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Marble Falls ISD superintendent asks parents capable of choosing remote instruction to do so initially

Dr. Chris Allen made the request to give the district "some time to see what the numbers do in the county."

MARBLE FALLS, Texas — Before finalizing its plan for the 2020-2021 school year, Marble Falls ISD on Monday began allowing parents to select whether they want their children to partake in in-person or remote instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Marble Falls ISD Superintendent Dr. Chris Allen has requested parents who are capable of choosing remote learning to do so initially.

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"That would give our staff a little bit of comfort in knowing that they'll have some time with lower numbers to implement these new safety protocols and get them right where they need to be before we launch into the remainder of the school year," Allen said.

The choice wouldn't be permanent, he explained. Students will be able to move from remote instruction to in-person instruction after about a week-and-a-half at the four-week mark and at the nine-week mark of the school year.

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"Give us some time to see what the numbers do in the county. Give us some time to get school completely ramped up. And then let's bring those kids back in and let's have the best school year we can," he said.

In-person instruction will still be offered to everyone but especially to students whose parents can't work remotely, don't have access to an internet connection or need the meals provided during a regular school day.

"If that's you, we're here for you and we want you to send your students. We're going to provide the safest environment we possibly can for your kiddos, and we look forward to Aug. 19 and bringing them in," Allen said.

Schools in Travis County will not have in-person instruction until at least Sept. 8, according to an order issued by Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott on July 14.

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But Allen said his district, which is in Burnet County, is not ready to make that decision.

"We don't feel comfortable doing that just yet, but we do recognize the challenge in providing in-person instruction with all these new safety and cleaning protocols. And so we're relying on our community to help us do this well," Allen said.

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