New Caney ISD superintendent awaits further TEA guidance before proposing 2020-21 plans for school year

New Caney ISD Superintendent Kenn Franklin said in a phone interview he believes it is too soon to make any concrete decisions regarding the next school year. (Screenshot courtesy New Caney ISD YouTube channel)
New Caney ISD Superintendent Kenn Franklin said in a phone interview he believes it is too soon to make any concrete decisions regarding the next school year. (Screenshot courtesy New Caney ISD YouTube channel)

New Caney ISD Superintendent Kenn Franklin said in a phone interview he believes it is too soon to make any concrete decisions regarding the next school year. (Screenshot courtesy New Caney ISD YouTube channel)

With so much uncertainty surrounding starting the 2020-21 school year amid the coronavirus pandemic, New Caney ISD Superintendent Kenn Franklin said in a phone interview he believes it is too soon to make any concrete decisions regarding the next school year.

"We think it's prudent on our part to get more information and clarification, and we haven't received that yet [from the Texas Education Agency]," he said.

The Texas Education Agency has been slowly releasing various guidelines amid the pandemic for the 2020-21 school year. So far, key guidance released by the TEA includes calendar options for school districts; plans to distribute personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks and sanitizers, to school districts; and guidance for identifying students in need of bilingual services.

Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath also told the Texas Board of Education on June 30 that students will be required to take the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR tests, regardless of whether students are learning in-person or remotely.

"As we learned through this whole crisis—this whole pandemic—it's a day-to-day thing," Franklin said. "If you're going to make long-term decisions based on day-to-day advice, then you're at a very dangerous point. We're not looking at anything long-term at this point. We're taking this each day at a time and each week at a time."


NCISD emailed out a survey in late June that intends to gather feedback from parents on how they would like to have their children attend school in the 2020-21 year.

"We have all kinds of choices available and plans available, but we would like for that to be in sync and in step with what the state is mandating," Franklin said. "We don't want to put a plan in place if it's not along state guidelines. Until they give us ... clearer guidelines, we really don't know which plan to put out there."

Community Impact Newspaper has requested a copy of the survey, but it had not been sent by press time. Franklin said the district hopes to have responses back by mid-July and a solid plan for the coming year by late July.

The TEA updated its guidelines June 30 stating districts can ask parents no earlier than two weeks before the start of the school year to commit their children to on-campus or remote learning. School is set to begin Aug. 10 for NCISD students, per the district's calendar.

"[Parents] can be assured that we are looking at a variety of plans. I can't answer that question now whether they'll be at school or at home," Franklin said. "Until then, to the families out there, have faith that we are working on a number of plans and they all prioritize student and staff safety first."
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.



MOST RECENT

key in door lock
Evictions continue in Houston as new measures aim to stem tide

Over 32,000 eviction cases were filed in Harris County courts in 2020.

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

A coronavirus vaccine is given at Memorial Hermann's mass vaccine clinic Feb. 26. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann closes out 2nd round of vaccines with 7,000 distributed among 2 clinics

The clinic will continue operations through 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.

Humble City Council voted unanimously at the Feb. 25 City Council meeting to appoint Bruce Davidson, left, to fill the vacant Place 3 seat. (Kelly Schafler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Humble City Council appoints Bruce Davidson to fill vacant Place 3

Bruce Davidson, a resident of the Humble area for about 24 years, took his oath of office at the council meeting.

Keith Luechtefeld spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about some of the short-term and long-term repercussions of the storm as well as some of the reasons why so many homes saw burst pipes during the freezing weather. (Community Impact staff)
Q&A: Greater Houston Builders Association President Keith Luechtefeld discusses power, plumbing, frozen pipes after Winter Storm Uri

Keith Luechtefeld spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about some of the short-term and long-term repercussions of the storm as well as some of the reasons why so many homes saw burst pipes during the freezing weather.

Kalera will open a vertical farming facility in Humble in late spring or early summer. (Courtesy Kalera)
Kalera seeks horticulturists for new vertical farming facility in Humble

The company will open its biggest vertical hydroponic farm yet in late spring or early summer.

Winter Storm Uri led to closures across the Greater Houston area during the third week of February. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
‘It’s been a rough year for us’: Expert explains economic effects of winter storm, ongoing pandemic in Houston region

“It's been a rough year for us economically; it's been a rough year for us public health wise. It's just been a rough year for us psychologically—first the coronavirus and then the freeze," said Patrick Jankowski, senior vice president of research with the Greater Houston Partnership.

Humble ISD and New Caney ISD have seen sharp decreases in their respective active case counts as of Feb. 25. (Community Impact staff)
Humble, New Caney ISDs see drops in active case counts due to shutdowns

Both school districts were closed last week due to winter weather and school breaks, which limited the numbers of active cases reported.

The $560 million central processor, which is part of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal, will replace the parking garage for terminals D and E. (Courtesy Houston Airport System)
Parking garage at George Bush Intercontinental Airport to be demolished to make way for new Mickey Leland International Terminal

The international central processor, which is part of the new Mickey Leland International Terminal, will replace the parking garage for terminals D and E.

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic. (Courtesy Qygen, Wikimedia Commons)
Fry's Electronics calls it quits after nearly 36 years in business

As many as 31 stores across nine states will be shuttered as Fry's Electronics shuts down due to market changes and the pandemic.

A lone runner jogs on a snow-covered road in Austin. Transportation projects across the city were briefly paused due to Winter Storm Uri. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
ERCOT: Texas power system was less than 5 minutes from collapse during winter storm

ERCOT's CEO offered details into what led to the massive blackouts that left millions of Texans in the cold last week.