The advent of Covid-19 has clouded plans and operations for the 2020-2021 school year and with the beginning of school re-openings now scheduled, many questions have arisen. Governing the state’s educational system is the Texas Education Agency (TEA). On July 17, TEA released public health planning guidelines for the 2020-2021 year in order to prepare students, teachers and staff to safely return to school campuses for daily, in-person instruction.
HISD, the local independent school system, which serves more than 200,000 students has formulated and announced its plans and policies. The HISD Communicable Disease Plan Task Force, a group of key employees, educators, parents, community members and health care officials were charged with reviewing safety guidance from local, state, and federal health and education officials. The district also considered feedback from parent and teacher surveys distributed over the summer. With an Instructional Continuity Plan, the district sought to ensure that learning will continue throughout the year. Interim School Superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan made the announcement.
All HISD students will begin the school year virtually on September 8, 2020. Virtual instruction for all students will continue for six weeks through Friday, October 16, 2020. On Monday, October 19, face-to-face instruction for all students will begin. However, this date is subject to change based on Covid-19 conditions across the city and recommendations from local, state and federal health officials. Parents will have the option to opt out of face-to-face instruction entirely for the fall semester and school year.
To find out more information regarding the re-openings, you may review the HISD website, www.houstonisd.org/reopening. Information from the TEA may be obtained at www.tea.texas.gov/about-tea.