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Kids in school with new TEA guidelines

An Overview of TEA’s On-Campus Instruction Guidelines for 2020-2021

see what could be in store for schools this upcoming year

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced updated guidelines for Texas public schools for the upcoming school year. TEA says the guidelines have been designed with students’ health and safety in mind as COVID-19 concerns continue.

Commissioner Mike Morath stated that the guidelines were formulated in such a way to “provide flexibility to both parents and districts to make decisions based on the ever-changing conditions of this public health crisis.”

Some of the key points the TEA focuses on in the guidelines are that 1) On-campus learning will be available to all parents who would like their students to learn in school each day; 2) There will be health and safety procedures in place to support teacher and student safety; and 3) The TEA is providing schools with various resources such as reimbursement for extra COVID-related expenses from the 2019-2020 school year, PPE supplies, free and online learning tools for remote instruction and more.

Below are a few highlights from the TEA guidelines. You can view the guidelines in full here.

  • Guidelines were formulated based on the current situation and will take effect immediately; changes to the public health situation over the summer may necessitate changes
  • The guidelines address: on campus and virtual instruction, administrative activities, non-UIL sports and activities, any other activities that can’t be completed virtually and visits by parents and the general public
  • The TEA recommends that after-school programs and other providers that operate in conjunction with schools also follow the guidelines and those set by the schools they serve
  • Schools must post a summary of the mitigation plan they will follow
  • Students must attend 90% of the days a course is offered to be awarded credit
  • During the first three weeks, schools may temporarily limit on-campus instruction to facilitate effective back-to-school transition
  • School systems must require teachers and staff to self-screen for symptoms before coming to campus each day
  • Schools must screen all visitors for symptoms
  • If a school has a lab-confirmed COVID case, the school must notify the local health department and close off areas that are (or were) heavily used by the individual with the confirmed case
  • Schools should have hand sanitizer or washing stations at each entrance
  • Schools are to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks
  • Desks are to be 6-feet apart if space allows
  • Schools must plan for entry, exit and transition procedures to reduce large group gatherings
  • Schools should restrict visits in schools to only those essential to school operations
  • The guidelines provide a list of COVID symptoms and procedures that should be followed in screening situations

For more information, visit TEA’s coronavirus website.

Image courtesy of iStock.