As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health, urged local school district superintendents to start the school year virtually—possibly until October—in a letter July 20.
Additionally, the Texas Education Agency released updated guidance July 17, allowing Texas school districts the option of offering online-only instruction for the first four weeks of the 2020-21 school year. The guidance also allows local school boards to adopt an additional four-week transition window if the initial four-week period is not sufficient in regions with high coronavirus case counts.
"Unfortunately, the prevalence of the virus in our community continues to be such that the Harris County Public Health shared publicly this week that it is not yet safe to open school to in-person learning at this time or in the near future and has urged all school districts in Harris County to begin the school year online until data supports a safe return to in-person learning," KISD's July 22 release reads.
In response to the climbing COVID-19 cases in Harris County, Klein ISD students will still begin the 2020-21 school year Aug. 19 as planned; however, instruction will be done entirely online until at least Sept. 9.
According to the release, district officials will reassess conditions and communicate an updated plan for students who selected the Klein On-Campus option after Aug. 24. Additionally, district officials have extended the selection period for families to choose either Klein On-Campus or Klein Online for the upcoming school year until July 31 at 5 p.m.