Houston ISD to start year online; Athletics will "tentatively" schedule games awaiting UIL guidance
Houston ISD will begin the 2020 school year exclusively online for the first six weeks.
According to the Houston ISD re-opening plan, the school year will begin September 8 and be only online for the first six weeks until October 16. The plan then states students would return to in-person learning on October 19.
As far as athletics goes the following is what the plan states. This covers playing games, screening protocols and fan attendance.
"HISD Athletics will tentatively schedule games for the fall, while awaiting detailed state guidance about high school sports from the University Interscholastic League. Plans will be adjusted as COVID-19 conditions change.Coaches and student athletes will undergo entry screening in alignment with district screening protocols at all practices, sub-varsity games, and games played in district facilities. Fan attendance may be limited or prohibited at campus and district sporting events depending on conditions.If fans are allowed, they will be encouraged to purchase tickets online and screened upon arrival in accordance with district screening protocols. Stadiums will be cleaned before, during, and after games. Fans also must self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, check their temperatures before coming to campus, and stay home when sick."
Here is the full 26-page plan.
Just two hours after the plan was made public, Interim HISD Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan held a news conference to discuss the plan.
At the end of the nearly hour-long news conference, Lathan was directly asked about athletics.
"If the UIL sends down rules that says 'Yes, you can condition and practice' but if we are still a Level 1 as a city, we will not be allowing those practices," she said. "Because if we are still in a virtual format and we still have the same health challenges, believe me as a former athlete, I understand it, I get it, but we all have to be careful."
A follow-up question to that was asked - as long as schools are virtual only, you will not have practices, you will not have games?
"Unless something changes, that is correct," Lathan said. "But whenever it is time to start sports again, I will support us doing whatever we need to do. If we need to play football in January, we can. NFL does it, what's the difference."
Houston ISD is just the most recent ISD to release its reopening plan. Fort Bend ISD released there's on Monday night, which including not playing athletics during the first three weeks of school, while they are online only. Read more about that - CLICK HERE. Humble ISD voted on Tuesday night to return to in-person class and offer an online option, while athletics will resume on schedule.