DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The 13 traditional public school districts in Dallas County are now working on changing their re-opening plans in order to comply with the new order Dallas County Health and Human Services issued Thursday afternoon.
Schools will not be allowed to return to in-person instruction before Labor Day.
“It is rapidly changing, but at this time it is expected that we would have a virtual start instead of changing our school calendar,” said Grand Prairie ISD Superintendent Linda Ellis.
The order came down right before the GPISD school board meeting begin Thursday night.
Superintendent Ellis says the district still plans to start school in August, just with remote learning for all students and no option for in-person instruction.
Garland and Irving ISDs made similar decisions for all students to attend school remotely beginning in August.
DeSoto, Duncanville, Lancaster and Cedar Hill plan to delay the start of school until Sept. 8.
“We acknowledge that this is a challenge for many of our families, but we’ve also received overwhelming support because as the numbers increase in Dallas County, they are concerned about sending their children to school and exposing them and the rest of their family when they return home to any illness,” said Janine Fields, Chief of Staff for Cedar Hill ISD.
Right now, it’s unclear when Dallas ISD students will start classes.
The district plans to look at various options to reopen during a special board meeting next Thursday.
“Now that we know that in-school is not a factor anymore, you could potentially see the administration come to the board on the 23rd and say we want to start school on August 17th because we know how to do that,” said Dallas ISD Trustee Miguel Solis.
Dallas ISD said in a statement:
“As the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Dallas County have steadily increased, Dallas ISD recognizes the implications of further community spread, particularly as we plan to re-open school. The district will adhere to the order in place and discuss various options on how Dallas ISD plans to reopen, during a special called Board Meeting next Thursday, July 23.
The health and safety of our students, staff, and community remains our top priority, and together we will provide a safe return with local, state and federal guidance.”
The Mesquite and Richardson school districts are also still evaluating how the directive will impact reopening their schools. RISD did say it will immediately stop all in-person summer camps and activities to comply with the order.