Richardson ISD elementary students whose families opted for face-to-face instruction returned to schools Sept. 8. The day went smoothly, Superintendent Jeannie Stones said at a Sept. 8 board of trustees meeting.

“This is what we have been waiting for,” Stone said. “It was a truly joyful day to be out on the campuses and to see the ability of our teachers to be able to show and demonstrate what they do best, which is teaching our kids.”

The district has enrolled roughly 2,000 fewer students than this time last year, according to Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Brenda Payne. Elementary schools have seen the greatest decline, while high schools have seen an increase. The district has also seen fewer students enrolled late than in prior years, she added.

Stone reassured families that officials will remain honest about confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

“I just want to make sure that everyone knows that we are doing an over-and-above part to be transparent and open so that we can have trust with our community,” she said.

To make good on that promise, the district has launched a COVID-19 dashboard. It will include information on positive student and staff cases as well as 14-day trends. It will also include a breakdown of positive cases by campus and other district buildings.

Assistant Superintendent of District Operations Sandra Hayes updated the board on transportation. Buses will only be able to carry 26 students due to the district’s one-student-per-seat policy. Bus operators are prepared to run multiple routes on each cycle if ridership requires, she said. Additional routes may also be added if there is a bottleneck of students in one area, Payne said.

Junior high students in face-to-face instruction will return to campuses Sept. 14. High school students in face-to-face instruction will return to campuses Sept. 21.