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San Marcos Consolidated ISD students are expected to return to their respective campuses, unless already medically exempt, beginning April 12. Daily Record file photo

San Marcos CISD students expected back to in-person learning by mid-April

Thursday, April 1, 2021

San Marcos Consolidated ISD students are expected to return to their respective campuses, unless already medically exempt, beginning April 12. 

SMCISD made the announcement in a letter to families Thursday. The district said it will maintain its COVID-19 protocols, including social and physical distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and sanitizing all areas of its schools. SMCISD will provide additional dividers and face covering at all of its campuses. 

“Our main goal is to bring students back really just to check on them mentally, socially, academically, and also to prepare for next year,” said Andrew Fernandez, SMCISD Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations. “We know students are going to be back on our campuses come August. With our staff being vaccinated, our safety protocols working throughout this school year, we’ve seen only four cases over the last three weeks so that’s significantly lower than how we began this year.

“We’re extremely proud of how our students and staff have managed this school year and we just feel this is the next step in preparation to getting our students back on our campuses,” Fernandez added. 

The district has been operating at approximately 65% capacity following a remote-learning period after the winter holiday break. SMCISD has not operated at 100% capacity since March 13, 2020.

Additionally, SMCISD said it will have 800 of its staff members fully vaccinated to protect them from COVID-19 by April 9. The district said all of its employees have been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated. 

The final day for live remote learning will be Friday, April 9. 

The decision comes as COVID-19 cases have decreased across Hays County, San Marcos and within the district. Hays County currently has 400 active COVID-19 cases, while San Marcos has 152 and SMCISD tallied two student cases from the week of March 22. 

“The safety of our students and our staff is going to continue to be our number one priority,” Fernandez said. “That’s why the safety protocols that we implemented in August are going to be the same protocols that we will continue to implement when all students return April 12. We will provide face coverings. We will provide dividers for students to use throughout our SMCISD campuses. And we understand that this may cause some anxiety for families but we can assure all safety protocols will continue to be implemented throughout this school year.”

The district said any student who must isolate will receive asynchronous instruction via its CANVAS platforms. Teachers will continue to upload lessons and videos for those needing asynchronous instruction, SMCISD said, adding that teachers will not provide simultaneous instruction to in person and remote learners.

Campus principals at campuses undergoing construction will send additional information regarding drop-off and pick-up procedures. 

SMCISD said in its letter that it “highly recommends” families provide their own transportation to and from school. 

Families who need to sign their students up for transportation can use the following link: https://forms.gle/xYp6RrwKeiWHn85v5. This will guarantee bus services by April 12.

Fernandez said SMCISD’s goal is to bring students back to provide them with academic and social resources.

“The pandemic has been really hard for a lot of people,” Fernandez said. “We feel we’re stronger in numbers. We’re stronger together. We’ve shown that we can create a safe place for our students to learn. We want our families to be able to send their students to school and feel safe about it because we have implemented such strict safety protocols.” 

This story has been updated since its first publication. 

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666