School starts for Uvalde students for first time since May attack | Washington Examiner

2022-09-10 10:54:54 By : Mr. Lester Choo

S chool is back in session for students in Uvalde, Texas, just months after a shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

Robb Elementary School, the site of the shooting, is permanently closed and set to be demolished, the Washington Examiner previously reported. Students were redistributed among the three other elementary schools, ABC reported.


Uvalde Elementary welcomed arriving students early this morning, walking through 8-foot metal fencing surrounding the school, per the district's website. State troopers were posted at the fence and around the building as well.

The school took in students who were in second and third grade at Robb Elementary last year. Teachers greeted the children wearing bright blue shirts with the words "Together We Rise & Together We Are Better."

For the first day, 3,724 students were in attendance, which was 88.8% of the anticipated enrollment, Superintendent Hal Harrell wrote in a letter to parents obtained by the Washington Examiner. Last year, first-day enrollment was 3,821 students, 85.8% of anticipated enrollment.

Harrell wrote that, as in previous years, the district expects an increase in enrollment as the year progresses.

"Thank you, parents, for your patience and support and to all across the state and nation who wore maroon today to stand with us. Your display of unity was amazing!" Harrell wrote in the letter.

The Uvalde school district is also offering a virtual learning option for the 2022-23 school year, which parents could have applied to up to Aug. 31. Of the 3,754 students attending on the first day, 59 were part of the virtual academy, according to the district's letter to parents.

Dalton Elementary has the highest number of students enrolled (669), followed by Uvalde Elementary (327) and Flores Elementary (307).

Dalton Elementary welcomed second grade students, and Sacred Heart Catholic School reportedly doubled enrollment for elementary school students, taking in at least 30 Robb Elementary students on scholarships, Axios reported.

The start of the school year follows a long summer of reports and investigations revealing several mistakes made by the Uvalde Police Department that led to 21 deaths and injuries for another 17 adults and children. The school district fired its police chief, Pete Arredondo, in late August after he stepped down from his City Council position in July.

The school year began in Texas ranging from Aug. 8 to Aug. 23, but Uvalde school district officials made the decision to push the school year for their district schools to Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

The district currently has several safety measures in place, including metal fences at Dalton Elementary and Uvalde Elementary. Fences have been ordered for Batesville, UDLA, Flores, and Morales junior high schools, and there are also plans for such installations at the district's high schools.

Additional cameras and upgraded doors and locks were also installed at all campuses. All campus staff members participated in recovery training from Aug. 1 to Aug. 22 as the school works to provide mental and emotional support as students return, the website says.


Other areas of Texas began making preparations for the school year in the wake of the Uvalde shooting. The board of the Houston Independent School District approved $2 million for rifles, body armor, and ammunition for school police officers.