• 86°

Orange County schools sticking with calendars thus far

By Van Wade

While many schools across the state of Texas are moving in all kinds of different directions from their original calendar and changing their start dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many as late as the first week of September, Orange County schools are remaining with their calendars they created early in the summer thus far.

On Wednesday, the Houston ISD, with Houston definitely being a COVID hotspot, made a public statement that classes will be held only online during the first six weeks grading period that will start on Sept. 8. The goal is to have in-class learning beginning on Oct. 19.

Every Orange County schools are having parents complete surveys on whether or not they want their kids involved in in-school learning or on-line learning.

Thus far, the State and the Texas Education Agency has allowed school district across the state to create their own schedules.

Parents are allowed to make choices whether or not they want their kids to learn on-line at home or in their seats at schools.

There are a ton of rules and health guidelines that all of the schools will have to adhere to, and yes, one of the rules is for all students, teachers and staffs to wear face coverings in the schools. Each school has created a healthcare guide plan for all of their campuses.

Currently, Bridge City ISD will be the first Orange County school to crank school back up.

Teachers will return to BCISD starting July 27 while students start classes on Aug. 3.

Over at Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD, teachers will report July 30 and students will start up on Aug. 6.

West Orange-Cove CISD teachers will return on Aug. 3 and students will start Aug. 12.

Orangefield ISD teachers will report on Aug. 4 and students will return Aug. 10.

Over at Vidor ISD, teachers will return Aug. 4 and students will begin Aug. 12.

Most other Southeast Texas schools are so far staying with their same plans as well.

Nederland has students returning Aug. 17, Port Arthur ISD students can go back Aug. 18 and Port Neches-Groves students return on Aug. 19.

Beaumont ISD will go online to start the school year.

The district is set to start on August 17, and instruction will be online only for the first three weeks. This is intended to give students and staff a chance to get used to the new procedures. Beginning in September, the district will offer both on-campus and remote learning.

Device distribution for remote learning will be offered for families who don’t have access to online learning and will take place August 3-7. Virtual training for online curriculum will also be offered for families.

Teachers offering virtual curriculum will be required to attend their respective campus, even if they are not teaching face-to-face. Online classes may contain students from other campuses.

Limits will be placed on class sizes for the fall. On-campus elementary school (grades PK-4) will be reduced to 20 kids per classroom, while fifth-grade and secondary campuses (grades 5-12) will be reduced to 25 kids per classroom.

Students who choose to learn virtually can participate in sports, but must provide their own transportation.

All students, grades 4-12, using bus transportation must wear masks or face shield unless they have a medical condition. The district says they won’t be providing face coverings for students.

West Hardin CCISD in Saratoga, is one SE Texas school that has made a vast major change.

Their release on Wednesday stated:

As you know, the circumstances surrounding the Coronavirus have worsened since our last calendar adjustment. Accordingly, we have decided to delay the start of school for the 2020-21 school year as follows:

  • Students will start Tuesday, September 8th
  • Teachers will start Monday, August 24th

This delay will allow us to make the appropriate health and safety preparations and provide the necessary training for staff, students and parents in order to have a safe and efficient start of school. We will share the new calendar when we have made all the necessary adjustments.

We will be offering both in-person and remote learning. We are working diligently to get an outline of both instructional options to you as quickly as possible. We are also working to develop details about all aspects of the start of school and will also share that information as soon as possible.

Remember that the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 can change rapidly and we will make adjustments to our plan as needed.