PLANO, Texas - Even though the Texas Education Agency released guidelines about the return to school, some North Texas parents say they're still struggling with the decision whether to let their kids return to a classroom or keep them online.
A lot of parents say they were wishing for more detailed guidance from the state on things like social distancing, and what exactly should a school do when a student tests positive.
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Now many school districts are rushing to get those details out to parents to help them decide what to do.
“I want to go back to classroom with teacher and friends,” 8-year-old David Townes said.
Like many kids, Townes believes he got the best education in the classroom.
“It is easier to learn,” he added.
“My kids, I think this is situation for a lot of kids, they listen to teachers better than they listen to me. It was difficult for me. They didn’t want to look at mom as the teacher necessarily,” David’s mom, Michele Townes, said.
Even so, she added that the decision about whether to choose virtual learning or in-person school still isn't easy.
The guidelines from TEA, were not what she expected.
“I think guidelines were very vague,” Townes said.
Townes helps run the popular Facebook page, Plano Moms.
She said many parents were hoping for more specifics about sanitation measures and ways to limit crowding.
“People are just getting really anxious and frustrated, no choice is a good choice,” she said.
So far, parents on the Plano Moms page are split on whether to go back.
“Parents saying kids going without a doubt, both dual working parents. Don’t have ability to teach from home. The side deciding to stay home, either kids are high risk or parents are high risk,” Townes said.
And the TEA guidelines also left questions for teachers.
“What if a student comes up sick? Is it just that classroom, those students, who are quarantined and the people they come in contact?” said Rena Honea, with Alliance AFT.
Many districts are already moving forward with more detailed plans.
Plano and Richardson ISDs are among those telling parents they will be providing more specifics about reopening plans soon.
“Considering staggered arrival, one-way hallways, reduced transitions, social distancing, regular scheduled hand washing, sanitation dispensers, and many other considerations,” Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone said.
Richardson ISD officials said that according to a recent parent survey, two-thirds of parents are opting for in-person school.
Plano ISD is extending its deadline for parents to opt-in for virtual school until Thursday, July 16.