Roughly 70% of the Terrell High students who were failing a course after the first nine weeks come from students who are attending school virtually from home, schools Supt. Georgeanne Warnock reported to the school board on Monday.

“That is showing us that it (at home instruction) is not the most effective mode of learning for all students,” Warnock told the board. “Some students are being very successful with that, but we did have a disproportionate amount failures at the first nine weeks related to our at-home learners.”

Some districts, she noted, are ending virtual learning and requiring all students to return to school for in-person instruction. Terrell ISD has the option to do the same, according to Warnock. However, as long as the district offers at-home learning to some students, it cannot require others to return for face-to-face instruction. Meanwhile, district personnel are calling and working with families in which students are failing to let them know about all options available to them.

Warnock reported that at the nine-week mark, the district’s total enrollment stood at 4,729, up significantly from the start of school. Of those students, about 75% are attending classes face to face, and 25% are learning from home.

In regard to the coronavirus, Warnock said school district data changes day to day, even hour to hour. But as of 5 p.m. Monday, TISD had no active cases among staff. However, 18 employees were in quarantine, either because of possible exposure or symptoms. At the same time, the district reported nine active student cases and 101 students in quarantine.

The school district continues to work closely with Kaufman County’s Office of Emergency Management in performing contact tracing, she said.

Warnock also reported that Terrell ISD will host a roundtable on Nov. 6 and is inviting 37 superintendents to Terrell to meet with U.S. Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Terrell). The topic will be the federal role in regard to COVID-19-related funding and accountability.

As virus infections edge higher in Texas, medical officials in adjacent Dallas County warn that COVID-19 numbers are likely to spike. Dallas County health officials last week raised the threat level to red, the county’s highest alert. That means residents should consider limiting movement to the most essential activities such as buying groceries. The latest COVID-19 numbers for Kaufman County show the number of cumulative cases stood at 3,436 as of Oct. 21, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). Active cases in Kaufman County stood at 118 as of Oct. 20, according to DSHS. To date, 54 people in the county have died from COVID-19, according to DSHS.

In an unrelated matter, Warnock told the school board that a committee tasked with recommending whether to name the football field at Memorial Stadium will begin meeting in November.

The district’s administration intends to have a recommendation for the board to consider in February. The district has been approached about naming the field after the late Leon Vineyard, who coached Terrell High to state championships in 1952 and 1957.

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