EL PASO, Texas — Socorro Independent School District is modifying its 2020-21 School Calendar to extend the fall intersession through Oct. 23, with the sustained surge in active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in El Paso.
The district’s modified year-round calendar, which most districts in the region and many in the state have implemented this year, was adopted with all intersessions listed as “floating dates” to allow flexibility in adapting to potential COVID-19 spikes in the community.
To allow the district to minimize the number of people on campus during this critical time, the first week of the spring intersession (March 8 to March 12, 2021) is being moved to Oct. 19 to Oct. 23.
“We were very deliberate in planning for this school year so that we would have the ability to adjust as necessary while staying in line with the very specific guidance and directives from the Texas Education Agency,” said Superintendent Jose Espinoza, Ed.D. “These decisions are not taken lightly as we know they may result in potential inconveniences for our community; however, the record numbers we are seeing today are such that we must extend our intersession break in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community during this alarming spike in cases.”
Schools and district offices will be closed during this time period. A limited number of essential personnel will continue with their duties following established safety protocols, including Child Nutrition Services staff to provide community meal service.
Meals will be made available for all children 0-18 at a limited list of locations for the week of Oct. 19 to Oct. 23. Parents and members of the community who need assistance can reach their campus or district officials by calling the school/department main line or via email.
School directory information is posted at https://www.sisd.net/schools. To be connected with district services personnel, community members are asked to call (915) 937-0000.
On Oct. 9, the district submitted a request for a data-driven transition waiver that would allow the district flexibility to transition students and employees safely back to school using COVID-19 parameters as a guide. As of today, the district has not received formal approval of its waiver request.
“We are anxious to open our schools to all our students who wish to return to their campus for in-person instruction,” Espinoza said. “We will continue to follow the guidance of our local health authorities and abide by TEA requirements to protect our stakeholders while we plan for the safe return of our students and employees. Our responsibility is to Keep SISD Safe but also to ensure we are able to sustain services and minimize any potential adverse impact on our community.”
High school athletics, fine arts and other UIL activities will continue as scheduled following UIL guidelines.
As with all COVID-19 plans, it is important to note that details may be subject to change pending the state of our local community health and new guidance issued by national, state, and local authorities as the district progresses through the school year.
Team SISD urges our community to do their part in flattening the COVID-19 curve by wearing their masks in public, washing their hands frequently and practicing social distancing.
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