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PYT Ed Clips: TEA Guidance on Re-Opening Schools

Following Governor Abbott's announcement last week that Texas schools will be re-opening this fall, TEA has released their guidelines on how this should look.

Here are some key points from the guidelines:

  • TEA will use its waiver authority to provide districts with new options for determining daily attendance.
  • TEA has attempted to craft a framework that provides maximum grace to allow time to transition for the new school year while maximizing funding.
  • All changes will only apply for the 2020-21 year.

There are two methods to fund remote instruction, which are lined out in the Attendance and Enrollment specific PDF:

Synchronous: requires all participants to be present at the same time virtually; similar to “on-campus”; live classes

  • A minimum number of daily minutes are required to earn full day funding
  • Daily instructional minutes need not be consecutive
  • Time students spend in work-based learning opportunities can be included in the daily instructional minute calculation; these include internships, externships, apprenticeships, and mentorships
  • For half-day ADA FSP funding, divide the full-day minute requirements in half
  • School grading policies for remote student work must be consistent with those used before COVID for on campus assignments
  • Synchronous ADA method is being established as a Commissioner Waiver
  • LEAs must submit an attestation that they are prepared to offer synchronous instruction before funding will flow for synchronous attendance
  • Districts must post the attestation on their website once it has been made

Asynchronous: does not require all participants to be present at the same time virtually; self-paced classes

  • Defined as a curricular experience where students engage in the learning materials on their own time, interacting intermittently with the teacher via the computer or other electronic devices or over the phone
  • Will generate full-day funding for each day “engaged,” assuming (for secondary) that a student isn’t scheduled to participate in less than a half-day’s worth of courses
  • Staff should check daily for student “engagement”. If students are engaged for the day, they would be marked as “Present-Remote Asynchronous” in SIS for PEIMS
  • Students who are not “engaged” that day are marked absent
  • Engaged is any of these three:
  • Progress (as defined in the approved learning plan) in the Learning Management System (LMS) made that day
  • Progress (as defined in the approved learning plan) from teacher/student interactions made that day
  • Turn-in of assignment(s) that day

Don't hesitate to call our office should your district have any questions regarding this announcement!

School Financing During COVID-19

With the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 throughout the state, and the uncertainty around what restrictions, if any, will be in place in one month, three months, or six months from now, there is no clear consensus as to how things will look for school bond elections come the next uniform election date of November 3, 2020.

PYT Attorney, Ryan Lione, discusses alternative means of financing school districts can enact should they choose to postpone their upcoming November bond elections.