Local School Districts prepare for next year

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As 2020 graduates prepare for commencement, school officials commence preparing for next year. Although the Texas Education Agency provided districts across the state with some guidance and preliminary considerations earlier this month — including the possibility year-round school — the Chronicle met with school officials to see what the 2021 school session might look like and what parents and students could expect.

With numerous fact sheets, presentations, and weekly conference calls with Education Commissioner Mike Morath, superintendents, administrators, and school officials have had more information to review and consider at the end of the 2020 school year than any other in recollection. Since struggling to keep doors open after spring break, to closing campuses under executive orders by mid-March, school officials have continuously adapted to constantly evolving educational landscape.

In recent weeks, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) provided administrators with even more information to consider. Aware districts might need to adjust school calendars in response to the effect COVID-19 had on this year’s education, TEA released guidance for districts earlier this month. The state is anticipating likely short-term disruptions to instruction and the probable high absenteeism during the upcoming year, and TEA is encouraging districts to build a calendar that addresses these situations, drafting plans to minimize disruption.

As HB-3 (School Finance Bill) — signed into law in Jun 2019 and included $5.1 billion to reduce school district taxes and $6.5 billion to improve public education and pay teachers—contain statutes districts meet 75,600 instructional minutes and have a minimum 180 days of instruction, TEA presented districts with three options for updating school calendars.

• Option 1: Optional summer learning





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