As Fort Bend ISD continues to plan for the upcoming school year, the Texas Education Agency’s recent announcement has created concern for the district.
“Today’s (Tuesday’s) announcement from the TEA is disappointing because the guidance, as written, does not provide local school districts with the flexibility to make decisions based on local data or community and staff values and expectations,” a spokesperson for Fort Bend ISD said.
FBISD said the guideline “on-campus instruction must be offered for all grades served by the campus every day for every student whose parents want them to access on-campus instruction,” is disappointing and does not allow the district the opportunity to fairly consider teachers’ well-being, a value which FBISD is prioritizing in its planning process.
According to the district, the guideline negatively impacts funding for school districts that might not be able to provide on-campus instruction every day or if students must be on a part-time schedule to limit the number of students in a classroom at one time.
“Fort Bend ISD is considering many safeguards and precautions to mitigate the spread of illness within our schools,” Superintendent Charles Dupre said. “We remain committed to following TEA guidance and the strategic plan set forth by our local Board of Trustees to provide an educational system that allows all students to reach their full potential – in any circumstance.”
FBISD intends to offer daily face-to-face instruction for any student selecting that option; however they said they cannot commit to such a plan until the district can determine teachers’ willingness and ability to return to face-to-face instruction.
“Our teachers and campus staff are at the heart of everything we do, and we will not ask them to bear the risk and weight of any re-opening plan,” Dupre said.
Additionally, pre-registration will reveal the number of students desiring either face-to-face or virtual instruction and better allow the district to decide how classrooms will be used at each school.