Anna ISD delays return to school this fall

Joshua Baethge,
The Anna-Melissa Tribune
The parking lot at Anna High School is shown during graduation exercises earlier this  year. Anna ISD announced this week that instruction at all district campuses will begin Aug. 26.

ANNA - Anna ISD announced Monday that the first day of school has been postponed until Aug. 26.

The district also announced that school day will now be 20 minutes longer for all students.

“The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly challenged our nation, state and community in ways that we could have never imagined,” Superintendent Michael Comeaux said in a July 20 statement to parents and students.

“Through these uncertain times, we have endeavored to continue providing the best educational opportunities for our students. I am very proud of our staff's efforts to continue to meet the needs of our students and meet the expectations of our community.”

According to Comeaux, the calendar changes were implemented to prepare for future short-term closures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. They also allow for more staff preparation time.

In the event that local or state officials close schools due to health concerns, all students will transition to remote learning for a designated period of time.

When the school year begins, students will have the option of attending traditional in-person classes or at-home learning. Parents will be asked to choose the preferred method of instruction for their student by early August.

Once the decision has been made, students will be expected continue with their choice through at least the first nine-week grading period. Exceptions will only be made on a case-by-case basis.

In June, the district surveyed families asking which form of instruction they preferred. At the time, 66 percent chose in-school instruction and 34 percent preferred remote.

Comeaux said that remote learning will be more robust than last spring.

Attendance will be required and academic progress will be determined by pre-COVID grading guidelines. Those guidelines will be the same for both in-person and remote learners.

Curbside meal pickup will be available for those students who need it.

This year’s Coyote Crossing registration event will be conducted online Aug. 3-7. Parents who feel they need an in-person meeting will be able to do so by appointment.

Additional changes to the school calendar will be communicated via the Anna ISD website, Schoology and the district’s social media platforms.

Anna ISD Superintendent Michael Comeaux.