CROWLEY, Texas - Crowley ISD is scheduled to return to in-person classes Monday after temporarily halting them days ahead of the Thanksgiving break because of the coronavirus.
It was the only district in the Metroplex to close all of its campuses because of the pandemic.
Some other districts, like Terrell ISD in Kaufman County, are not bringing students or staff back yet by extending the Thanksgiving break one more week because of virus concerns.
Crowley ISD moved to 100% online classes when COVID-19 infections and exposures caused a staffing shortage, but district officials said that by Monday, everyone who was out should be back.
As Crowley ISD students prepare to go back to school Monday, parents are weighing their options after COVID-19 exposures caused a staffing shortage for the district recently.
“He definitely wants to go to school, but it’s just, is it safe right now?” Crowley ISD parent Missy Vazquez said.
For now, Vasquez feels safe enough to send her 4th grade son back to school in-person.
She says her son’s school hasn’t had many cases.
“In the mornings, I see them at the door with the kids, scanning their foreheads for temperature,” she said. “There’s another person squirting their hands with hand sanitizer.”
Valerie Sharp and her kids had the discussion over Thanksgiving of whether or not to go back in-person.
“I know they had a lot of contact there at the middle school level. So it’s kind of something that, I’m okay if she wants to go back in person, but I would rather not since they have three weeks before they’re on Christmas break.”
The latest numbers from Crowley ISD’s COVID-19 dashboard show 138 staff members and 509 students out due to COVID-19 cases or exposures.
The district expects everyone who’s been out the past few weeks will be cleared to come back Monday.
While Crowley ISD is heading back to school Monday, Terrell ISD made the call last week to extend Thanksgiving break an extra week to December 7.
In a message to families, Terrell ISD Superintendent Dr. Georgeanne Warnock said they hope the extra time will allow everyone to come back healthy.
“As we all know, the coronavirus continues to increase, numbers across our state, across our nation, and here in our community as well,” Dr. Warnock said.
The latest numbers show 17 active cases among students, which makes up less than 1% of the student population, and 13 active cases among staff, which is less than 2% of total employees.
“This isn’t the time to go on a cross country road trip, this is the time to be in isolation, to be at home, to be just with your family. We want to stop the spread. This would give us time over this two-week window to really allow any cases that are in incubation to play out,” Dr. Warnock explained.
Crowley ISD officials did say previously they plan to re-evaluate where they are over the weekend, but for now, they are scheduled to return to in-person classes Monday.