TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) - All public and non-religious private schools in Tarrant County, the City of Arlington and the City of Bureleson will conduct the first six weeks of classes online when school resumes.
"It was our position that we wanted students and teachers to be safe. Everyone wants students back in school but we want to do it in a safe way," said Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Kent Scribner.
However, all school-sponsored events and activities, including but not limited to clubs, sports, band, choir, fairs, exhibitions, academic and/or athletic competitions, and similar student activities may only take place remotely or outdoors, with social distancing requirements of a minimum of six feet, facial coverings, and other established safety protocols.
"Our hope is that we would be in a downward decline just like what we saw in May, and schools can reopen, cause obviously it's very hard to keep schools closed. There's a lot of ripple impact on the community," said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja about the decision.
At least two weeks prior to re-opening for on-campus instruction and on-campus activities, schools will submit a written plan to health officials for resuming on-campus instruction and extra-curricular activities. They will make the plan available to parents, teachers, staff and the general public.
Scribner sent an email to workers letting them know they won't offer any in-person instruction or activities until September 28.
His email also reminded teachers and staff, "Please know you are all valued and appreciated."
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price sent CBS 11 News the following statement:
"I respect Tarrant County Public Health's decision to postpone in-person instruction for our students under the current public health crisis. However, as a longtime education advocate, I believe it is critical our children return to school for in-person instruction sooner rather than later and I am confident this can be accomplished while maintaining health and safety standards.
It is imperative we use the time leading up to school starting to prepare for an online learning experience that is comprehensive and equitable for all. Furthermore, while schools are virtual, we must create a sustainable plan that returns our children to school in a manner that prioritizes the health and safety of all students, teachers, and parents.
Lastly, I have concerns about the unintended consequences this will have on our community and am asking for Fort Worth to come together and support one and another during this time."
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