The decision came after several weeks of discussions between administration, public health authorities and the board of trustees, according to Superintendent Randy Moczygemba.
According to the district, NBISD administration considered beginning the school year with online-only instruction for all students for the first three weeks or immediately beginning an asynchronous model on Aug. 24.
Guidelines issued July 17 by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) give Texas school districts the option of offering online-only classes for the first four weeks of the 2020-21 school year.
During the NBISD board meeting, Moczygemba shared updated local coronavirus case information and administration plans for social distancing within school buildings.
Of the seven board members, five preferred the plan to allow parents to choose an instructional model for the start of school while David Heefner and Matthew Sargent, board secretary and representative for District 4 respectively, preferred to conduct the first three weeks online for all students.
“What we’re being asked is to make a public health decision,” said Eric Bergquist, board representative for District 3. “This is really an individual choice at the parent level.”
According to the Moczygemba, parents will have the ability to choose either in-person or remote learning for each nine-week grading period two weeks before the period ends.
“TEA says we have to give every parent that choice to make a different decision coming in at the end of the grading period,” Moczygemba said. “We’ll be asking parents where they feel they want their children for the next nine weeks so that we can make the proper adjustments.”
Registration for the 2020-21 school year will begin Aug. 3 and the district will release further information regarding reopening plans and safety measures by July 31 on the district’s website, Moczygemba said.
Parents have until two weeks before the first day of school to make their decision.
“We absolutely cannot please everybody,” said Board President Sherry Harrison. “There will be suffering, there will be angst, but there will also be joy and there will be successes.”