Never miss a story
Sign up for our free daily morning email...
...and afternoon text update
×
becomeMemberIcon

become a member

(Lake Travis ISD)

Parents spoke in support of reopening at a special called meeting of the Lake Travis ISD board of trustees on Monday evening.

The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees voted 4-3 on Monday evening to approve a waiver request to the Texas Education Agency to extend the virtual learning period an additional four weeks, with exceptions for families who meet certain conditions and choose to return sooner.

Families with students in pre-K, elementary, 6th grade, 9th grade and special education programs, as well as LTISD district employees with children in the district, may decide to return to in-person schooling as of Sept. 8. The remainder will have the option to return in person as of Sept. 21.


Parents spoke overwhelmingly in support of reopening during the public comment portion of the special called meeting.

Jason Blair, whose three triplets are kindergarteners, urged the board to defy Austin-Travis Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott's recommendation that schools take a phased-in approach to reopening.

"These are such small numbers," Blair said of the COVID-19 case fatality rate among school-age children. "And yes, one kid means a lot, but there's more to this."

Escott cited preliminary data in July that suggested between 40 and 1,370 of Travis County's 192,000 school-age children could die from COVID-19 if schools reopen too quickly. In recent weeks, he has said there is too little data to know what will happen if children return to school and that districts have to weigh the cost of virtual learning against intermittent closures if schools reopen only to see outbreaks emerge.

The TEA allows schools to extend their virtual period for some students up to eight weeks without losing funding, so long as the second four-week period involves "at least some on campus instruction" each day. Once the eight-week period is completed, school districts are required to provide on-campus learning to any families who choose it.

About 60% of LTISD families have indicated that they would like to return to in-person learning on campus, a district spokesperson confirmed to Austonia.

Parents organized a prayer circle outside of the building where the meeting was held, with at least some attendees praying for reopening, according to a report by KXAN.

Kristin Hall told board members that her second grader had sought counseling as a result of school closures.

"You can't form those relationships [with teachers] over a Chromebook," she said. "They need to be in-person. They need that relationship."

Jose Cantu, another parent, said he is concerned about the education gap, especially for Latino students, and that teachers should be considered essential workers.

"If ultimately they feel that the risk is too high, then I suggest they find another career," he said.

More than two-thirds of LTISD's 10,695 students were white during the 2018-19 school year, compared to 27.4% statewide. Just over 12% of their students were economically disadvantaged, compared to more than 60% statewide, and 6% were enrolled in bilingual or ESL programs, compared to nearly 20% statewide.

Popular

First score made by LAFC. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

Austin FC couldn't find the stamina to fight off a 2-0 loss against LAFC for their inaugural match on Saturday.

The match, which saw No. 21 Austin FC go head-to-head with No. 2 LAFC in Los Angeles, was broadcast nationally on FOX and FOX Deportes.

Keep Reading Show less

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Tito's Handmade Vodka
  • 16 oz strawberries

Directions: Drop sliced strawberries into glass container filled with Tito's Handmade Vodka. Let sit in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Once desired flavor is reached remove fruit. Enjoy!

The long-awaited day is here; Austin FC takes the field with LAFC. (Austonia)

It's matchday! Austin FC—Austin's first major league sport team—kicks off its debut season in Los Angeles today after years in the making. We know how much this means to our beloved city and are taking you along with us as we journey to LA!

Austin FC writer Claire Partain and I are excited to bring you game-day coverage straight from the City of Angels. Check back here for updates, and visit our socials: @austonianews for the latest.

~7 p.m: Austin FC loses to LAFC

A sad outcome for many, Austin FC was defeated by their competitor. Check out Claire's recap for a full rundown of what this game looked like: https://austonia.com/halftime-austin-fc-debut.

Until next time, Austin!

5 p.m: Kickoff!

It's finally here! Claire will be updating Austonia's Twitter account live. And we'll post her game recap after the game. Best of luck Verdes!

4:40 p.m: Excitement radiates back home

Watch parties are in plenty supply back home. Austonia's Laura Figi visited Circle Brewing Co. and found a crowd of excited supporters.

4:20 p.m: Austin FC supporters are in the stadium

Although the Banc of California Stadium is hosting the match at limited capacity, we see some green in the stands ahead of kickoff. Just moments away from the Austin FC's debut!

~3:20 p.m: Austin FC's team bus enters the stadium grounds

With a warm welcome from Los Verdes, Austin FC players were welcomed into the Banc of California Stadium.

~1 p.m: Los Verdes in LA

(Rigo Rodriguez/Los Verdes)

Austin FC supporters are making their presence known in LA, including the Los Verdes group.

Los Verdes members started having match-day fun around the area this morning with brunch. We'll be joining them about an hour before the game outside the stadium to share some of their excitement. We'll post immediately to Austonia's Instagram.

11:45 a.m: We landed!

View from hotel room where we're staying; the stadium digital sign can be seen in the right corner. (Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

Switching over to pacific time, we're here and it's almost like no time went by. It's 9:45 a.m. here.

We've been in contact with Los Verdes, an Austin FC supporter group, who is also here in LA counting down to kickoff.

8:20 a.m: LA bound

Like many of you, we've been looking forward to this moment for, let's just say, a very long time. Today, we woke up bright and early, headed to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport and hopped on a flight to LA.

A gloomy day in Austin with a very quiet airport, we're headed to sunny skies in California.

As we wait for the game to start at 4:30 p.m., check out Claire's preview of the game with a predicted lineup and timeline of the long journey to get here.