7-11-20 COVID Back to School.TIF

The Texas Education Agency Tuesday released its much anticipated guidance for resuming classes this fall. As districts prepare to resume in-person and remote instruction, parents will have more choices this year as they decide which school setting is best for their children.

In light of these recommendations, Corsicana Independent School District announced Wednesday it will be providing three different learning options for the 2020-2021 school year beginning Thursday, Aug. 13.

The first option provides for in-person learning on campus in a traditional classroom setting for grades Pre-K through 12 with enhanced, thorough health and safety procedures.

Option two allows for virtual at-home learning scheduled and fully guided by a CISD teacher for grades three through 12.

The third option offers virtual self-directed learning each day on a schedule set by parents and students. CISD teachers will be available for support at scheduled times for all grades.

A detailed “Return to School Framework” describing CISD’s protocols for health and safety, as well as these three instructional options will be discussed by the Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday, July 13. Following the meeting, the Framework will be posted on the district’s website and distributed.

A Student Learning Option Selection Form will be emailed to parents Monday, July 20 and posted on www.cisd.org.

More updates will be posted online as plans for the 2020-2021 school year are finalized.

TEA’s guidance is provided based on the current public health situation. New developments during the summer may prompt changes to these guidelines.

Included in TEA’s guidance are health and safety procedures, including procedures mandated for every school in the state, like health screenings prior to allowing students, teachers, staff, and visitors on campuses.

Consistent with the Governor’s most recent executive order, masks will be required while in school buildings, with certain exceptions made as detailed in the order.

Schools will also be required to follow any forthcoming executive orders issued by Gov. Abbott.

Additional health procedures are recommended for every school that can reasonably implement them.

To ensure all appropriate health and safety procedures are fully in place, districts have the option to establish a phased return to campus for up to the first three weeks of the school year,

In the nine-page document, the agency outlines practices for screening processes to prevent the virus from entering schools, health and safety policies to stop the spread, and guidelines for responding to confirmed cases within the school system.

Districts are required to issue parental and public notices, which must be made available to parents and the general public one week prior to the start of on-campus classes and activities.

School districts must provide a summary of their plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, based on the requirements and recommendations outlined by TEA. These plans must be clearly posted on the school's website.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath stated Tuesday that despite what will be a challenging budget year, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and other legislative leaders are committed to fully funding classroom and remote instruction for every child.

Morath stated TEA is providing schools with resources to start the year strong, like reimbursement for extra COVID-19-related expenses incurred during the 2019-20 school year; tens of millions of Personal Protective Equipment 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.

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