Updated: Lewisville ISD to start school year online after recommendation from county health officials

Denton County Public Health officials are recommending that school districts delay in-person instruction until Sept. 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Denton County Public Health officials are recommending that school districts delay in-person instruction until Sept. 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Denton County Public Health officials are recommending that school districts delay in-person instruction until Sept. 8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated at 6:45 p.m. July 27: This article has been updated to reflect Lewisville ISD's decision to follow the public health recommendation.

Lewisville ISD is beginning its school year Aug. 19 with remote learning.

This decision follows July 27 recommendations from Denton County Public Health officials to delay in-person instruction until Sept. 8 due to continued high levels of community spread of COVID-19 in Denton County.

The district will follow this guidance, with all students learning remotely until Sept. 8 regardless of previously selected learning options, Superintendent Kevin Rogers shared in an email to students, families and staff.

Each district in Denton County has the ability to choose whether to act on these recommendations, according to Denton County Public Health Director Matt Richardson.

"Based on the recent guidelines from the Center for Disease Control [and Prevention], Denton County’s high community spread and high transmission rates indicate we should not yet open schools," Rogers said. "I can say one thing without a doubt, the health and safety of our students, families, staff and communities are at the heart of every choice we make."

Denton County's recommendations allow exceptions for on-site virtual instruction activities by administrators, teachers and staff as well as for school-sponsored events and activities, such as University Interscholastic League sports, bands, choirs, competitions and other similar events that can take place outdoors with masks and physical distancing.

Special education instruction can still take place in person if needed and if classes follow Texas Education Agency guidelines, according to county health officials.

Teachers, administrators and staff can also return to school to teach virtually, to assist with food distribution and to perform administrative duties under the county's recommendations.

Districts are further encouraged to make plans for returning to in-person instruction and to share those plans with district families and students two weeks before reopening campuses.

LISD did not share whether it would use any of the possible exceptions listed in the recommendation or when it might have more details on the transition to in-person classes.

"We will continue leaning on public health experts, continue monitoring conditions, and making adjustments to our plans in the best interest of the health and safety for all in LISD," Rogers said.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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