GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - Grand Prairie ISD was planning to allow two options for students to start the fall semester, in-person or virtual learning, but then news came down that no schools in Dallas County would be allowed to hold in-person classes until at least September 8.
Grand Prairie ISD was holding a school board meeting, discussing the start of school, when the district learned about the Dallas County order.
Once again, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven things aren’t changing day-to-day, it’s minute-by-minute.
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FOX4 spoke with the district about its plans before Thursday night’s board meeting.
“We know that all of that can change or parts of it can change. Things are just changing rapidly, so if there’s a need for us to pivot, we can do that,” said Sam Buchmeyer, with Grand Prairie ISD.
And the pivot came less than 30 minutes later, when the district — which is in Dallas County — found out that Dallas County Health and Human Services was delaying on-campus instruction until after Labor Day, at the earliest.
FOX4 then spoke with the district again after the announcement.
“Things change in a heartbeat,” Buchmeyer said.
Grand Prairie ISD officials said the district will still begin virtual classes on August 17, but during the pandemic, there are countless unknowns.
“Everything could change,” Buchmeyer said.
“The unknown is: Can I juggle everything?” Veronica Cobb said.
Cobb is a single parent to a 4th and 6th grade student in the district. She feels virtual learning is too difficult for one of her kids, who lives with dyslexia.
“You know, he’s not at the point where he can navigate on his own with a lot of reading material, which is online school,” Cobb said.
Online registration started earlier this week, giving parents the choice whether to keep kids at home or send them to a classroom.
But now, at least for the first few weeks, there’s only one option.
“I think that they should leave it up to the parent. I really do because each household is different. The demands of the child is different,” Cobb added.
The district created a task force to address safely returning to class.
“Making sure the hands are washed, wear masks, that we do the little things we’ve heard over and over again that are tried and true messages,” Buchmeyer said.
And as things continue to change, district officials said they’ll be ready.
“Well, the only thing I can say is that we have a great relationship with our local health officials and we’re in contact with those folks all the time,” Buchmeyer added.