By Gaige Davila
Cameron County students cannot physically return to school until late September, a new order from Cameron County states.
Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. and Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo ordered delaying in-person classroom instruction until after Monday, Sept. 28, citing rising COVID-19 cases in the county. Previously, Treviño and Castillo ordered delaying opening schools for in-person classes until after Sept. 8.
The order states that Cameron County ranks eighth in most positive COVID-19 cases in Texas, along with ranking sixth for most COVID-19 deaths in the state and third for most active cases in the state. In 36 days, between July 3 and August 8, Cameron County confirmed 13,898 cases, going from 2,692 to 16,590 cases in that time period.
The order also delays any sports from happening until after Sept. 28.
Between Point Isabel Independent School District’s (PI-ISD) start date, Aug. 25, and Sept. 28, Port Isabel High School had four scheduled football games on Aug. 28, Sept. 4, Sept. 11, and Sept. 25, according to MaxPreps. A schedule for PI-ISD’s volleyball season could not be found by the PRESS. PI-ISD Superintendent Theresa Capistran said those games are going to be rescheduled, but cancelling PI-ISD’s football season is a possibility.
PI-ISD’s Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Tony Villarreal told the PRESS that the schedule has been changed four times as mandates come from the county and as other districts change their schedules.
In a UIL 4A District Executive Committee meeting, Villarreal asked for a “crunch zone” schedule, filling three games in the first two weeks immediately after Sept. 28. Until then, football, volleyball and cross country teams are practicing through Zoom and Google Classroom, which Villarreal told the PRESS has been successful so far, and that student athletes have been adjusting to the virtual schedule.
PI-ISD will begin their school year remotely, as previously reported by the PRESS, starting Aug. 25, with at least 4 weeks of online instruction. After the 4 weeks, PI-ISD school board members will vote on extending remote instruction for another four weeks.
Capistran is exploring options to continue a meal program into the fall, using the district’s bus routes to deliver breakfast and lunch meals.
Next week, PI-ISD will distribute iPads and Google Chromebooks for all of its students, just before the school year begins, hosting sessions in English and Spanish on how to use the technology.
Garriga and Derry Elementary (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.):
- 4th and 5th Grade: Aug. 17
- 2nd and 3rd Grade: Aug. 18
- PK, K, 1st Grade: Aug. 19
Port Isabel Junior High (8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.):
- 6th Grade: Aug. 19 (Beginner band paperwork will be distributed to students)
- 7th Grade: Aug. 20 (Boys and girls athletic paperwork is due)
- 8th grade: Aug. 21 (Boys and girls athletic paperwork due)
Port Isabel High School (athletic paperwork collected at all sessions):
- 12th grade: Aug. 18, 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- 11th grade: Aug. 18, 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- 10th grade: Aug. 19, 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- 9th grade: Aug. 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Virtual “Meet the Teacher” sessions are being held next week:
Garriga and Derry Elementary: August 20 at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Port Isabel Junior High: August 21 at 3:30 p.m.
Port Isabel High School (Fish Camp): August 20 at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Login information for these virtual events will be posted on pi-isd.net.