The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has recommended that El Paso area school districts postpone the scheduled reopening of schools due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in El Paso County.
“We remain steadfast in our dedication and commitment to help our families navigate through these changes,” Superintendent Juan Cabrera said. “Our teachers and staff have been exceptional during this time in continuing to provide quality and engaging instruction for our students. While we were all eager to return to our campuses, it is paramount that we lead with health and safety as our guide.”
EPISD was scheduled to reopen campuses on Oct. 19 with the first phase of students. There is no instruction October 12-16 due to intercession.
District officials add that the county has seen a spike in positive cases reaching almost 10 percent this week. The EPISD Board of Trustees previously approved the benchmark for safe return at 5 percent or less for 14 consecutive days.
Out of an abundance of caution, the safest course of action is for EPISD families and staff to remain safe at home. Heeding the advice of medical authorities, EPISD now will begin its phased-in reopening on Oct. 26 for families that selected in-person instruction.
The schedule for return is as follows:
• Oct. 19: Camps administrators return.
• Oct. 21: Teachers begin phased-in return.
• Oct. 26: Students in special-education, grades pre-k through second, sixth grade and ninth grade. (For those who chose in-person instruction)
• Nov. 2: All remaining students. (For those who chose in-person instruction)
Central Office employees also will begin a phased-in return on October 19. Virtual instruction will still be available for families that chose that option.
EPISD has spent months working with health officials and experts to develop a thorough School Reopening Guide for Students & Parents, as well as a guide for all employees.