CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — CCISD trustees approved added measures to try to keep kids safe as more students return to the classroom for in-person learning next week.
The board members responding to reports that maintaining a social distance of at least six feet may not be possible in some cases.
On Monday, they were back in the board room after months of meetings were conducted online due to COVID-19 safety measures.
"I want to welcome everybody back to the boardroom it’s nice to see everybody we don't look quite the same, but we are still here, which is great," said CCISD school board president Janie Bell.
The board had faced some criticism that they were still conducting meeting from the safety of home while students were already back in school.
Meanwhile, the district is gearing up for its Phase Three plan on bringing the last of the students, who want to return to in person learning, back to the classroom.
"The past several weeks have been going really well. We've made adjustments where we needed to make adjustments. We are being careful, we are continuing with all of our mask wearing and shield wearing," said CCISD Superintendent Dr. Roland Hernandez.
With more students expected, comes an additional layer of protection.
The board green lit a plan during Monday's meeting to spend $250,000 that will go towards buying partitions to place around the desks of students.
"All other students will continue virtual learning and as a reminder when we do go back to 100 percent, virtual learning continues to be an option," said Dr. Hernandez.
While CCISD schools have a 6-foot distance requirement between desks in the classroom, as more students return, the added partitions could allow them to reduce that distance requirement to 4 feet.
However, Dr. Chris Bird who is a member of the local COVID-19 task force tells 3News that relaxed restrictions on social distancing could lead to another surge.
"Six feet isn't far enough given what we know about COVID and how its transmitted," Dr. Bird said. CCISD has said "maintaining a distance of 6 feet might not be possible when higher numbers of students must be accommodated.
"According to the CDC when maintaining 6 feet is not feasible in the classroom, schools can consider additional strategies like installing physical barriers. The district is also looking into added partitions for teachers as well.