Houston Independent School District
Houston Supt. Grenita Lathan

Houston district delays opening and will begin the year with only online instruction

July 16, 2020
Surging number of Covid-19 cases prompt district to keep students out of classrooms..

The Houston school district, the largest public system in Texas, says it will delay the opening of school until Sept. 8, and for the first six weeks of 2020-21 it will offer only online classes.

The district announced in a news release that the schedule changes were made because of the rising number of positive Covid-19 cases in the area.

“We have been working diligently to identify ways to continue providing quality education while ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff, and families,”  Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan says. “I believe this plan is the best option for the HISD community, given the current circumstances and challenges presented by Covid-19.”

Face-to-face instruction for students is now set to begin on Oct. 19, but he district emphasized that the schedule could again be altered depending on the number of coronavirus cases.

Parents will be given the option of keeping their children out of face-to-face instruction entirely for the fall semester and 2020-21 school year.

The district urged parents of students in need of a laptop or a wireless hot spot, and who have not yet received one from the district, to get in touch their school principal before the school year begins.

When face-to-face instruction resumes, all students and employees will be screened daily before entering any district building. They will also be required to wear appropriate masks, wash hands routinely, and adhere to physical distancing requirements.

Additionally, it will be mandatory for nurses, custodial staff, food service workers, and special education staff to wear gloves.

Video: Houston district announces reopening plans

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