CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A public health order only allows Nueces County school districts to hold virtual classes until Sept. 7, but registration data at Corpus Christi ISD indicates the majority of the district's students will remain online-only long after that date.
"I personally don’t want to send my grandkids to school, because you just don’t know the outcome," said CCISD grandmother "Laura." "You don’t know what’s out there. You don’t know if the schools are going to be safe enough for them."
CCISD plans to open campuses in some capacity Sept. 8, in accordance with Texas Education Agency's Commissioner Mike Moranth's orders that schools must open for in-person instruction. How big of a reopening, and how many students will choose to return to the classroom, is yet to be determined.
“We’ll see how the (COVID-19 case) numbers are looking and see what our enrollment is looking like," said CCISD Director of Communication Leanne Libby said. "We'll see who wants to be online and who wants to be in person, and we’ll have a little more (information) on that as we get closer to the date.”
Current enrollment numbers indicate well over half of all students have chosen to spend the entire school year out of the classroom, and studying online instead.
Libby said 26,000 students are registered with CCISD so far. Of them, 15,000 said they only wanted to attend online classes.
There is an unknown for the district: unregistered students' learning preferences. CCISD enrollment carries over from year to year until a parent withdraws their student, but parents must re-register their student every school year. CCISD is waiting for many of last year's students to register this year. Until then, those students' preferred learning methods are a variable.
Libby is hopeful more will register.
"That really helps us plan for when we do open our buildings; we will be able to know how many students to expect,” she said.
"Laura" isn't ruling out a return to the classroom for her grandchildren, but she's not in a rush to make a decision for the whole year.
“I’m going to wait and see what happens between now and then," she said. "And if everything’s OK, they give the green light, then that’s great. But until then I’m just going to wait it out and see what happens."