MCKINNEY, Texas - Dallas County schools are under a public health order that delays in-person classes until Sept. 8.
That is not the case in Collin County. Many school districts there announced how they will start the school year.
According to Collin County Judge Chris Hill, the county is not planning to order schools to be closed. He called Dallas County’s order a one-size-fits-all approach that is impractical.
However, four large Collin County districts are already taking similar approaches to what Dallas County mandated.
A McKinney ISD teacher, who did not want FOX 4 to show her face or use her name, said McKinney ISD's decision to go virtual for the first three weeks of school took a weight off her shoulders.
“I feel like I am being considered, and I feel relieved,” she said. “Before this morning, all summer I have been going back and forth about if I should return to school.”
Plano, Frisco, and Allen also now plan to start with virtual instruction for the first three weeks of school.
Plano and Allen start on Aug. 12. Frisco and McKinney follow the next day.
The teacher FOX 4 spoke with believes even the best masking and social distancing guidelines won't be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“I’ve been in a classroom. You can't avoid germs all over the place,” she said. “They will sneeze on themselves and want to come hug you. It's too hard to control. It's not possible.”
But the decision frustrates some parents who believe more delays will be coming.
A Frisco parent made the comments that were read at the district's virtual school board meeting Thursday.
“Virtual learning did not work for our kids, and it was a bit of a disaster,” she said. “And my husband and I need to keep working to pay our taxes to keep funding this school system that isn't meeting the needs of our kids right now.”
While some early research has shown children are less likely to spread COVID-19, because preliminary data suggests they are less likely to become symptomatic, some teachers are skeptical.
“Five teachers every year get flu at the same time,” the McKinney teacher said. “Same thing will happen with this virus. I don't know how it could be any better.”
All four districts we've mentioned have contingencies to continue virtual instruction for parents who choose that path. But the McKinney teacher FOX 4 spoke with admitted online learning is a poor substitute to in-person classes.
“I know their education will be compromised. It will,” she said. “It's not the same thing as being in class face-to-face having social interaction about what we are teaching. But I bounce back. Is that more important than their safety?”
McKinney, Allen, and Frisco all plan to start in-person classes Sept. 3 while Plano campuses are set to open Sept. 9.