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If students are still at home this fall, what will happen to Friday night football?

Come fall, will students be stuck learning online again? Will COVID-19 kill Friday Night Lights? Those are questions the FBISD superintendent is trying to answer.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — From the football fields to the classrooms the COVID-19 pandemic has put a drastic twist on almost everything to do with education.

“We’ve managed the change very well,” Fort Bend Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre said. “But it’s definitely been an intense, steady flow of work and decision-making.”

When it comes to what schools will look like in the fall, Dupre has three plans in mind.

One: things go back to normal and traditional classroom instruction continues.

Two: students continue to learn online full time but with improvements and higher standards.

Three: a hybrid method, which Dupre thinks is most likely.

The hybrid method would mix online and classroom learning.

“Where they go to a school and get instruction from a teacher in a classroom for a certain number of hours per week and then they also go home and continue their learning at the end of their parent,” he said.

It could also mean students with more needs than others go to campus full-time while others go part-time.

“A good example; as we know that our primary babies, our kindergartners our first-graders, they need intensive literacy support at every single school. So, we could potentially he have a scenario where we had Kindergarten and first grade in the school building all day every day with 10 or 12 kids in a room which means maybe the third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders come to school two or three days a week rotating through,” he said.

Details are still in the works for the hybrid method. Dupre said he’s asking educators and his school board to be creative with their ideas, using researched methods proved to be successful.

As far as extracurricular activities, those will likely look different, too.

“The students I’m hearing the most from are the ones who are missing the family of their band, their choir, their baseball team,” Dupre said. “I’m going to be honest, I have a hard time seeing that we will be able to field full marching bands and full football programs if we are not in school full-time.”

Dupre said there could still be practice but perhaps not games or performances.

As for making the final call on what happens come August 1, that could be a decision that comes mid-to-late July.

During a school board meeting Monday night, the board discussed graduation ceremonies this summer. The most likely scenario would move graduations from the Smart Financial Center in July to outdoor ceremonies at the district’s Hall Stadium in early-to-mid June. A final decision is expected later in the week.

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