Small North Texas School Districts Return to In-Person Instruction

Credit: Keene ISD Facebook Photo

KEENE (WBAP/KLIF)- About 80% of students at Keene ISD returned to in person learning Tuesday.

Keene ISD Superintendent Ricky Stephens says kids were so excited to be back. “It was a great morning to see our kid’s faces again, we had kids as early as 5:45am waiting outside for school to start,” said Stephens. “In the 29 years of being in schools I’ve never seen kids as excited to get back to school as these kids were today,” he said.

Stephens said the district is small enough for students to be spaced out in classrooms. He said each classroom has been heavily sanitized and students must wear a mask when changing classes. “The older students are wearing the masks more frequently but when spread out in classes and remain seated, it’s up to the teachers to decide for a ‘mask break’,” said Stephens.

“There was one of our kindergartners walking with her mom in the hallway and I hear her from behind me saying ‘momma momma, can you see me smiling under this mask?’,” he said.

Keene ISD has 1,101 and 89 teachers. “Talking to our local health experts and looking at the number of cases in our city and county, we weighed the negatives of students coming back and negatives of students staying home struggling with anxiety, depression and nutritional needs and we wanted to meet those needs for our kids,” he said.

The other 20% of students are staying home and doing online learning. He said the teachers are committed to connect with those students who are staying home.

Godley ISD and Dublin ISD also had students return to campus Tuesday.

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