By Gaige Davila
Some students within the Point Isabel Independent School (PI-ISD) district returned to school this past Monday, after attending classes online since late August.
PI-ISD, along with every district across the state, reopened their campus to in-person instruction as required by the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The TEA required Texas school districts to begin phasing in students for on-campus instruction starting Sept. 21.
For the first week of PI-ISD’s Phase 2 reopening, all four campuses were reopened for students who had internet connectivity issues at home. Some students opted to not return to class regardless of their inability to connect to the internet, Port Isabel High School Principal Imelda Munivez said. Those students were provided with printed class materials.
Students come to campus from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., with the option to stay on campus until 2:40 p.m. to complete school work. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, students attend their 1st to 4th period classes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, students attend their 5th to 10th period classes. From there, the district provides buses to take students home. Temperature checks are required at the door.
Nine students attended class in-person at Port Isabel High School on Monday, wearing face masks, face shields and distanced apart from each other inside the library. Students used the school’s internet connection to attend classes. Their teachers, some of whom came to campus, taught their students via Zoom inside empty classrooms just down the hall.
At Port Isabel Junior High, a few students attended campus. Sixth graders attended pre-athletics inside the library, doing exercises in front of a laptop. Inside the cafeteria, parents provided inclusion support to students over Zoom, or giving added help to students needing reading or other types of learning assistance.
At Derry Elementary, students completed school work inside the gymnasium, also adorned with face masks and face shields. No Garriga students attended school physically on Monday.
After the next two weeks, PI-ISD will decide whether to move into their Phase 3 reopening plan. That reopening phase will be based on a future parent survey and if COVID-19 cases in Cameron County are under 50 per day for 10 consecutive days.
Parents who do not want their children to physically return to school are not required to do so, Capistran told the PRESS in previous reports. PI-ISD students can remain attending classes online for the duration of the school year.
PI-ISD’s school board voted to apply for an extension waiver from TEA on Sept. 9, securing another 4-weeks of remote instruction for the district starting Sept. 21.
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.