Houston, TX – Kids are back in school across the Houston metro area just as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The evolving situation around the pandemic means parents and educators are looking for the latest information. So, we asked KPRC 2 Insiders what questions they had about their kids heading back to the classroom. KPRC interviewed the deputy executive director of the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association to help answer some of your questions.
Question: Why can’t all schools offer online learning?
“It is a funding issue that the state legislature did not fund,” said Mark Terry, TEPSA deputy executive director. “There are a few school districts that continue, that understand the importance of online learning for students, and at least offer the opportunity for online learning. I think though, the research is very clear and very evident that online learning has significant gaps compared to in-person learning. I think some school districts are using federal funding that was given during the pandemic in order to provide a wide range of opportunities for kids online.”
Question: Where can parents get more information about homeschooling their kids?
Terry recommends looking at the Texas Education Agency website for resources and programs. However, Terry does have some tips for what parents should look for when deciding to homeschool children.
“I’d recommend that they find some type of curriculum. I would probably recommend a look at some homeschool associations. They are small groups of homeschool parents in different districts who kind of say they may have a particular skill set. But it also gives the kids an opportunity to get out and socialize with other students,” said Terry. I would recommend that they kind of look at their district’s curriculum so that if their student ever comes backs into the public school system, they’re not huge gaps that would be current. But I think it’s very much a parent and family decision.”
Question: Can my child wear a mask regardless of a mask mandate?
“Sure. In fact, that would be one of my recommendations. I recommend that they wear a mask until we know or till there’s a vaccine for students. For younger kids, there isn’t [a vaccine] presently. So, I would encourage my grandkids or my kids to wear a mask,” said Terry.
Along with questions about masks, some KPRC Insiders asked about kids being bullied about masks. Terry says he would tell parents to speak with the principal if they have any concerns about how kids are being treated.
“But a lot of times, the bullying isn’t necessarily the kids. It doesn’t start with the kids. They get it somewhere. So, it may be that they see it online, and based on their social media, I would follow my kid’s social media, as far as bullying goes as well,” said Terry.
Previously, KPRC Insiders asked questions about medical concerns as their kids go back to school. You can read more about the information experts told us here.