AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday afternoon, Sarah Christian received a text from her daughter at Akins High School.
“She said, ‘I’m the only kid in my class right now. And I said, ‘What do you mean, where’s everyone? And she was like… I think they’re all out of COVID,” Christian recalled. himself.
“My reaction was like, ‘Whaaaaat’ and then a lot of exclamation points, I think, on the message because it seems so shocking,” she said.
In Thursday night’s family newsletter, the Austin Independent School District reported 780 cases of COVID-19 among students this week.
The current surge in student numbers is the largest the school district has seen, according to a chart also included in the newsletter.
The district said that due to the increase in COVID-19 cases among students, they are partnering with an online company called HeyTutor to provide free help while they are in quarantine, or when they need it.
The service is intended for kindergarten through fifth grade students in all subjects, the district said in its newsletter.
The district has also faced cases leading to teacher absences, forcing them to solicit families to fill in as substitute teachers.
This week, the district reported 504 cases of COVID-19 among its staff.
Administrative and office personnel fill those gaps.
“Thank you for your email. I’m helping a campus today as a substitute teacher and have occasional access to email,” read an out of office message for an AISD communications officer when KXAN reached out.
“My son said…his deputy principal has to fill in the classroom because many teachers have been absent with it,” Christian said.
Parents can sign up for tutoring support here.
This is a story in development. Tahera Rahman from KXAN will have more at 6pm