‘There were a lot of tears of joy’: Round Rock and Georgetown ISD students return to campus

Set for School

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Both Round Rock and the Georgetown Independent School Districts welcomed back students Thursday for in-person learning.

Georgetown ISD serves more than 12,000 students at 18 district campuses; a stark difference from the school district a city over. Round Rock ISD has over 51,000 students between 55 campuses.

In Georgetown, students who spend the majority of their school day in special education courses were able to attend in-person classes starting Aug. 20. A total of 178 students were offered the opportunity to go back to school. Nearly 84 of those students came back in person.

On Thursday, the doors opened up for all other students. Roughly 60% of Georgetown’s students stepped foot inside the district’s buildings for the first time in months.

“There were a lot of tears of joy,” said Georgetown Superintendent Dr. Fred Brent. “It’s almost as if its been a celebration. While yes, there’s some anxiety over COVID, and school may look a little different.”

Some of those students returning to campus were asked to bring their own non-district issued computers and other learning devices from home.

“Like a lot of districts in across the State of Texas, getting computers and Chromebooks has been a challenge,” said Dr. Brent. “We’re working to secure a device for every student. The suppliers kept calling back and saying, ‘We’re going to be delayed, we’re going to be delayed.'”

By the end of the nine weeks, all of Georgetown ISD’s students could also be back on campus.

“Our position in Georgetown is that at the end of the nine-week grading period, if 100% of our students want to go back to school, then we will allow 100% of our students in school.”

Thursday, Round Rock ISD welcomed back its special education students as part of its Phase 2 return-to-learn plan. According to RRISD, that’s about 500 students who started school Thursday, or 1% of the student population.

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