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EPISD delays reopening following sharp rise in COVID-19 cases

Updated timeline

(EL PASO INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT -- Sept. 25, 2020) — EPISD Administration is delaying the reopening of campuses due to the rising rate of COVID-19 cases in El Paso County.

 In the last week alone, the rate has steadily risen each day to almost 8 percent on Thursday, Sept. 24. The World Health Organization’s guidelines state that it is safest to reopen when a community reaches 5 percent positivity rate for 14 consecutive days.

EPISD used the 5 percent benchmark when it applied for, and received, a reopening extension waiver from the Texas Education Agency.

However, under the current waiver, the TEA has mandated that EPISD open its doors by Oct. 19.

Virtual instruction will continue for those that chose that option.

EPISD students will be on intercession the week of Oct. 12-16.

On-campus student groups will be phased in on the following dates:

  • Oct. 19: Identified student populations in special-education, Pre-k through second grade and sixth grade (five days a week); and ninth grade (assigned hybrid/staggered days).
  • Oct. 26: All remaining students.

Teachers and other employees in the District will begin reporting for on-campus safety training and classroom setup in phases, depending on their assignment and duties, starting on Oct. 7. All employees in the District will return to work in person by Oct. 19.

EPISD has spent months working with health officials and experts to develop a thorough School Reopening Guide for Students & Parents, as well as a guide for all employees. To view the guides, visit the EPISD School Reopening webpage at https://www.episd.org/reopeningplan.

Story by Gustavo Reveles