Schools can go on-line only for just first 4 weeks according to TEA

Published 3:18 pm Friday, July 17, 2020

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AUSTIN— The Texas Education Agency (TEA) issued new guidelines Friday for the fall semester as COVID-19 cases continue to rise  across the state.

Among the new guidance  includes school systems being able to temporarily limit access to on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of school. School systems can continue to limit access to on-campus classes for an additional four weeks if needed with a board-approved waiver request to the TEA.

Parents who opted for their students to go to school in the fall will temporarily have to do virtual learning. However, any family that needs internet access and needs a device to learn virtually is still entitled to on-campus instruction every day during this transition period.

Other new changes include:

  • With some exceptions, on-campus instruction must be offered for all grades served by the campus every day for every student whose parents want them to access on-campus instruction for each day a campus is providing instruction given its instructional calendar.
  • The TEA is implementing an ADA and student full-time equivalent (FTE) grace period (ADA hold harmless) under the limited circumstances.
  • If the district/campus is ordered closed and does NOT provide remote instruction, then the district will need to make up the days later in the year or forego funding for the closed days.
  • Updated guidelines for taking attendance for students receiving instruction at home.
  • The 90/10 minimum attendance for class credit rule of TEC, §25.092, will be in effect for the 2020–2021 school year, and TEA will not be issuing waivers for LEAs to exempt themselves from the rule.
  • Districts will be allowed to develop a hybrid instructional model that intentionally blends on-campus, remote asynchronous and remote synchronous experiences.
  • Except for students in high school grades, LEAs cannot offer only an intermittent on-campus attendance option for any given grade.
  • An LEA may request a waiver from the agency to receive funding while providing remote instruction during an LEA-determined closure that does not involve a confirmed case of COVID19 on one of its campuses. Such waiver requests will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Schools are allowed to change school calendars to delay the start of the school year.
  • Greg Abbott also announced on the same day that Texas will allocate $200 million in funding to the TEA so school leaders can purchase eLearning devices and home internet solutions.