This (Tuesday) afternoon, the Texas Education Agency released its guidelines for the safe return of students to the classroom this fall.  The TEA is recommending that parents will have the option of having their children attend regular classes, or stay home and participate in remote learning sessions.  Parents are asked to commit their children to either one for a full grading period.  The teachers, staff, and students will be screened before their entry each day to the school building and masks will be required for everyone.  Districts will have the option of phasing in the opening of school for the first 3 weeks.  The TEA says they will reimburse Districts for extra COVID-19-related expenses incurred during the 2019-20 school year and provide Districts with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said “The guidance laid out today will provide flexibility to both parents and districts to make decisions based on the ever-changing conditions of this public health crisis.”

Full Press Release:

TEA Issues Comprehensive Guidelines for a Safe Return to On-Campus Instruction for the 2020-21 School Year

Tue, 07/07/2020 - 15:01
AUSTIN, Texas – July 7, 2020 – The Texas Education Agency today announced comprehensive guidelines for students to return to school, prioritizing their health and safety while ensuring that students receive quality instruction, whether they choose to learn in a safe on-campus environment or remotely.

“Both as Commissioner and as a public school parent, my number one priority is the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “That is why the guidance laid out today will provide flexibility to both parents and districts to make decisions based on the ever-changing conditions of this public health crisis. The state is and remains committed to providing a high-quality education to all Texas students, while ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers, staff, and families.”

Morath added that, despite what will be a challenging budget year, Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and other legislative leaders are committed to fully funding in-class and remote instruction for every child in the upcoming school year. As a result, parents will have more choices than normal this year as they decide which school setting is best for their children, including:

Daily on-campus learning will be available to all parents who would like their students to learn in school each day. In addition, all parents will have the option to choose remote learning for their children, initially, or at any point as the year progresses. Parents who choose remote instruction for their students may be asked to commit to remote instruction for a full grading period (e.g. 6 or 9 weeks), but will not have to make that commitment more than two weeks in advance, so they can make a decision based on the latest public health information.

Health and safety procedures will be in place to support student and teacher safety. Some health procedures are mandated for every school in the state. For example, all students, teachers, staff, and visitors coming to campus must be screened before being allowed on campus. Consistent with the Governor’s most recent executive order, and assuming that order is still in place, masks will be required while in school buildings, with certain exceptions made, as noted in the order. Schools will also be required to follow any forthcoming executive orders issued by the Governor.
Additional health procedures are recommended for every school that can reasonably implement those procedures.
Districts have the option to establish a phased-in return to on-campus instruction for up to the first three weeks of the school year, to ensure all appropriate health and safety procedures are fully in place.

TEA is providing school systems with resources to ensure a strong start. This includes:Reimbursement for extra COVID-19-related expenses incurred during the 2019-20 school year;
Tens of millions of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies provided to school systems at no cost to Texas schools;
Free online, TEKS-aligned learning tools to deliver remote instruction;
Teacher training provided at no cost to the school system; and Statewide efforts to help bridge the digital divide for students at home, along with other ongoing support.
For more information, please visit TEA’s Coronavirus website: https://tea.texas.gov/coronavirus

A link to the Texas Education Agency’s comprehensive public health guidance can be found here.

This framework was developed based on the most current science with input from: Governor Greg Abbott’s Coronavirus Medical Advisory Team; the Governor’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas; Texas school system leaders; ongoing global analysis of school operational practices; ongoing global analysis of research on viral spread in schools; and the latest peer-reviewed viral research studies.

Due to the nature of this pandemic, parents and educators should expect to see some campuses close for brief periods during the upcoming school year. If there are significant changes to the public health situation, there may need to be additional changes to the framework as well.

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  1. The push from teacher unions or really anyone to keep the schools closed should realize this is a perfect opportunity for them to help usher in permanent Texas School Choice.

    I agree, the schools should be closed for as long as needed, however don’t expect for the same paycheck to be there, think something like a half to a third. That’s fair compensation, you can’t expect something for nothing, right?

    Take those tax dollars and give them back to parents at the state and local level to fund a school of their choosing. Parents (at least the good ones of any worth), can use those dollars to provide a much better education than public school. We’re talking 10-12,000 a year per child. Around here, that kind of money gets you the best schools. The best private Christian schools.

    If you don’t want to do this then, then you should very happy to open up public schools regardless of circumstances.

  2. We need to get our kids back in the classroom this fall. The spring home schooling at BISD (and most other ISDs) was a complete joke. That cannot continue into the fall. If BISD comes out with only remote learning this fall, there are many of us parents out here that are not going to stand for it! WE CANNOT AFFORD FOR OUR KIDS TO NOT GET AN EDUCATION.

