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Dallas ISD To Hold Online-Only Classes For First Month Of School

Bill Zeeble
Michael Hinojosa, Dallas ISD superintendent, in a 2015 picture.

When the Dallas school district starts class Sept. 8, it’ll be online only.

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced the decision Thursday after he said Dallas County health officials unanimously recommended virtual learning only at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Not everybody’s going to be happy with that decision but it is what it is and it’s the context it’s in,” Hinojosa said during a press conference. “We have to count on the county and their medical professionals to give us recommendations.” 

Hinojosa also said he doesn't want to stay online-only the whole year and plans to reassess the county’s health status month by month.

In addition to classes, all extra-curricular activities must also take place remotely at least through Oct. 8. That includes strength and conditioning, band and drill team, as well as all University Interscholastic League and visual and performing arts activities, the district announced.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins applauded the move.

“I’m grateful for the courage and leadership displayed by Dr. Hinojosa who delayed in person instruction for another four weeks,” Jenkins said on Twitter. “By heeding the recommendation of the public health experts, @dallasschools protects our greatest asset – our children – and those who serve them.”

Video: Watch DISD’s announcement

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.