July 30, 2020
Dear Chapel Hill Academy Parents –
As we recently announced, Tarrant County health officials issued an order last week limiting local schools to online instruction until September 28th due to current COVID-19 conditions in our community. Yesterday, Texas schools received new guidance from Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, about opening plans for the 2020-21 school year. We want to let you know what this means for Chapel Hill Academy at this time.
The letter issued by AG Paxton this week asserts that local school officials – rather than local health officials – are the appropriate entity to decide whether, when and how schools open. The letter also states that school officials should consult with relevant public health authorities to make those decisions. As allowed by this guidance from the state, Chapel Hill Academy will continue following the recommendation from Tarrant County health officials to conduct online instruction for the first six- week grading period. In-person instruction currently remains scheduled to resume on September 28th.
We believe having an online academic experience during this period is the most prudent way to provide a safe learning environment. Chapel Hill Academy is also fully prepared and set-up to provide your child a robust and consistent virtual learning experience. Over the summer, we purchased enough computers and hot spots for every child in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grades to have a personal device. We have also arranged for teachers to safely facilitate instruction from their classrooms on-campus.
Additionally, the Texas Education Agency has provided schools with regulations for delivering virtual education that were not in place last spring, such as a requirement that students must be engaged for a minimum number of hours each day. Please be aware that the 90/10 minimum student attendance for class credit rule also remains in effect for the 2020-21 school year. Students are required to attend at least 90% of their classes to receive credit and be promoted. Remote attendance will be tracked and will satisfy this attendance requirement.
Online instruction this fall will not resemble the online educational experience which occurred during the emergency school closure. We are confident that continuing forward with our current plan will provide your child a quality academic experience, and at the same time ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff.
Please keep in mind that this is an incredibly fluid situation. Chapel Hill Academy is subject to orders from both state and local authorities. Guidance being issued by multiple government entities is sometimes conflicting and not always binding, such as the legal opinion issued by AG Paxton on Tuesday. This means there could still be changes to when in-person instruction resumes. Our leadership team continues to closely monitor regulatory guidelines and we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Thank you once again for being part of the Chapel Hill Academy family. We truly value your child’s well-being.