TEA announces additional reopening guidelines for schools

The Texas Education Agency has released further guidance for schools allowing them to temporarily limit access to on-campus instruction. 

Earlier in July, the Texas Education Agency announced that students should be able to go back to their classrooms in the fall. The TEA released comprehensive guidelines for students to return to school safely. 

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In addition to those guidelines, TEA now says school systems will be able to temporarily limit access to on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of school. After the first four weeks, a school system may continue to limit access to on-campus instruction for an additional four weeks, if needed, with a board-approved waiver request to TEA.

The agency says any student who requires on-campus instruction during this period may be excluded, specifically, any family that lacks internet access at home or requires devices for students learning virtually.

TEA also says local school boards in areas with high levels of community spread also retain the flexibility to delay the start of the school year.

An additional change to the guidelines allows school systems with the ability to convert high schools to a full-time hybrid model to do so, once students have transitioned back to on-campus instruction. This must come with school board approval. 

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"This model will provide for a more socially distanced school experience, where students receive a portion of their instruction on-campus and a portion of their instruction remotely at home," TEA wrote in a press release. 

School systems must also post a summary of their plans one week before on-campus instruction begins to parents and the general public. The plan must be developed in consultation with their teachers, staff, and parents and must follow the requirements and recommendations outlined in TEA’s updated public health planning guidance to mitigate COVID-19 spread in their schools. 



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