Harlandale ISD considering 100% virtual instruction, pushing back school start date

Calendar change will be decided on Monday

(WKMG 2020)

SAN ANTONIO – As coronavirus cases continue to swelter in Texas along with the heat, some San Antonio school districts are starting to propose revisions to the already cloudy 2020-2021 school year.

In a letter to parents Tuesday, Harlandale ISD Superintendent Gerardo Soto said the district is considering changing the start date for the upcoming school year from Aug. 5 to Aug. 24.

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Harlandale had the earliest tentative school start date for all the San Antonio-area school districts, according to a previous KSAT report.

The change will be decided by the school board on Monday, according to Soto, who said pushing the date back is a recommendation from city officials and Harlandale ISD cabinet members.

Soto also said the district is “awaiting the approval of additional guidance from state and local authorities in order to proceed with what we deem necessary to decrease the spread of COVID-19 such as 100% virtual instruction from everyone in the district.”

The idea to move to an online-only education model for students would mirror what the San Antonio Independent School District is planning to implement for the first three weeks of the upcoming school year.

During a news briefing Tuesday, SAISD Superintendent Pedro Martinez announced in-person instruction will become available for students after Labor Day and the start date for SAISD will be pushed back one week, pending board approval.

Last week, the TEA issued guidance for school districts as the state continues to see an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

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As the plan stands now, parents can choose to send their children to full-time on-campus or remote learning for the 2020-21 school year. Students will be able to switch formats at the end of grading periods.

Masks will be mandatory for students older than 10 years old and teachers in counties with 20 or more COVID-19 cases.

In his message, Soto said the “flexibility on the instruction method cannot be made without the approval of city and state officials” and he asked for patience from the community.

All the latest information for the district can be found on Harlandale.net.

Related headlines:

SAISD moving to online-only for first 3 weeks due to spike in COVID-19 cases, superintendent says

San Antonio-area school districts’ tentative start dates for 2020-2021 school year

Coalition of San Antonio parents, teachers advocate for remote learning for first 9 weeks of school

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