HOUSTON – The Fort Bend Independent School District wrote in an email to families Tuesday that students will not return to school this year as the area continues to grapple with the coronavirus crisis. FBISD is the first major school district in the Houston area to make such an announcement.
Instead, the more than 75,000 students enrolled at Fort Bend ISD will continue classes online for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
“Following much consideration and discussions with our Board of Trustees, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current state-wide school closure in effect through at least May 4, Fort Bend ISD will not return to face-to-face classroom instruction this year,” Superintendent Charles Dupre wrote in an email. “It has become clear that it will be in the best interest of our students and staff that Fort Bend ISD continue online classes through the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.”
Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott said he would make an announcement about whether or not schools will reopen later this week.
Dupre wrote that even if Abbott chose to reopen Texas schools on May 4, “many families and staff members will be reluctant to return to school and work to avoid potential exposure to the virus.”
After May 4, students at Fort Bend ISD would have only three weeks left in the school year and Dupre said it would be “even more disruptive to our students, staff and teachers to ask them to pivot back into our buildings and the traditional classroom environment.”
For Fort Bend ISD seniors, the district has decided to postpone commencement exercises to July.
“We are in the process of scheduling dates at the Smart Financial Center, which will be announced in the very near future,” Dupre wrote. “High school campus principals will be sharing information about end of year events for seniors, including information about refunds for cancelled events.”
The school district will continue to offer free meals to students under the age of 18 at 23 locations around the county.
Learn more about the district’s Grab and Go program here.