KISD begins the school year virtually, but meets with challenges

Students in Killeen ISD started the school year 100% virtually on Monday.
Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 18, 2020 at 10:29 AM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Students in Killeen ISD started the school year 100% virtually on Monday.

While more than 39,000 students were able to connect virtually, about 6,000 others couldn’t.

Shelby Lawless, a mother of three, says her children had trouble from the start.

She says the devices the district provided either wouldn’t connect at times or wouldn’t give credit for complete assignments.

“It took my youngest daughter maybe 20 minutes and she was in tears,” she said.

“Her class kept buffering and it wasn’t loading. She kept asking, ‘Where’s my teacher?‘”

Lawless says if the issues continue, she’d rather send her children back to campus in person.

“I would send my kids tomorrow,” she said.

“It’s not worth it to me to sit here for hours on end trying to get small little snit-bits uploaded.”

She wasn’t the only one experiencing these issues, either.

Chief Communications Officer Taina Maya says their technology hotline took more than 3,000 calls on Monday.

She says while the district is considering bringing back struggling students prior to September 8, nothing has been decided and students grades won’t be penalized for connectivity issues.

We know our parents had a lot of questions,” she said.

“We know that there were some frustrations and we know that there were some small things that we could quickly fix. We’re working on all of those and ways to make sure we reduce the stress level for our families at home.”

In spite of the problems, Lawless says her daughters are hopeful that they’ll be able to connect with their new teachers and friends.

She says if things aren’t working, the district needs to step up.

“Children are not learning,” she said.

“They’re getting frustrated, the program’s not working and the servers are crashing. If their virtual platform isn’t working, they need to be in school.”

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