College Station ISD adds more instructional days in case of COVID-19 shutdown

School will now begin five days earlier than initially planned
Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 11:04 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - The College Station Board of Trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to make some changes to the calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.

Superintendent Mike Martindale presented the board with a plan to take six previously allotted professional development days and transition them into instructional days.

The school start date was moved from Tuesday, August 18 to Thursday, August 13. October 9, January 5, and February 16 were added as instructional days as well.

Martindale says with the help of multiple people within the district, they worked to design this in a way that wouldn’t change too much, but would give the district an extra cushion in case of a coronavirus-related shutdown.

“These additional minutes now gives us eight days really, in those minutes, beyond the minimum. So if we go out for a week, then we still in our calendar have the capacity to reach our minimum requirements,” said Martindale.

If the school does not close down and is in session for all 180 days, that will allow the school to receive funding from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for an additional 30 days after the school year to have classes for students who may need it.

The board also looked at options for what the fall could look like given the COVID-19 pandemic. The board discussed three options: On-site learning, virtual learning, and a hybrid version.

On-site learning would be the traditional style of learning in the classrooms. Virtual learning would be similar to what was done this spring after classroom closures. The hybrid version would be a mix of both. One idea presented to the board was to have some students in classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, another group in class Tuesday and Thursday. These groups would alternate Fridays, and the days spent at home will be spent doing distance learning.

No decision has been made yet regarding these potential changes. Martindale says they are waiting to get more guidance from the TEA and local health officials before making any sort of final decision.

“Whatever TEA comes out with, whatever guidance they provide us, we will plan accordingly,” said Martindale.

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