The superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District says teachers and other employees will be trained for updated safety protocols by the time the school year begins September 8. Fort Worth ISD will begin with only online education for at least the first four weeks. Only students with special education needs will be able to attend in person.
Superintendent Kent Scribner and several school board members led an online town hall meeting Tuesday night for parents to ask questions.
"It's important to know the fall version of online learning for the first four weeks will certainly be extremely different than what took place in the spring," Scribner says. "You'll remember, and we all know, in the spring, we all pivoted within a week or two and made a system work that none of us expected."
Scribner says he met with principals last week to talk about safety protocols.
"We have to respectfully hold each other accountable, wearing face coverings, social distancing, washing hands, keeping our environments clean and sanitized," he says.
Teachers in their first or second year in Fort Worth ISD will have in person training the last full week of August. Scribner says second year teachers are included because their first year with the district was cut short. Returning teachers can get in-person support if they have questions about learning.
"It's going to be incumbent upon our teachers to really work in the first few days on connection," he says. "We all know students are less interested in content and more interested in connection. They will not engage in content unless there is a connection with the teacher."
Scribner said he would like the rate of positive tests in Tarrant County to dip below ten percent before in-person learning resumes. Tuesday, he said the positivity rate in Tarrant County was between 11 and 12 percent. Statewide, the positivity rate for the previous seven days hit a record of 23.92% in the most recent report Monday.
A separate town hall for teachers and employees in Fort Worth ISD is scheduled next week.