Fort Worth, Texas – Fort Worth ISD school leaders planned a town hall meeting Thursday night to talk about race but almost every person who logged in wanted to talk about coronavirus and how students and teachers were going to be safe in the classroom.
“We’re highly anxious here,” said one teacher, over a video conference where you could just hear her voice.
Sometimes it’s hard to communicate how you really feel when you’re not in person. But that wasn’t a problem for those who spoke.
“We had Chromebooks that didn’t work, hot spots that didn’t work,” said a parent.
One parent said students were behind before COVID and it has to be worse now. She wanted a plan to fix it and so did teachers.
The district promised more training and one on one time between teachers and students. But many ask how can they pull that off, right now? With concerns about close contact in the classroom.
“Teachers are notorious for going to go to go school sick,” one person stated.
“You can put enough signage if you want but you can only put so many bodies in buildings,” said a teacher.
The district said they hoped for guidance from the state and it didn’t come. So they’re talking to other districts, medical professionals, buying thousands of masks and while the plan right now is to let students walk through the classroom doors, if they want, that could still change.
“We need to monitor cases, it may be entirely online,” said Dr. Kent Scribner, Superintendent of Fort Worth ISD.
“A lot can change between now and August 17 and the current spike can change things,” said Scribner.
The frustration was on the faces of those school leaders we could see on the virtual call and in the voices of the community we couldn’t.
“We got a lot of grace from parents, they knew we were making it up but I want as much lead time as possible to work on my lesson plans,” said one parent.
District leaders and the state are talking again on Friday about guidelines. Fort Worth ISD promises they’re listening, working, and will deliver a strong curriculum this fall online or off.