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AFT president says CCISD return to school guidelines are "disappointing"

CCISD Back to School plan
Posted at 5:16 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 19:40:37-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi students will be back in school in just a week and a half.

Corpus Christi ISD has unveiled its back to school plan as we enter another school year in the pandemic. But the district is looking for input on what it has come up with.

The CCISD Covid Task Force collected over 13,000 survey responses of students, parents, community members and administration. They then put together what they feel was a safe way to get back into the classroom.

Nancy Vera, president of the Corpus Christi Chapter of American Federation of Teachers, said the plan is generic.

"I think right now parents are afraid to send their children to school as back to normal," she said. "Because of COVID guidelines certainly indicate that everything is back to normal. There’s no requirements of the mask, the parents have to check if the students have — you know that’s just not enough."

In the plan, per state law, CCISD can’t require mask-wearing, but it’s recommended for unvaccinated and high-risk students. Parents and guardians must do a health check before sending children to school. CCISD said no one will be allowed on campus with a fever more than 100 degrees or is showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Social distancing of at least 3 feet is recommended. The plan said 6 feet was challenging in school buildings. Students and staff can opt to have a desk shield.

All rooms will be disinfected every day.

UIL and extra-curricular activities will return to normal. Bus rides will continue with the recommendation siblings sit together and students social distance as best they can.

No school visitors will be allowed in schools for the first six weeks of the semester. Volunteers are allowed but won't be permitted in any classrooms with students present.

After receiving several calls from parents, Vera said CCISD needs to do more.

“This is quite disappointing. There are so many questions left," said Vera. "There was no input by the advisory groups to the superintendent or to the district. And when something like this happens and they just throw something out for the sake of throwing it out, then what are they really doing?”

Vera is concerned for teacher safety as well. She said CCISD will be holding a convocation with all staff at American Bank Center. She's hoping the school board will reconsider that decision and move it to a Zoom call.

"We're getting call, after call, after call from employees who are very concerned because they have family members at home, elderly parents or they have children at home and grandchildren," Vera said. "And they're afraid that they're going to get sick. in fact, some of them already have children at home who are ill."

The plan states it will be periodically reviewed and changed as needed. It can be changed with any federal, state or local mandates or guidance from Centers for Disease Control.

School begins Aug. 10. Feedback must be submitted by Aug. 12 at 4:30 p.m. To give your feedback, you can email ripics@ccisd.us.

To view the district's entire back-to-school plan, you can view it here.

Spanish version.