Hays CISD middle school creates overflow area for students as more return to campus

Education

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A middle school in the Hays Consolidated Independent School District is seeing more students returning to campus for in-person learning. Staff has created an overflow area to accommodate.

Outside of each classroom at Wallace Middle School, there’s an occupancy limit sign. Hays CISD said it’s maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols.

According to the district, about 64% of its students at Wallace are back on campus. It said most of the classrooms at Wallace can have up to 15 students, allowing for social distancing.

Now, overflow students are doing classes virtually from the library. They are rotated out periodically. 

“I just feel like socially, it’s important for them to be back in class,” Candance Maddie, a Wallace Middle School parent, said. 

Maddie said she sent both of her kids back. She said she doesn’t mind the overflow system. 

“As long as it’s keeping them in school and giving them that outlet,” she said. 

Principal Sarah Hodges said they’re rotating out different kids just over every two weeks to keep them three to six feet apart.

“They come in [to the library], they designate what class they’re here for, our adults in the library can point them to their classwork online, they open it up,” Hodges said. “There’s an asynchronous launch to their learning, and they can Zoom in directly from the library to their classroom teacher.”

Hodges said this system is impacting about five to 10 students on campus daily, and it’s only for a class period. That means students will be in a regular classroom the rest of the day.

“From the campus level, I want to make sure parents understand what is afforded, what do we have, what are we working with,” Hodges said. 

Maddie said she trusts the school to do what’s best. 

“I feel like our teachers are doing the best that they can,” Maddie said.

District wide, Hays CISD said about 59% of its students are back on campuses for in-person classes. 

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