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Austin ISD considering on-campus, at-home learning for fall 2020 semester

The school district has yet to make a final decision.

AUSTIN, Texas — In an email to parents, the Austin Independent School District shared it is considering what it calls a "blended learning approach" as district leaders decide how to move forward for the beginning of the new school year.

That means when classes begin on Aug. 18, learning will likely take place both on campus and at home, according to the district.

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The plan hasn't been finalized, however, and the AISD task force in charge of reopening plans has yet to submit a final recommendation to the district.

The district said it has received feedback from the community about its reopening plans from virtual discussions with staff and families; family, staff and student surveys; conversations with Austin Council of PTAs; and comments from its online engagement tool.

"It is important to remember that health-related data points and guidance from public health officials have led and will continue to inform decisions in this rapidly changing environment. As such, any suggested educational models could change due to circumstances. AISD is dedicated to remaining flexible while making the best decisions for students, teachers, staff and families," the district wrote in the email to parents. 

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The district will also take the following  precautions at every AISD campus for any learning that takes place on campus in fall 2020: 

  • All staff will receive extensive training on new health and safety protocols related to COVID-19. 
  • Students and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival at campuses.
  • Measures will be implemented for students to maintain 6 feet between each other to support social distancing. 
  • Staff and students (ages six and older) will be required to wear facial coverings.
  • Commonly used surfaces and areas will be thoroughly and frequently disinfected. 
  • Frequent hand washing practices will be implemented, including easily accessible hand sanitizer dispensers stationed across each campus.
  • Campuses will operate in smaller groups and at a lower capacity.
  • Students and staff will be required to stay home if they, or anyone in their household, have tested positive for COVID-19 and/or are showing any symptoms.

As the district continues deliberating about what the new school year will look like, students are still encouraged to provide feedback in an online survey about their experience during the spring 2020 semester.

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