EPISD unveils plans to reopen schools for 2020-21 year; In person, virtual or hybrid models to be used

Monday afternoon, officials with the El Paso Independent School District announced its plan to reopen schools on August 3 for the start of the 2020-21 school year.

EPISD will reopen with learning happening in person, virtually or a combination of both as part of guidelines spelled out by the Texas Education Agency.

“If we’ve learned anything from this experience with the pandemic is to keep plans flexible and be ready to pivot at any given point,” said EPISD Superintendent Juan E. Cabrera. “We will continue to monitor local health conditions and work with city and health officials to plan a return to school that is safe for both our students, teachers and parents.”

The District will phase in a return with various instructional models, including combining in-person learning with EPISD@Home — the District’s distance learning model — and 100 percent remote learning.

Some special academic programs will be offered full-time, in-person courses.

The District will send out a survey to parents later this week in which they will select the preferred instructional model available to them.

Parents can choose either staggered schedules (hybrid) or distance learning. Some groups, as identified by the District, may be offered face-to-face instruction.

Once selected, the learning option will be locked in for at least the fall semester or until health officials determine it is safe for students to return to campuses full-time.

The reopening of EPISD will be done in accordance with rules from the state given the continued high rate of COVID-19 infections in El Paso and Texas.

EPISD will communicate the details of each option available to parents in the coming weeks.

“Whether in person or virtual, we do know that all options will offer engagement with teacher and fellow students,” Cabrera said. “We thank the parents and students in advance, and we want to reassure the community that the safety and health of our students and teachers is our top priority.”

For more information, visit the EPISD website.