduled," Abbott said. "If we continue to see COVID spreading the way that it is right now, it may be necessary to employ that flexibility and use online learning."
The governor said the health and safety of students and teachers has to be the primary concern.
Larissa Loveless, director of public relations for Palestine ISD, said it is very probable they would have to utilize online learning with current guidelines, especially since they can only transport 25 percent of bus capacity at a time and must still observe 6’ distance on classes.
Palestine Independent School District is working hard to be prepared should this be the case.
“We are planning and working to increase number of devices in district and connectivity in form of hot spots and parking lot Wi-Fi at our campuses,” Loveless said. “We also have two online learning platforms we have implemented for summer school and will use for Fall online learning, one is for elementary the other secondary.
“We are working hard to be better equipped. With increased technology, the online platforms and teacher training in the learning platforms.”
The information is rapidly changing daily and Gov. Abbott is supposed to speak on the issue in the next few day.
PISD plans to release its adjusted calendar Wednesday.
At Grapeland, Superintendent Don Jackson and is staff are preparing for students to return for on-campus instruction on Aug. 19 and will make adjustments as they become necessary.
“There’s just a whole lot of speculation at this time and no real answers,” said Jackson. “All we can do is be prepared for what is happening today and tomorrow and adjust as we have to.”
According to Jackson, the school sent out a survey to which 77 percent of the parents who have filled it out have said they want their children to return to classroom instruction this fall.