By Gaige Davila
Point Isabel Independent School District (PI-ISD) students can continue attending school online, as the school district prepares partially reopening campuses on Sept. 21.
Parents took to social media to share their concerns about a survey sent by PI-ISD on Sept. 8, asking parents for comments on their Phase 2 reopening plan, which advised that school’s would reopen for in-person classes on Sept. 21 for a select number of students.
The next day, PI-ISD’s school board unanimously approved the district’s request for an extension waiver from the Texas Education Agency. The waiver would extend remote class instruction at PI-ISD for another four weeks, starting on Sept. 21, the same day PI-ISD must transition to having both in-person and virtual classes.
According to TEA’s guidelines, some form of on-campus instruction must be held in Texas school districts during the extended four weeks of remote instruction, beginning with the fifth week of the school year. If there is no on-campus instruction, Texas school districts could risk losing funding from TEA.
Capistran said TEA representatives told her that their requirements supersede Cameron County’s order to withhold in-person classes until after Sept. 28, insisting PI-ISD needed a transitional plan prepared for Sept. 21.
With this in mind, PI-ISD created their Phase 2 reopening plan, beginning on Sept. 21, the fifth week of school. Students across the district having connectivity issues, and wish to return to school physically, are being given priority to return. For the sixth week, students choosing to return to the elementary schools, junior high and high school can begin attending classes in person. No more than 5 students can be in a classroom. If more than 5 students want to return to a specific class, the district will randomly draw interested students to attend.
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