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Killeen ISD students log on for first day of school

Killeen Independent School District started the new school year online in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic Monday.

KILLEEN, Texas — Killeen Independent School District started the new school year online in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. It is one of the largest districts in the state and converting over to virtual learning in its entirety did come with some issues for families.

"I was gung ho about the virtual world and we will be homeschooling and all (that). Now, today, I am not feeling the same," KISD parent, Alycia Brown said.

Brown's sith grader could not get his app to work to get his assignments. Her second grader had issues with getting things to load. She said she tried to get through to the office all morning to try and let them know they could not log on. She said when she got through she had to fill out a "technology app" to get further information. 

Brown eventually called it quits for the day and said she would try again Tuesday. She thought it may be better to just wait for in-person classes to start up again and avoid the extra stress. 

Killeen ISD planned to return to in-person learning on September 8. Other families did not have issues for the virtual first day. Crystal Washington's grandson started Pre-Kindergarten and they did not have any issues connecting.

"He actually enjoyed it," Washington said. "We preferred to use our own technology that way we know how it works."

According to Killeen ISD, by 11 a.m., a total of 39,459 individuals logged into virtual learning platforms. According to Taina Maya with Killeen ISD, they are meeting tomorrow to evaluate the total number of students engagement.

"We are over the moon with the fact that 39,000 students by 11:30 a.m. had already engaged with their teacher. We also know there are some hiccups and there are some roadblocks and we realize that not everything is perfect, but when we look at the big picture of 46,000 students and 39,000 having a successful engagement, that is what we would say a good day for Killeen ISD," Maya said.

Maya said they received 5,087 calls, but not all are related to technical issues and can be related to situations involving the first day of school, such as schedule changes, lunch questions and password resets. Maya said if the campus lines were busy, calls would be added to their queue.

"We don't deny there were going to be some type of issues the first day of school. It's brand new for all of us and I think our parents are realizing that we're here and committed to being there and supporting them, but it is going to be a process," Maya said. 

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