HOUSTON — Now that the Texas Education Agency has updated its guidelines for reopening in the upcoming school year, area districts are rolling out revised plans.
The TEA's tardy response to the COVID-19 crisis, sent many frustrated district leaders back to the drawing board.
It's not an easy choice for many parents who can't work from home, but are scared to send their children back to school during the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the plans revealed, so far, from Houston-area school districts. Plans to continue to change as the school year draws closer, so check back often.
HOUSTON & HARRIS COUNTY ORDER
All Houston and Harris County school districts must postpone in-person learning until at least September 8 under an order signed by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Houston Mayor Sylvester.
Hidalgo said it could be extended, depending on the status of COVID-19 in our community.
For more on the order on in-person learning, tap here.
The Houston Independent School District is starting classes back up on September 8 with six weeks of only virtual learning that will run through Friday, October 16.
Under the plan, face-to-face instruction for all students will begin on Monday, October 19. This date is subject to change based on COVID-19 conditions across the City of Houston and recommendations from local, state, and federal health officials.
Parents not comfortable with sending their children back to school will have the option to opt out of face-to-face instruction entirely for the fall semester and school year.
The Cy-Fair ISD school board has voted to push the first day of school back to Tuesday, September 8.
The later start date allows the district more time to monitor and evaluate the current health conditions in Harris County related to COVID-19.
Cy-Fair is expected to release its full reopening plan on Monday, July 27.
To download the 2020-2021 school calendar, visit the CFISD website at www.cfisd.net/en/calendar/
FORT BEND ISD
The Fort Bend Independent School District will begin the upcoming school year with no in-person instruction or extra-curricular activities.
The district said daily online engagement will be required and in-person instruction will be phased in with small groups.
The first day of school will be on Aug. 17.
"Fort Bend ISD will begin the 2020-21 School Year 100% online in order to give students, parents and staff an opportunity to adjust to online learning and safety procedures. No in-person extracurriculars will occur during this period of distance learning," the district said on social media.
KATY ISD (Revised)
Katy ISD, the state’s 10th largest district, has changed course and decided to offer only online learning for the first three weeks of school.
The first day of school will still be August 19. The district hopes to launch its “Smart ReStart" plan by reopening campuses for families who choose in-person instruction on September. 8.
When that happens, masks and face shields will be provided to students and staff returning to physical campuses. They will be spread apart as much as possible, including on buses.
Katy ISD expects students who return to in-person learning to help keep things clean with hand sanitizer and wipes.
Aldine ISD’s re-entry plan, “Return to Learn,” will now have all students learning virtually from home for at least the first three weeks of the 2020-2021 school year.
The 2020-21 school year begins Monday, Aug. 17.
The district’s current plan has all Aldine ISD teachers reporting to campuses this fall, whether they are supporting traditional on-campus learning or virtual classes. Final assignments will be based on student enrollment and the number of students who selected each instructional model.
According to school officials, Aldine ISD is distributing more than 15,000 devices to students in need, starting the week of Aug. 3.
The available devices are limited to one per family and must be request in advance, the district said. Parents must complete an online Technology Request Form before midnight July 28 if their child is in need of a device.
“We are thankful that the TEA made the decision to allow districts to use virtual learning as an option for the first three weeks,” Superintendent Dr. LaTonya M. Goffney said. “Aldine will take advantage of this option. Regardless of the model families select — Learning At Home or Learning On Campus — the first three weeks of school will be virtual. As we move forward, we must remain flexible as we continue to monitor the conditions in Harris County and Houston. We will open as fast as we can but as slow as we must.”
Aldine ISD said it is committed to ensuring all students have access to educational opportunities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 15,000 devices will be distributed to students who indicated a need for a device on a student commitment form earlier this month. To confirm their need, each family will be asked to complete an online Technology Request Form by July 28, at midnight.
Aldine will begin distributing devices the week of August 3. Available devices are limited to one per family and must be requested in advance.
Device pickups will be organized to ensure the district is following health and safety guidelines, including limiting direct contact between staff, parents, and students. Additionally, all devices will be cleaned, updated, and sanitized before they are distributed.
