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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Dallas ISD weighs hybrid model to ensure social distancing as students near return to classroom

District officials said they are investigating a hybrid model, which would split students' time between school and home, in case there's no other solution.

DALLAS — Just a few weeks from students possibly returning to the classroom, Dallas ISD is looking at a hybrid model for some schools. 

Parents have until Sept. 21 to return surveys about whether they prefer in-person or online learning for their students. 

The hybrid model would split a student’s time between the classroom and home to ensure proper social distancing in the school.

District officials said they are currently investigating the hybrid model in case there's no other solution.

"If we can’t find extra classrooms and arrange for safety and there’s no other way that we can keep students safe because of the numbers in the building and the space, then we’ll offer that,” said Jolee Healey, DISD chief of school leadership.

Some schools in the district are already sending out emails warning parents of the possibility. Mockingbird Elementary PTA sent a note to parents saying the school will implement a hybrid model.

“Based on the current state and county rules for social distancing, we will implement a hybrid model for the families that selected on campus learning,” the email said.

An email later in the day said that decision is not yet final. Dallas ISD reiterated there have not been any final decisions made district-wide.

Nathan Boucher is a parent of a Mockingbird student who's hoping for clarity very soon.

“As we sit here today on the 14th of September, we have three weeks to decide and three weeks to get this ironed out and I don’t frankly know what to tell them to expect,” Boucher said. “It’s really the uncertainty and not knowing what to expect is what’s causing the most consternation amongst our parents, teachers, and our kids.”

Healey said she expects survey results to be in by the end of this week, with final plans announced at the end of the following week.

“It could vary campus by campus,” Healey said. “There are probably hundreds of variations of things we can do. We certainly want to do the least disruptive adjustment and the one that maximizes learning for all students.”

Ultimately, Healey said, they want to ensure everyone is in a safe learning environment five days a week.

“We’re going to find what works with the space we have and then create alternatives and the hybrid model could be one of those alternatives,” Healey said.