AUSTIN (KXAN) – After recommending parents a move to virtual learning for almost two weeks, the Austin Independent School District plans to welcome students back to campuses on Monday, January 25.
In a letter to Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde’s parents, the district said the decision was made “because of the improvements we are seeing on our campuses and in our community”. The district also consulted the Austin-Travis County Provisional Health Authority, Dr. Mark Escott, on the matter.
The district reports that there has been a 35% reduction in daily positive cases in schools since the first week after winter break. A 28% reduction in the cumulative number of weekly cases since the first week after winter break was also a factor on which Austin ISD based its decision.
At the moment, AISD said it has a positivity rate of 4.01%, which is a drop of 43% compared to before and shortly after winter holidays. The district reports for Austin and Travis County as a whole also saw decreases in the positivity rate.
Leaders want to remind parents that returning to campus is not mandatory. Distance learning will still be offered for the rest of the school year, the letter said.
Families who have already selected virtual learning can contact their children’s campus if they wish to start face-to-face classes. This gives the campuses time to prepare for more students.