Krum ISD.

KRUM — Many Krum ISD students currently taking classes remotely will be required to attend in-person classes beginning Oct. 26.

Interim Superintendent Mike Davis announced the policy change during Wednesday’s board meeting, one day after Denton ISD board members discussed a similar proposal.

Roughly 20.9% of students in the district were learning remotely as of Sept. 28, according to a KISD spokesperson.

Students in prekindergarten, dual language and/or extracurricular programs will be required to return to in-person classes Oct. 26. The same is true for kindergarteners and first-graders who aren’t reading on grade level.

Older students making less than a 75 in any class also will be required to attend face-to-face classes. Students of all ages can’t have any more than five absences per semester if they’d like to continue remote learning.

Davis said exceptions are made for students who are “medically fragile” or live with someone who is. Students who test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, come into contact with someone who has or experience symptoms of the disease are also able to take remote classes.

One mother spoke at the top of Wednesday’s meeting to tell board members her child was thriving with online classes. She implored them to not do away with the program entirely.

Davis later said the decision was meant for students who weren’t excelling.

Students must keep their grades up and absences down for two consecutive grading periods if they want to return to remote learning, according to Davis’ policy change.

Davis said the move is meant to help teachers, many of whom are struggling to teach kids through no fault of their own. Teachers are often forced to instruct in-person and remote students simultaneously, which stretches them too thin.

He said morale is probably sinking a bit among teachers, and he sees a move toward more students in school as a way to alleviate some of that while also helping students learn.

Unlike some neighboring districts, Krum ISD was not participating in Denton County Public Health’s voluntary virus reporting portals Thursday.

The district’s online dashboard reported four students and two staffers who were actively infected with the virus Tuesday morning. It also reported nine students and nine staffers who had recovered from an infection by the same time.

As of Wednesday evening, the city of Krum had reported a total of 84 people infected with the virus, 13 of whom were still infected.

Board members Tuesday also unanimously approved an amended district calendar for the 2020-21 school year. It includes several more early release days, as well as other relatively minor changes. Additionally, the last day of school will be May 25 instead of May 26.

Board members unanimously voted to extend Davis’ contract through June 2022. A district spokesperson Thursday said board members didn’t feel it was a good time to commit to a full search for a long-term replacement.

MARSHALL REID can be reached at 940-566-6862 and via Twitter at @MarshallKReid.

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