MIDLAND, Texas — Starting Monday, Midland Independent School District students are going to be in the classroom five days a week.
The district announced that they will begin Phase 5 of the student re-entry plan last week.
This means bringing students back into the classroom Monday through Friday.
While the MISD administration thinks this is the right move, some teachers are hesitant, even protesting outside the administration office on Friday about it.
Teachers told NewsWest 9 they feel overworked. The decision to bring the students back full-time is not what upsets them, they are upset they did not get a say in the matter and feel administrators just are not listening.
The district says they believe in-person learning is the best way to prepare students for the future. Telling us in a press release:
“Our mission is to offer instruction which prepares students for college or career, and we believe that having students (other than those that have chosen the Midland ISD Online Academy as a Covid response) on campus five days a week is the best way to accomplish this.”
But teachers like Lilliana Iza, a Lee High School math teacher, are upset they were not part of the conversation.
“In August, they told us we would have a say in it," Iza said. "Recently they sent out a survey and we all filled it out wanting to keep virtual Friday and I was grateful because I felt like they were really listening.”
Many teachers advocating for Fridays to stay virtual to get caught up on virtual lessons, grading, and emails to students.
“And then we got back and they were like 'sorry everybody is back in school on Friday," said Iza. "We're all like what? Okay so the survey didn’t matter and you’re not listening.”
According to the MISD COVID-19 dashboard, the school has reported 330 cases across the district.
213 of them were reported in October.
But it is not just health concerns for these teachers-meeting the need of 100 plus students who are virtual and in-person is a large workload.
“I’m not scared of getting sick, but I’m at the point where mentally I am so overwhelmed with checking everything that we need to do," said Iza. "I need Friday to catch up because I can’t get it all done from 8 to 5 p.m. every day.”
The district tells us they are grateful for what teachers are doing, and want them to be part of the conversation on the re-entry plan.
The communications director for the MISD tells us that the interim super indent is working with school leaders to get input on what the district can do better to make the load on teachers lighter.
On Tuesday parents and teachers will be rallying outside of the administration building to keep Fridays virtual.