NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — New Braunfels ISD schools are back in session.
More students chose to return to class in-person than those learning from home.
Monday marked a new school year and new experiences for students in New Braunfels.
“He's been seeing me pack his backpack and his lunch box,” said Katie Chafin, an NBISD parent. “He woke up this morning early and I'm like, ‘it's time for school.’ He knew it was for real this morning.”
Her son, Pre-K4 student Ace was excited to put on his “Monday” mask and get to class.
“He has five masks that say Monday through Friday, for each day,” said Chafin.
Along with safety precautions like the masks and students being dropped off curbside, Ace is also in a smaller class this year. There are seven 4-year-olds in his room. Chafin says it was important to have Ace back in school. Virtual learning in the spring wasn’t a good fit for their family.
“He does speech therapy and occupational therapy and then because he's in special education, it's pretty much therapy all day,” said Chafin. “He leans sign language and life skills.”
Ace is among 60% of NBISD students who opted for in-person instruction. The other 40% who are participating in remote learning have a chance at some normalcy for lunch.
The Central Kitchen is serving up a hot lunch and cold breakfast curbside on weekdays. They can handle paid, reduced or free meal accounts. Pickup at the Central Kitchen on Butcher Street is between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“Those remote learners will have that little bit of interaction with the cafeteria staff,” said NBISD Spokesperson Rebecca Villarreal. “I know they were excited about being able to serve the meals and provide them for remote learners as well.”
At the High School, the volleyball team showed teachers some love by making sure staff members were prepared with plenty of masks, wipes and sanitizer.
“Our athletes, they always do a great job of taking care of not only our own staff, but also finding community efforts to support,” said Villarreal. “This year they decided to do a collection drive to give the teachers some extra supplies.”
NBISD reminds the community that school zones are back in effect and that they’re hiring. Current employees get a shoutout for their handwork in preparing for a very different first day.
“This year, of course, [they] have extra challenges and they're just doing an amazing job,” said Villarreal.
The district is keeping an eye out for technology hiccups, especially Zoom glitches.
“Our network is running a strong, everyone have the equipment they need and the training materials they need,” said Villarreal. “We're just hoping everybody gets logged on and start learning.”
Villarreal says other than the potential for bus delays due to a driver shortage, the Unicorns had a great first day.
“Start healthy, finish strong,” she said.