Both school districts stressed that their respective plans are subject to changes based on any new executive orders from Gov. Greg Abbott as well as any guidance provided by the Texas Education Agency.
As of July 15, CISD plans to begin offering in-person instruction five days each week starting Aug. 17. That is barring any changes handed down from the state, according to the district.
Parents and guardians of CISD students still retain the option to either have their children return for in-person instruction or virtual instruction. CISD officials had previously considered a hybrid option of both in-person and virtual learning, but that option is still being evaluated, said Julie Thannum, assistant superintendent for board and community relations, at a July 13 meeting.
"We hope ... to know a little bit more about what governor's order might be in place, and receive even additional guidance from TEA," Thannum said at the board meeting. "Sometimes it's a surprise to us what day it's coming. Sometimes it's a surprise to us what they tell us. And sometimes it seems to conflict with other information that we've been given by another entity."
CISD gathered thousands of parent and guardian survey responses regarding their preferences for sending their students back for the fall semester. The data showed about 62% of parents and guardians were very comfortable or somewhat comfortable sending their students to school for in-person instruction. Additionally, about 49% preferred in-person instruction, while about 21% preferred virtual instruction and 30% preferred a hybrid. Those survey results can be found here.
Meanwhile, GCISD opened on July 15 a registration portal for parents and guardians to select whether they will send their students for in-person or remote instruction in the fall. That decision is only for the first nine-week grading period, according to the district, and any changes will only go into effect at the end of that grading period.
Changes prior to the start of the fall semester may be made within two weeks of of the Aug. 17 start date, according to GCISD. Its fall planning page can be found here.
GCISD also conducted a survey showing that 50% of parents and guardians preferred in-person learning, while about 16% preferred online and 34% preferred a combination of the two. Those survey results can be found here.
Abbott signaled July 14 that districts may be able to continue online learning options longer than the three-week period originally laid out in TEA guidelines. Further announcements from Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath are expected in the coming days, Abbott said in a July 14 interview with KTRK Houston.
“This is going to have to be a local-level decision, but there will be great latitude and flexibility provided at the local level,” Abbott said during the interview.
Until then, GCISD will continue monitoring any new information from the TEA and Abbott's office, district spokesperson Kristin Snively said.
"As we make decisions and learn of additional guidance that may modify the plan those will be communicated through our website and social media," Snively said in an email.
Similarly, CISD will provide updates to parents and students on its fall planning page, which functions as a fluid document as further state guidance is released, CISD Assistant Director of Communications Justin Dearing said. CISD's fall planning page can be found here.