    1. You must live in la la land. Your children will be fine if they miss a couple months of instruction time. Maybe you should step it up and be an actual parent who can teach their own kids! School will not be safe in August. Nor will it be normal. We are not living in normal times right now. See there’s this thing they call a pandemic happening that is killing people. And yes kids can get it and yes younger people are dying from this. So I think it’s parent’s responsibility right now to keep their kids home!!

    2. How can you base on what they did when schools shut down in March to where we are currently? We were in a place where we have never been before ….at least in my lifetime ! Think of it as your boss putting you in an entire different position with no prior warning. How are u suppose to know what to do? You wouldn’t. But now your boss has given you a four month warning about your new position as well as the required tools to make that transition more simplified to follow. Plus the guidelines and requirements. Most definitely you will be better prepared !
      Now that TEA, parents and students know what is to be expected I am sure we all are better prepared!!!
      Our children will be educated !!!! With the attitude you have though you are expressing to everyone out there no one can learn online !!!
      To give you some insight….
      I attended Blinn in 2018 and recently received my Associated Degree. ….
      During that time I also went to work, did normal daily requirements at home, still enjoyed the park and different outings with kids !!!! Our children can attend school remotely….learn and still be involved in a different number of activities with the school…etc…band, sports, anything BISD can offer !!!!!
      People everyone needs to wake up…..Times are changing… what is so wrong with kids going to school remotely?
      The only issue I see is when parents need school as a day care so they can work !!!! Guess what even jobs are making changes to provide remote work from home !!!!
      I am sure at the end of the school year everyones opinion will change regarding remote schooling !!!! Good Luck to all in your decision making on schooling your children….Dont have a closed mind on your decision making !!!
      I also like to agree with Toi. Just as school gets rolling there maybe a chance of school shutting down again once Covid 19 becomes a friendly visitor to your child’s classroom.
      Locally Resturants, liquor stores, car dealerships just to mention a few have shut down…..to sanitize…
      I would rather keep my child in a more reliable and stable environment until we really know what the future holds.

  3. Not truly understanding what you are referring to as a DISGRACE? What’s wrong with what people?
    Just as people has choices in wearing masks prior to the Governors orders, we as well have choices on how/where our children should be educated !
    You may have had your thoughts in your mind, but have not truly expressed them properly.
    I am glad TEA has provided options for families to make their own decisions! If you feel that children going to school, socializing, and studying and will be having a great time in school…..YOU WILL HAVE A RUDE AWAKENING…….life WILL NEVER be the same. We are evolving into a complete different nation at this time !!!
    I personally have NO intentions of putting my child in harms way. Children catch a common cough and cold from each other …..how do you REALLY think teachers are going to keep students 6 ft apart from one another ? Especially the elementary students !
    Unsure of where your evidence is that states “children are not passing this around or be punished by this” once school is opened you will eat your words of children not passing it around. I believe we currently have two 0-9 yr. Olds that have covid 19 here in our county. I hope they have a quick recovery with no complications. However if you feel that strongly about children not passing it along…i would love to locate the families that have children with covid for you so you can allow your children to play and study with them..
    People or CHILDREN can have this without any symptoms for 14 days. Have you considered what this can do to our community? Our children? Of course parents and grandparents will be their caretakers, so are the adults going to be immune? I don’t think so, just as well as other children in the home will not be immune!
    When we contact our local and state offices what is it that you want us to contact them in regards to? I am going to contact them and praise them according to the decisions they have made ! By giving us a choice !
    The statement mentioned you make ” we have to do something before its to late” what does that mean? It is ALREADY TO LATE! Covid 19 has spread and will continue to spread, due to the mentally of people like you !
    Also would like to help enlighten you !!! If you are a property owner in Washington County whether you like it or not YOUR ARE PAYING when you pay property tax !
    Now the search of a new Superintendent instead of a $196000.00 annual price tag, I am sure that BISD will up not only the pay check but benefits as well for some one that is not from their own area !!!! Then just as the Police Chiefs and Superintendent has will walk AWAY when they get a better offer !!!!!

  4. The pandemic will end on November 4th, so everyone can relax because we only have 119 more days of this!

  5. If children and teachers are required to go back to school this fall, every government entity, including TEA, the US Deprtment of Education and all lawmakers, should be back at work and not working remotely from home. If there are procedures that are good enough for kids and teachers, those procedures certainly should be sufficient for all government workers.

  6. Yes, school is important and kids need to be there under normal circumstances. College is also important and they need to be open. In fact, things need to be back to normal. The sad fact is that they are not and will not for a long time. Unfortunately this country missed the opportunity to control the virus and now we are squandering time debating ridiculous things like putting a cloth covering over our faces. Here is a news flash, you want normal school and a normal life do what is necessary now to control the disease and stop absorbing bad information like “the virus is not passed by kids,” “its not dangerous,” or any other junk science there is to consume so that you can be a little less scared.

