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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – With the first six weeks in the books, students adjusted well to COVID-19 in the classroom, according to school officials and parents.
“We wanted our kids to get to experience all the ups and downs of life as a Bobcat,” said parent Allison Taylor, whose kids have attended Childress High School for the full six weeks. “They have adjusted well to the new requirements and are taking it day by day.”
Because her children, Kate and Seth, are social and love being with their friends at school, Taylor said going to school was a better option than doing virtual.
“As a family, we decided we didn’t want to put our life on hold,” she explained. “They (Kate and Seth) love their teachers and coaches and are learning so much.”
Sports also played a role in attending school instead of doing virtual learning, Taylor added.
“They have looked up to so many Bobcats over the years and have anxiously waited for their turn,” she said. “This fall, Seth is playing varsity football and Kate is preparing for basketball and spring track.”
Lauren Davis chose to start the year online for her kids. When she made this decision there were more than 20 active COVID-19 cases in Childress.
“The main factor was my pregnancy,” she said. “I was due three weeks into the school year, and we felt the importance of a healthy household to greet our new child was of utmost importance.”
While her kids were part of the decision-making process and understanding, she said they would have rather been at school with their friends.
“We all realized the sacrifices that would be made, including sports and spending time with their friends,” Davis said. “As the year got underway, we realized how hard virtual learning was. We found that you have to be very self-motivated and willing to dig in and learn some things for yourself.”
Once the baby was born, CISD gave her kids the opportunity to come back to school at the three-week mark.
“The kids are so excited to be back in school,” Davis said. “Thank you, teachers, for all the hard work running the online classrooms. I know it is very stressful, but we appreciate you so much.”
CISD Superintendent Carl Taylor said he and his staff are glad they have made it through the first six weeks. Ninety percent of students attended school.
“Our kids and teachers are happy to be working together,” Taylor said. “We hope the public health continues to remain in good standing, so we can continue to have school in-person and interact with our students.”
Memphis ISD Superintendent William Alexander agreed.
“We need the kids in class,” he said. “That is where they get the best bang for their buck.”
While Memphis ISD started out with 65 percent participating in virtual learning, the number is down to 27 percent. Alexander credits the constant cleaning the staff does in classrooms, buses, the field house and weight room.
“I think they (parents) realized how much cleaning and disinfecting we’re doing throughout the day,” Alexander said. “If there is a germ alive, I don’t know how.”
Alexander added that the kids are responding well. “Our football team is 3-1. We’re winning, and we’re happy.”
Shauna Salinas has two sons at Wellington Junior High. TJ is an eighth grader and Dahmian is a sixth grader.
“We chose online learning for our boys because Dahmian has asthma,” Salinas said. “We wanted to see how the beginning of the school year would go as far as COVID-19.”
After four weeks of doing online learning, her kids went back to school. She said their friends and teachers wanted them to come back.
“They love it,” Shauna said. “They are so excited to be back in school.”