Even with some remaining uncertainties due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Superintendent Richard Kelley and his team at River Road Independent School District are looking forward to how school may look in the summer and into the next school year.  Kelley said during Monday’s regular meeting of the board of trustees that the district is continuing to make steps forward to prepare, as much as it can, for the 2020-21 academic year. view article arw

When local Texas officials began restricting public life to slow the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Greg Abbott lauded their early response to the developing crisis. By the time he ordered all Texans to stay home except for essential activities March 31, all the state’s major counties already had adopted similar measures.  Now, as he implements his plan to reopen the Texas economy in phases, Abbott is overriding county judges who favor tighter restrictions, which they say forces them to adjust on the fly. view article arw

FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (KXAN) — Some school boards across the state have moved to virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a viewer tip, KXAN has learned the Fredericksburg Independent School Board continued to hold in-person meetings up until a board member tested positive for the virus. view article arw

A social distancing experiment is underway in Texas, where outbreaks are mounting in places where people are close together: prisons, meatpacking plants and nursing homes among them.  Public policy is going the other way. The state government — countermanding directives from city and county officials in Texas — is slowly reopening the state, loosening shelter-at-home policies and easing into go-ahead-and-shop policies.   (6) view article arw

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre and district staff presented the district’s continued response to the coronavirus pandemic to the board of trustees at a May 4 meeting.  “There’s not a lot of new decisions being made, but we are starting to look toward developing decisions for next year and beyond,” Dupre said to the board.  While district administrators have not made any final decisions yet about school next year, Dupre said the district is planning for three possible scenarios:  a) all students return in August for in-person classes as normal;   view article arw

The governor is allowing more businesses to reopen, and Texans are weighing the risks of returning to normalcy. In this weekly series, Texans from across the state share stories about how they're navigating life during the COVID-19 pandemic.   view article arw

HOUSTON — From the high school baseball field to the ICU, many Fort Bend Independent School District athletic trainers were reassigned after classes were canceled.  “The next thing you know schools are pulling their teams from the fields because their school is prohibiting them from being there,” athletic trainer Victoria Pineda said. view article arw

Leaders from Bay Area schools, including four local ISDs and three colleges, said during a May 5 webinar that the coronavirus pandemic has encouraged them to rethink their approaches to education.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott closed public and private schools across the state for the rest of the academic year in mid-April. Since then, officials at Clear Creek, Friendswood, La Porte and Pasadena ISDs said they have made various efforts to connect and communicate with their students.  FISD Superintendent Thad Roher said the district’s goal with its 6,100 students is simply to connect with them and broaden their learning experiences. The district will conduct summer school virtually and continue looking at blended education approaches for the future, particularly if budget cuts become necessary, he said. view article arw

Texas schools can hold outdoor graduation ceremonies starting in June, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday, opening up an option that few Houston-area public school districts typically employ to celebrate seniors.  In announcing the change with Abbott, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said that school administrators will be required to enforce social distancing standards between families at outdoor ceremonies this summer. For now, indoor ceremonies remain banned amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. view article arw

Fredericksburg Independent School District will not hold its annual free, mass physicals for area students participating in band or athletics. The physicals, available for anyone attending Fredericksburg High School and Middle School, Heritage School, St. Marys’ School or Ambleside School, are canceled in compliance with social distancing guidelines because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UIL pre… view article arw

The Texas Education Agency has awarded nearly $400,000 to McKinney ISD to enhance the district’s safety and security measures. The grant money, awarded in April, will bolster the district’s existing efforts to enhance safety at MISD schools, according to a MISD news release. view article arw

As a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Spring ISD announced May 4 that the district will delay the launch of three new specialty programs until the 2021-22 school year, to give administrators more bandwidth to support students and teachers as they continue to learn and teach remotely for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.  According to the release, while the Bailey School of Performing and Visual Arts will still be rolled out this fall as planned, the International School at Salyers Elementary, the polytechnic program at Claughton Middle School and the pre-K to eighth-grade School for International Studies at Bammel Middle School will be pushed back until the 2021-22 academic year. view article arw

The Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district will be the first in Hidalgo County to host testing sites for COVID-19, according to a district news release Tuesday. The decision was made during a school board meeting Monday. view article arw

McKinney Independent School District (ISD) has received nearly $400,000 in grant funds from the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to supplement school safety and security measures already in place. view article arw

Emmett J. Conrad High School teacher Robert Marc Flores has been arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child, improper relationship between educator and student and online solicitation of a minor. Garland Police said officers executed a search and arrest on Tuesday, May 5 at Flores’ home. view article arw

Garland ISD launched its newest communication service on April 22 with the opening of the Family Support Call Center. Open from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, the center offers parents and caregivers the opportunity to ask questions, seek information or obtain resources after business hours via telephone. view article arw

Texas saw a big increase in cases over the weekend, setting a record for the largest gain of COVID–19 cases over a two-day period since the pandemic began.  Grand Prairie Independent School District officials are asking those who picked up meals from one of their locations to self-quarantine or seek medical advice.   One of their employees who works in the child nutrition department has tested positive for COVID-19, officials said, prompting the call to self-quarantine.

view article arw

PREMONT, Texas — There's word tonight schools in the Premont ISD could start their fall semester in July!  Before this pandemic began,  Premont trustees voted to start the school year on August 3rd. Now there is at least some discussion about moving the start of the school year back a couple of weeks.   "We have a large percentage of our high school students involved in college courses and credit, it would give them an opportunity to possibly take advantage of the second session of summer school," Superintendent Steve Van Marte said. view article arw

As President Donald Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths by June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double the current level of about 1,750.  The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now. view article arw

