Austin ISD getting ready for in-person learning Monday

Cover Image
Photo credit Dreamstime

AUSTIN ( -- Despite objections from some Austin ISD employees, the district is moving forward with plans to begin in-person learning on Monday, October 5.

Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde provided board members an update on the district's plans during Monday night's board meeting.

"First and foremost, we care about all of our employees," Elizalde said. "I care about all of our employees. Teachers are the heart of our work and we also depend on support staff like counselors and custodians and our food service and our bus drivers and our maintenance employees, plumbers, electricians, groundskeepers, principals, assistant principals. The list goes on. All of our employees surely have concerns during this pandemic."

Education Austin, the district's teacher union, held a rally last Saturday to bring their concerns to district leaders.

"The reality is TEA does not provide for any option that allows 100% virtual instruction," Elizalde said in response to the concerns from the union members. "That is not available to us. In addition, parents will have a choice. We will continue to offer virtual instruction to any parent who so desires. This pandemic is very difficult for everyone."

Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott weighed in on the district's re-opening plans during the meeting. He emphasized the importance of following safety precautions.

"Masking and the distancing, the hand hygiene, the hand sanitizer, the hand washing and the constant reinforcement for the students is really doing a great job at limiting the spread within the school system," Escott said.