Houston Independent School District’s reopening is delayed for two weeks to Sept. 8 and classes will be online only at that time, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said Wednesday.
Virtual learning will continue for six weeks, through Oct. 16. Face-to-face instruction will begin on Oct. 19.
These decisions are due to the rising number of coronavirus cases, Lathan said.
The Houston Federation of Teachers and other Houston educators and community groups released recommendations for reopening Houston public schools this week. The guidelines include starting the school year with virtual instruction until the area sees a decline in new COVID-19 cases.
HISD parents will have the choice to opt-out of face-to-face instruction and select online learning for the remainder of the fall semester or school year. Families will receive a phone call about their selection and may change their selection after each grading period. If parents decide to continue remote learning past Oct. 16, they will attend a virtual learning class outlining expectations and then sign an agreement stating they are committing to virtual learning for the grading period.
Employees and anyone entering an HISD building will undergo a health screening, must wear a mask, wash their hands frequently, and practice keeping physical distance.
Teachers and students will also wear masks, according to the health and safety fact sheet. Students will undergo daily screenings and temperature checks and adhere to physical distancing. Desks will be six feet apart. On buses, children won’t share seats; they will sit by a window and wear masks.
“Let’s reconnect safely and return strong,” Lathan said. Click here to read HISD’s full reopening plan.