Classes begin for students in Garland, other North Texas school districts

The summer break ends Monday for students and teachers in Garland ISD and a few other North Texas school districts.

For students, the first day of school is typically about seeing friends again. But this year they will have to wait a little longer. Teachers will be on campus but students will learn online.

One student who attends Hudson Middle School said that’s the hardest part.

“I’m a very social person so not having a lot of people to talk to or interact with is like hard,” said Morgan Franks.

“We’ll see how the instruction turns out to be and the platform. But I think our district has done a good job of communicating,” said Brett Franks, her dad.

Garland ISD will only have virtual learning for the first four weeks of the year.

There have been virtual town hall meetings for parents to ask questions and the district handed out tablets and hot spots last week for families who needed them.

Teachers will use a new platform called Canvas for online learning.

Davis Elementary School principal Patricia Tatum said they spent the summer working out the kinks and getting ready for an unusual first day of school.

“I think the most important thing is that education is always changing and as educators, we have to remember to be flexible and most importantly remember to have a growth mindset. This has been a challenge for all of us. But at the end of the day when all of this is over, we will come out of this stronger and better than ever because we’re having to push the limits,” Tatum said.

When students return to the classroom after Labor Day, schools will be equipped with Plexiglas dividers and face shields.

The district is also preparing isolation rooms and contact tracing in case someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Funding for the $4 million equipment was provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

Two other school districts also start Monday. There will be in-person and online classes in Quinlan and Lone Oak ISDs in Hunt County.

Students, teachers and staff members will be required to wear face masks if they are on campus.