PHARR, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District (ISD) opened its registration for a temporary learning program Wednesday morning.
Some parents who applied for this program say they would rather keep their kids safe this school year.
Anabel Ramirez applied all three of her kids to enroll in the virtual learning program. Ramirez says two of her kids are too young to get vaccinated and is not putting their health at risk by sending them to school in person.
“Plain and simple it’s getting worse every day, the cases are not going down,” Ramirez said. “The small ones are not going because of that, if they had the vaccine that would be a whole difference.”
But Ramirez is certainly not the only parent at PSJA ISD who is concerned about sending their kids to school.
“I’m conflicted right now because I know my children need their education and I know they need to be in person,” said Eliza Sandoval. ” But their safety and their wellbeing in more important to me at the moment.”
The virtual program will last for the first 6 weeks of the school year and will accommodate 1,000 students. Eligible students must have a medical condition or are too young to vaccinate.
According to PSJA ISD Superintendent Jorge Arredondo, 90% of students are in the classroom in person. The district is working to staff all of its education platforms this year.
“In most cases to do this correctly we have wanted to have staff that is dedicated to virtual learning so we can be able to provide that quality support for students as well,” Arredondo said.
But the district is also waiting on the Texas Senate to pass a bill that would expand funding for virtual learning.
“We’re hoping that it will provide further funding in the event that cases continue to increase in our community we want to be able to ensure our community that we that we can pivot to be able to offer this,” Arredondo said.
But in the meantime parents who have applied for the virtual learning program will have to wait until their kids start school. They hope the district will continue to work with concerned parents.
“I just hope they hear us out because a lot of us are concerned and we are conflicted, we don’t know what to do,” Sandoval said.
The deadline for parents to register is Aug. 29th at midnight.