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What 2020-21 school year will look like in Fort Bend County

HOUSTON – Fort Bend Independent School District parents now have an idea what the upcoming school year will look like — hybrid learning.

School officials stress the framework is still fluid and subject to change.

The 2020-2021 school year in Fort Bend County will begin on Aug. 12 with and without students returning to class. As part of the 2020 Future Forward framework superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre announced via Youtube on Tuesday, K-6 grade students will return to their classrooms in the Fall for in-school learning.

“We believe there’s just some critical elements and foundations that need to be met at those ages and it’s not going to happen at home,” Dr. Dupre said.

He said the goal is to have those young minds in school every day. Though, the length of the school day is still being determined, along with the teacher to student ratio.

“Right now we do not know what the classrooms are going to look like,” the superintendent said. “One of the biggest pieces of information we’re waiting for is from the commissioner of education (Texas Education Agency) to share guidance from the TEA on that exact topic.”

The district is considering a hybrid approach for 7-12 graders. Students can either attend school full-time, learn online full-time or attend school some days and do online learning the remainder of their week. It will be up to parents to decide what’s best for their children.

While some parents are eager to have their children return to school in August, others have said it’s too soon.

I’m one of the parents who I believe my child should stay at home and do online learning. Not the hybrid, just the online learning due to all that we do not know about COVID-19,” Jzaugn Pitts said.

Pitts has a daughter who attends Ronald Thornton Middle School in Sienna Plantation. Pitts said she has many concerns and questions about sending her daughter back to middle school.

“Whose going to check the students when they come in the building? Are they gonna be shields around the desks for the children? Also, if a child does get sick at school are there proper procedures in place to quarantine that child?” she asked.

Dr. Dupre said the district is considering all of that and with the help of parents he wants to make this upcoming school year a safe one for students and staff. He said they’re looking into face shields, hand sanitizer stations and temperature checks. He stressed that nothing is set in set in stone since he’s still waiting for guidance from the state.