8 things parents, teachers should know as Lake Travis ISD drafts plans for fall 2020

All in-person classes will be suspended at Lake Travis ISD for the first three weeks of school. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
All in-person classes will be suspended at Lake Travis ISD for the first three weeks of school. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

All in-person classes will be suspended at Lake Travis ISD for the first three weeks of school. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Questions loom for Lake Travis ISD parents and staff as the upcoming school year approaches amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. LTISD officials overviewed plans for the 2020-21 school year July 15 during the district’s first in-person board meeting since the start of the pandemic.

1. The school year will begin Aug. 19.

LTISD has frequently confirmed there will be no alterations to the board-approved 2020-21 academic calendar. The final day of instruction is still scheduled for May 28.

2. In-person classes will be suspended until at least Sept. 8.

In-person instruction will be suspended until Sept. 8 in accordance with orders from the city of Austin and Travis County following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Outgoing Superintendent Brad Lancaster noted during a July 15 board meeting this suspension could be extended or revised by several outside authorities, including Travis County or Gov. Greg Abbott.

3. Extracurriculars and sports are delayed until Sept. 8.

Extracurricular activities will be suspended until Sept. 8 per Travis County’s order. Lancaster confirmed the suspension includes any athletic practices taking place prior to the first day of school Aug. 19 as well as Lake Travis High School’s football game scheduled for Aug. 28.

4. LTISD will welcome its new superintendent Aug. 3.

Paul Norton’s first day as superintendent is Aug. 3, according to information from LTISD.

Formerly of Texarkana ISD, Norton will fill the role left vacant by Lancaster, who has served the district for more than eight years.

5. Parents will choose between 100% in-person instruction or 100% virtual instruction following the first three weeks of school.

At this time, LTISD plans to offer both full-time in-person learning and remote learning options following the expiration of Travis County’s order Sept. 8.

Parents will have the option to select either 100% virtual instruction or 100% in-person instruction and will have until two weeks prior to the first day of school to change their minds, according to the Texas Education Agency.

6. School hours will remain unchanged.

LTISD students will abide by a traditional schedule whether they select remote or in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year.

Elementary school students will be in classes from 7:40 a.m.-3 p.m., and middle school and high school students from 8:50 a.m.-4:10 p.m.

7. The remote learning model will differ from what students utilized in the spring.

Lancaster said July 15 that LTISD’s virtual learning platform will be more substantial than what was administered in the spring semester, with more intense and scheduled teacher interactions.

The remote learning model provides individual schedules for the elementary and secondary school levels, with each serving as a framework for how students can check in with their teachers and complete classwork, according to Elizabeth Deterra, assistant superintendent of learning and teaching services

“The framework for the schedule is in place, but if it’s not followed exactly, that’s fine,” Deterra said, adding that this will provide flexibility for students who may require parental assistance throughout the day.

8. All plans are subject to change.

Due to the evolving nature of the coronavirus pandemic, LTISD has confirmed all plans are subject to change at any point to comply with outside agencies or adjust to public health conditions.
By Amy Rae Dadamo
Amy Rae Dadamo is the reporter for Lake Travis-Westlake, where her work focuses on city government and education. Originally from New Jersey, Amy Rae relocated to Austin after graduating from Ramapo College of New Jersey in May 2019.


Graphic of a coronavirus unit
COVID-19 rates after Thanksgiving have yet to climb, but experts say spike could still be coming

As Austin awaits a vaccine whose first doses could arrive by the end of 2020, health officials say the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings on the spread of the virus could take time to show up.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has launched a campaign to address declining college enrollment numbers across the state since the pandemic started. (Courtesy Pexels)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board launches campaign to boost college enrollment

The decline in college enrollment across the state of Texas has prompted several agencies to partner up and create online resources for students and counselors.

Foster Angels of Central Texas is hosting a toy drive for Central Texas teens living in foster care. (Courtesy Foster Angels of Central Texas)
10 Lake Travis-Westlake nonprofits to support this Giving Tuesday

As the holiday season approaches, Dec. 1 marks Giving Tuesday, an official day of global generosity.

Frontyard Brewing opened Nov. 14 in Spicewood. (Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Spicewood sees addition of new brewery and more business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area

Here is the most recent business news from the Lake Travis-Westlake area.

Local health leaders are urging caution ahead of Thanksgiving. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Ahead of Thanksgiving, Travis County health officials urge caution

Austin Public Health leaders say gatherings with people outside one's household held indoors and without masks pose the greatest risk.

Harini Logan, 10, won the 66th annual Express-News Spelling Bee at the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus on March 17, 2019. For 2021, the event is slated to be held in March at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels. (Photo by Jerry Lara, courtesy the San Antonio Express News)
New Braunfels to host regional spelling bee and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

P. Terry’s Burger Stand is expected to open its long-awaited Pflugerville location this January. (Courtesy P. Terry's Burger Stand)
P. Terry's to open in Pflugerville in January and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

Austin voters approved a $7.1 billion public transit expansion Nov. 3 that will add bus and rail in Austin. (Design by Miranda Baker/Community Impact Newspaper)
After historic public transportation vote, here is what's next for Project Connect in Austin

Shovels won't be hitting the ground on the light rail and downtown tunnel for years, but work is getting started now after Austinites approved the $7.1 billion plan Nov. 3.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Hamilton Pool Road residents protest outside of Bee Cave City Council on Nov. 10. (Courtesy Nancy Hernandez)
West Travis County Public Utility Agency delays settlement decision on development off Hamilton Pool Road

A lawsuit between the West Travis County Public Utility Agency and the developers of a Provence, a subdivision off Hamilton Pool Road, will remain unresolved following a decision made during a Nov. 19 board meeting.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
Inaugural interactive light festival coming soon to Bee Cave and more Central Texas updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.