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Collin County Districts Start School Year With Online Classes Only

PLANO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Going back to school has a different look this year as both Allen and Plano districts launch with online classes only.

"It went better than expected!" exclaimed a relieved Gina Rodriguez, a parent of two Plano students.

"There were a few tears last night trying to figure everything out with work and everything-- not from the kids, us," she added. "Dad may have used some colorful words getting the technology set up. We just got Chromebooks yesterday from school."

Rodriguez says planning is key.

"My husband and I are both educators, so we had to be on our own meetings all day. My youngest son is only 6, so we had to hire someone to help him all day. And the 10 year old is by himself trying to figure it out, so it was a lot of planning and organizing and I've got charts and printed times, and there was no way we could have done that without some type of execution plan," Rodriguez said.

In spite of the challenges brought on by COVID-19, other parents, too, worked to make the day as normal as possible.

"We took first day pics, had our supplies, got up early, had a good breakfast," said Jessica Malloy, who has a 9-year-old learning online in Allen. All in all, she gives the day two thumbs up. "Trying to make things as routine and as normal as we can, so yeah, lots of excitement."

Malloy, who is also an educator, says the family created several "work spaces" and prepared to be flexible.

"My daughter has been in meetings all day with her teachers, live teaching. Besides 'unmute', 'turn your video on' ... haven't seen a lot of issues."

Orion Rodriguez, a Plano fifth-grade student, sums up the first day online, this way: "Overall, it was good-- it wasn't horrible. It seemed like I had more freedom. I would like to do face to face; but, for now, virtual is okay. "

With social media flooded with lots of first day smiles in both Plano and Allen, it would appear the only thing left to do now is prepare for tomorrow. And here's a fool proof plan for that.

"There are going to be hiccups," said Malloy. "We just have to be reminding ourselves that this is a first time for all of us doing this-- educators and parents alike. So we all have to know that we are all on the same team, and let's just give each other some grace."


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