SAN ANTONIO – With the start of school just weeks away, many Texans are wondering what public schools will look like going into the 2020-2021 school year.
For San Antonio public school children, the new year will start out like the last one ended -- online.
Students have not been inside classrooms since the coronavirus pandemic shuttered Texas schools in March for the final two months of the 2019-2020 school year.
There will be no face-to-face instruction on campuses until after Sept. 7 according to a directive issued by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
Bexar County students will have access to learning materials virtually but won’t have access to in-person instruction or extra-curricular activities, including athletics, until at least Sept. 7. This could impact the state funding for schools which is typically based on classroom attendance.
Students attending class virtually will be counted towards school funding based on guidelines set forth by the Texas Education Agency, however, for school districts that remain closed because of a local health mandate, the TEA will not provide funding.
The announcement not to fund schools that remain closed came shortly after a letter from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that argued that local health officials “do not have the authority to shut down all schools in their vicinity while COVID-19 cases rise,” the Texas Tribune reported.
Some San Antonio-area private and religious schools are arguing that Metro Health doesn’t have jurisdiction to prevent religious schools from gathering. Metro Health officials countered this argument based on the potential threat to public health.
A lawsuit, filed last week by San Antonio megachurch Cornerstone Church, seeks a ruling that would allow the megachurch’s school to reopen for in-person classroom instruction before Sept. 7.
San Antonio-area school districts have released academic calendars online. Each link in the list below provides the most up-to-date information available regarding the district’s COVID-19 instructional plans. The coinciding dates are tentative start dates for the beginning of the school year for each district.
- Alamo Heights ISD - August 17
- Boerne ISD - August 12
- Comal ISD - August 25
- East Central ISD - August 17
- Edgewood ISD - August 17
- Floresville ISD - August 17
- Harlandale ISD - August 24
- Judson ISD - August 24
- La Vernia ISD - August 19
- Medina Valley ISD - August 25
- New Braunfels ISD - August 24
- North East ISD - August 17
- Northside ISD - August 24
- Saint Mary’s Hall - August 17
- San Antonio ISD - August 17
- Schertz-Cibolo-Universal-City ISD - August 13
- Somerset ISD - August 24
- South San Antonio ISD - August 12
- Southside ISD - August 17
- Southwest ISD - August 24
Under the TEA guidance, schools are required to comply with Gov. Greg Abbott’s mask order.
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