By Charlotte Aguilar
Hundreds of West University and Bellaire students in Houston ISD schools are returning to their classrooms Monday morning (Oct. 19) for the first time since they left for spring break in March and couldn’t go back because of the explosion of COVID-19 in Houston.
They’ll be dropped off wearing masks and will find their campuses much different places — full of new procedures, signs, and restrictions.
Each campus will have a different set of circumstances based on how many families opted to return to in-person learning. Virtual instruction is also still available for those who didn’t feel safe or who enjoyed the online model.
Bellaire High School reported a 95 percent response rate to the family survey and expects to have about 17 percent, or 531, of its 3,211 students back on campus, with the remaining 2,680 learning offsite. At Lamar HS, administrators were anticipating about a 45 percent return rate, or about 1,300 students. West University ES reported that about 73 percent of youngsters will be back face-to-face — or mask-to-mask — with teachers.
Procedures will vary by school, but in addition to the mask-wearing include social distancing reminders on walls and floors and reconfigured classrooms, handwashing and hand sanitizer stations, cleaning practices, and tight restrictions on arrivals and departures, use of bathrooms, and campus visitors. Only those doing business on campus will be permitted — no parents.
Teachers returned to classrooms last week.