The Killeen Independent School District has announced that students will be allowed to return to campuses a week early.

Citing a shortage of devices and internet connections allowing students to return to school virtually, Superintendent John Craft made the announcement during Tuesday’s regular KISD Board of Trustees meeting.

Students will still have the option of attending classes virtually, and district leaders plan to maintain that option throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

However, while the district says over 40,000 students were able to successfully log in to virtual classroom services last week, between 4,000 and 7,000 students were not due to a number of technological challenges and a shortage of equipment.

District officials say the KISD Technology Hotline was flooded with 13,512 calls on the first day of school. The district distributed 20,300 devices to families who indicated a need, but there's been a higher demand than anticipated and new devices are not scheduled to arrive until October.

KISD officials say they're tracking employee and student data regarding COVID-19 and are taking precautions, including requiring masks when physical distancing isn't possible and temperature checks. They've also cancelled all field trips and won't allow visitors to campus without an appointment.

Last week, we shared a report that Killeen ISD did not have an accurate count of the number of devices that would be needed to ensure every student would have access to virtual learning resources, and were even asking that families with their own devices return any they got from the district so they could be given to families in need. Given the scheduling chaos that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused as schools across Texas, that wasn't surprising news.

Will you be sending your KISD student back to campus early? Why or why not? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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