Officials with the El Paso Department of Public Health have suggested that local school districts postpone the scheduled reopening of schools. They say they made that recommendation because of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in El Paso County.

The El Paso Independent School District was set to reopen schools to the first phase of students in the district on October 19 but because district officials set the safe return threshold at 5 percent reported positive cases in the County, and the current COVID-19 positive case spike hitting almost 10 percent this week, the EPISD Board of Trustees said the safest course of action is for families and staff to stay home.

The new date for EPISD's phased-in reopening is set for October 26. Families who selected in-person instruction will be the first to go back to in person learning in classrooms. After that, this is the schedule:

October 19 - Campus administrators return

October 21 - Teachers begin phased-in return

October 26 - Students in special-education, grades pre-k through second, sixth grade and ninth grade, if their families chose in-person instruction

November 2 - All remaining students whose families chose in-person instruction

Central Office employees will begin a phased-in return on October 19. There will still be virtual instruction for families who chose that option. EPISD Superintendent Juan Cabrera said everyone is ready to go back to class but the health and safety of students, families, and district employees has to be their first consideration.

If you would like to see EPISD's School Reopening Guide for Students & Parents, as well as a guide for all employees, click here for the EPISD School Reopening webpage.