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Back to school like we haven’t seen before: Austin ISD returns to class

Virtual learning started Tuesday and will last for at least the first four weeks of the school year.

AUSTIN, Texas — Alarm clocks are back on this morning as thousands of Austin Independent School District students and teachers say goodbye to summer.

Virtual learning began Tuesday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues plaguing life as we know it. For the first four weeks, students will learn virtually.

“Make sure your child's ready. Make sure they have their masks, hand sanitizer, if they're the appropriate age, and make sure they know how to use those things, make sure they're comfortable with them, make sure they can wear a mask for more than five minutes at a time,” said Dr. Mark Escott, interim public health authority for Austin-Travis County.

RELATED: LIST: What local school districts are planning for back-to-school

Starting in October, students and teachers will start phasing back into campuses.

If students don’t have the technology or devices to learn from home now, they can still go to campus – but AISD staff have been working with families to make sure everyone can access WiFi for remote learning. The other exception is if the district provides specialized services to students.

As of last week, there was still a shortage of thousands of devices for virtual learning.

Escott said if we all follow the current health guidelines, it could help keep students in school. He’s also encouraging student leaders on campus to help spread the message and set an example.

RELATED: Austin ISD releases updated reopening plan ahead of first day of school

As other Central Texas school districts have resumed in-person learning, several have confirmed COVID-19 cases. According to plans released by AISD last week, teachers, staff and families will be told if that happens and anyone who was in close contact with the infected person will be asked to quarantine for 14 days.

Share your back to school pictures with KVUE by texting 512-459-9442 or share them on social media using #DaybreakATX.

WATCH: Austin ISD students officially return to school virtually

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