The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees voted Thursday to delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year until September 8th due to COVID-19-related issues.
The new plan pushes back the start of school until September 8th, eliminates, fall break, and extends the calendar year until June 18.
Administration officials asked the Board to approve the plan to give them more time to properly prepare for the start of Virtual Learning, saying they needed more time to roll it out effectively.
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The Board also listened to teachers concerns and complaints about returning to the classroom and promised future meeting to discuss safety measures.
Dallas ISD also announced some of the changes in schools to increase health safety when students are allowed in classrooms again.
Students will have personal storage bins to make it possible to switch between provided face masks and face shields. Students will also get their own personal hand refillable hand sanitizer bottle.
There will be temperature checks for all students before entering schools and boarding buses.
Markings have been added to schools to help younger students understand social distancing.
Plexiglass dividers will be in classrooms and lunchrooms.
Teachers would teach both online and traditional classroom students and those students would keep the same teacher no matter which learning model they chose.
“When the kids come in face-to-face, they’re still using that same learning management system that the student at home is using. Everyone is going to do the same lesson,” DISD Assistant Superintendent of Student Learning Leslie Stephens said. “The teacher is going to do an explanation and get students working on independent work and then have the kids come in on ZOOM and then do an explanation for those students that need it.”
This plan allows students and families to go back and forth between online and in-person throughout the school year.
Under the plan, technology would be made available to all students – tablets for Pre-K through second grade and laptops from 3rd grade through 12th grade.
The Thursday night meeting went more than six hours before a vote was taken, with some board members expressing frustration but ultimately support for the plan.