UPDATE: Temple ISD board approves amended calendar with September 8 start date

Local News

UPDATE: The Temple Independent School District board of trustees unanimously voted to approve an amended 2020-2021 school calendar.

The vote makes official the district’s announcement last week to push the start date for the coming school year back to Sept. 8.

Despite a later start date for students, district employees will report back to campuses over the next two weeks for planning and professional development.

In order to keep contract lengths the same, district administration has built in a week of time off prior to September 8th.

Despite the latest announcement by Attorney General Ken Paxton saying that local health authorities can’t indiscriminately close schools, Temple ISD decided to move forward with the proposed Sept. 8 start date.

The school board released the following statement.

“The reasoning behind this decision to push back our start date is threefold. First, we do not agree with the idea of forcing every student to begin school with remote learning knowing it is statistically less optimal as an alternative to in-person instruction. Second, from the very beginning, Temple ISD has supported the notion of a parent’s choice in selecting their child’s learning option — starting remotely in August would deprive our parents of that choice. Lastly, delaying the start of school affords Temple ISD additional time to best prepare for the coming year.”

Temple ISD Superintendent Bobby Ott

The district says there was a great deal of collaboration between the Bell County Public Health District and local school districts, and they decided to stay the course because it was well thought-out.

Below is the previous story:

TEMPLE, Texas – The Temple Independent School District will delay its school start date to September 8.

This comes after the Bell County Health District (BCHD) met with area superintendents to discuss safety protocols and the reopening of schools in the county.

Before this meeting, Temple ISD submitted all reopening plans and safety protocols for their review. The Bell County Health District was pleased with the precautions the district has taken and the diligence exercised in its safety measures. There were no additional safety recommendations added to existing plans.

Temple ISD will delay the school start date for the following reasons, according to a statement released by Superintendent Bobby Ott on Thursday afternoon:

  1. Remote Learning is statistically less optimal than educating children on campus with in-person instruction. Although some home environments are conducive to remote learning, our parent survey results indicate that a majority of our working families are without a caregiver at home during the day; therefore, unable to supervise and support their children in a remote learning environment. Moving the start date to September 8, will hopefully allow these families an
    opportunity to participate in on-campus instruction in order to accommodate for our working families.
  2. From the very beginning, Temple ISD has supported the notion of a parent’s choice in selecting their child’s learning option. If Temple ISD were to start school on August 19th, the recent order would inherently select remote learning as the option for all students. By delaying the start of school to September 8, Temple ISD will provide another opportunity to place this decision back into the hands of our parents. Barring any other unforeseen decisions, on
    September 8, TISD should be able to honor our parent requests for either remote or on-campus instruction.
  3. Delaying the start of school to September 8th will also allow Temple ISD to utilize this additional lead time to produce even more thoughtful student schedules, host parent orientations, procure additional resources and allow for more teacher collaboration. Under these ever changing circumstances, any organization would do better with additional
    preparation.

The district says the last day of school for students will be June 9th, 2021. Since teachers are obligated to work a 187-day contract, the teacher working calendar will be extended through
June 10, 2021.

The Learning Options selection window has not changed, and will remain August 5th through 7th. The district will continue to send reminders to parents and instructions on how to select students’ learning option through Skyward.

Source: Temple Independent School District

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