AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Education Agency announced Friday that school districts will be allowed to limit on-campus instruction for the first four weeks of the school year. Districts can then extend that period an additional four weeks with a waiver request.
The move is a reversal by the agency, which initially ordered all districts to make in-person instruction available from day one of the school year.
School districts had petitioned the TEA for the ability to begin with online instruction only.
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Commissioner Mike Morath, in a video message to parents, acknowledged Friday that circumstances have changed.
“Our framework ensures that there will be on campus instruction available for all students who need it in the state of Texas. But at the same time we know we need to provide local schools flexibility to adapt to local health conditions, especially given the rise in COVID cases we're seeing across the state,” he said.
Under the TEA's guidelines, any student who does not have the ability to participate in online learning must be accommodated with "in-person instruction."
The TEA will also allow school districts to convert high schools to a "full-time hybrid model" that includes both on-campus and online learning.