Stephenville ISD Superintendent Matt Underwood sent out an email on Friday, announcing that all students will now begin school on Wednesday, Aug. 19.


The date was changed from the previous decision, where kindergarten through eighth grade would start on Aug. 12 and ninth grade through 12th grade would start on Aug. 19.


"This decision will allow our teachers and administrators more time to train, prepare, and plan for the new safety protocols," Underwood said in the email. "The extended hours will remain the same."


The updated start dates and times for all schools for the 2020-2021 school year are listed below:


•Central Elementary: Wednesday, Aug. 19; 7:45 a.m. - 3:20 p.m.


•Chamberlin Elementary: Wednesday, Aug. 19; 7:55 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.


•Hook Elementary: Wednesday, Aug. 19; 7:50 a.m. - 3:25 p.m.


•Gilbert Intermediate: Wednesday, Aug. 19; 7:50 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.


•Henderson Junior High: Wednesday, Aug. 19; 8 a.m. - 3:40 p.m.


•Stephenville High School: Wednesday, Aug. 19; 7:55 a.m. - 3:48 p.m.


Stephenville ISD also decided to establish an agreement with Cook Children’s Health Care System to provide various services to the administration and nursing departments.


"The health and safety of our students, staff and families are of the utmost importance to us," Underwood said in the email. "This unprecedented time is unnerving and we are all attempting to make our way through it in the safest way possible."


The services include:


•Consultation and consulting services regarding the SISD re-opening protocols, procedures, and duties


•Physical on-site auditing of campus activities and processes


•Consultation with administration regarding closing and re-opening processes should cases be identified within the schools


•Updated information from the medical community regarding any changes to best practices or protocols


•Attendance by a Cook Children’s representative at School Health Advisory Committee meetings


•Special education student health reviews


•Consultation on general health related questions


To ensure that all parents have an opportunity to thoroughly review the protocols and make an informed decision about whether to send their child to school or to continue with online learning, Underwood decided to push back the deadline to make that choice to Sunday, Aug. 9.


"We appreciate the time many of you have taken to respond to our request for feedback regarding the protocols that have already been established," Underwood said in the email. "Based on your responses, we are continuing to develop and improve our plans. If you were not already able to view or respond to the protocols, please feel free to do so by clicking on the following link: https://bit.ly/SISDcovidpolicyresponse."


Parents can indicate their choice of face-to-face or virtual/remote instruction by accessing Skyward Family Access.


"Thank you for your support," Underwood added. "We look forward to seeing our students soon."