EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso, Ysleta and Canutillo independent school districts announced some significant changes to their operating plans following a meeting Friday with El Paso City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza and other health leaders.
That meeting was prompted by a spike in El Paso County coronavirus cases reaching almost 10 percent this week, as well as an increase in local hospitalizations.
As a result, EPISD said it would postpone the scheduled reopening of schools, YISD said it would further restrict attendance at athletic events and delay the date for teachers to return to campuses, and Canutillo ISD said it would extend remote learning.
EPISD outlined schedule changes as follows:
- Oct. 19: Camps administrators return.
- Oct. 21: Teachers begin phased-in return.
- Oct. 26: Students in special-education, grades pre-k through second, sixth grade and ninth grade. (For those who chose in-person instruction)
- Nov. 2: All remaining students. (For those who chose in-person instruction)
- Central Office employees also will begin a phased-in return on Oct. 19.
- Virtual instruction will still be available for families that chose that option.
Meantime, YISD outlined its changes as follows...
- Effective immediately, spectators or other student groups – such as band members, dance teams, JROTC, etc. – will NOT be allowed to attend athletic events. Only athletes, coaches, game officials, and administrators may attend/participate in athletic events. In addition, all “specialty” activities, including Homecoming and Senior Night, have been canceled. These guidelines apply to both football and volleyball games.
- Middle-school soccer games and tennis tournaments scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 3, have also been canceled.
- Learning Hub campuses will remain open through Oct. 9 to continue providing support to students, per Texas Education Agency (TEA) regulations. Ysleta ISD’s first intersession – or one-week school break – of its year-round calendar will take place as planned, from Oct. 12-16.
- In regard to staffing, teachers and YISD Central Office employees will not be required to report to offices and campuses at 100% on Monday, Oct. 5, as previously planned. However, essential personnel will continue reporting to work, officials said. Teachers may voluntarily return to their classrooms during the week of Oct. 5 for training in new technology tools recently acquired by the district to support asynchronous remote learning.
And Canutillo ISD outlined the following....
- Asking parents, if possible, to return or stay with remote instruction starting Monday, October 5. The District will continue to offer in-person learning for whom it is necessary.
- The remote instruction recommendation may remain after October 19 if the upward trend in Covid-19 cases continues.
Officials for the school districts said their new measures were being taken to safeguard the health and safety of students and staff.