Texas school districts discuss Fall return strategies amid COVID-19 outbreak

Schools across Texas have been in a viral lockdown since Spring Break. At home and online are how classes are being taught for the remainder of the 2019/2020 academic year.

For many school districts, the focus is on trying to make contact with all students and getting them to graduation day.


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"Our Superintendent is on a daily Superintendent’s call with every superintendent,” said Angel Vidal, a spokesperson for Manor ISD.

Vidal said delaying summer school is a possibility for Manor ISD students. So is allowing students to turn in classwork as late as August to avoid a failing grade.

"So moving forward, what Manor ISD is considering is a whole variety of options. Currently, we're working on the different logistics of what we are going to be able to offer students in regards to summer schools and distance learning options moving forward towards the fall,” said Vidal.

With Fall still months away, TEA has yet to issue any state recommendations about the new school year and how to get students back into classrooms.

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The Agency has issued an advisory that notified districts the traditional way of taking attendance has been put on hold. Unlimited missed school day waivers will be granted, so no make-up days are being required. And state funding will be based on the part of the year when school districts were open.

"I think we are going to have to be prepared for the worst,” said Kevin Brown, who is the executive director of the Texas Association of School Administrators. 

For a Fall Return, Brown listed off some of the ideas being discussed.

"That may look different for different students, there are some students doing great in a virtual situation, they like touching based with the teachers and can do their work quickly, there are other children who really need a safe place to be, parents are at work, they need to be in school, and we may be looking at a case, and we just don’t know yet, where we open up the school to some but not all, maybe special needs children, or Seniors, or we spread them out throughout the day, maybe have 2 or three different school sessions during the day so we have less students at school,” said Brown.

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The size of the school district will certainly determine any plan, and holding class again is just part of the puzzle, according to Brown.

"Schools will be taking into consideration how to make sure people are safe and social distancing to the degree that you can, what does that look like for transportation, what does that look like for lunch, PE and things of that nature, so there is a lot of discussion going on, we are kind of building this plane as we're flying it, across the globe frankly,” said Brown.

A return strategy is expected to be a major topic during the Association’s summer conference.

The possibility of a COVID19 rebound, Brown told FOX7, will not be ignored, "All of us will have to be nimble, all of us will have to be flexible in how we respond to this because things change almost on a daily basis."  

That means being prepared to go back to online classes, and school campuses on lockdown. 



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