THRALL, Texas (KXAN) — Thrall Independent School District will be one of the first districts in Central Texas to return to school during a pandemic.
“We realize this is a huge risk,” said Tommy Hooker, Thrall ISD superintendent. “But we feel like our protocol and what we plan on doing with the students and staff, we feel like we will be able to prevent things and we will evaluate it daily.”
Hooker says they have been planning safety protocol for weeks. The changes are visible when walking around each of the three campuses. In each school, hand sanitizer stations are at the entrances, as well as signs asking if you are well enough to attend school.
In the cafeteria, there are markers on the tables which only allow two people to sit at the tables.
The workflow for students and teachers will look different as well. Thrall will be using a hybrid system with 75% of their students choosing to attend in-person classes and the other 25% percent will be attending online classes only.
“So three quarters of our 750 students will be coming to class and we will break that into an A day B day, so half will be A and half will be B,” Hooker said. ” Wednesdays will be virtual for everyone.”
Masks will also be required at all times, and classrooms will only allow 10 students.
“We felt like the only way to pull this off was to have small crowds that weren’t mixing,” Hooker said.
What if someone tests positive?
The district says they will evaluate each case independently, but always will make sure the safety of the students and staff comes first.
“Typically, we put the students first, they are our number one customer, but right now we have to look at our staff just as much,” Hooker said.
Hooker says, on Sept. 18, they will look at the case count and re-evaluate if online courses need to continue.