School Guidance and Updates

School Guidance and Updates

As the educators and students prepare for the return to school, we encourage you to review the latest updates on the status of in-person education as well as available guidance in the following sections.

Additional materials may be available in the General Public Guidance resources.

Latest Updates

Please find the latest updates on re-opening schools and the 2020-2021 school year below.

Reopening Roadmap and Metrics for Success Released (August 12, 2020)

School officials have asked Harris County for more information to better help guide their decision making on school reopening plans. View the Roadmap to Reopen Schools and the Metrics for Success on Ready Harris.

Official Postponement of In-Person Instruction (July 24, 2020)

On Friday, July 24th, an order was officially announced for Harris County schools to postpone on-campus, face-to-face instruction until after September 7, 2020. The full order is available here.

Recommendation to Postpone In-Person Instruction (July 20, 2020)

On Monday, July 20th, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo released a statement for Harris County Superintendents regarding recommendations for in-person instruction for the coming school year. Please review the statement in its entirety here.

Roadmap to Reopening

In-person instruction is vital for the educational development and social wellbeing of children and young adults. Many working families depend on education for social support such as food, childcare, social activities, and other types of assistance. But in-person school settings heavily rely on interpersonal contacts that increase the risk for COVID-19 transmission. Also, schools are more than students. Educators, administrators, school nurses, and other adults share the educational environment with students. Reopening schools too early or without appropriate measures poses a risk to community health. The risk is particularly grave for areas that have widespread or uncontrolled community transmission.

In the absence of a widely available and distributed treatment or vaccine, the community must bring the virus under control before in-person activities can safely resume. Returning to in-person instruction must be phased, careful, make use of containment tools to reduce likelihood of outbreaks, and incorporate lessons learned. 

School officials have asked Harris County for more information to better help guide their decision making on school reopening plans. Please visit Ready Harris to view the Roadmap to Reopen Schools and the Metrics for Success.

Reopening Guidance

Refer to the resources below for guidelines and materials provided by Harris County Public Health (HCPH).

Information for Educational Programs, Educators, Harris County Superintendents, etc.

Guidance for Early Care & Education
Guidance for Museums and Libraries
COVID Reopening Benchmarks (Updated 8/11/20)
School Interactions and Isolation Protocols
Contact Tracing in Schools
Roadmap to Reopening Schools

General Guidelines For COVID-19 Safety and Procedures

For more information about safety measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, please refer to General Public Guidance.

Guidance for Using Masks (PDF)
Social Distancing and the Breathing Zone: Why 6 FT of Distance?
Temperature Check Procedure

Reporting COVID-19 Cases

In the event that a staff member or student is suspected of or has tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), administration should complete the forms below and submit to [email protected].

  • In the COVID-19 School Reporting Form, provide information for the individual. If this person has tested positive for COVID-19, it is encouraged to include testing details in the appropriate fields.
  • The COVID-19 School Reporting - Contact List Form should be used to list those individuals with whom this person has recently made contact.

COVID-19 School Reporting Form
COVID-19 School Reporting - Contact List Form

Additional Resources

For those who have questions about school reopenings in Harris County, please contact [email protected].