WFISD to start school year in-person, parents to decide on virtual attendance

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Wichita Falls ISD has decided to start the new school year in-person, but they will still be allowing parents to choose to have their students go virtual. Superintendent Michael Kuhrt presented a plan before the school board Wednesday morning.

The deadline for any students switching to distance learning is next Thursday (August 6, 2020).

Masks will be required to be worn for most of the day because social distancing will be difficult in classrooms, beginning in first grade. Superintendent Kuhrt said half of their students would have to be online for social distancing to occur.

As of the last survey (July 5), only 20% have chosen to go online.

For those families that choose to go virtual, the options available will change based on grade level:

  • Middle school through 12th grade will be synchronous learning, meaning students will have to tune in live to their classes. Students without internet access will have to choose the in-person option.
  • For elementary school there will be both asynchronous and synchronous models available, depending on classroom size and layout. 3-5th graders have the ability to learn both ways, but the Texas Education Agency has said Pre-k through 2nd graders cannot learn asynchronously. The district will work with teachers to provide online and paperwork options for students.

Once parents make a decision, they will have to commit to it for an entire grading period (eight weeks for elementary, six weeks for secondary). The district will have to know two weeks before the end of the grading period if you wish to continue in the same format or make a change.

If a student shows COVID-19 symptoms, they will be immediately sent to a school nurse and held in a “quarantine area” until their parent can pick them up. They will be allowed to return to campus 10 days after receiving a positive test, and go 72 hours without symptoms.

If you do send your child back in-person, the district is asking that you either drive them yourself or have them walk as they try to limit bus capacity.

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