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TEA adds additional guidelines for reopening schools

(KOSA)
Published: Jul. 17, 2020 at 12:02 PM CDT
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AUSTIN, Texas (KBTX) - The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has been releasing guidelines for how schools should open for the 2020-2021 academic year. Their focus is on helping students, teachers and staff prepare to safely return to school campuses for daily, in-person instruction.

TEA has issued new updates to their guidelines. Due to the varying impact COVID-19 has on each Texas community, TEA made changes to allow schools the flexibility to open in a way to provide the “safest and least disruptive mode of learning during the beginning of the school year,” according to the press release.

School systems will now be able to temporarily limit access to on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of school. After the first four weeks, a school system can continue to limit access to on-campus instruction for an additional four weeks, if needed, with a board-approved waiver request to TEA.

TEA Guidelines

These guidelines will also include exceptions for students, especially those with limited or no internet access at home and/or those that require devices for learning virtually.

“Any student requiring on-campus instruction during this period—i.e. those who need reliable access to technology—will still be entitled to on-campus instruction every day during this transition period,” according to the guidelines.

Other changes include flexibility for school districts with high levels of community spread to delay the start of the school year, and the ability to convert high schools to a full-time hybrid model once students have transitioned back to on-campus instruction.

“One week prior to the start of on-campus activities and instruction, school systems must post for parents and the general public a summary of the plan—developed in consultation with their teachers,  staff, and parents—that they will follow to mitigate COVID-19 spread in their schools based on the requirements and recommendations outlined in TEA’s updated public health planning guidance,” according to the guidelines.

To read the updated TEA 2020-2021 Public Health Planning Guidance, click here.

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