TEA Guidance for 2020-2021 School Year

To Our Seminole ISD Family,

The Texas Education Agency has issued comprehensive guidelines to on-campus instruction today. Even though there are many unanswered questions, we would like to provide some of the information that we do have. As of today, TEA has communicated the following to school districts: 

  1. Schools must provide on-site learning.  Even with an outbreak, the District may only close 5 days for cleaning then resume on-site learning barring a closure order from State officials.  
  2. Schools are subject to the executive order made by Governor Abbott concerning masks, meaning schools residing in a county with more than 20 active COVID-19 cases should wear masks or face coverings.
  3. Schools that choose to offer virtual learning will have significantly more accountability restraints in regards to attendance, funding and learning design.
  4. Students that choose virtual learning must participate, show daily progress, pass the course and be in attendance 90% of the time the class is offered to receive credit.  
  5. TEA has made it clear that STAAR tests will be in effect and schools will receive accountability ratings.  

Seminole ISD has determined the following:

  1. Parents will have the choice to receive virtual or on-site learning for their children.  
  2. Parents that choose the virtual learning option will be required to stay virtual for at least one grading period (six-weeks). 
  3. Parents will be receiving a survey to help Seminole ISD plan for the upcoming school year.  
  4. Seminole ISD will encourage social distancing throughout the day to the extent that it is feasible.  
  5. Seminole ISD will remain committed to cleaning procedures to sanitize our facilities and equipment. Initial and Ongoing Screenings will take place for students and staff.  Responsible hygiene practices will be reinforced with our students. Hand sanitizing stations will be at multiple locations on each campus.

As we approach the new school year, there are aspects of the safe reopening of schools that are beyond our control and seem to change on a daily basis. Seminole ISD Leadership has been grappling with the multi-dimensional complexities of reopening schools, in a system that serves approximately 3,500 students and staff.  Student and staff safety is our top priority.  We will strive to make decisions that are for the good of our TR1BE rather than political opinions. Although it may not fit everyone during this health crisis, on-site, in-person learning is our most effective means of providing instruction.  At the same time, we recognize there are those with high-risk circumstances and we want to accommodate all of our students and staff.  

Although these circumstances are not ideal, it is our goal to be proactive and optimistic. Through these challenges, we want to lead with humility, kindness, and community. Seminole ISD will remain a committed partner in adhering to guidance provided by our State Leaders, in an effort to prevent the spread of this virus. We want our schools and community to thrive and for us to all remain open. It is imperative we remain considerate of each other and our differing opinions, limitations, and needs. 

I understand you may feel frustrated or uncertain. Believe me when I say this is new territory for us all. However, together, as a TR1BE, we will get through this. We cannot thank you enough for your continued grace, patience, and consideration as we try to balance state requirements bestowed upon us, and the needs of our students. Seminole ISD is committed to continuing to work with all stakeholders to support the safe re-opening of Seminole schools.

Blessings to each and every one of you.

Kyle Lynch