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Updated Wednesday, July 29 at 3:30 p.m.

The Corsicana ISD Board of Trustees voted Monday to delay the start in-person and remote learning until Sept. 8.

Leah Blackard, vice president, said CISD has spent a lot of time looking into options for the district, at the forefront of which is the safety of students and staff.

Blackard said the postponement will allow CISD to continue to evaluate the current health climate, allow teachers more time to acclimate to rigorous remote curriculums, distribute students' devices and instruct parents and caregivers on online systems, and provide the district more time to prepare campuses for students.

Blackard said it’s imperative that food distribution for students begins as soon as possible. According to CISD’s website, student meal services will begin before school starts. More information on the meal program will be available in the next few days.

Dr. Kent Rogers, president and Navarro County health authority, said the most important factor in schools staying open are the steps taken by the community.

“We can do a lot here, but the number of cases that are live, potentially infectious, in our environment outside the school is our biggest risk,” he said.

“Everything you do, to mask, distance, hand hygiene, will pay off for our children so I encourage you to do it for that reason, and many others of course,” Rogers said.

“By doing these things we can actually play football more than one or two games and stay in school more than 10 days.”

The UIL announced a plan last Tuesday to allow schools to start fall sports. Corsicana will begin practicing Sept. 7, begin volleyball games Sept. 14, and football games Sept. 25.

Superintendent Dr. Diane Frost reported that 2,667 parents and guardians have responded to a survey about the preferred method of instruction for the next school year. That number equals 44% of last year’s district enrollment.

Results of the survey showed 54% of respondents preferred the in-person learning option. The remaining 46% want one of two online learning models; 25% chose teacher- lead instruction, while 21% prefer independent learning with teacher guidance as needed.

CISD will continue to reach out and gather responses to the survey. If circumstances require a change, a student will be able to move “seamlessly” between the learning opportunities Frost said.

She said the district is scheduled to receive 54,768 disposable masks and an additional 13,000 plus reusable masks from the Texas Education Agency at no cost. The district also purchased additional masks, face shields, gloves, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer that students and teachers will use across the district.

The Board heard the first reading of Texas Association of School Board updates, which included changes to discrimination, including cyber harassment and the time table in which grievances are addressed. The Board is expected to take action on this item at the next Board meeting.

The Board also approved the consent agenda before adjourning.

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