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Local school leaders working on back to school plans

TEA has provided guidelines for in-person and online learning
Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -Local school districts are working on the finishing touches of what learning will look like come fall.

The Texas Agency of Education released a list of guidelines on Tuesday further explaining the different learning options. You can find the list of those guidelines by clicking here.

College Station Superintendent Mike Martindale says those recommendations are something the district has already been discussing.

"There was nothing there that was too surprising, just a few new pieces," said Martindale.

Bryan and College Station ISD will offer in-person and online options.

Bryan Superintendent Christie Whitbeck says some classes can’t be done virtually so they will offer BISD students hybrid classes.

“Which would mean students would come in just for a specialized class like welding class maybe at the CTE Center or maybe its fine arts or athletics or culinary arts, things that are very very difficult to do online,” said Whitbeck.

Allen Academy Interim Headmaster, Mike Notaro says his school’s small class sizes mean they can physically distance students easier and exceed the TEA’s guidelines. They aren’t planning to offer an online learning option at this time.

“If we would have to go into virtual school in any way, we would start at the top where kids who don’t need as much supervision would go into virtual school but our plan is to keep young people here through this process,” said Notaro.

School districts also have the option to phase in students returning to campus.

Bryan and College Station school leaders say they will utilize this option.

“The staggered opening over a three week period that the commissioner mentioned, that was new information yesterday. I don’t know if we will take advantage of that,” said Martindale.

“We didn’t get into that detail yet but I’m not that certain that that is going to gain a lot for us,” said Whitbeck.

Notaro says there will be no changes to their plans to start school on time and in person.

“We’re going to return to school just like we have planned on August 19. Fully in person, as we would in a normal situation with some adaptation for safety and social distancing,” said Notaro.

All students and staff will be required to wear facemasks during the school day so long as it is state-mandated.

Bryan ISD, College Station ISD, and Allen Academy school leaders say they continue to work with staff and parents on what options work best for everyone.

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