Thousands of San Antonio students return to school for in-person instruction

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – For thousands of students in the San Antonio area, Tuesday was the first day back to school for face-to-face learning.

Sha Jackson had mixed emotions as she dropped off her 5-year-old son at Walzem Elementary.

“It’s good and bad,” she told KTSA News.  “I have to go to work, so it’s good that he can be at school during the day.”

However, she’s concerned about COVID-19 and wondered if children that young can adhere to social distancing protocols.

“It may be hard because they try not to have them together, but that’s impossible with a lot of 5-year-olds,” she said.

Walzem Elementary/KTSA Photo-Elizabeth Ruiz

Israel Melendrez was hesitant to send his children back to school amid the pandemic, and his 11-year-old daughter wasn’t happy about having to go to school again. When asked about seeing her friends , she said,”I can see them at home on my computer.”

She said the worst part about going back to campus was the mask requirement. Ruby held up her disposable mask and said not only is it uncomfortable,”it has no style.”

North East Independent School District spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor says for the first phase of in-person learning, classes are limited to no more than five students.

“At some schools, that’s actually accommodating everyone who wanted to come back in person,” said Chancellor.

At campuses that had larger numbers of students wanting face-to-face instruction, they had to prioritize.

“We did prioritize special-needs students, as well as families who may have issues with child care.  Those were the ones who came in first at some of those other schools, and in the next couple of weeks, we’ll phase in additional students,”said Chancellor.

She added that its a fluid situation and they’ll either increase the number of students or scale back as they evaluate the COVID-19 situation.  Remote instruction will continue to be provided to NEISD students whose parents aren’t ready to send them back to school amid the pandemic.

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