The first week of in-person classroom instruction began for the Corpus Christi Independent School District this week.
We sat down with CCISD Superintendent Roland Hernandez to discuss how the events went for the district.
KRIS 6 News: "How did the first of face to face instruction go for you guys?"
Hernandez: “Yeah, this week is gone, it went really well so far . We've been in school a few days and we started out really slow. Phase I and that's allowing 25 percent of our students to respond that they would be returning to face to face instruction."
KRIS 6 News: "This is the first time we've ever done anything like this. So it's gotta be a kind of an ever- evolving process as we learn things work don't work. Anything that comes to the forefront for you that we need to work on?
Hernandez: "Right and that's exactly what we figured what we would run into. This issue here is that we don't really get any practice. So that first day of school, we haven't seen our students since Spring Break and now it was a matter of those coming back to have to learn kind of a new mode of operation in our schools from the minute they're dropped off to lining up to coming in to the school building, social distancing markers that we in the schools, It was time needed to try to get them into the new way of what every day was going to look like.
“And so with the smaller numbers that also helped us. The more systems we had in place but to be able to teach it slowly to the students, when more and more students start coming back. I think probably the best move we could've made. If we would have had 50 percent or 75 percent, it would've been too many kids, too fast to really give ourselves the test run of all the systems we've put in place.
“Our infrastructure is holding up really well. Our only issue has been that with the dem and that there is across the world really especially in our nation just to with the need for different devices and the Wi-Fi, we're really targeting that area and to make sure that the students not in the classrooms who will continue distant learning have what they need.
“But as far as the everyday that we're going through so far this week has been great. We've not had any issues with any technology crashes. They've been very minor if anything. Or it might be specific to a particular classroom but not the entire school. So far, so good."
Hernandez recapped other elements of the first week of instruction.
“We are being careful with that that we're doing the assessment every day in our schools. The students come in, we have a screener that asks the basic questions to the students and families. We're mainly, we want to stay in touch with who'd been exposed where, who's traveled where, any symptoms whatsoever. Staying proactive on top of that and then we're being really quick to communicate if anything comes to our knowledge in what it might be.
“And a lot of times it might be like over the summer, we've been very transparent to report what our numbers have been even with staff over the summer. And many cases, these are what people are doing outside of schools. You know in the community whether they're having vacations and where they're going that's where we're that questioning of who they possibly they could've exposed is what we have to do and then we're working very closely with the health district who is also contacting the people.
KRIS 6 News: “Is there anything that you'd like to tell parents who may be on the fence or unsure about sending their children back to school?
Hernandez: “That’s very understandable. We have had many conversations with our parents. I can say that since we started school on Tuesday between Tuesday and now and parents paying attention to your stories and the news and seeing what we've done in our schools, they have called and requested a ‘how can I change the instructional delivery of my student from home’ instructions to ‘face to face.’
“And so they're working with their campus administrators and then they're getting put into the phases, 1, 2 or 3 and then we're bringing them back. So by Oct. 5, we will have all of our students back in school. Those who want to come back. And then on Sept. 18, there’s the one-week intercession there. So that's gonna give us a really good chance to tighten up and just improve what we've had in place the prior three weeks.
“And so for parents what I would encourage then is that there's no better learning than what takes place in the classroom but we understand that there might be some apprehension and still a little anxiety. That's perfectly fine if they choose to stay home and do remote learning. We're gonna give them the best that we can. But then our schools I fell have some really good systems in place that can really take care of the students and certainly keep our parents involved as much as possible."
Tune in next Saturday, we’ll hear from Dr. Hernandez about the next phase of reopening CCISD school campuses.
And if you have a specific question for him, please send us a Facebook message and we’ll ask him for you.