MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — Teachers in Manor ISD went back to campus Monday, and in two weeks its more than 9,200 students will begin learning.
Superintendent Dr. Andre Spencer is returning for his second year with the district after spending his first year helping students learn virtually.
With two weeks to go, Spencer talked about what to expect heading into the upcoming school year.
Tom Miller: What do you want families to know heading into this new school year when it comes to your COVID-19 protocols?
Dr. Andre Spencer: We definitely want families to understand and know that safety is number one. For our scholars and for our staff. We are contact tracing, and we are making sure that we are reporting out if there are cases that are within our schools. We are encouraging our scholars and our staff to wear masks, and well as face shields, which we are providing to them so that they can wear those. We are also providing desk shields for scholars to have between desks.
Tom: Last year a lot of students were learning virtually, is that an option this year as well?
Dr. Spencer: We are exploring the virtual option for us here in Manor ISD. We are actually meeting today (Monday) so that we can discuss that option and begin to plan out additional ways in which that option can be available for our young people. We do want to make certain that we are acknowledging that to our community and to our parents, we hear you when you’re saying virtual options, we hear you, and we understand that. We want to make certain that we’re providing that option as much as possible.
Tom: In the event that a student or staff member tests positive, what’s going to be the protocol on that?
Spencer: If someone tests positive, we will send out a letter to that individual. We will also send out a letter to all parents and scholars, or anyone else that has come into contact with that individual through our contact tracing. We will update that number on our dashboard so we can make sure we’re being as transparent as possible on the number or cases. We will ask that individual to quarantine, and so that’s something that we’re going to require. For our staff and for our scholars who were contact tracing, who were close contacts with that particular individual, we’re directing them to the CDC website, we’re also directing them to the Austin Public Health website and we’re providing them with as much information as we possibly can so that they can take additional precaution.
Tom: What are you really looking forward to as you kick off another year?
Dr. Spencer: I am definitely looking forward to seeing our scholars, that’s number one, and I think all our staff are really looking forward to all of our scholars. We’ve had some scholars who have not had the opportunity to be in school for about a year and a half, so we know that academics is something that we’re really going to have to hit hard and have a hard focus on. Also, we have some innovative and accelerated programs that we’d really like to engage our young people in.