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Denton County health department recommends school year to begin online through Sept. 8

The county reported its highest daily cases last week with 228 new positive cases of COVID-19 on July 23. On Sunday, the county reported 78 new cases.

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to say Denton County had 128 cases on Saturday and 78 cases on Sunday.

School districts in Denton County are reviewing the recommendation from the county health department to begin the school year online-only until Sept. 8.

Denton County Public Health issued the recommendation Monday and district leaders are evaluating its effects on instructional and extracurricular activities.

The county reported its highest daily cases last week with 228 new positive cases of COVID-19 on July 23. On Saturday, the county reported 128 new cases and, on Sunday, the county reported 78 new cases.

The recommendation comes less than a week after Tarrant County health officials ordered all public and non-religious private schools to be online-only through Sept. 28. On July 16, Dallas County issued a similar order, requiring online-only classes until Sept. 8.

The department said leaders from the following districts are evaluating: Argyle ISD, Aubrey ISD, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, Denton ISD, Krum ISD, Lake Dallas ISD, Lewisville ISD, Little Elm ISD, North Texas Collegiate Academy, Pilot Point ISD, Ponder ISD, Westlake Academy and Sanger ISD.

“Each district will make its own decision based on the best interests of its community, and those decisions will be communicated directly to families by district leaders,” the health department said. 

Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD already announced that the district will begin the school year on Aug. 17 with all students learning remotely for the first three weeks. Students who choose to return to onsite in-person learning are asked to continue to enroll online.

Texas Education Agency guidelines say that parents can switch their child between the two learning options after the end of each grading period.

“Our collective hope is to return to traditional education as soon as possible, with the knowledge that the global pandemic response will ultimately determine how ‘normalcy’ will return to our schools," county health officials said in a written statement. 

RELATED: 'We are terribly afraid': Schools in Tarrant County required to be online-only until Sept. 28

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