KBS Reference Desk: Summer School

Q:       Summer is fast approaching. In light of COVID-19, are we going to be able to offer traditional, in-person summer school?

A:        Yes, the Commissioner of Education issued guidance on May 18, 2020, relating to considerations and guidelines for in-person summer school.

The guidance issued by the Commissioner provides requirements, as well as recommendations for summer school. Most importantly, while Districts received the green light to offer traditional, in-person summer school programs, attendance in person must be optional for students. Students who are required to attend summer school must be provided the option to satisfy their academic and participation requirements virtually if they do not choose to attend in person.

The Commissioner recommends that if a District decides to offer in person summer school programs, Districts should consider prioritizing those programs for: students with significant academic gaps; students with disabilities whose needs pose additional challenges to learning in a virtual environment but who are otherwise not medically at risk; student learning experiences that cannot be done remotely (e.g., Career and Technical Education learning experiences); students experiencing homelessness; English learners; younger students whose parents may have greater need of childcare to allow them to work; and/or students in protective day service who are not otherwise medically at risk.

Regarding structure and protocols, the Commissioner directed that no more than eleven people should be together regularly in a class group. This restriction includes teachers, staff, and students. Additionally, all instruction should be held in spaces that allow desks to be six feet apart. If possible, dividers should be placed on desks to shield respiratory droplets. Students should not be brought together for large group gatherings, outside of their class group, unless a distance of thirty feet between groups can be maintained. Furthermore, when possible, students should be taught in one classroom. If students must be taught by multiple teachers, the Commissioner recommends a plan where teachers rotate between classes or staggering class start and end times to minimize exposure between individuals. In either scenario, it is recommended that Districts arrange additional cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces and classrooms between different class groups.

Before entering campus and at the start of each week of instruction, all students are to be pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms that they or others in their household may be experiencing. If the student or someone in their household is experiencing symptoms, they should self-isolate for two weeks. If possible, students should also have a temperature check each day they are on campus. Hand sanitizer should be at each entrance and should be used whenever a person enters the building. Hand sanitizer should also be available in every classroom. Additionally, students should engage in supervised handwashing for at least 20 seconds at least two times each day. Districts should also consider having students wear cloth face coverings if developmentally appropriate. Face coverings are likely not appropriate for those students under five and for some students with disabilities.

Additional direction is provided regarding operations, including food services, transportation and custodial requirements. Response to student illness and positive test results is also addressed in this six page document. To see the Commissioner’s guidance relating to summer school in its entirety, see TEA’s website. For other questions or additional information regarding in-person summer school programs, you should contact your local school attorney.

Related Posts

Recent Articles

KBS Reference Desk: Interstate Travel Liability and Travel Forms Best Practices
January 21, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: Updated Stay at Home Periods
January 14, 2022
KBS Reference Desk: On Call Employees Over Holidays
December 17, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Holiday Decorations
December 10, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Removal of Library Books
December 3, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Attendance Waivers
November 19, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 103 Texas Active Shooter Alert
November 12, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Remote Learning and ADA-Funding
November 5, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: CBD Oil
October 29, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Temporary Custodians of Record – TPIA
October 22, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Dyslexia Handbook Update
October 15, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Peace Officer Legislation
October 8, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 1525 PTO Donations
October 1, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: State Certifications Update – SB 13 & SB 19
September 24, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Accelerated and Supplemental Instruction HB 4545
September 17, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Active Threat Excercises
September 10, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: HB 1927 Firearms
September 3, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Remote Participation in Board Meetings
August 27, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Waiving Minimum Attendance Requirements for Seriously Ill Students
August 20, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Inquiring About Vaccine Status
August 13, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Temporary Suspension of TPIA due to Catastrophe
August 6, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Standard for Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
July 30, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Bullying Policies and Reporting SB 2050
July 23, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: Homeschoolers and UIL
July 16, 2021
KBS Reference Desk: TOMA Suspension Extension
July 9, 2021