SAN ANTONIO — As the country continues to deal with a third wave of COVID-19 infections, a return to in-person learning is arriving with a mix of anxiety and hope for many students and parents.
Here in San Antonio, some teachers are leaving the classroom and hitting the sidewalk in an effort to dissuade those fears and get kids back to class.
San Antonio ISD is offering remote learning on a case-by-case basis. But the district's funding is based on the number of children physically in classrooms, making the district's persuasion campaign critical.
With COVID-19 numbers rising, young children not yet eligible for the vaccine and reports of more young people becoming seriously ill with the coronavirus, parents are once again questioning in-person learning policies. Ninety-seven percent of SAISD's 46,000 students are from families of color, a population which has been hit hard by the pandemic, which is why many parents are reluctant.
SAISD administrators say their priority is building trust.
"As cases are rising, if we have that trust of the families, if we have that relationship, we will eventually bring them in," Superintendent Pedro Martinez said.
Martinez added that, overall, students who engaged in virtual learning last year suffered a drop in academic performance.