HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As students prepare to head back to school, HISD won't be requiring them to wear masks, and the district's health emergency protocols are being scaled down. It's all part of the district's latest COVID-19 safety update, which was emailed to parents on Thursday. In the email, HISD said its communicable disease plan, which governs the district's health and safety protocols during public health emergencies, will be formally deactivated on Aug. 2.    (26) view article arw

Legislation that would have funded remote learning at Texas schools failed to pass, leaving families of students who preferred distance learning with months to figure out their options before the fall starts.  Clarissa Lindsey’s 17-year-old daughter, Emily, wants to be a librarian so much she can picture it. Emily, who was born with a heart defect and doesn’t have an immune system, knows exactly what she wants her future to look like.  “She wants to be the one who's out there meeting with the people, helping check in books, helping people find books and find things that they're interested in,” Lindsey said.    (29) view article arw

ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - A new memorial will be built in Athens in honor of African-American students who attended segregated schools in the city. The memorial will be a wall that lists the names of students who attended Blackshear, Fisher, and Bishop Heights school campuses. The location of the memorial will be in O.D. Baggett Park, which is named after O.D. Baggett. He was the first black justice of the peace in Athens.  The idea of the memorial came about from Building Athens Together President Larry West. West spoke at a veteran’s event in which he was fascinated by a veteran’s memorial, and he thought it would be a good idea to do something similar for students who attended segregated schools in Athens. view article arw

CLAUDE, Texas (KVII) — School districts in rural communities can oftentimes feel overlooked. Helping every student feel they have the same opportunities to become successful is a challenge. New leadership at Claude Independent School District aims to help students and teachers strive for greatness. “Fresh faces, fresh ways, fresh procedures, fresh directions," said Greg Brown, superintendent at Claude ISD. Brown tells ABC 7 News his model is to grow the school which will help build the community as lots of things center around the school. “When you create a great school that becomes attractive to people," said Brown. "My goal is for this to be a great school that people are moving to Claude, that brings business, that brings interest, that brings investment.” view article arw

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — The Round Rock Independent School District will offer a virtual learning option for students in kindergarten through sixth grade for just the fall 2021 semester. The district made the announcement Thursday evening, saying it’s trying to accommodate those who are concerned about children under 12 years old who can’t get the vaccine yet. view article arw

COVID-19 Transmission Risk During School Bus Transportation: “Universal testing and contact tracing revealed no transmission linked to bus transportation” in a new study in the Journal of School Health. “An independent Virginia school monitored 1,154 students with asymptomatic PCR testing every 2 weeks initially and later every week from August 28, 2020-March 19, 2021, during highest community transmission.” “Fifteen buses served 462 students while operating at near capacity of 2 students in every seat, using a physical distancing minimum of 2.5 feet, universal masking and simple ventilation techniques.” view article arw

FISHERS, Ind. — Training on race equity for staff at one local school system has split a local community with thousands joining Facebook groups supporting one side or the other.  The current frustration is a two-day training happening this week for Hamilton Southeastern Schools staff. The training is “Interrupting Racism for Children” and is instructed by Child Advocates, a local group “fighting for equality and equity for all children in the community and standing up for children’s rights,” according to the group’s website.  Some parents see issues with these trainings though, most commonly associating the training with Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory, or CRT, has been a buzzword in schools across the country recently. view article arw

The Paris ISD has put into writing a rule that has long been enforced prohibiting the cell phone recording of certain incidents on campuses. Students will still be allowed to record students in positive events such as sports, band, drill team, theater etc. Recording Incidents such as fights or other misconduct is officially prohibited. view article arw

WINONA, Texas (KETK)- The Winona Independent School District said one of their students passed away on Thursday. “Winona ISD is heartbroken by the loss of one of our students today,” stated the superintendent, Damenion Miller. The district was notified that Chris Gatlin passed away from his injuries after being in a car crash. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. Counselors will be made available for staff and students as needed throughout the week,” said the district. They also asked that the community respect the family’s privacy. Funeral arrangements have not been announced at this time. view article arw

A Texas prison has officially started detaining immigrants accused of state crimes after allegedly crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally as part of Gov. Greg Abbott’s heightened border security efforts. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Wednesday that Val Verde County, home to Del Rio, sent three people arrested under Abbott’s border initiative Tuesday to the Briscoe Unit in Dilley, a small town between San Antonio and Laredo. The number of detainees is expected to grow rapidly; the Val Verde county attorney predicted about 50 arrests of immigrants a day, ramping up to as many as 200 daily by August.    (22) view article arw

A backpack drive-thru giveaway was held in Chaparral, New Mexico by the Gadsden Independent School District. About 200 backpacks were donated to students. “In the midst of this unusual year with many challenges your continued support of our students positively impacts them and removes academic barriers to their success,” said Social Worker Deborah Holguin from Gadsden Independent School District Federal Programs. view article arw

