CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Students across the coastal bend continue to return to the classroom as more schools opened their doors for in-person learning. The School of Science and Technology-Bayshore welcomed back students Sept. 21.
"It was nice to have the kids come back, it's been a very long time," said Kathryn Trojanowski, a first grade teacher at the school.
It had been six months since the staff saw kids in the classroom. SST started the 2020-2021 school year online in August like many other districts in the coastal bend.
"One of the strategies we came up with was just to wait for the other ISD's to start the school and then come up on board maybe a week or two after so we have that experience," said Mehmet Guruz, the principal at the school.
The public charter school took a bit longer, however, to allow students to return for in-person learning compared to other districts. Principal Guruz said the additional time allowed them to construct the safest plan possible for their students.
"Everyone got a face mask, we have disposable masks in case they forgot one at home. We have good social distancing practicing in our classrooms, in our hallways, in our restrooms. We have all the signage and warning measures for our students," said Guruz.
The new plan includes no physical education activities, lunch in the classrooms instead of the cafeteria, and extra sanitation for more visited areas like restrooms.
"Instead of doing a select pool, we actually asked the parents 'what do you feel comfortable, what do you want to do,' and those are the kids that we brought back on campus," said Dominique Janeway, the assistant principal of the school.
The school allowed a limited number of pre-kindergarten through second grade students to return on Sept. 21, and received an overwhelming amount of parents who wanted their kids to go back.
The school is taking each step week-by-week, Guruz said they want to monitor the situation closely as they continue to accept students back in phases. The school is following guidelines from the TEA and will continue to follow-up with parents in surveys every four weeks.
"I would love to say that this is the corect or right answer for your family, but with everything going on in this time, there is no correct answer," said Janeway.