Alief ISD students will have a virtual school start on August 6. Following the virtual launch, parents will have the option to continue remote learning or switch to in-person instruction.
The district is giving parents the option to switch between learning modes with each grading period.
The start date for in-person learning hasn't been set yet.
ALVIN ISD (Revised)
All Alvin ISD students will officially begin the 2020-21 school year in a 3-week, virtual online format beginning August 24.
On August 31, students will begin a staggered reintroduction to on campus learning. This will impact families differently depending on their selection of either Alvin Virtual Learning (AVL) or in-person instruction. Between August 31 and September 14, Alvin ISD will implement a phased in approach, slowly bringing back certain student groups that have chosen the face to face educational model.
On September 14, students that selected in-person instruction will resume full time on campus learning. Students that selected AVL will continue their online virtual instruction.
To better accommodate families, the deadline for selecting either in-person instruction or Alvin Virtual Learning has been extended to August 7.
Visit www.alvinisd.net/forward2020 for more details on Alvin ISD’s reopening plan.
Conroe ISD has decided to begin the school year on August 12, with only remote/online instruction. In-person instruction won't begin earlier than September 8.
CLEAR CREEK ISD
The Clear Creek Independent School District has modified its 2020-2021 calendar with a gradual transition of students into the schools. The new plan is also designed to give teachers and staff time to be trained on safety protocols.
The transition into the 2020-2021 school year delays the official start of school from August 18 to August 24, 2020.
The week of August 24, all students will learn online from home as teachers provide direct instruction from their classroom.
The week of August 31, the school district will welcome pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, 6th grade and 9th grade students who have selected the brick and mortar or in-person learning.
The week of September 8, all students who have chosen brick and mortar learning will return to school with safety measures in place, including wearing a face mask.
Families who want to stick with online learning can enroll their children in Clear Connections Online Learning Program.
More details on CCISD plan here
The district’s “Returning to Learning” plan calls for online instruction for the first four weeks of the semester with school starting on Aug. 24.
After those four weeks, students will have the option to continue virtual instruction or begin in-person learning on campuses.
One exception is Ball High School which will offer a a hybrid program with on-site learning two days a week and remote learning the other three days. That begins on Sept. 21.
More on GISD's plan here.
GOOSE CREEK CONSOLIDATED ISD
Students at Goose Creek Consolidated ISD will not return to class until September 8 and when they do, the first three weeks will be virtual.
Students can participate in extracurricular activities.
- Aug. 11: All students begin the year online. Online learning is an option for students based on parents choice throughout 2020-2021.
- Aug. 17: In-person classes resume for self-contained special education students whose parents chose on campus.
- Aug. 24: In-person classes resume for elementary students whose parents chose on campus. In-person classes resume on A/B schedule for middle and high school students whose parents chose on campus.
- Oct. 12: Middle schools move from A/B schedule to regular schedule. High schools continue on A/B schedule.
KIPP Texas-Houston has adjusted the fall school restart plans.
- All KIPP Texas-Houston schools will start the semester 100% virtual and classes will begin on Aug. 24 with campuses reopening Sept. 21 as conditions permit.
- They hope to return to in-person learning with a staggered, phased-in start beginning Oct. 12 for families who choose in-person learning for the second nine-week instructional cycle.
- Curbside Grab & Go meals for students, their siblings, and children will continue through July 31. Starting Aug, 24, they start the National School Lunch Program and transition curbside Grab & Go meals exclusively for KIPP students whether they are learning virtually or in-person.
- KIPP Texas will continue to provide laptops and internet access to all students who express a need.
KLEIN ISD (Revised)
Klein ISD has updated its school start date to August 19 and changed to online only for the first few weeks. They plan to begin in-person learning no earlier than September 9 but will give another update on August 24.
- Students attend school five days a week at home in a virtual learning environment with a mix of live instruction from teachers and self-paced, independent learning.
- Students must have access to the Internet and a device for online learning at home. Families of elementary-aged students without a device in the home will have an opportunity to request a loaner device.
More details for Klein Online
Needville ISD students will return to class Aug. 24 and will have a choice of attending in person or virtually.