Conroe ISD presented an updated plan for the safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services at a July 20 board of trustees meeting. The plan, also known as the "Roadmap to Remaining Open," states policies and provides recommendations for students and faculty to better prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The 2021-22 school year will be conducted 100% in person. Masks will be not be required for anyone on any CISD campus. However, masks will be provided free of charge, according to the district. view article arw

WACO, Texas- The rise of COVID cases in McLennan County is putting local schools in limbo as they make decisions for the upcoming school year. The Waco Independent School District will resume in-person classes at 100 percent, and they are finalizing what will work best for the students. Waco ISD Health Services Director Rhiannon Settles says they have been working closely with the Waco- McLennan County Public Health District for the best back-to-school plan. “It’ll be different. It’s not ‘back to 2018’ normal, but it will be better. We are going to be okay. We’re going to make it,” Settles said. “We will provide learning to kids, meals to kids, {and} do everything that we have to do. It’s just going to be a little different.” view article arw

As many children prepare to return to in-person school in the fall and alarming reports from across the U.S. and around the world point to a coming crisis in children’s mental health, some communities are getting out ahead of the grim forecasts. In Texas, teachers and mental health care providers are fortifying support systems, investing in kids’ resilience and expanding what works as they continue to fight for the future of the COVID-19 generation. This is the third story in a three-part series examining those efforts. Read the first story here. Read the second here. view article arw

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Students attending London Independent School District head back to school July 21, 2021 for the 2021-2022 school year.  Start times for London Elementary school is at 7:45 a.m., followed by intermediate students at 7:50 a.m. and middle & high school students starting at 8:40 a.m. view article arw

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Independent School District is looking into a limited virtual learning option for families with medically fragile students unable to return to in-person learning in the fall.  District officials say this homebound instructional program would only be eligible for students who were confined to their homes or a hospital. These students would have to provide a doctor’s note indicating they will need to be confined for more than a month. view article arw

Parent/guardian and student(s) are required to be present to sign all 2021-2022 school registration/enrollment forms as well as lunchroom, athletic, health, and class schedules (9th -12th only). New students will need to bring Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, Shot Records and transcript or report card for enrollment. If you are unable to attend Registration/ Enrollment, packets will be available in the front office on July 26th 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We are accepting applications for Transfer Students and applications can be picked up during Registration and in the front office. Cherokee ISD will be participating in a 4-day school week. Call (325) 622-4298 if you have any questions. view article arw

Summer Olympics viewers will see several Cy-Fair ISD alumni in the 2020 event, which is taking place in Tokyo and was postponed a year due to COVID-19. While some events start as early as July 21, the opening ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC July 23 at 6 a.m. local time. view article arw

The first person has filed in this November’s election for one of three positions on the Bryan ISD school board. The man finishing an unexpired term in single member district (SMD) five is seeking a full term. David Stasny served 30 years as an at-large member until he was defeated last November. Stasny is currently serving the southwest portion of BISD. The other BISD seats in this year’s election are the other at-large position and SMD four, which represents the southeast portion of the district. There will be at least one contested race for College Station city council. That’s after Dennis Maloney filed for re-election to his at-large seat. Maloney is opposed by David Levine. view article arw

With no state-approved virtual learning funds, the Humble ISD board of trustees unanimously approved June 20 a motion giving Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen authority to submit waiver applications to the Texas Education Agency in hopes of being able to provide a virtual learning option for students in the 2021-22 school year. “We are doing everything possible to have a virtual option for our students for those that need it,” trustee Robert Sitton said. "But without legislative action, there is no funding.” view article arw

VICTORIA, Texas – The Victoria I.S.D. is hosting two community meetings for voters to learn about the three new options being considered for the November ballot. Ashley Scott, Victoria I.S.D. Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations, joined us on Community Crossroads to share more. The following is a transcript: Carolina Astrain: Welcome to Community Crossroads. We now hear from Ashley Scott with the Victoria I.S.D. Welcome, Ashley. Ashley Scott: Thank you for having me. view article arw

Keene High School Principal Chris Taylor and his wife, Keene Elementary School pre-kindergarten teacher Ashley Taylor, had for several years discussed ways they hoped to help and give back to their community once they retired. Thanks to Keene ISD Superintendent Ricky Stephens and the district, however, the Taylor’s hopes came to fruition sooner rather than later.” “This looks fantastic!” KISD Summit Leadership Academy Principal Julie McKintosh said upon entering Charge it Forward for the first time. “It looks amazing.” view article arw

As we get closer to the first day of school, some families may not be able to purchase the needed supplies for their kids, but this year that will not be an issue for Electra ISD students. Thanks to a partnership between the district and the Electra Hospital District, each kid in the district will receive free school supplies. view article arw

As outrage swirled among University of Texas at Austin students last fall over the school's alma mater, “The Eyes of Texas,” and its early association with campus minstrel shows, President Jay Hartzell made a classic higher education decision: He organized a committee. This one, he said, would include 24 Longhorn athletes, historians, professors and students who would investigate and “chronicle the full history of ‘The Eyes’ and recommend ways we can openly acknowledge, share and learn from it.” But by the time the group released its final report in March, a new name had quietly been added to its ranks: Brad Deutser, a Houston consultant who helps organizations with everything from company culture to crisis communications and branding. view article arw

WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) - For the 2022-2023 school year, families in Midway will be making a shift. The school district is one step closer to finding out where students are headed. New facilities and growing enrollment at Midway ISD have created a difficult decision of rezoning with more than 1,000 students expected to have to make a transition. “There’s some logic to it but also a lot of emotion to it because we are talking about families and where their children go to elementary school,” Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas said. Rezoning for the 2022-2023 school year was on the meeting agenda Tuesday where they will consider four options. view article arw

“Don’t you get summers off?” Little do they know the intense planning and preparation that occurs all summer to get ready to welcome our kids back into our school. The start of the 2021-2022 school year is no exception! The first day, August 17th, is right around the corner which means it’s time to get your student registered. While registration may seem like a frustrating, daunting task to most, I encourage everyone not to delay it until crunch time. The complete registration process is required yearly for new and returning students. It is a critical process to ensure that we have updated information on your child in case of emergencies and it also supports planning for the number of courses and instructional staff needed to support students for the year. view article arw

BOCA CHICA — A Starship spacecraft exploded midair and spread debris across South Texas. Somehow, that was not the most surprising or significant development here on March 30. “Please consider moving to Starbase or greater Brownsville/South Padre area in Texas & encourage friends to do so!” Elon Musk tweeted that day. This was followed by “Am donating $20M to Cameron County schools & $10M to City of Brownsville for downtown revitalization.” view article arw

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14/CBS4) — The El Paso Independent School District is trying to help families save money as students prepare to return to in-person learning.  In a news release, EPISD said it has changed its uniform policies for the 2021-2022 school year. view article arw

Longtime Olympics track and field manager Tim Weaver remembers scouring the "beehive of activity and emotions" around the warmup track at the 2017 outdoor world championships in London. Agents, team staff, athletes and their personal coaches moved about furiously in and around the 400-meter oval. It was tense. It was busy. It was madness. "Super high pressure and super high frequency," Weaver said. view article arw

The city of McKinney established school zones for Emerson High School in a July 20 City Council meeting.  Emerson, Frisco ISD’s 11th high school, will open this year at 6300 Collin McKinney Parkway in west McKinney. view article arw

The Biden administration's guidance for school reopening promoted a radical activist group’s handbook that advocates for educators to "disrupt Whiteness and other forms of oppression." The Department of Education linked to the Abolitionist Teaching Network’s "Guide for Racial Justice & Abolitionist Social and Emotional Learning" in its handbook intended to help schools reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic and recommend how they should spend billions of dollars they collectively received through the American Rescue Plan. The Abolitionist Teaching Network’s website includes links to various materials and media that include language often associated with critical race theory, though the group avoids using the exact phrase. view article arw

HALLSVILLE — Hallsville ISD trustees on Monday unanimously voted to name new head coaches for two head coaching positions at the high school. Trustees voted Monday to name Josh Strickland head football coach for the Hallsville High School Bobcats and Chris Whatley as head baseball coach. Strickland is an alumni and Whatley was already serving on the baseball team’s coaching staff. “We’ve talked about both these spots at great length to our administration and our board knows about them,” Hallsville ISD Athletic Director Cody Farrell said prior to Monday’s board meeting. “That’s the direction that we as an administration are headed and we’re excited about both spots. They both have strong ties here.” Also on Monday, trustees heard from the district’s Bond Project Manager John Erickson who said both bond projects, the new auditorium being built at Hallsville High School and the new West Elementary School being built in Longview, are now each about 30 days behind schedule due to bad weather in the past couple of months. “I think there’s still a chance of a Christmas time completion for the auditorium at the high school,” Erickson said Monday. “At West Elementary School, I think we can start moving the furniture in by March but the opening will probably be May.”    (20) view article arw

The Marble Falls Independent School district will spend up to $45,000 on Scholastic books to be distributed for at-home and classroom use following approval at the July 19 school board meeting. Funding for the purchase comes from the Title I and Rural and Low-Income School Program budgets from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years. “This allows for more access for us to give some books to our neediest students for their homes and then also for us to have more access for the teacher library,” explained Yarda Leflet, executive director of Instructional Services. “Teacher libraries get depleted quickly, so it’s good for us to be able to provide some books to ramp up their libraries.” view article arw

London Independent School District students will return for the first day of the new school year on Wednesday. The school district says it will start the school year with many of the same health protocols from last year in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. view article arw

Twin cheerleader sisters have filed a lawsuit against their former coach accusing him of sexually abusing them for years from when they were as young as 15 years old. Jessica Gerlacher, 22, and Hannah Gerlacher, 22, filed the lawsuit on Monday, July 19, accusing their ex-coach Jason McCartney of allegedly sexually abusing them for several years from when they were just teens. view article arw