HOUSTON – Several major school districts plan to welcome some students back to campus Tuesday amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With about half of Katy Independent School District’s students returning to campuses, parents will be armed with a new and necessary tool.
The district has created a COVID-19 case dashboard that gives daily updates on the overall number of self-reported positive COVID-19 cases.
About 50% of the district’s 84,000 students will return to the classroom.
Many parents and students in Katy said they’re ready.
“(Are you looking forward to going back to school?) Yes. (And why?) Because I think it’ll be easier in-person. And my work. Because it’s been hard on online work,” said Carlee Staton, a Katy student.
Still, the other half, a slight majority, is opting to keep their kids home through the rest of the current grading period. That includes pregnant mom Sachet Harrold, who has two kids online and health concerns about the baby on the way.
“I just don’t think kids are,” Harrold said. “They’re not really responsible enough to know like, keep your mask on your nose, wash your hands. Things like that.”
While Katy ISD students experienced online instruction for about two weeks, the area’s largest district starts that journey tomorrow and already with a dilemma.
“It’s our goal to make sure that any child that’s in need of a device, including internet capabilities or accessibilities will have that device by September 8,” Dr. Grnita Lathan, Interim HISD Superintendent, said in July.
While she didn’t promise every student would have a laptop by Tuesday, she sounded confident.
However, because they weren’t able to get devices to all the students, HISD will open 36 campuses as digital learning centers for elementary and middle school students who need them.
Whether virtual or in-person, for many, the ultimate test will come down to the numbers.
“I want to see what will happen. When the kids go back. I want to see if the cases between the kids go up or not,” said Ranyia Hussein, a Katy ISD parent.
For HISD, if your child needs a digital learning center they must be assigned by their home campus.