Denison schools are adjusting to distance learning as COVID-19 continues to spread across the region.
Denison Independent Superintendent Henry Scott said the district has already canceled its March school board meeting as a result of the ongoing health crisis.
“It is not the same as being in school but it is the best we can do at this point in time," Scott said. "We had a few things we had to work through, we had to get some devices out to households that do not have availability of internet at their homes. The majority have internet connectivity. The secondary instruction is all online. For the elementary it is packets the parents get so they can work from home with their kids.”
Scott said things are running smoother than he expected. He said at first he was worried there would be more households without access to the necessary technology but as it turns out, he said that wasn’t the case. The district did provide a few WIFI hotspots for some families and ensure every student has access to a computer to perform the work.
He said there is going to be a meeting with other Grayson County school superintendents next week to reassess the situation. He said he isn’t expecting the schools will reopen on April 6 as previously planned.
As of right now all campuses are closed. All students are learning from home. Only essential staff necessary to maintain the school district, including administration and custodians, are working. Scott said all staff will continue to be paid.
The district has been offering meals to its students since the campuses first closed. Scott said the district started out providing a few hundred meals a day to over 2,000 meals on Tuesday.
“We will continue our food service,” Scott said. “We are requiring people to stay in their car and not make contact with the food service or the people passing out the lunches. We feel it is an essential service we need to provide for our students.”
Scott said even with the recent news of two COVID-19 cases reported in the city things are operating the same for the district. He said the only thing that matters right now is keeping everyone safe and to do that means limiting the spread.
Even during the heard times Scott said it is important for parents to remind their children to get outside.
“We need to encourage kids to get outdoors, they don’t need to be in groups of people but it is healthy for them to maintain exercise routines and be a kid during this time. That is a given, they need physical activity. We have lots of parks. I would encourage people not to congregate, to keep their distance but go outside.”
One difficult area is getting kids access to libraries. Scott said the district is not allowing students into any of its libraries. However he said they are providing a number of online programs that give students access to the materials they need to succeed.
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