Bowie ISD debates ‘what ifs’ for school opening

Bowie Independent School District is working to hammer out a plan to open school for this August, but the ever changing unknowns are making the process very difficult.
At its July 23 meeting trustees received a 20-page draft plan to reopen, but administrators said it was still a work in progress. It must be completed one week before the first day of school. Bowie’s ISD’s first day is Aug. 19.
The district sent out a survey to parents asking their preference for in-school or virtual learning. The staff also has surveyed other North Texas schools on their plans.
Superintendent Blake Enlow said of the local survey 1,100 of 1,600 have responded, and of those 85 percent want to return to in-school learning and 15 percent want virtual.
While this plan covers everything from visitor restrictions and temperature pre-screening for students, some of the main discussion was on the use of masks and the question if students who opt for virtual learning will be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities such a sport like football.
Enlow said the plan follows state guidelines for masks but does not require them in class. Montague County based on its low active case numbers is exempt from the governor’s mandate for face coverings as long as active cases remain under 20.
Social distancing also will be followed when feasible. Masks also are not required for those students age 10 and under. Enlow said they would make the cutoff fourth grade because there are some 10-year-olds in that grade. Masks may be required for certain group activities. Masks at this moment will not be required but will be allowed for students or staff.

Read the full story for the new school year in the mid-week Bowie News.

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