HISD voices support for ‘Reconnect Safely, Return Strong’ reopening plan

During a special meeting, Houston Independent School District trustees publicly supported the district’s Reconnect Safely, Return Strong reopening plan to begin the 2020-2021 school year.

To safeguard the health and well-being of students, staff and families as the City of Houston confronts an increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases, HISD will begin the school year on September 8 instead of August 24. Classes will continue virtually for six weeks. In-person classes will begin October 19, subject to change based on COVID-19 conditions across the City of Houston and guidance from local, state, and federal health officials.

“We greatly appreciate the public show of support of our reopening plan from our Board of Education Trustees,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “It is vital that our families know that the board and administration stand united in doing everything possible to protect the safety of each of our students and staff members.”

Parents will be able to choose what is best for their child with an option to opt out of face-to-face instruction for the entire fall semester – through January 29, 2021, or for the entire school year – through June 11, 2121.

Beginning August 24, parents will receive a phone call from the district asking them to indicate their choice. Parents may select on-campus learning or virtual learning. After each six-week grading period, parents may change their selection.

Important re-opening dates:

  • September 8, 2020: First day of school (virtual only)
  • October 19, 2020: Face-to-face instruction begins
  • September 8, 2020 – January 29, 2021: First semester of remote learning for students/parents who choose online-only instruction.

Teachers will report to work virtually on Monday, August 24. All other district employees will continue to work virtually and will be notified by their direct supervisor regarding the date they will be expected to return to the office.

Parents of students who do not have a laptop or an internet hot spot are asked to contact their school principal to request technology before the school year begins.

The HISD Communicable Disease Plan Task Force developed protocols for the return to face-to-face instruction, which include all HISD students and employees being screened daily before entering any HISD buildings. They will also be required to wear appropriate masks, hand-wash 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.

More information on HISD’s 2020-2021 reopening plan is available here.

View the interim superintendent’s July 15, 2020 news conference announcing the reopening plan.