Manor ISD families voice in-person learning safety concerns

Education

MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Manor Independent School District is set to fully reopen all campuses after fall break in about one week. But many are demanding more information on safety protocols.

“A lot of people aren’t trusting the district right now,” says Marienne Duran, a junior at Manor Early College High School.

Many Manor ISD students say they received this message through Snapchat over the weekend.

She and other Manor ISD students received a message through Snapchat.

It’s allegedly from a teacher to a student, saying that there would be no capacity limit or social distancing in classrooms once students begin in-person.

In a video posted to its official Facebook page, the school district outlines part of its safety plan.

“The facilities department has done a fantastic job to understand the dimensions of every classroom so that we have a clear idea of how many desks can safely fit in each classroom,” chief schools officer Michael Perkins says in the video.

Perkins also says in instances where six feet cannot be maintained in a classroom, sneeze guards will be put up between students.

“They like had the presentation of how they were going to apply social distancing, how everything would change to stay healthy and so it caught me on such a surprise,” Duran says.

But KXAN spoke to another school district employee who confirms that on Friday, a handful of them were told that they’d have to accept any walk-in students, even if their classes were already full.

The employee did not want to be identified for fear of losing their job and says they were also told overflow students would be provided a chair and additional face shield to wear over their masks if no more socially distanced desks were available.

Initially, the employee says, the plan was for administrators to take overflow students to the cafeteria or gym.

“We can’t make safe choices for our kids and for our families if we aren’t given all the information,” says Kimberly Nobles, a parent who says she found out the information from several teachers.

KXAN reached out to the school district. They sent the following statement, saying they are “taking every precaution to practice social distancing, which includes providing everyone with masks, shields and sneeze guards.”

The school district did not address classroom overflow concerns in their email.

The issue was also not addressed in the online plan referenced in the school district’s statement.

“How are we going to deal with more kids returning to school than perhaps was originally planned?” Nobles says.

For Duran, that means her little sister is not going back to campus as planned.

“Now my mom is like, ‘I can’t send her. I can’t send her back because it’s just not going to be safe,'” she says.

Manor ISD’s reopening plan also indicates that buses will be disinfected several times a day and temperature checks will be taken before anyone enters campus buildings.

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