AUSTIN, Texas - The Austin Independent School District School Board has voted to delay the district's first day of school.
The decision came after hours of public testimony at a board meeting that lasted six hours and ended at 3 a.m. this morning.
Board members voted to push back the start date from August 18 to Tuesday, September 8. They also voted in favor of an additional four weeks of virtual learning.
It comes after Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott says schools shouldn't open for in-person learning until after Labor Day. Dr. Escott and other local health officials said the delay would allow more time for COVID-19 cases to potentially decrease.
If the Texas Education Agency approves the waiver, AISD officials will use the additional four weeks of remote learning to work on phasing students back on campus to in-person learning.
On September 8, students who don't have access to technology that they need and special education students who need in-person learning will be allowed on select campuses.
Parents can contact their child's school for more information. You can get contact information for schools here.
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Although there a lot of questions surrounding childcare, extracurricular activities, and lack of access to technology, one thing that was clear was that AISD wants to keep the health and safety of students, staff, and families its top priority.
"While kids might not be impacted by COVID in the same way, it takes adults to run our schools and do every facet of operations that it takes to make sure our students receive the education they need and deserve. And that everyone is safe and transported and fed, ecetera. Things may still change. Please try to be patient with us as we maneuver through what is still very uncharted territory," said AISD School Board Vice President Cindy Anderson.