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'I think we're always going to have to tweak some things' | Katy ISD reveals school reopening plan

"This is probably Hurricane Harvey on steroids, trying to figure it out,” Superintendent Ken Gregorski said of the logistical challenges.

KATY, Texas — One of the Houston area’s largest school districts revealed its reopening plan on Monday.

Katy ISD, the state’s 10th largest district, calls its plan “Smart ReStart" and it  includes options for in-person and remote learning, as mandated by the state.

It's something Superintendent Ken Gregorski described as monumental.

"This is probably Hurricane Harvey on steroids, trying to figure it out,” said Dr. Gregorski of the logistical challenges compared to what the district went through in 2017.

Masks and face shields will be provided to those returning to physical campuses and students will be kept apart as much as possible, including on buses.

Katy ISD expects students who return to in-person learning to help keep things clean.

"We’re going to be asking students, as they enter, to take hand sanitizer,” said Katy ISD emergency management coordinator Ruben Martinez.

Wiping down socially distanced desks is also part of a new protocol.

"Knowing that this is going to reinforce the sanitizing that our custodians have done throughout the day,” said Martinez.

In a recent survey, about half of Katy ISD families who responded chose in-person instruction as their preference in the coming school year while enhanced remote or virtual learning remains an option as well.

"It provides live teacher interaction daily, for up to four hours, depending on what grade level you’re in," said Gregorski.  "And we have done a lot of training. It’s going to be a very robust model for instruction.”

Katy ISD families get to choose between in-person and virtual learning beginning next Monday.

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“I think we’re always going to have to tweak some things," said Dr. Gregorski. "But I don’t see us going back to the drawing board because the two plans we’ve created are pretty solid.”

For more, go to Katy ISD's "Smart ReStart" webpage.

It’s similar to plans revealed last week by both Clear Creek and Klein ISDs while Conroe and Spring ISDs have virtual town hall meetings planned regarding their reopenings.

Meanwhile, Houston, Aldine, Pearland and Alvin ISDs are among those set to release updated plans later this week.

Fort Bend ISD is still finalizing its back-to-school protocols as well.

Cy-Fair ISD, the state’s third largest district behind Houston and Dallas, has yet to announce a release date for its plan.

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