Parents Can Drop Children Off At Austin Schools To Do Their Work While Virtual Learning Is In Effect


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Children in Austin will be able to complete their work inside a school building when the academic year starts under the care of the YMCA while virtual learning is in effect, KXAN reported.

The Austin Independent School District suspended in-person education and will instead implement virtual learning for the first three weeks of the school year, which has left many working parents scrambling to find childcare during the day. For $195 per week, children would be placed in classrooms of about 10 students, according to KXAN.

The initiative is an extension of the YMCA’s summer program, and will include temperature screening every morning and classroom cleanings every hour. Masks are expected to be worn whenever possible. 

FORT WORTH - APRIL 30: Fort Worth Independent School District custodian Necie Homer wipes down a classroom with disinfectant in an effort to stop the spread of the swine flu virus at Arlington Heights High School on April 30, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. FWISD officials closed all schools in Fort Worth late on April 29 in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

FORT WORTH – APRIL 30: Fort Worth Independent School District custodian Necie Homer wipes down a classroom with disinfectant in an effort to stop the spread of the swine flu virus at Arlington Heights High School on April 30, 2009 in Fort Worth, Texas. FWISD officials closed all schools in Fort Worth late on April 29 in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“After 20 weeks doing COVID-safe programming, we’ve gotten pretty used to all of the precautions. Kids have been very safe and we’ve had very few symptoms,” Dr. Joan Altobelli, the vice president of licensed childcare for the YMCA of Austin, told KXAN.

The program is only available to kids aged 4 to 12 and is available at 10 different locations, many of them elementary schools.

Union leaders in Austin have requested hazard pay for teachers who return to classrooms and called threats to defund districts that don’t reopen for in-person learning blackmail, according to Fox 7.

They also said guidelines set by the Texas Education Agency and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott are racist, because these policies force minority groups, who are heavily impacted by the virus, to return to school. (RELATED: Teacher’s Union Supports Strikes If Schools Reopen Without Safety Measures)

While local health authorities may possess some authority to close schools in limited circumstances, they may not issue blanket orders closing all schools on a purely preventative basis.

That decision rightfully remains with school system leaders. https://t.co/jYI6qZRY57

— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) July 28, 2020

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton authorized officials at both public and private schools to decide when and how to open schools in a letter Tuesday, according to CBSN.

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