Twelve nurses representing schools across Leander ISD are now helping Williamson County medical and governmental leaders reduce the spread of COVID-19.  "As nurses, we all have servant hearts and this is just our passion and our calling," said LISD District Nurse Cristin Wicketts  With the help of Williamson County health experts and epidemiologists, these nurses have been learning how conduct contact tracing, which they will soon put into practice in identifying potential cases within their community. view article arw

The coronavirus has taken away so many memorable moments from high school seniors this year. Seniors have missed out on their prom, final performances on theater stages, final choir, orchestra and band concerts, ceremonies, competitions and for some, they've missed out on their last year of playing sports at the high school level. This class has had to adapt and change to a new way of completing their high school education through distance learning. view article arw

The topic has been at the forefront of parents' minds since San Antonio-area school districts announced they would extend spring break by two weeks to help stop the spread of COVID-19. How and when will schools reopen, and what does the future of education look like under the New Normal? view article arw

Kilgore ISD has created a director of safety and emergency management position and hired a former high school principal to fill it.  Charles Presley will be stepping into the role this summer.  Superintendent Andy Baker said the purpose of the position is to coordinate the district's safety and security programs, including supervision of general building conditions, district and campus-level emergency response procedures and programs and coordination of student safety and security education programs. view article arw

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Hundreds of North Texans are still fighting serious illness from the coronavirus infection, and many of them are still under medical treatment.  Among them is Dallas ISD Officer Vincent Remediz, who is on day 26 of being on a ventilator. He is one of four DISD officers who tested positive last month. view article arw

While the rest of us are fretting about the pandemic, a couple of state agencies are busy with big, unrelated stuff. Government never stops.  The Texas Department of Transportation decided to use the agency’s $3.4 billion discretionary fund on an Interstate 35 expansion through Austin, a long-term project starting during what the state comptroller predicts will be a loss of billions of dollars of state revenue due to the coronavirus-spurred recession in Texas.  The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one. view article arw

A federal strike force is headed to Amarillo in response to a surge of coronavirus cases tied to meatpacking plants in the area.  Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson announced on Saturday that a team of federal officials would arrive in the Texas Panhandle as soon as Sunday to help "attack" outbreaks in the plants and take over testing and investigations of people contracting the new coronavirus.  “They will bring resources and most importantly they will bring strategies that they’ve been using in other beef packing plants to slow the spread, to get control of it,” Nelson said in a video posted to her Facebook page.   (4) view article arw

Texas health authorities reported 1,026 fresh coronavirus cases Sunday, the fourth consecutive day of more than 1,000 new cases statewide. Previously, Texas had seen just two days of more than 1,000 new cases: on April 8 and April 10.  The high numbers of cases come as some retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters open their doors at limited capacity under Gov. Greg Abbott’s relaxed coronavirus restrictions, which took effect Friday.  By one important measure, however, the growth of new cases is slowing: The total number of cases as of Sunday, 31,548, doubled in 18 days. On April 15, the state’s total, 15,492, was double the figure of just nine days earlier.   (4) view article arw

Millsap ISD will soon be able to hold doctor’s visits on campus after approving an on-site medical care contract with the Parker County Hospital District earlier this week.  “Any of our staff or students could go to the nurse on their campus and the nurse would check them out using this med pod and then it connects to the doctor, so it is the exact same thing as a doctor’s visit except it’s on campus,” MISD Superintendent Deann Lee said. “It is at no cost to us except we provide the space and the nurses.” view article arw

San Antonio’s largest employers are looking to local health professionals and public officials to guide their transitions as they navigate the process of reopening corporate offices under Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order to restart the Texas economy.  Companies such as USAA, Cullen/Frost Bankers, and H-E-B have remained open during the pandemic as essential businesses, but much of their corporate staffs have been working remotely during stay-at-home orders. In light of Abbott’s order, these corporations and others are evaluating ways to bring employees back into corporate spaces and debating whether now is the time to do so. view article arw

ABILENE, Texas — Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said there is not much of a chance that school will start as normal this fall.  The school district closed campuses after Spring Break due to the coronavirus pandemic. view article arw

ODESSA, Texas — Ector County ISD was approved for an emergency child care facility. They'll be opening their doors for the first time Wednesday while following strict CDC guidelines.  "We are making plans to honor CDC guidelines, no more than ten bodies in a room in some cases that's 9 children and 1 adult on our child care child for infants and toddlers that's two adults with eight children," said Alivia Syverson, ECISD's Assistant Superintendent of Student and School Support. view article arw

In June of 2019, Texas State Legislature passed House Bill 3834, a bill requiring local and state government employees, district trustees and contractors, to complete a Department of Information Resources (DIR) approved cybersecurity awareness training. Dallas ISD has established a formal training to meet the state mandate. The training is now available in Cornerstone. view article arw

Gov. Greg Abbott has received mixed reviews for reopening businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. While some Texans aren't eager to venture out, others feel a responsibility to support local enterprises. view article arw

TEXAS REBOOT

May 0106:09 AM
 

Austin American Statesman:  Coronavirus cases, deaths surge statewide as restaurants, retail stores prepare to open doors.  As he unveiled loosened restrictions for businesses, Abbott on Monday also announced plans to build a team of 4,000 contact tracers and said that Texas should soon have the ability to test 25,000 people each day for the coronavirus.  Testing numbers have been slowly increasing, with 15,510 new tests reported on Thursday. view article arw

Public health experts have mixed reviews for Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent directive allowing businesses to partially reopen this week as the state continues to fend off the new coronavirus.  Many praised Abbott for taking a phased approach to reopening as opposed to allowing everything to open all at once, though some said his timeline started too soon and is moving too fast. They cautioned that the state still needs to ramp up its testing and contact tracing abilities. And they warned that officials should be prepared to pause during the first phase of reopening — or even revert back to a stay-at-home order — should the data show a surge is likely. view article arw