Tentative plans could have Pecan Grove-area students in either smaller classrooms or a mix of in-person and online learning for the next school year.
In a board of trustees meeting on Monday, Fort Bend ISD Supt. Dr. Charles Dupre discussed options with the board of trustees about how schools will look in August when the new school year begins. But with a possible second outbreak of COVID-19 coming in the fall, the district will have to make significant changes to the typical school day.
Dupre has an idea for how FBISD will offer classes while he waits for guidelines from Gov. Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency. Elementary school students would return to school, but with a modified school day and with smaller classrooms. There would also be some online education parts that students would also have.
“The 2020 future forward model includes having our youngest learners – pre-k through sixth grade – back at school, in classrooms five days a week,” Dupre said in an online video. “However, at this time we have not determined the length of the school day. We have heard concerns and know that childcare is an issue as parents return to work, so we want parents of younger students to know that we are working to provide the usual, full-length school day, if at all possible. But, we cannot make that promise today.”
For middle and high school students, there would be a combination of school learning and online learning. Dupre wants to keep online education going in case schools will have to shut down again due to a threat from the novel coronavirus.
“Providing a safe, appropriate learning environment for all students might require using our school buildings differently, which means students might be asked to learn in pods or even buildings typically used by a different grade level,” Dupre said.
Dupre also said that parents will have the option to choose between sending their children to school or for full-time, online-based learning.
Meanwhile, the TEA sent out different scenarios for school districts to adjust their school calendars during the pandemic.
One scenario would include an earlier start date, longer breaks, and a later end to the school year. Another would add an additional 30 school days to the minimum 180 days.