This is an update based on weekly conference calls initiated by the Texas Education Agency.
*Always refer to TEA guidance. This information is subject to change as the situation evolves.
TEA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) continues to work with the Office of the Governor, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to coordinate and plan the state’s response to COVID-19. TEA’s role in these efforts is to help coordinate the flow of information from the state to districts, help districts solve problems, and provide guidance that will aid in districts’ decision-making. TEA does not have the general authority to close schools for matters related to health. This authority lies with the local health authority, DSHS, and the Governor of Texas.
Weekly Conference Call | COVID19 Public Education
28 - 30 July 2020
4 AUG | This guidance document is being provided based on the public health situation as we understand it today and takes effect immediately, both for summer school instruction ending the 2019-2020 school year and to help support school systems in planning for the 2020-2021 school year, regardless of whether a school system starts at the date currently planned or the local school board votes to change the school system’s calendar to delay the start of the school year. Changes to the public health situation over the course of the summer may necessitate changes to this guidance.
4 Aug - Instructional Materials & Equipment Guidance | Texas’ legislative leadership and TEA recently announced that $200 million would be available for eLearning devices and home internet solutions through Operation Connectivity. Additionally, TEA is working to provide free remote learning tools as part of Texas Home Learning 3.0 (e.g. Learning Management Systems and high-quality curriculum) as an option to districts, so they do not have to incur the expense locally.
21 July | School Reopening Guidance Summary, 2020-21
17 July | Reopening Guidance, Including Local Option for an Online-Only Start, 2020-21
This guidance document is being provided based on the public health situation as we understand it today and takes effect immediately, both for summer school instruction ending the 2019-2020 school year and to help support school systems in planning for the 2020-2021 school year , regardless of whether a school system starts at the date currently planned or the local school board votes to change the school system’s calendar to delay the start of the school year. Changes to the public health situation over the course of the summer may necessitate changes to this guidance.
28 JULY | My LEA was subject to a blanket closure order issued by my local health authority. Will solely remote instruction be funded for the time period of the order?
No. The Texas Attorney General issued a guidance letter on July 28, 2020, that stated that “...local health authorities may not issue blanket orders closing all schools in their jurisdiction on a purely prophylactic basis.” The guidance letter further provides that health authority orders may not conflict with executive orders of the governor and must apply control measures required by statute. Consequently, a blanket order closing schools does not constitute a legally issued closure order for purposes of funding solely remote instruction as described in this document. However, another valid funding exception may apply, such as a start-of-year transition period as described further below, that would be available to the LEA if it did not offer on-campus instruction.
Please apply! 🍎🥪🥛
P-EBT Applications are due by 21 August https://yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/PEBT
(The Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes a benefit called Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) for children up to age 21 who received free or reduced-price school meals in the 2019-2020 school year but their school is now closed. Your child must attend school in Texas to be eligible.)
The link above details information on a few low-cost Internet Service Providers (ISPs) for qualifying low-income households. ISDs can support their families by connecting them to affordable fixed internet plans.
Check the “ISP providers by county” tab to determine, which providers service your area.
STAY WELL, TEXAS
If you think you need to be tested for COVID-19,
this website allows Texans to find the nearest test collection site.
Status of COVID19 in Texas via Texas State Health Services / COVID19
Texas Health and Human Services launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help all Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for anyone who calls, including foster parents and all other caregivers. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at (833) 986-1919.
Click here to review the Texas Home Learning website
STAAR Testing Window, 2020-2021
Georgina C. Pérez