Mansfield- Mansfield ISD students and parents learned today regardless of whether they chose virtual or in person learning, everything will be online until September 28. Following a joint order released today by the Tarrant County, City of Arlington and City of Burleson health authorities, all Mansfield ISD students will begin the 2020-21 school year on Aug. 12 in a virtual setting. The order mandates that student instruction must be conducted solely online until Sept. 28.
The decision was made in an effort to control and reduce the spread of COVID-19 as cases continue to rise in Tarrant County. As of July 21, Tarrant County reports 22,665 total COVID-19 cases with 304 deaths.
The order also states the school district must submit a written plan at least two weeks prior to re-opening to the Local Health Authority with jurisdiction over the school.The School System may make the plan available for parents, teachers, staff, and the general public.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL August 12
Under the current order, all students will begin school on Wednesday, Aug. 12 remotely.
Families who registered for in-person learning will begin attending in-person classes at their campus on Monday, Sept. 28.
Families who registered for online learning through the MISD Virtual Learning Academy will continue receiving instruction online.
Reactions ranged from supportive and understanding like this Facebook comment by Melissa Goodman: “Thank you Mansfield ISD for making our students’ and their teachers’ (and all other ISD staff’s) safety paramount. Of course it’s not ideal but we have to do whatever we can to keep everyone healthy until this pandemic passes.”
To others upset with the decision like Sara Ramirez, “This is not good news for my family. I’ve contacted the school board, Tarrant Cty Precinct rep, Judge Whitley, and will be contacting Gov Abbott’s office. We support letting families choose. We don’t support taking that choice away.”
Many of the concerns come from single parents without family or resources to help with childcare. While some parents are concerned about the emotional and mental health of their children adapting to learning from home with less guidance.
As part of the order, all school-sponsored events and extracurricular activities, including athletics and fine arts, can only take place remotely or outdoors with face coverings and the appropriate social distancing.
UIL says they understand not all schools will be able to start at the same time. Thus they created this plan to give schools flexibility to make playing decisions at the local level. The UIL will work directly with schools that have scheduling issues not addressed in this plan to allow them flexibility to complete in as many contests as possible.
Students whose individual education plans (IEPs) cannot be implemented remotely will be provided in-person instruction with social distancing and face coverings as feasible.
Please note that the order is subject to be modified or extended by the county as necessary. Mansfield ISD will continue to work with state and local health officials to ensure that they return to school in the safest manner possible for students, families and staff.