EPISD unveils plan to reopen schools in August

El PASO, Texas – The start of the school year for the El Paso Independent School District is just a few weeks away. EPISD held a pair of virtual community meetings on Tuesday to provide parents with information on its plans to reopen schools.

This next semester from August 2 will be the first time since the pandemic that schools will reopen at full capacity. Some of the main changes announced by officials this school year include:

  • Virtual learning will not be an option – students must attend classes five days a week.
  • Extracurricular activities will resume including athletics, fine arts and UIL.
  • Recreation and physical education will also resume and cafeterias will reopen.
  • Rank retention will be eliminated.
  • Masks, social distancing and temperature checks will no longer be necessary.
  • The 10-day quarantine is no longer required for high-risk people who are fully vaccinated.
  • EPISD will continue to disinfect each of its schools on a daily basis and contact tracing will continue.

During the meetings, the school district also discussed the steps it is taking to help students with learning disabilities during the pandemic. In particular, students who did not pass the STAAR test in the spring will be assigned a teacher to receive further education.

EPISD Associate Superintendent Carla Gonzalez offered this explanation …

“Students who have not taken or who have not passed the STAAR test in 2021, that is to say in the spring, will be required to do the following: they will have no less than 30 hours of lessons during the total over the summer, really starting now in August, all through summer 2022. What we’re going to do is we try more than an hour per week, just because 30 hours per subject, even while some of our students will focus on math and reading, some of them also had social science and science tests. So, for some students, that could represent 120 hours of overtime. “

Also at the meetings, some parents asked if the district has a backup plan in place in case the number of Covid-19 cases increases due to the Delta variant.

“We know there are variations, we know there are still cases happening even now. But at this point all we got was the green light to plan as usual. and then if something were to happen, we would respond the same way we did in March 2020, the state would give us the guideline at that time, ”Gonzalez replied.

EPISD spokeswoman Melissa Martinez also told ABC-7 that El Paso County’s high vaccination rate reassures the district about the safety protocols in place.

Besides safety concerns, the main focus of EPISD will be to help students and parents acclimatize to the new school year.

“We have students who don’t know their campus, don’t know their way around the school,” Martinez said. “So really, the first two weeks of school are going to be dedicated to meeting those needs.”

Parents with questions can contact EPISD by clicking here for contact details.

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