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Houston-area superintendents discuss school reopening plans following TEA guideline announcement

Clear Creek ISD already held a town hall meeting concerning new rules for 2020-21.

HOUSTON — Campuses mostly unused since before spring break will soon be back in business.

The Texas Education Agency is mandating in-person instruction as part of its reopening rules for public schools.

“I think we’re going to make the plan work,” said Alvin ISD superintendent Carol Nelson.

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Nelson said it’s not perfect, but the TEA's plan is not dramatically different from the back-to-school plan Alvin ISD already formulated and shared on its website.

"We always knew we would offer options if TEA allowed that, for face-to-face and remote or virtual learning,” Nelson said. "And really, we just went ahead and started planning."

Like Alvin ISD, other Houston-area districts are re-adjusting reopening plans as a result of the TEA’s new guidelines.

A dozen or so, including HISD, Alief ISD, Katy ISD and Spring ISD, told KHOU 11 revisions should be announced over the next week or so.

Clear Creek ISD may have been first to release its plan following the TEA’s guideline announcement.

District leaders spoke about it Thursday during a virtual town hall meeting.

“I think, overall, we want to provide some level of normalcy to our children and this is important," CCISD superintendent Greg Smith. "And I’m also concerned about the social isolation that has occurred over time and we need our children back with us.”

Nelson said she realizes many may be anxious about returning to campuses, and worst-case scenarios are among the things on her mind.

"It's our job to make sure our environment is safe for them and that we keep safety as a top priority for both students and staff,” Nelson said.

Nelson considers the TEA guidelines as sort of an umbrella that can apply to districts across the state and believes there is enough leeway for individual adjustments.

Not complying with the rules could result in state funding cuts.

Check individual district websites for updated information on reopening plans.