Richardson ISD welcomes 300 teachers for new school year amid coronavirus pandemic

Richardson ISD is getting ready for the first day of school by welcoming 300 new teachers this year.

The district is set to start school Aug. 19 with three weeks of virtual instruction and transition to in-person classes after Labor Day.

Some teachers just graduated this year and finished out their degrees online because of the pandemic. So many of them are already used to online learning. They’re hoping to use those skills to welcome students back to the classroom this fall.

As families prepare to head into a school year unlike any other, Richardson ISD is trying to make new teachers feel welcome during an uncertain time.

“These are brand new teachers,” said Richardson ISD Superintendent Dr. Jeannie Stone. “A lot of them, it’s their first week on the job just starting their careers. And we want them to know they are being welcomed and embraced into this family and into this profession.”

The district says teachers have been working all summer to prepare their virtual classrooms.

“I only can control what I can control,” said Richardson West Junior High School teacher Dominique Rogers. “For me, it’s an honor to put myself in a situation to help educate young individuals. And if I’m doing it during a pandemic, so be it, right?

Despite the uncertainty, some new teachers are starting their careers with a personal connection.

Missy Campbell, Reagan West and Mallory Hale are three new elementary school teachers who graduated from Richardson ISD together in 2016. They are now back to teach at the district they grew up in.

“We’re all coming back to RISD,” Campbell said. “We’re coming home!”

“When we were students in Richardson, we always knew we wanted to be teachers,” West said. “We always knew we wanted to come back and having that passion for Richardson and the passion for the kids here. We know we can really make a difference here.”

All three completed their degrees and student teaching requirements online. They’re ready to help not only their students but fellow teachers get used to the new technology.

“I don’t think anyone knew technology was going to be this important and this vital in the classroom,” Hale said. “And now everyone, even the veterans, because they’re having to relearn and rework their way of doing things.”

The district plans to offer in-person classes starting Sept. 8 but acknowledge the situation can change. It says it will be following guidance from Dallas County Health and Human Services.

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