THRALL, Texas (KXAN) — A Williamson County school district will open its doors Monday, making it the first in the area that plans to do so.
Thrall Independent School District has 750 students and three campuses. 75% of those students will be coming back to campus — but not all at once.
Come Monday, the wheels on Lori Loeve’s bus will go round again.
“It’ll be interesting on Monday to see how many students I have,” said Thrall ISD bus driver Lori Loeve. “I’ve missed the community feeling. This is a small town — everybody knows everybody.”
Love will be driving two different groups of students strategically spaced to keep their distance. In-person instruction will only be two days a week, and the other three will be virtual. Students will alternate those days depending on if they’re group A or B.
“The majority of students and parents responded and told us which days they prefer. We gave the parents the choice to pick whether they wanted A day or B day,” said Superintendent Tommy Hooker.
“They’re excited; they’re ready. They’re ready to see friends most of all, get back to some sort of normal,” said Loeve.
Loeve also has three children of her own in school.
“I found out I wasn’t even smarter than a third grader when we had to home school, it was difficult,” said Loeve.
Many Thrall parents feel this way. KXAN’s Kaitlyn Karmout also talked to a Thrall ISD great-grandmother of three. She says last school year came with many challenges.
“They’re special needs; they need the attention,” said Sherran Gambrell. “It’s been a long time since I’ve worked with kids when it comes to educating them.”
She says even the two days for now may not cut it.
“We would just go up to the school to get packets, because they didn’t understand the majority of it, probably more than half of it didn’t get done,” Gambrell said.
She’s hoping the new model will give them the support they need.
Hooker says the district will reevaluate this system three weeks in to decide if they need any changes or are ready to phase in more students.
KXAN will be there on Monday morning to check out some of the extra health and safety precautions they’re taking.