Premont kicks off 'in-person' summer school amid pandemic

Posted at 3:39 PM, Jun 02, 2020

An area school district is welcoming its students back for the first time since schools were shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Monday was the first day of summer school for the Premont Independent School District.

Although Superintendent Steve VanMatre says it was a rough start, the district is moving forward with bringing back in about 110 summer school students who need the extra class time.

“The rain, it poured and rained,” said VanMatre. “We had classrooms that were flooding and we had routes that were a little off schedule.”

Some of the students starting summer school are the ones who missed out on material learned during the stay-at-home period during the pandemic.

“That entails grade level promotion, credit recovery, establishing UIL eligibility, and our special needs kids,” said VanMatre.

However, amid the continued concern for the spread of Covid 19, VanMatre says they’ve taken extra steps to help keep their students and staff healthy.

“They’re separated, they have masks on, the desk are 6-feet apart, and there’s no congregating to line them up and take them to the restroom,” said VanMatre.

Student are only allowed in the bathroom one at a time, and lunches are served in the classrooms where each student eats at their desk.

But, what if someone happens to test positive for the novel virus while school is still in session?

“We shut it down, we’re not taking any chances,” said VanMatre.

He says even though it is their goal to catch these students up on their learning, their health and safety has to come first.

“These are children, we’ve made the decision that we think its safe, now we have to back that up,” said VanMatre.

There are parents of students not attending summer school asking if they can come back, according to VanMatre. So now the district is looking into even bumping up their summer enrollment numbers.

“How can we increase our enrollment and still maintain safety and if we can do that, then we’ll let them come because we want them here,” he said.