Another big announcement in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic came in the Houston area on Monday evening as Fort Bend ISD announced that it will begin the school year completely online.
While this completely online format is in place, no in person extracurricular activities will occur, which means that football season is on hold for the 11 Fort Bend ISD high schools for the time being.
“As we are learning fully online, we will not participate in extra or co-curricular activities,” Fort Bend ISD superintendent Dr. Charles E. Dupre said at Monday’s board meeting. “If students are at risk and too much at risk to come to a building, then as we’ve seen this summer, honestly, in our strength and conditioning camps…, students are at great risk and the adults at work with them are at great risk if they are showing up for athletic participation.”
This announcement comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Houston area. Currently, Fort Bend County has had 5,015 confirmed cases and 63 deaths, according to their July 13th update.
This decision will affect seven of the eight teams in District 20-6A with George Ranch the only non-Fort Bend ISD school in that district. At the 5A level, four teams are affected: Hightower and Kempner in District 10-5A DI, and Marshall, the defending state runners-up, and Willowridge in District 11-5A DII.
No planned date has been announced as to when Fort Bend ISD could potentially return to in person learning, so it is unclear when these eleven teams will return to the gridiron and how their seasons will look.
This will be the first of many announcements that will take place around the state in the next few weeks. Houston ISD, the largest school district in Texas, is set to announce their reopening plans on Wednesday, an announcement that could potentially affect 23 UIL high schools and their football teams.
This is a developing story to continue to watch as districts continue to make their plans public and the fate of the Texas high school football season becomes clearer in the coming days and weeks.