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Texas is not tracking coronavirus data in the classroom as schools reopen

At this time, the Texas Education Agency has not determined if it will collect COVID-19 data from schools.
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As schools across Texas open their doors, the state is currently not tracking COVID-19 data provided by districts.

Leaders from both College Station and Bryan school districts say they have a plan in case someone in their schools contracts COVID-19.

“No plan can cover everything,” said Dr. Seth Sullivan, Brazos County Alternate Health Authority. “We know that. These administrators care about these kids. They care for their teachers. They care about their parents and they have put in the effort. There is no doubt about it.”

The plan includes reporting the information to the Brazos County Health District, which “follows with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),” according to both College Station ISD and Bryan ISD.

“We’re ensuring that we are getting good information quickly, accurate information quickly, to be decisive and act upon it,” said Dr. Sullivan.

Even though the Brazos County Health District is getting that data from the schools, the state of Texas is currently not planning to track it.

In a statement, the Texas Education Agency, the body that oversees both primary and secondary public education, said they are in active discussions on the idea of COVID-19 data collection from schools and if they will provide that information to the public.

“This question on data collection is still under active deliberation by the agency, and we expect to have an update in the coming weeks on what, if any, data will be required and how it will be recorded.”

Frank Ward, Texas Education Agency

In the meantime, a Bryan mom thinks seeing the coronavirus case numbers in schools is a reasonable request.

“As a parent, we are looking for peace of mind,” said Tamara Garza, Bryan ISD parent. “I think it is a reasonable thing to want a similar layer of transparency with our schools as we get with our community.”

Click here for more information on the reopening plans in Bryan ISD.

Click here for more information on the reopening plans in College Station ISD.

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