Fort Worth, Texas – After a nearly eight-hour meeting, the Fort Worth Independent School District Board of Education voted on a plan extend virtual learning four more weeks, the plan failed in a four to five vote, essentially clearing the way for in-person learning to begin on Oct. 5.
The board heard a presentation from Tarrant County Health Director Vinny Taneja on the rise and falls of COVID-19 cases, and on a new dashboard which shows cases on a school-by-school level.
“We are optimistic and we are encouraged by some of the trends that we see in some of the public health metrics,” Scribner told the Fort Worth City Council in an update Sept. 1. “Positivity rate, cases per week, hospitalizations – we’re looking for a specific combination of metrics that will compel us to return to in-person instruction.”
Virtual learning started in Fort Worth ISD schools Sept. 8. Scribner and his staff recommending a start to in-person classes Oct. 5.
Throughout the night parents, students, teachers, and area physicians called into the virtual meeting each making a plea to the board. Some asking for in-person learning to begin as early as right now, others asking to delay it the rest of the semester, something not allowable under TEA guidelines.
Just before 10 p.m., the board went into executive session, a private meeting, with their attorney to debate the issue and discuss personnel matters related to the reopening.
At 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, the board voted and a motion to extend virtual learning four more weeks to allow COVID-19 cases to drop was not approved. Trustees Ramos, Phillips, Luebanos, and Paz all voted to delay the return to school four more weeks. Trustees Evans, Jackson, Brookins, Darr, and Robbins voted to return Oct. 5.