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San Marcos CISD Says It Expects Students To Return To Campus This Month

People wait outside San Marcos High School during a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
Gabriel C. Pérez
People wait in line to get vaccinated against COVID-19, at San Marcos High School in February.

More than a year into the pandemic, San Marcos CISD is asking all students without medical exemptions to return to in-person learning beginning April 12.

The district will handle special circumstances on a "case by case, as we have done all year long," Andrew Fernandez, executive director of communications, said.

"But we strongly feel that students need to come back to campus so that we can check on them before we lose them for another three months as we go into summer vacation," Fernandez said. "We want to talk to them. We want to see them. We want to understand where they're at socially, where they're where they are at emotionally, and where they are where they're at academically. So we can start filling those gaps in all three of those categories."

New coronavirus cases in the county have continued to decrease as more and more people get vaccinated. According to the district, more than 800 staff members will have received a coronavirus vaccine by next Friday.

Students who choose not to return to campus will learn asynchronously, meaning their teachers will upload lessons and videos but will not provide live instruction.

"With our staff being vaccinated, our safety protocols working throughout the school year ... we just feel this is the next step in preparation to get our students back on our campuses," Fernandez said. "We understand that this may cause some anxiety for families, but we can assure that all safety protocols will continue to be implemented throughout the school year."

Juan Miguel Arredondo, a school board trustee, wrote on social media that he was "surprised" to learn live remote learning was ending.

He said he agreed students need to be back in school. "However," he wrote, "I, like many of you, believe that it is too soon to fully reopen our schools. Unfortunately, that opinion is in the minority on our school board."

Arredondo encouraged people to reach out to other school board members with their concerns.

The next school board meeting is Monday at noon.

Got a tip? Email Riane Roldan at Follow her on Twitter @RianeRoldan.

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Riane Roldan is the Hays County reporter for KUT, focusing on the costs and benefits of suburban growth. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @RianeRoldan.
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