AUSTIN, Texas — During a virtual town hall on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott made it clear that now the STAAR testing requirements have been waived, students will have a chance to demonstrate academic proficiency in other ways to get to the next grade.
Gov. Abbott said it will be up to school districts to decide exactly how they will grade the students.
"Teachers will evaluate each student's ability on a variety of factors, grades on assignments being chief among them," said Austin ISD spokesperson Jenny Caputo.
Additionally, Gov. Abbott ordered the closure of all Texas schools until April 3.
"These are unique times that call for unique solutions and we are going to be as flexible at delivering solutions that work for our society," said Gov. Abbott.
According to the Texas Education Agency, the possibility of schools staying closed beyond April 3 is still up in the air. TEA said, either way, school will continue even if it has to be online, but it also has plans in place for those without internet access.
"Our schools have low -ech solutions," said TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. "Think of homework packets, things you and I used to get when we were home sick, regular check-in calls from teachers to parents."
ACT and SAT exams have been postponed as well, causing some universities, like Concordia University, to allow incoming students to be admitted without the tests.
TEA said it would be up to school districts whether they allow events like graduations and proms to take place.
Many school districts told KVUE they would have more details in the coming weeks.
Austin ISD announced Friday that it has launched its Learning At-Home website, complete with online courses and recommended learning resources for all grade levels. According to the district, the site's resources are "intended to provide optional enrichment during the current cancellation of classes" and they are "presented with community and human connection in mind." AISD said next Wednesday, March 25, hands-on activities for elementary students will be available at the grab-and-go lunch sites that the district has organized for students with limited access to devices and the internet.
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