Comal ISD Supt. Kim Blasts Bexar County’s Decision to Close Campuses Until Sept. 7
Comal ISD Supt. Andrew Kim emailed parents yesterday to let them know he is upset with Bexar County’s decision to keep its schools closed until Sept. 7.
Five Comal ISD campuses are located in Bexar County.
“I want to clearly state that I disagree with this directive,” he said. “Comal ISD was not invited to have any input into this decision or have an opportunity to share with the Bexar County Health Authority our plan for returning to on-campus instruction before having our schools shut down.”
Bexar County’s directive also prohibits extracurricular and school-sponsored activities.
Comal ISD campuses that will remain closed to on-campus instruction are Pieper Ranch Middle School and Indian Springs, Kinder Ranch, Specht and Timberwood Park elementaries.
“What we know at this hour is that students at these five schools will not be able to attend school in person on Aug. 25 when on-campus instruction resumes for the remainder of our schools located in Comal and Guadalupe counties,” Kim said. “They will, however, be able to participate in remote learning.”
“I and my staff will be looking closely at how else this directive could potentially impact our Bexar County schools, in particular our extracurricular programs,” he said. “We will report to you what we learn early next week, if not sooner.”
TEA, Bexar County Allow Schools To Postpone Reopening
On Friday, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued new guidelines which allow Texas schools to delay in-person education as late as November. In early July, TEA limited pushbacks to just the first three weeks of the academic year.
The City of San Antonio also Friday issued a health directive ordering all schools in Bexar County to conduct remote learning through Sept. 7. In a statement posted online, it said the start of on-campus instruction activity could be delayed further based on ongoing monitoring and assessment of public-health mitigation conditions.
“We recognize the importance of reopening schools,” San Antonio Metro Health Medical Director Dr. Junda Woo said. “This directive considers the higher risk for spread of COVID-19 in schools due to their confined spaces, and the challenge for children in following social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Reopening will happen in phases, based on COVID-19 metrics.”
Comal Parent Center Updates Parents
On July 8, Kim announced the creation of an online Comal Parent Center to help parents make non-binding ‘commitments’ about how to educate their children as COVID-19 cases continually to rise dramatically. On that site are weekly podcasts on topics like school operations, instruction, student schedules, extracurricular activities and more. Comal ISD also is posting live video ‘vlogs’ featuring Kim and campus administrators talking about decisions affecting the 2020-21 school year.
According to the website, Comal ISD said it remains committed to providing students the opportunity to attend school and receive on-campus instruction.
“While there will certainly be some changes in the way campuses operate due to COVID-19, our goal is for the on-campus experience for students to mirror previous years as closely as possible,” the district said.
Comal ISD also is offering parents the option of sending their children back to school online.
“Students who are in remote learning will receive instruction via a combination of two methods: asynchronous and live synchronous lessons,” it posted.