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'It's been a tightrope walk': Fort Bend ISD begins to phase in on-campus learning

After months preparing, pre-K and kindergarten students were the first to return to campuses Monday morning.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Fort Bend ISD’s littlest learners returned to school campuses Monday for the first time since March.

Photos shared by multiple schools showed social distancing measures in place along with mandatory masking and other COVID-19 protocols.

“I know staff have spent months and months preparing for today,” said FBISD superintendent, Dr. Charles Dupre.

FBISD is one of the last major Houston-area districts to implement in-person instruction, with the exception of HISD.

"What was purposeful is that we wanted to execute well,” said Dupre.

FBISD will phase in other grades over the next two weeks.

   

Dupre said beginning with pre-K and kindergarten students gives them more time to get into the rhythm of school and adapt to COVID-related rules.

Having all grades return at once might make obeying rules logistically impossible, especially during arrival and dismissal.

40% of the district’s more than 75,000 students chose in-person classes while the majority continue to learn online.

"It’s been a tightrope walk in many ways trying to manage our staff and our community during this difficult time,” said Dupre.

Dupre said more shifting is likely because teachers are continually asking for accommodations to work from home.

That potentially leaves classroom vacancies.

Meanwhile, like in other districts, families can track self-reported COVID cases among students and staff via an online dashboard.

The pandemic is a situation seemingly under control at this point.

"Everything is working as planned and going very smoothly,” said Dupre.