Austin ISD says students can return to campuses next week for in-person learning


AUSTIN (KXAN) — After recommending a switch to virtual learning for close to two weeks to parents, the Austin Independent School District plans to welcome students back on campuses on Monday, Jan. 25.

In a letter to parents from Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde, the district said the decision was made “because of the improvements we are seeing on our campuses and in our community.” The district also consulted with Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott on the matter.

The district reports there has been a 35% decrease in daily positive cases in schools since the first week back from winter break. A 28% decrease in the cumulative number of weekly cases since the first week back from winter break was also a factor on which Austin ISD based its decision.

Right now, AISD said it has a 4.01% positivity rate, which is a 43% decrease from before and right after winter break. The district reports Austin and Travis County as a whole have also seen decreases in positivity rate.

Leaders want to remind parents returning to campus is not mandatory. Remote learning will still be offered for the rest of the school year, the letter said.

Families who previously selected virtual learning can contact their child’s campus if they wish to begin in-person classes. This gives time for the campuses to prepare for more students.

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