WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — In a few short days, the Wichita Falls Independent School District will eagerly welcome back students to all campuses.
“The best part is on Thursday when those kids come to school and they get to meet their teacher in their classroom and start learning again, that’s going to be awesome, WFISD Associate Superintendent Dr. Peter Griffiths said.
After last school year was filled with uncertainty, online hurdles, and countless first-time problems, Griffiths anticipates the school district to be ready for anything that’s thrown their way.
“We have vaccine clinics, we’re doing testing on campuses, so people and kids should feel okay to come to school,” Griffiths said.
Even with Governor Abbott and the Texas Education Agency preventing school districts from implementing mask rules, Griffiths says you’ll still see students, teachers and even administrators still opting to stay masked up.
“Mostly it’s awareness and your own comfort level, right now, we’re 100-percent, everyone coming back. However, the school year starts, whatever precautions you feel like are necessary to get you in school, to get you learning, then take those precautions,” Griffiths said.
And although the school district won’t be contact tracing, the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Health District will.
“If we have a child in a classroom that test positive, we will still be looking at the same things as last year, whether or not those students were wearing a mask, who those students were sitting closest to and we’ll still be quarantining based on that information,” Director of Health Lou Kreidler said.
Kreidler says they’ll continue operating the same as last year so for Griffiths and the WFISD, whose attendance policies will return to pre-pandemic, which means doctors notes are required keeping students in the classroom is that much more important.
“There will be natural consequences of kids being in and out for all of this, and if they get to the point where they can’t risk their kid being out 10 days because of a close contact, if I go and get them vaccinated, then that is gone,” Griffiths said.
But that’s the key if you are a vaccinated student, you will not have to quarantine due to close contact.
“It’s the surest way to make sure your child is in school and doesn’t have to quarantine,” Griffiths said.
Soon, classrooms will be full once again and the WFISD is ready.
The first day of school is coming up Thursday, August 12.