The Red Oak ISD School Board has approved changes to the 2020-2021 academic calendar, with plans to return to full in-person instruction this fall.

The new first day is set to be Aug. 13, six days earlier than the original date, Aug. 19.

"We know the end of the spring semester was not ideal and while some students thrived in the new virtual learning home environment, many students will need a little extra to stay on track academically," stated ROISD Superintendent Brenda Sanford. "We will provide somewhat accelerated instruction this fall to combat COVID-19. Our students and teachers deserve the extra time to get back on track."

For the fall, the school district will be taking heath precautions. The health and safety measures that are being planned include: hand-sanitizing/wash stations, consideration of a variety of personal protective equipment for students and staff, social distancing measures for large group classes and guidelines for electives and extracurricular programs including athletics and fine arts.

With additional minutes and days of instruction, ROISD has prepared to meet state requirements in case the district or a campus need to close due to a Coronavirus outbreak. The district is preparing for various instructional scenarios that include possible shutdowns that would revert to remote/distant learning.

Calendar changes were made by the board for a vote on June 15, 2020, after much discussion by staff and vetting of the Red Oak Community Advisory Council by email.

"We are acutely aware of parental concerns regarding student safety and will be taking precautions. We also know this slight adjustment to the calendar may impact some families' plans, and for that, we apologize in advance," said Brenda Sanford, Superintendent of Schools.

The district is monitoring the numbers of COVID-19 daily.

"We are exploring various options to provide a continuum of education for students beginning with the return of onsite classroom instruction with contingency plans to revert to remote learning if necessary," said Sanford. "We are increasing our available devices, researching community WIFI connections, and evaluating every aspect of how we traditionally think of ‘school’ taking place. The district will be prepared to educate students in all situations."

Returning Red Oak ISD students can complete the online Returning Student Registration starting July 21, 2020.

School hours have also been modified for the 2020-2021 school year to accommodate transportation routes and provide a balance of instructional minutes at all grade levels.

Additionally, Waxahachie ISD will also begin the school year on Thursday, August 13 for all Waxahachie students. On June 8, The WISD Board of Trustees met for a regular meeting where they approved the start date for the 2020-21 school year.