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Austin school moves to virtual classes during coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus is impacting the way Austin students learn.

AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin school is moving forward with the school year virtually. Teachers at the International School of Texas are moving all their classes online due to the coronavirus.

According to the Head of School, Tim Reilly, classes will be online for children as young as two years old all the way through middle school. It’s called distance-learning. The plan is for them to virtually connect with their teachers once or twice a week.

You can imagine each age group will have to learn differently. The middle schoolers will have two live classes a day via Zoom or Google’s G suites, while early childhood through elementary school will meet via an app called Seesaw.

Reilly told KVUE school leaders are trying to make the best out of this tough situation.

“Really just to make sure that there’s no blip in their progress because we want to make sure students are continuing on their educational journey," said Reilly. "You only have one chance to be in third grade or fourth grade and fifth grade, we really want to make the most of it."

“I’m impressed and I’m grateful they were able to put together a plan and implement it so quickly,” said Heather Bernard, a parent of two boys at the school.


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It’s not all hard work. The students will even have recess virtually, where they can spend some time chatting with their friends online.

“You know, isolation is a real thing, especially with what we all are going through right now, so it’s really, really important no matter what school you’re at or what situation you’re in for children to be able to talk and see their friends,” she said.

The school is also planning to hold virtual assemblies to keep the school spirit up.

Right now, the plan is for students to go back to regular classes the first week of April, but school leaders recognize that could change. They’re prepared to continue this through the end of the school year if they have to.

Reilly added the point that this is not to recreate an entire school day but to ensure students continue to make progress in their education.

WATCH: COVID-19 and Central Texas schools: What happens next?


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