    The point all along is that the quicker we get the virus under control, the quicker we go back to normal. We did not do that. Instead a lot of people in this country chose adopt a toddler’s “you’re not the boss of me” concept of freedom instead of doing what generations of Americans have done before when hard times hit, their part to help.

    This country’s choice has been made so live with it. I know I have to even though I have tried to do everything I can in my little corner of the world.

  7. TEA state employees, as well as state legislators, are all working from home for an “undetermined” amount of time for safety. Do you think they will return to their offices during a pandemic? I’ll be surprised if they do. This is unrealistic. We will close as soon as we start if more thoughtful plans aren’t set into place. I’m praying BISD school board members will make wise decisions.

  8. It is not safe for children or staff to wear masks all day long. How will they receive oxygen properly? I dont believe this will help. I am wanting my children to go back to school but I dont believe they will be safe. At home school doesn’t sound good either. That short period of time at the end of last school year was chaotic and I dont believe my kids learned anything. This all is such a scary situation. Hope this goes away soon but then again election is still so far away!!!! I’m really starting to worry what the world is coming to and I am fearing for my family big time!!!!

    1. I am not participating in the mask debate, but if schools require it (and they cannot enforce it for kids under 10) of you jave a trusted pediatrician, please have a frank discussion with him/her about your child’s use of a mask. There is so much misinformation posted on social media that is now simply taken as fact. You ate your child’s best advocate!

    2. That’s like asking how a surgeon can wear a mask for an 8 hour surgery. They do because basic masks do not affect how much oxygen your body receives. Ask any essential employee who wears a mask everyday for an 8 hour shift.

  9. I feel like students should not wear mask since some may have trouble breathing with them.In my opinion,staff,teachers and administrators are the only one supposed to wear them and adults in schools.Also going back to school is a good idea.

  10. This is such a disgrace. What is wrong with these people? These children are not passing this around and should not be punished by this. This is too far. Please call and email your local and state officials. Something needs to be done before it’s too late. They need to hear from us. If they are just going to be studying remotely all or part of the year maybe we should pull our kids from their programs? We can do this remotely with our own curriculum that they don’t get paid for.

    1. How can you say that children are not
      Passing this around? Do you know for sure? Are you giving your own little test by looking at them? This virus is airborne, and many people don’t show symptoms, but do carry it and pass it around. Maybe go do some research before you say that children do not pass this around.

  11. Parents and educators should expect to see closures as stated above. Uh yea u think! Duh there will def be closures and lots of them if you put hundreds of children and adults together in one building during a pandemic that is spreading worse now then before! Several day cares in town have already had to close because someone or multiples have tested positive. Do you think this will be any different. And do you really think kids will keep mask on all day. Give me a break This is not safe

      1. Ok can’t wait for you to have to homeschool your children 2 weeks after school starts cuz they have to shut it down again. Have fun!!

        1. You stated “This is not safe”. AJ replied with the only reasonable alternative – “Then keep your children at home”. You then replied with a snarky revenge fantasy. Are you just a troll or is there a reason you posted?

    1. If you had kids, which I doubt you do, you would understand the need for them to be back in school.
      It is necessary and vital to their self esteem and overall happiness as little people.
      The article , if you understood it, clearly says that your child can also do remote learning if that is better for them/you.
      This virus is not as bad, or as deadly then all the original reports stated.
      Positive cases are not positive deaths, relax.
      99.4% or more will be fine.
      Especially children.
      As you stated above, “Duh”

      1. I absolutely do have kids and that’s why what you are writing makes me sick. This will not be a normal school setting so get that out of your head. And yes children can and will pass this on.

        1. You should home school your children.
          You sound extremely well informed and educated on many subjects.
          This will help with social distancing so the rest of the population that want’s their kids in school will be at least 6′ away from all of you that are worried.
          Kids should be in school.
          You can stay home.
          It will be safer for you.
          It is scary out there.

          1. Kids don’t need to be in school when it’s not safe period! Staff at the schools will suffer from this period! It will not kill you to teach your own kids or support them for online learning while it’s a pandemic period! And yes I’m very well educated and informed. Thanks

  12. Great.
    My kids can’t wait to get back to school and meet their new teachers, see their friends, all of it.
    Fantastic !

    1. You are kidding me right. U really think it will be normal when they return. NOT! There will be so many rules that the kids won’t recognize school the way they used to know it. There will not be any socializing so you go ahead and tell your kids they will be there only to sit at a desk six feet apart from everyone and not be able to talk to their friends cuz there will be no more eating next to each other in the cafeteria or playing in the gym. O and they will be wearing a mask all day everyday. Sounds like fun to me. Poor kids.

    2. You do realize that TEA has already said schools will need to make everyone wear masks, and all staff, students, and visitors will have to be screened before coming into school everyday, right? It’s not going to be the same school you’re used to.

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