At a meeting on Wednesday night, the school board approved $620,000 for the purchase of Chromebooks for each student in the district.
Students who attend class in person will be required to wear masks and teachers will wear face shields.
More information will be posted here.
Pasadena ISD plans to start school on August 18, according to its website.
Parents can choose from in-person or virtual learning for their children.
More details on Back to School 2020: Together Again plan
Pearland ISD has revised its reopening plan to included a later start date of Aug. 31. That's more than a week after the previous start date.
The board of trustees also approved new, longer school hours for the 2020-21 year.
- Elementary 8 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.
- Junior High/Middle School: 8:35 a.m. - 4:10 p.m.
- High School/PACE: 7:15 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.
Pearland ISD has released its "Pearland ISD: Plan to Proceed" guidebook, which gives parents the option for both remote and in-person instruction.
Skyward Online Registration will be available beginning July 22. Deadline for remote instruction selection MUST be completed by August 5.
The district has remodeled its online instruction to be more effective, administrators said.
More details on Pearland ISD's plan
Sheldon ISD has revised its start date to Tuesday, Sept. 8, which is three weeks later than the original date. The first four weeks of school will be remote learning only.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 5, SISD will begin offering in-person instruction in addition to Sheldon on Demand. Parents will have the opportunity to change their decision between online and in-person learning in mid-September.
The district is asking parents to make a commitment on which learning option they prefer via an email survey by Aug. 3. School is currently scheduled to start on August 17.
Here are more details on the two options of Spring ISD's "Respond. Reimagine. Reopen" plan:
- Option 1: Safety-First In-Person: This is a a blended learning model designed to provide students the greatest level of in-person instruction possible during the 2020-21 school year. The number of days of on-campus instruction per week throughout our academic calendar will be directly determined by COVID-19 contagion levels. When there are significant levels of COVID-19 contagion in the Spring area, student schedules will be modified to reduce the total number of students and staff inside schools
- Option 2: Empowered Learning At-Home: Students will learn remotely five days a week with teacher-directed and teacher-supported instruction. Students and teachers will use Schoology -- the district's Learning Management System.
More details on Spring ISD plan
Update on 7/22: SBISD will hold a special board meeting on July 24 to consider pushing the start date for reopening to Sept. 8
Families in Spring Branch ISD will have two options when school begins next month. The district's "Learn SBISD" plan includes: traditional in-person learning; or distance learning for parents who want to keep their students at home.
SBISD says they will focus on four areas:
- Health & Safety: Masks required for students and staff; health protocol training for students and staff; desks will be spread out to comply with social distancing guidelines.
- Teaching & Learning: Both options for learning utilize the same SBISD curriculum and provide the same: attendance requirements; supports from campus staff like counselors and CIS; opportunities to participate in extracurricular and UIL activities; high expectations for our staff and our students; grading guidelines
- Each family’s choice is a commitment through the first nine-week grading period.
- Family Supports Training videos to support families using technology tools and more; resources to help families help and support their children; Parent U programs and recorded videos and learning sessions; Family E3 training opportunities; counselors & communities in Schools
- Staying Connected: Let’s Connect is a new tool to enhance service on the district's website. It allows users to submit questions, comments or concerns and they'll be automatically routed to the person best equipped to provide support
Read more on LearnSBISD
Tomball ISD has moved its start date for both virtual and face-to-face instruction to September 8, according to a recent announcement. Parents must choose an instructional method for their child by filling out the Commitment Form.
Tomball ISD will begin the year in virtual instruction on August 18, and has delayed face-to-face instruction for four weeks. You can read more on this website and read part of their statement released July 22, 2020 here:
"As we continue the planning process, Tomball ISD is taking all state and local health recommendations into consideration to help us make the best and safest decisions for the health and well-being of our students and staff. Due to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases in our county, local health officials have recommended delaying the start of face-to-face, in-person instruction.
We will be scheduled to begin face-to-face, in-person instruction no earlier than September 15, 2020.
All Willis ISD students will participate in remote-only learning from home beginning August 12 through September 7. The district plans to reopen schools on Tuesday, Sept. 8, but will monitor the situation and provide updates the week of August 31.