AUSTIN, Texas — As a few hundred students headed home from the state’s first public school in years, the day ended with a flurry of traffic in Austin, Texas, as students and parents waited anxiously for the school to reopen.
The school closed Friday, two days after it reopened for the first time in three decades after a state report found widespread problems at its facilities.
It reopened the following day with a new principal and a new superintendent.
School Superintendent John Fauci told students at a news conference that the school would reopen as scheduled on Monday.
But he also said that he would not say when.
The district has closed a few schools in the past, but none were as significant as this one.
The district had reported more than 1,400 incidents of noncompliance in 2017, which included more than 3,200 reported suspensions.
The closure was one of the most severe of the district’s problems in the last few years, said Austin Public Schools spokeswoman Toni Foy.
It affected students and teachers, who often faced long waits for busing and other services.
For many families, the closure was the culmination of a year of turmoil.
It forced them to look for alternatives.
A few schools closed.
Many teachers lost their jobs.
And many students dropped out of school.
For a lot of families, it was an opportunity to make a choice between keeping their children at home or going to school.
It was a choice that led to the closure of the schools, but also led to families that stayed in their homes, said Lola Burdick, a mother of two in Austin who was among the thousands of students who were expected to be back at school on Monday for the beginning of classes.
Many of those students are struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues, she said.
I think we’re really seeing a trend that it’s not just the students that have been impacted.
It’s the parents that are struggling.
For a lot, it’s about not having a voice in the school system.
I am devastated, I am very, very devastated.
We’re very close.
I want my kids to be safe.
They’re the ones that need to be at school, Foy said.
It’s just heartbreaking.
It’s not an easy decision for parents to make.
They don’t want their kids in school, they don’t know what they’re going to do if their kids are not there.
I just hope it is a good decision for them.
I just want to say this is a big moment for my family.
I know there are so many things that I can’t even begin to say.
The school is a great school.
The teachers are amazing.
And the administrators are very great, too.
I can’t imagine having to make that choice, she added.
We have to be able to put a little bit of our own energy into our schools, and I hope we can all get back on the same page.
But I don’t have confidence in my school’s safety.
I am going to be a mom for the rest of my life.