CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Tuloso-Midway Independent School District (TMISD) sent a letter to parents Tuesday informing them the district would return to full in-person learning April 26.
The letter cites a decline in COVID-19 cases and rise of vaccinations, as well as a concern for the negative educational impact of remote learning, as reasons for the board of trustees' decision.
The release, signed by TMISD superintendent Rick Fernandez, states that a campus appeals process is in place to address cases of "extenuating, high-risk, health situation(s) that are supported by medical certification and verified by TMISD staff."
TMISD parents are not happy with the district's decision to return to in-person learning.
Some parents said they now have to make changes to their plans after having prepared their children to learn virtually all year. That requires things such as purchasing school supplies, and even having to figure out where to drop their kids off at school, as some have never been inside the campus they would be learning in.
The parents who spoke to KRIS 6 News asked to remain unidentified, fearing retaliation against their children.
“It just is a whole whirlwind for people that are already at-home learning, and now they’re stating, ‘You need a medical reason,’ " said one parent. "I totally get sending kids back at the beginning of the year, but what’s the point of the last five weeks?”
Another parent also said the timing doesn't make sense.
“Honestly, I feel like there’s no point," they said. "I mean, five weeks left of school. By the time they do get into school, it’s ridiculous. I may be able to get that form signed, to keep them home. But, I’m livid, not just for myself, for other parents as well that have to deal with this.”
One parent said they will send their child back to school, even though they prefer to remain learning virtually.
“The only reason I’m not going to fight it is because we are out-of-district, so I don’t want them to have any excuse as to why we wouldn’t be able to come back next year,” they said.
In the memo, Fernandez said that the district will be abiding by CDC guidelines, and that the decision had to do with the concerns about the effect distance learning has had on students in the district.
"Our team understands that some families may be concerned about returning to on-campus instruction, but please be aware that we will continue to maintain our enhanced sanitation and safety protocols that have been proven successful thus far," the letter states.
KRIS 6 News reached out to the district for comment on parents' concerns, but as of the posting of this article, no comment has been received.
KRIS 6 News digital content producer Ryan Garza contributed to this story.