Austin ISD students have returned to the classroom for the first time since the pandemic closed down schools in March. The in-person classes, which some teachers fought against, are being taught according to a hybrid model that blends 25% on-campus capacity with virtual learning.


Here's a look at what school looked like on Tuesday of the first week.

Longtime school principal Katie Achtermann checks in students for the second day of in-person classes at Barton Hills Elementary in South Austin. All students temperatures are checked on arrival, and face coverings are required to enter the building.

Under the careful watch of first grade teacher Nicole Miller, and with plenty of PPE ready, in-person learning takes off during the second day of classes at Campbell Elementary. The AISD school is using a combination of remote and in-person learning amid the pandemic.

Second Day of In-Person Classes in Austin

In-person learning is optional for AISD families. The district is phasing in students to on-campus learning, starting with the youngest grades at each school.

Kindergarten classes have yet to lose any of their spunk as most kids are glad to be back in the classroom.

Seasoned teacher Clarissa Hobbs is back in the classroom to teach her students. AISD experienced a drop in enrollment as parents opted out of in-person school, possibly opting into learning pods, homeschooling or private school.

Student Amarin Mervin follows Ms. Hobbs' instructions to show his work to his classmates on screen. It's a learning experience that's new for everyone.

(Tito's Handmade Vodka)

Ingredients:

  • 750 mL Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 1 1/2 cup toasted pecans
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The challenge for all of us this Thanksgiving is letting go of what we've lost in this tough year and treasure what we still have.

We at Austonia are thankful for you. Since we launched our site in April, we've done our best to connect you to Austin, with stories ranging from the important to the delightfully superficial. Your response has been strong and we are grateful.

At this time of thanks, we have a variety of stories for you. Laura Figi writes about "a greener holiday," food trends, and Friday shopping. Emma Freer writes about a nearby annual Native American heritage celebration. And Roberto Ontiveros brings us a thoughtful piece that looks at the human toll of Austin's gentrification—the often painful flip side to having shiny new bars, restaurants, and apartments—in this case it's displacement of the Black community on East 11th Street. Finally, we ask you how you're celebrating the holiday this year.

Our best to you and your loved ones!

—The Austonia Team

You can now buy earrings designed by UT students at Kendra Scott

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Aztec dancers perform as part of the virtual grand finale of the Sacred Springs Power on Nov. 21.

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(Isabella Lopes/Austonia)
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(Marco Verch/CC)

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