Additional Guidance Provided by TEA
On Friday, July 17th, the Texas Education Agency (TEA), released an updated version of the Reopening Guidelines for schools for the 2020-21 academic school year.
As concerns around reopening schools continue to grow due to COVID-19-related issues, the TEA has released a series of updates to provide more flexibility for schools, teachers, staff, students, and parents. The most noticeable update is the introduction of an online-only start to the 2020-21 school year to ensure a seamless and safe re-opening with the fewest disruptions possible.
If needed, for the first four weeks of school, schools can limit access to in-person instruction. This four-week period may be extended if first approved by the TEA board with a waiver. During this transition period, students who do not have access to the required technology to reliably partake in distance learning may attend school in-person.
In addition to the online-only start option for schools, further flexibility is provided for communities that report a high level of community spread. In these areas, schools have the option to delay the start of the school year, until it is safer to resume in-person instruction.
After the transition period has successfully been carried out, if a school is granted TEA board approval, they may completely transition to a blended model, where students receive both in-person and virtual instruction. This blended model will allow all teachers, staff, and students present on school campuses the ability to participate in social distancing.
COVID-19 will continue to be monitored and further updates will be released as needed. One week before the official start of the school year, schools are responsible for releasing a summary of their plan which will be developed with assistance from teachers, staff, and parents.
As always, we will continue to provide you with the latest updates to help you stay informed.