Frequently Asked Questions About the Austin ISD Phase-In Plan

  1. Will in-person classes have traditional teaching models or will they continue the distance learning model in a classroom?  On-campus teachers will provide a blended learning experience for students who return for in-person schooling. Blended learning is defined as an instructional delivery model in which students learn via electronic and online media as well as traditional face-to-face teaching. In some instances, this will mean that a teacher will have to facilitate both virtual and in-person learning for students.

  2. If we choose to come to school on the survey, can we change our mind later depending on the number of cases? Yes. You can change your mind at any time, the district is providing a timeline for administrators to follow when a change of request is made.

  3. How will it be possible to have 20+ desks in a classroom that are socially distanced? The district has provided that guidance regarding this issue. As more students return to campus, we will need to utilize other learning spaces, like the library and cafeteria, to ensure appropriate distances for students and staff.

  4. Can parents volunteer to serve in those teacher relief/lunch spots with proper screening? Unfortunately, not at this time. The district is prohibiting any visitors on campus and only allowing essential workers.

  5. Will the students keep the same teachers they currently have regardless of whether they opt for virtual or in-person? While our goal is to keep students with their current classroom teacher, dependent on the number of students that return for on-campus learning and the ability to implement social distancing, students very well may have a teacher other than the one they began the school year with on September 8.

  6. What is the best way to give you a better chance of keeping your current teacher? At this point, we don’t know. Until we have the survey completed, we cannot know if we will need to split classes or which ones might need this option.

  7. If students are in the building will they have different instruction from those who are learning from home, or will everyone be getting the same experience? On-campus students will have more direct interaction with their teachers. The curriculum will be the same for both in-person and distance learners. On-campus students will still have some assignments to complete on their devices and will use devices during some parts of their school day.

  8. Is Oct 26 the first day for a 5th grader who chose in-person learning to be on campus? Yes. As we phase in on-campus learners, we will prioritize students with special needs and lower grade levels first. Starting with pre-k and kindergarten and working up to 5th graders.

  9. Can we find out what the majority of the kids in our class have decided so if we are in the minority we can opt differently in order to be able to stay with the class and homeroom teacher? Due to privacy laws, there is no way that we can make this information available.

  10. We do not want to change teachers, how do we guarantee this if we opt in building or at home? There is no way to guarantee that students will have the same teachers at this time.

  11. Can you provide a date for when the capacity will increase to 75% in case all of the families that want to come back don't make it in the first 50%? The district plan is to remain at 25% capacity for two weeks, week 7 (October 19-23) will be 50% and week 8 (October26-30) will reach 75% in the plan.

  12. Can lower grades wait for their upper grade siblings to return?
    Yes, and the district is also prioritizing the transition to on-campus learning for students with siblings in lower grades. For instance, if we still have capacity after we have placed all the kindergarteners who selected the in-person option, we will allow their siblings to fill those spaces.


  13. When will my student be able to meet their (potentially) new teacher? Will that person be a current Clayton teacher? Any student eligible to return to campus during week 5 will be notified on Monday, September 28th.  If students are impacted by a class change, that will be communicated then as well. At this point in time, Clayton staff is remaining on our campus and we have not seen a need to adjust. The Superintendent did reference the possibility of staff moving.

  14. If a teacher will be conducting both face-to-face and distance learning, how is this going to work? In-person and remote students with the same teacher will have the same schedule.

  15. If more than 75% want to come, will kids end up in hybrid some on campus some days, home some days? How is it possible to keep the number of kids down in the classes? As it stands, we are not close to the threshold at our campus. If that becomes an issue before we can safely allow more than 75% capacity, we will make a determination on safety protocols at that time.

  16. For kids with special education classes, how are the transitions going to happen? We have guidance to minimize the amount of transitions on campus. We are still determining how to conduct all of our small groups. We will either social distance in the respective rooms, or students may join a Zoom session with their small group teacher while in the classroom.

  17. Will the older kids (4th/5th grade) be changing classrooms and/or teachers for different subjects? We have yet to make this determination. We could possibly rotate the teachers instead of rotating the students. 

  18. What will the policy be for recess time and specials? We are still awaiting information about Special Areas. Recess will still be provided however students will not be able to access the playground equipment. We will designate areas on the grounds that students can visit with social distance. 

  19. What week are first graders going in? First graders are scheduled to return during week 6 as long as we are able to remain under 25% capacity.

  20. What is the earliest potential first day on campus for in-person learning for all kids?  Kinder will be invited during week 5, 1-2 during week 6, 3-4 during week 7, and 5th during week 8.

  21. Will the in person kids still be on zoom for a portion of the day? Students on campus will not be on Zoom as they were during remote learning. They will follow the lesson with the teacher in front of them while remote learners are on Zoom.

  22. What happens if a child/staff is confirmed COVID-19 positive? Individuals who develop COVID symptoms while on campus will be immediately isolated from other students and staff. City of Austin guidance stipulates that we have a separate “isolation” area or room for people experiencing COVID symptoms until they can go home or to a healthcare facility. If a COVID case is confirmed, the administrators on campus will be provided an explicit checklist that will need to be followed for a confirmed case. This will include contacting those impacted and potentially putting other individuals or class groups in quarantine. Also, a deep clean of the impacted areas.

  23. Will the bus still go to the Muirfield neighborhood? Yes. All of our busses will continue to operate beginning October 5th.

  24. What if I took the survey already and now I want to change my mind? How can I do this? Send an email to to let them know you have changed your mind and would like to take the survey again.