GOLIAD – School will resume as normal this fall, but parents will have an option of how their youngsters are taught.
Dr. Stacy Ackley, superintendent at Goliad ISD, said that they are offering the option to parents for at home learning.
“When the teacher is up teaching, the kid is supposed to be in front of the computer and listening to the teacher,” he said. “You are getting the direct instruction except you are sitting at home. Then you would be required to complete the work just like you were sitting there.”
Students not online when class begins will be counted absent. This is not an extended summer break for these students, the district leader reiterated.
He understands the concerns of parents, though, which is why this option is being offered.
“It gives parents an option,” he said. “If my wife just had cancer, I would not want to send my kid to school.
“There are other people in other situations where they just aren’t comfortable sending their child to school.”
This offers them the security of keeping their child at home while still receiving the instruction needed to continue their education.
Some of the specifics on this will be outlined as the numbers begin coming in of who is and who isn’t coming back to in-class learning.
“What we would like to do is make it look as close to normal school as possible,” he said. “We are going to play volleyball, football and have marching band theater — all those things that are important to these kids and that parents see as important.”
Knowing that the students will be in school, Ackley said the district has purchased disinfectant foggers.
“We have hired a couple of extra custodial staff to operate these,” he said. “They will run these machines constantly.”
Each classroom, he said, takes only a matter of minutes to disinfect. “Two additional machines should be enough to get every room cleaned everyday.
“We will also have plenty of hand sanitizer.”
Lunches, too, will be different.
“Instead of opening it up, teachers will walk the class down, get their lunch and go eat their lunch in the classroom,” he said.
And those familiar water fountains will also be closed as students will be asked to bring their own water bottles which can be refilled during the day.
Student desks, too, will be spaced out more than normal.
“Right now the state is opening it up and saying, ‘Do what you want to do,’” Ackley said. “We are starting school unless something far fetched happens.”
While Ackley admits he doesn’t have all the answers to every scenario, they are doing their best to ensure student safety.
“Are we going to make mistakes? Yes,” he said. “Are we going to correct those mistakes? Yes.”
To help answer parent questions about their plans, meetings are being planned the week of July 13.
“I want to hold three or four meetings and break it up by age groups for parents,” he said. With 20 percent of the parents answering a survey that they were unsure about sending their child back, he wants to ensure everyone knows the options and was is entailed.
“It is a parent’s choice,” he said adding that a reason isn’t required by those wanting to delay having their child physically back in class. Their goal, he said, is to keep students safe and ensure that parents are comfortable with their youngsters being in school — whatever the setting they choose.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Goliad Advance-Guard and can be reached at 361-343-5221, or at editor@mySouTex.com.