Denton ISD pushes back first day of school

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The Denton ISD Board of Trustees decided Friday to delay the first day of the 2020-21 school year by two weeks.

The first day of school will now be on Aug. 26, 2020, according to the district. The change comes less than two months after Superintendent Dr. Jamie Wilson said definitively that DISD’s school year would start on Aug. 12, as scheduled.

The Denton ISD Board held a special meeting on Friday to approve revisions to the calendar, according to a news release from the district. All of the “teacher workdays” that had been scattered throughout the school year have now been moved to the beginning of the year, so teachers will begin work on Aug. 4, more than three weeks before school starts. All major holidays were left intact, and the last day of school remains May 27.

“By pushing the official start date to Aug. 26, we will have our staff on-hand to practice all safety protocols and build even greater expectations for student learning,” Wilson said Friday. “Our staff is very adept at face-to-face instruction, which is what we want more than anything, having a few extra days is essential as we ensure safety protocols are in place for the comfort level of our families and staff.”

Earlier this week, the Texas Education Agency released guidelines to all Texas schools which recommended to districts that campuses re-open with face-to-face learning.

The district recently received the results of a staff/employee survey and reviewed the results of a parent survey at the June 23 Board meeting, and both surveys indicated that more than 70% of respondents wish to return to face-to-face instruction with new safety and wellness protocols as recommended by the TEA and the Centers for Disease Control.

As COVID-19 cases increase in Denton County, the district will work closely with the Texas Education Agency and state/local health experts before launching in-person instruction this fall, according to the DISD news release.

Click here to view the new academic calendar for DISD.

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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