Dallas ISD educator concerned about returning to in-person learning after Thanksgiving break

Some people are worried about students and teachers returning to the classroom after Thanksgiving break.

Health experts believe North Texas hospitals are going to see an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations following the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

This has led to concerns for many of the ones working inside North Texas schools.

Many students, teachers, and staff are set to return to campus following the Thanksgiving holiday, during a time of increased COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“It’s just not safe right now,” Dallas ISD educator Chrisdya Houston said.

Houston is a Dallas ISD elementary educator of 23 years. Some of her students learn in-person, while some learn virtually.

“This year has definitely been a year of making adjustments,” she added.

Houston, who lives with asthma, wants the district and families to further adjust and move to online-only learning for now.

“It just wasn’t safe, you know, for us to be there,” she said.

And, she’s more concerned that students and staff returning after the holiday break will increase the chances of contracting COVID-19.

Health experts are predicting a COVID-19 surge as folks are gathering and traveling for Thanksgiving.

“Just by the nature of the holiday, probably you’d expect Thanksgiving might be more risky,” Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang said.

Dr. Huang said the county has been recommending a return to virtual-only learning as it’s still labeled in the red zone of its COVID-19 risk level. Still, for now, Dallas ISD is staying its course with both in-person and virtual options until school lets out for winter break on December 21.

“Again, there’s a lot of different pressures that the schools have,” Dr. Huang said.

Houston said her holiday was low-key.

“Well, I, for one, have not had family time except for on Zoom,” she said.

She believes her concerns are real as we approach what experts label a critical period of this pandemic.

“It has been very interesting,” she added.

Dallas ISD last updated its COVID-19 dashboard on November 19. It’s showing 1,161 cases. More than half of those are teachers and staff.