Are Amarillo ISD schools closing again? The short and long answer from the district


AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — After receiving several questions regarding whether their schools will remain open, Amarillo ISD posted a video with their response.

In the video, AISD Communications Director, Holly Shelton, states “The short answer is no, Amarillo ISD has no plans to close schools at this time.”

However, later in the video, they do give a lengthier response.

Shelton later stated, “Our superintendent and school board don’t have the authority to close schools for more than a few days. Anything longer than that has to come from a combination of other state and local authorities, making the decision, based on a number of factors.”

As for some parents with children enrolled at AISD, they said their students do better while in-person classes, but are still concerned about COVID-19.

Hester Harrold, mother of an AISD student, stated “I just keep wanting to pull them out and keep them at home, but then I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t know what the solution is, because it’s hard on the kids and it’s hard on the parents that have to work.”

In AISD’s video, Shelton said the vast majority, being about 85% of AISD families, have decided to send their children to school in person.

While this is true, parents still voice their concerns about COVID.

Harrold continued, “I have mixed emotions, because the numbers are so high. And you know, more and more kids are getting sick and the students are getting sick. My biggest frustration is they’re still doing sports and they’re still doing all these things that are important for the kids, but our numbers are so high.”

Many agreeing that their child performs better in an in-person classroom setting.

When speaking about his granddaughter, Tony Naples, grandfather of an AISD student, explained “I think as far as her learning, she does a lot better coming to school and being in the situation like that. Last year, when they released them, what, two months early, she really struggled with the online. It was a learning experience for everybody.”

Also in the video, AISD states that they are continuing to work closely with Amarillo Public Health Officials and will rely on their medical expertise and authority, if decisions need to be made around the closure of schools.

An AISD spokesperson stated, “We have been working district-wide to get to the point where should a shutdown happen again, we are ready to deliver quality virtual instruction for our students. This includes providing every student with a device, ensuring every student has broadband internet access and that all students and teachers understand how to use the online learning tools.”

Video Courtesy: Amarillo ISD

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