I know that many of our families are anxiously awaiting information on the start of the school year, so I am writing with a brief update following last night’s meeting with the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees. After careful consideration of many factors, last night, we shared our plan to start the school year 100% online on August 12 to best protect the well-being of our students and staff. At this time, we do not know how long we will need to be online, but you can trust that we will have systems in place to provide a robust online program with both synchronous and asynchronous learning.
We believe starting school online will allow adults in our schools to refine the established health and safety protocols before introducing students back into the building. It will also provide the opportunity for staff and students to learn and master online learning tools, which will make any swift transition to online learning easier if we are required to close a classroom or school due to COVID-19. It is also important to know that there will be exceptions for a limited number of students to learn at school each day. These details will be shared in the near future.
With all of the current uncertainty, and due to the recommendation to begin school 100 percent online, our Board decided to postpone consideration of any calendar adjustments at this time. We will launch the school year with the previously adopted 2020-21 school year. Professional learning for our teachers will begin on August 5, as previously shared, and student instruction will begin on August 12.
From the beginning of the pandemic, we have shared that we will not rush to reopen schools before it is safe to do so – and that continues to be the case. I am proud to work with a Board of Trustees that is united in support of our staff and students, and this came up many times last night as they reiterated their commitment to the well-being of our staff and families.
We continue to refine our plans, using the guidance from the Texas Education Agency that we have received thus far, but as I shared with the Board last night, this guidance is shifting and can be likened to a moving target. Knowing that we will likely need to do another calendar adjustment in the coming months, we did not feel like now is the time to move forward with any changes.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you updated through live events, website updates, and the usual email and video channels. In the meantime, know that we continue to work with your family’s safety and wellbeing in mind.