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Fort Bend ISD announces ‘no in-person extracurriculars’ during online start to school year

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Fort Bend ISD has officially pushed back the start of the 2020-2021 athletic calendar.

During a board meeting earlier this week, Fort Bend ISD announced that the 2020-21 school year will begin 100 percent online “in order to give students, parents and staff an opportunity to adjust to online learning and safety procedures.”

One of the caveats to that order was that there would be “No in-person extracurriculars will occur during this period of distance learning.”

This means the athletics season for Fort Bend ISD will have to wait.

Volleyball was slated to start tryouts August 3, first scrimmages August 7 and first matches on August 10. Football would have started practice August 3 and games starting August 27 at the earliest.

According to the FBISD 2020-2021 calendar, the fall semester is supposed to begin August 12, which will now be 100 percent online.

Fort Bend ISD includes 11 high schools (FB Austin, Bush, Clements, Dulles, Elkins, Hightower, Kempner, Marshall, Ridge Point, Travis and Willowridge), making it the third largest school district in Houston behind Houston ISD and Cy-Fair ISD. The list of schools include volleyball-power Ridge Point and football-power Fort Bend Marshall.

Ridge Point volleyball headed into the 2020 season coming off back-to-back appearances at the UIL State Volleyball Tournament in Garland, while Fort Bend Marshall football has played in back-to-back Class 5A Division II State Championship games.

Fort Bend ISD was originally planning to make a return to Strength and Conditioning Camps this week to continue preparing for the start of the season.

Houston-area school districts have been releasing their plans to return to school for the fall but Fort Bend ISD is the first to state that they will be 100 percent online and no extracurricular activities to begin.

The UIL last week released guidelines that stated students who elected to learn online were eligible for athletics barring they met the normal eligibility standards. But they also did leave that open to the districts to make local decisions that best-fit their situation. In an email to coaches last Wednesday, the UIL did state it "plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar."

Other school districts may, but Fort Bend ISD will not be a part of that opening group.

Fort Bend ISD coaches were not available for comment at the time of this story. VYPE has reached out to the FBISD Athletics Department and will continue to update this story as we obtain more information.