Figuring out the next steps now that TEA Fall 2020 Reopening Guidelines are here

Figuring out the next steps now that TEA Fall 2020 Reopening Guidelines are here

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - “To be honest we were told we were getting these guidelines several weeks ago so it’s nice to finally have some guidelines.”

City View ISD Superintendent Tony Bushong, and other superintendents across Region 9, have been preparing for weeks trying to navigate how in-person versus online instruction would work this year.

While superintendents from other districts across Texoma say they are not ready to comment on next year, saying specifics are still in the early stages, Superintendent Bushong said not much of what the TEA released is a surprise.

“So we’ve already been putting measures in place to protect them because we can’t afford to have our teachers get sick either,” he said.

“The best setting for a child is in a classroom in school,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbot, “so we want to make sure we provide that setting for the student.”

Most notable in the guidelines:

  • all visitors and students must be screened before coming onto campus
  • masks are required while in school buildings, except for those ten and under.
  • schools do not have to shut down if a child gets the coronavirus but instead just close off specific areas
  • desks six feet apart are a consideration
  • temperature checks are discouraged

Since the release, teacher organizations across texas have expressed their anger over the guidelines.

Much of the guidance released by TEA today appears to ignore the reality of the record number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations across the state. We are actually one of the nation’s worst “hot-spot” states, and yet TEA continues to stress the supposed dire need to get kids clustered together again in often overcrowded school buildings. It is simply not worth the enormous risk of harm to our children and school employees.
Texas American Federation of Teachers
“Too many questions are left unanswered in TEA’s guidelines. We urge school district leaders to step in and fill this leadership vacuum to keep Texas children and educators safe, particularly as pockets of our state face rising COVID-19 outbreaks. All Texas students, parents, and educators deserve to be safe and have a firm understanding of the steps being taken to provide a safe learning environment.”
Shannon Holmes, ATPE Executive Director

As Superintendent Bushong heads into the planning phase with his team, he said there is one main goal is “to do what’s best to protect our kids and protect our staff.”

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