LUBBOCK, Texas — On Tuesday, Slaton ISD announced Slaton High School would implement virtual instruction beginning Sept. 9 until Sept. 22. Students will return to a blended instruction model on Sept. 23. The decision comes after an increase in coronavirus cases.
Superintendent of Slaton ISD Jim Andrus said it was in the best interest of students, staff and the community’s safety to implement virtual instruction.
“We’ve had to come to the difficult decision of going all virtual at our high school,” Andrus said.
Andrus said there were an increase in cases amongst two groups.
“We’ve watched it jump a couple of lines if you will, and decided that it’s time to quarantine some… a couple of groups of students because that’s where we’ve seen more cases than anything else. And we have enough teachers in this quarantine that we really can’t effectively hold school,” Andrus said.
Slaton High school returned to classes on August 19. Andrus said they have prepared over the summer for this very situation.
“We went over a lot of staff development to make sure that our teachers are good with Google classroom and that we have a good virtual option for each of our classes,” Andrus said.
Slaton High is the only school in the district going virtual. Slaton Junior High, Cathelene Thomas Elementary, and Stephen F. Austin Primary are continuing their usual instruction.
“We’re very grateful we have seperate campuses,” Andrus said.
Extracurricular activities are also being suspended.
“It’s hard. I mean it’s frustrating but you know our motto this year is respond to adversity and this is one thing that we don’t have control over,” Lawrence Johnson, athletic director and head football coach at Slaton High said.
Following the class motto, Johnson said it may be a blessing in disguise, providing him with the opportunity to watch film and work with players individually.
“Change up our workouts, non-body weight stuff so it definitely makes us more creative and innovative,” Johnson said.
So while it may be difficult, Superintendent Andrus said he is thankful for the support.
“It can be discouraging at times and it can be frustrating and so it’s been a huge number of support from our community. We’re grateful for that,” Andrus said.
Slaton ISD will provide students lunch five days a week while in virtual instruction to those who need it.