BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) — Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) is in the beginning stage of allowing students back into the classroom.
Students have been learning virtually for the first four weeks of school as South Texas remains a hotspot for COVID-19 in the state.
“After the fourth week we got a waiver from the Texas Education Agency to be able to start transitioning our students into the classroom,” said Superintendent Dr. Rene Gutierrez.
The district is starting to transition students back into the classroom this week, Superintendent Gutierrez rolling out a soft opening of phasing in students.
“Allowed the students that don’t have a device or connectivity at home. Those are the students that we are starting to phase into our campuses,” he said.
The superintendent said the district has spent thousands on hotspots and Wi-Fi devices for students. Adding, there’s a small percentage of students who may live in areas where connectivity is an issue.
The district collected data and provided information to the state education agency to extend distance learning.
- 11 BISD employees have passed away from COVID-19 through community spread
- BISD has had 179 employees confirmed COVID-19 cases
- Six departments have closed in the past due to COVID-19 exposure
- 16 campuses have closed in the past due to COVID-19 exposure
“We are in a crisis and until this crisis slows down in our area then we can start bringing students into our schools. However, at this time as a district we are required to have a soft opening and we are complying with the TEA guidelines with a soft opening and that’s exactly what we’re doing right now,” he said.
Dr. Gutierrez said the state agency has requested more information on student’s connectivity. BISD has invested in personal protective equipment and hand sanitizers throughout classrooms. Adding, desks will have protection for students.
The district is also working on a board agenda item for the school board to recommend additional four weeks of distance learning.
Hotspots and devices are still available for BISD students. Parents need to contact their campus in order to obtain them.