40K Katy ISD students choose to stay home and learn virtually

Cy-Fair ISD will offer in-person instruction in addition to a learning-from-home option in 2020-21. (Design by Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Cy-Fair ISD will offer in-person instruction in addition to a learning-from-home option in 2020-21. (Design by Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)

Cy-Fair ISD will offer in-person instruction in addition to a learning-from-home option in 2020-21. (Design by Katherine Borey/Community Impact Newspaper)

On Friday morning Fort Bend County Judge KP George held a virtual back-to-school question-and-answer session with Katy ISD Superintendent Kenneth Gregorski to address concerns parents still have ahead of reopening.

In the virtual discussion, George said he's confident in Katy ISD's reopening plan. Katy ISD covers three counties, including Fort Bend.

Parents sent in questions to George, and at the end of the Facebook live session he expressed confidence in the school district's plan when it welcomes children back to in-person learning on Sept. 8.

"If I had my child going to Katy ISD, I wouldn't be having any hesitation to send my child to in-person instruction," George said during the Facebook live.

Katy ISD will start school on Aug. 19. Students will start online learning first, then in-person instruction will begin on Sept. 8. Parents can choose between in-person learning and Katy Virtual School.


Those who choose virtual instruction must submit a KVA commitment form by midnight Aug. 7. If a parent does not fill out the form, then their children will have to return to school in-person.

Parents who pick the option for in-person instruction do not have to complete a commitment form.

About 40,000 students have already elected the virtual instruction option for Katy ISD's first grading period, which is about 40% of the district's student population. Gregorski said children can learn virtually for a grading period, or the entire school year if the parents choose to do so.

"What I ask families to do is make sure those kids that are returning for in-person instruction, that those parents talk to their kids to please do what they ask them to do," Gregorski said. "Nobody has time to fool around with a kid at school who doesn't want to follow the rules, who doesn't want to do the social distancing, that doesn't want to wear a mask. Those are things we've come to expect at this point and we really need kids to do it when they come back. Take it seriously and then things will probably be generally pretty good, but at the same time there's no guarantee."

Starting on Monday, Houston ISD is launching a parent virtual learning course to teach parents how to help their kids with online learning.

Families Empowered is also helping guide parents as they weigh the back-to-school options. There is a hotline that parents can call and a representative will answer at 713-589-8767.

"We spoke with some of our 90,000 families throughout Texas, and we learned that 60% of parents still haven't made a final decision about where they'll enroll their kids for the coming school year," Ayla Dehghanpoor told ABC13. "Interest in homeschooling has doubled in recent weeks and it's certainly a great option for lots of families."

Spring ISD is also distributing Chromebooks to students in need of devices for virtual learning. The distribution is happening in phases from Aug. 6 to Aug. 14.

School districts that will be starting school next week include Conroe, Crosby, Goose Creek CISD, Humble, Montgomery, New Caney, and Santa Fe.

For more information on Houston-area school districts' plans to reopen, click here.

This story was originally published by ABC 13.


MOST RECENT

The text of General Order No. 3, which Gordon Granger issued from Galveston in June 1865 to explicitly liberate enslaved Black Texans, runs across the bottom of the mural. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘I am filled’: Houston-Galveston area celebrates first Juneteenth as federal holiday

See how local policymakers, historians, artists and philanthropists honored the Juneteenth holiday at its birthplace with the dedication of a 5,000-square-foot mural.

The Texas Central rail connection from Dallas to Houston will feature a bullet train similar to this one. (Courtesy Texas Central Partners/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas Supreme Court declines to review high-speed rail case, freeing company up to use eminent domain

Texas Central, the company looking to build a 236-mile high-speed rail line connecting Houston and Dallas, has been given a big win in an ongoing legal battle over whether the company is legally recognized as a "railroad company" under state law.

There will be various events across the Houston area celebrating the Fourth of July, including League City's Fireworks Extravaganza. (Courtesy of League City)
12 Fourth of July weekend events, celebrations to attend in the Greater Houston area

Here are 12 Fourth of July weekend events throughout the Houston region.

Mayvenn opened May 1 inside Walmart at 6060 North Fry Road, Katy. (Courtesy Mayvenn)
Black-owned beauty tech company opens in Katy

Mayvenn exists to guide and empower women of color along their hair journeys and offer a one-stop shop for hair services.

More than 20 countries, including Denmark, participate in CETUSA. (Courtesy CETUSA)
Foreign exchange student program seeks host families

CETUSA is a nonprofit foreign exchange program for high school students.

ribbon cutting
Nearly $400M project to boost Houston-area water supply by up to 500M gallons a day

The project has been in development for over 50 years and broke ground in 2017.

Following Hurricane Harvey, debris lined the streets in many parts of Harris County. (Danica Lloyd/Community Impact Newspaper)
After Department of Housing and Urban Development denies request, Texas General Land Office drafting plan to subaward Harris County $750M for flood mitigation

The Texas General Land Office now plans to subaward Harris County flood mitigation funding after the county was left out of recent Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

Harris County Pets facilitates pet adoptions, foster placements and more. (Courtesy Harris County Pets)
Harris County Pets temporarily waives adoption fees to control increase of population

Harris County Pets has exceeded its capacity to house its growing pet population, officials said.

Americans spent 44% more shopping on websites, including Amazon, in 2020 than in 2019. (Courtesy Amazon)
Surge in online shopping strains Houston’s distribution channels

Online spending in the U.S. was up 44% from 2019 to 2020, and transportation expert Bill Eisele said this uptick has put a strain on the region’s transportation system.

According to county officials, 40% of the $125 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Harvey took place within Harris County. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas General Land Office says it is 'not feasible' to request $750M in federal flood aid within 30 days

Houston-area officials ask for 30-day-dealine on the Texas General Land Office's formal request for $750 million in federal flood aid funding, but GLO says it is not possible.