COVID-19 Update: School Schedules and Assessments

Posted by Texas OnCourse on May 29, 2020 1:42:24 PM

Hi, all! We’ll be winding down these live videos soon as we all hopefully step away from screens for a few weeks over the summer. If you have any requests from us for future Facebook live updates, put them in the comments!

This week we have updates on school schedules and assessments.

First, school schedules. As you likely know by now, the Texas Education Agency has outlined three options for 2020–2021 calendars. School systems may elect to follow the traditional calendar for the school year. 

As a second option, school systems may elect to follow a COVID-19 response calendar. This is a traditional calendar that includes time throughout the year or at the end of the school year as COVID-19 Make-Up Days. In the event of a COVID-19 disruption, these pre-identified breaks would be repurposed in the same way bad weather make-up days would. 

Finally, a third option for school systems is an intersessional calendar. This calendar builds in intersessional blocks throughout the school year. During these intersessions, students could attend for a specific purpose, including remediation or whole-campus make-up days. An intersessional calendar may start in early August – hold longer breaks surrounding Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks – and extend the instructional calendar to the end of June. 

TEA has offered guidance and an FAQ here.

Next up, assessments. These school calendar changes may require adjustments to 2020–21 STAAR testing. Districts will have more flexibility in determining their testing schedule for the upcoming school year. Both the December and spring online testing windows will be extended, with exact dates and details coming soon. TEA will provide rolling score reports to districts depending on when they complete their spring testing. Districts will not have testing window flexibility if they choose to test on paper. An FAQ and other guidance documents are forthcoming.

And finally, TEA announced last week that optional beginning-of-year assessments will be available to districts across the state. This is in addition to the optional end-of-year assessment that students can take through June 12. 

Thanks, everyone, and don’t forget to let us know what college and career readiness news you’re hoping to hear from us! Leave your requests in the comments. 

*Please note, this is a transcript of a Facebook Live video that aired on 5/28/20. Watch it here.

Topics: Middle School, Lessons & Curriculum, High School, Distance Counseling