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College Station ISD pushes start date back

The school board voted 7-0 to move the start date to Aug. 18.
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) -College Station ISD school board unanimously to push the start date for the 2020-2021 school year back.

The meeting began at 5 p.m. on Thursday, it took less than 20 minutes to decide to move the start date from Aug. 13 to Aug. 18, which was when they had initially planned to start school months prior.

College Station ISD will welcome back students in less than three weeks.

They’ve been working a survey for parents and guardians about the school year and learning options.

School Board President Michael Schaefer shared with us his message to parents and guardians and the look at pushing back their start.

“We’re listening to the Brazos County Health District. We’re also listening to the Governor’s’ office we’re also listening to TEA so there’s a lot of moving parts. And I realize some parents get frustrated when they go to our website and they see this and see that but at the end of the day I think everybody will realize that we have two goals. One to educate their kids and the other is to provide safety to them,” said Schaefer.

Parents are asked to choose whether they want virtual versus online instruction by Thursday, July 30.

College Station ISD is preparing for in person and virtual learning when students return. We talked to multiple district parents on Thursday, many said think they extra time will help. Others wondered if a few extra days would make that much of a difference during the pandemic.

We asked district leadership what the few extra days will do.

“That additional time just allows our folks a little more time to focus on the details not feel as rushed. You know it is still a significantly compressed timeline for what they have before them,” said Mike Martindale, College Station ISD Superintendent.

Martindale asked parents and guardians to be patient as they continue to get updates from the health department, state and the Texas Education Agency.

We asked him how confident he is school will start on the 18 or if they’d have to revisit the schedule.

”Right now as I stand here with you Clay, the 18th is the date. We are planning, preparing for Tuesday the 18th and that is the mindset we will have,” he replied.

The district says they had more than 12,300 responses from families from a survey on which learning option parents will choose for their kids.

63 percent of families chose onsite learning.

Schaefer added they are still addressing all the changes during COVID-19.

”I think the flexibility is very important you know whether it’s you know the education and which format they want to do,” said Schaefer.

“We recognize how uncertain times are and how things change quite often and I just want our parents to understand that things change on us,” said Martindale.

The School Board also approved a compensation package that will give raises for eligible district employees. Starting teacher pay will also increase from $44,250 to $45,500.

We have more information from the district on the school year here.

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