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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...

Right to Express Breast Milk in the Workplace

Finding the delicate balance between running a school campus efficiently and meeting the legitimate needs of employees can be quite challenging. One challenge is the balance between the needs of new mothers, who return to their teaching duties and may need to express breast milk during the school day, and the needs of students in their classes.

Kevin Rhyne and Jay Youngblood discuss the necessary statutes districts must consider when this issue arises on their campus.



New Temporary Paid Leave Options under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On April 1, 2020 the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

Jill Williams breaks down the requirements for emergency paid sick leave, and how the district should respond to an employee requesting the sick leave because of COVID-19.



"But it's for the kids!" Fair Use of Music in Your District

As districts have been looking for ways to honor their students during social distancing and online learning, many are turning to live or prerecorded events. One component that's always consistent is the use of background music as the event takes place.

Kevin Rhyne discusses what falls under "fair use" of music, and how to avoid copyright infringement while using background music in district virtual events.

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Changing School Start Dates for 2020-2021

Last week, TEA released guidelines on how to change the school calendar and start date amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

TEA announced school districts may start school prior to the fourth May in August (TEC Sec. 25.0811) through a District of Innovation Plan or a Year-Round System designation. The following PDF breaks down how schools districts could engage in this option.

Changing School Start Dates for 2020-2021 Guidelines

Adjusting Your School Calendar for COVID-19 Response

As the 2019-2020 school year begins to wind down, school districts are starting to look toward the 2020-2021 school year and what that will look like. In addition to the PDF on changing school start dates provided in the left...


Gov. Abbott Expands Openings of Certain Businesses and Activities

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Abbott announced he was expanding the businesses and activities that could begin to reopen amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Along with the businesses that were re-opened last Friday, cosmetology salons, tanning salons, and swimming pools are allowed to re-open on Friday, May 8th. All must follow social distancing of six feet foot of distance. Pools may open at a 25% capacity.

Offices in office buildings and gyms may begin to re-open on May 18th at a 25% capacity.

Gov. Abbott's task force is still working on the best way to re-open bars.

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Coining Terms like “COVID Slide” Does Not Change FAPE

Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke, educators have been introduced to new phrases, consepts, and applications of old terms in new ways. One example is the "COVID slide." Geneva Taylor explains what this means, and the best way for administrators and teachers to deal with this terminology.

Guidance for Graduation Ceremonies

At today's press conference with Governor Abbott, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath released guidance for districts to follow when holding graduation ceremonies during COVID-19.

So far, TEA has approved hybrid ceremonies where students come in one at a time, vehicle ceremonies, and outdoor ceremonies with appropriate distancing maintained.



Graduation Ceremony Plans Checklist for Rural Schools

As discussed in the graduation webinar hosted by TREA on Tuesday, April 28, TEA has approved virtual graduation plans for school districts.

They are working on releasing in-person graduation guidelines soon. TREA has created a checklist to follow should the district choose to host an in-person graduation ceremony.

TEA Resources on Graduation

2020 Seniors Guidance and Graduation FAQ

Guidance on Individual Graduation Committees



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