Bonham Academy student Niko Carrera studies at home on her laptop. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The summer has been confounding for parents, students, and educators trying to keep up with shifting State rules on how schools can reopen and local education systems’ plans that adapt in response.

In mid-June, Gov. Greg Abbott said students would be safe to return to school in the fall, but since that declaration, many school districts have adjusted and re-adjusted their reopening plans. With the first days of class on the horizon, things are still changing.

Below is a summary of local districts’ current plans to restart the school year.

Alamo Heights ISD opened on Aug. 17 and plans to only offer remote learning until Tuesday, Sept. 8. At that point, the district plans to offer families a choice of remote or in-person learning. Click here for more details on the district’s reopening plan.

The majority of Boerne ISD’s campuses are located in Kendall County. However, two elementary campuses are located in Bexar County. All Boerne ISD schools opened on Aug. 12 for both in-person and remote instruction. Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

The majority of Comal ISD’s campuses are located in Comal County. The district has five campuses located in Bexar County. All Comal ISD schools will open on Aug. 25 for both in-person and remote instruction. Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

East Central ISD started school on Aug. 17 and will keep all instruction remote until Sept. 8. Families can choose if they want their students to learn remotely or on-campus after that date.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan. 

The first eight weeks of Edgewood ISD’s school year will be remote. Class started on Aug. 17.

On Aug. 4, district trustees voted to keep students at home for the first eight weeks of the school year or until public health conditions improved.

The district will look to two health metrics for guidance moving forward: the positivity rate of coronavirus tests and the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in a week.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Ft. Sam Houston ISD started school on Aug. 17 and the district will keep all instruction remote until Sept. 8.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Harlandale ISD will start school on Aug. 24 and keep all instruction remote until the week of Sept. 21. At that time, the school board will evaluate if the district should extend campus closures by another four weeks, Superintendent Gerardo Soto wrote in a letter to parents.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

 

 

Judson ISD will start school on Aug. 24 and keep all instruction remote for the first three weeks of the school year.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to ask the Texas Education Agency for more flexibility on when they allow all students back to campus. TEA allows the district to restrict who comes back when until Sept. 28. At that point, every student who wants face-to-face instruction must be granted it. However, JISD trustees voted to extend that flexibility by an additional four weeks in case they decide they want to further limit who is on campus at that time.

It was not clear Thursday night whether or how the district would take advantage of that flexibility in late September or October.

Lackland ISD started school on Aug. 17. Trustees voted Aug. 25 to ask the Texas Education Agency for more flexibility on when they allow all students back to campus. TEA allows the district to restrict who comes back when for up to the first four weeks of the school year. At that point, every student who wants face-to-face instruction must be granted it.

However, Lackland ISD trustees voted to extend that flexibility by an additional four weeks in case they decide they want to further limit who is on campus at that time. They voted in favor of the flexibility with the caveat that the district use a tiered system to prioritize students of essential workers and those with special needs.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

North East ISD started school on Aug. 17. The district will only offer remote instruction for the first three weeks of the school year.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Northside ISD will restart school on Aug. 24 and only offer remote instruction until at least Sept. 8.

The district will use a phased-in reopening plan driven by guidance from Metro Health to determine how many students will be allowed onto campus. The plan has four phases: red, orange, yellow, and green.

Superintendent Brian Woods told trustees at an Aug. 18 board meeting that the district wants to prioritize three groups of students when inviting a limited number of students back to campus. First, the district would prioritize students in specialized settings, then English learners and early childhood learners, and then those academically at risk. The district would treat allowing more students on campus like opening a valve rather than flipping a switch, he said.

The board voted in favor of asking the Texas Education Agency for some flexibility beyond the first four weeks of the school year to limit how many students would be allowed on campus, in line with Northside’s determined zone. Without the flexibility, NISD would have to open up campuses for whomever wanted to learn in person. Once the district moves into the orange zone, it will start bringing a limited number of students back to campus with a maximum of six students per classroom.

Randolph Field ISD will start school on Aug. 24 and only offer remote instruction until Sept. 8. At that point, parents will have be able to choose between in-person and online instruction.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

San Antonio ISD will use a phased-in reopening plan driven by guidance from Metro Health to determine how many students will be allowed onto campus. The plan has four phases: red, yellow, green, and blue.

Metro Health Medical Director Junda Woo announced schools can “open up a little bit” at a San Antonio ISD town hall on Aug. 24, telling the community that the risk of in-person instruction is now moderate. In recent weeks, health data trended in a positive direction, meaning the positivity rate of coronavirus tests has declined significantly and the amount of days it would take for the current number of cases to double increased substantially.

Because of this, San Antonio ISD will bring up to 10 percent of its students back to campus on Sept. 8, Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. If health data continues to improve in the two weeks following the opening of campuses, SAISD will bring back another 10 percent of students. The district will prioritize students with special needs, students who are struggling with remote learning, and the youngest learners in prekindergarten through second grade. There will be no more than six children in every classroom.

The SAISD board previously voted in favor of asking the Texas Education Agency for some flexibility beyond the first four weeks of the school year to limit how many students would be allowed on campus, in line with SAISD’s determined zone. Without the flexibility, SAISD would have to open up campuses for whomever wanted to learn in person. If the district is not past its green zone at eight weeks into the school year, SAISD would again ask for more flexibility, Martinez said.

Schertz-Cibolo-Unviersal City ISD’s campuses are located in both Bexar and Guadalupe counties. All campuses started school on Aug. 13 and will only offer remote instruction until Sept. 8.

Families can choose from in-person and remote instruction after that date.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plans. 

Somerset ISD will begin instruction remotely on Aug. 24 and offer remote instruction only for the first two weeks of class.

When the district opens campuses on Sept. 8, Somerset ISD anticipates about 40 percent of students to return for in-person class, Superintendent Saul Hinojosa said.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Southside ISD started school on Aug. 17 and will only offer remote instruction for the first four weeks of the school year.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plans.

South San Antonio ISD started class on Aug. 12 and will only offer remote instruction for the first eight weeks of the school year.

The district will review the seven-day average of coronavirus cases to decide when to reopen campuses.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Southwest ISD will start class on Aug. 24 with all instruction online until Sept. 8.

At that time, parents will be able to choose in-person or remote instruction for their students.

Click here for more information on the district’s reopening plan.

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.