Following the July 27 recommendation of Denton County Public Health Services, Denton ISD will begin school on Wednesday, August 26 but will provide all instruction to the district’s 32,000 students remotely until Tuesday, September 8.
“We will continue to follow guidance from our local medical professionals who are tracking cases very closely,” said Dr. Jamie Wilson, superintendent of schools. “ And, this precautionary decision really only lengthens the physical separation from our students by eight days.”
Denton County health officials recommended that school officials keep campuses closed through Monday, Sept. 7 and begin face-to-face instruction no sooner than Tuesday, Sept. 8. The county recommended school leaders begin their school year virtually until that date.
Dr. Matt Richardson, director of the Denton County Public Health Department, said COVID-19 cases have continued to increase in the county and children can serve as transmission points for the virus. For the week of July 12, 15.5 percent of Denton County residents who were tested for COVID-19 received positive results, which is above the state average and the highest positivity rate for Denton County to date.
Denton ISD families are in the midst of registering their students for the 2020-21 school year, making a selection between face-to-face and the district virtual learning platform, ConnectedLearning. They have until Aug. 12 to select their option.
Per Texas Education Agency guidelines, families can switch between two learning options – face-to-face or ConnectedLearning – after the conclusion of each grading period.
“The ability of our community to follow the recommended guideline will dictate our ability to re-open which is why we need everyone to keep wearing masks, socially distance, practice good hand hygiene and above all else avoid large gatherings,” said Dr. Wilson. “If we have enough students who wish to return through our virtual option, we may be able to begin bringing small groups to campus and ‘phase-in’ our physical re-opening sooner – only time and our ability to work together will tell.”