16 local schools ask TEA for more time to transition back to in-classroom instruction

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Several school districts in the Rio Grande Valley have been given the green light to continue remote learning into their 9th week of the school year.

Last month the Texas Education Agency (TEA) allowed districts in COVID-19 hotspot areas, the option to request additional time to transition back to in-person classes by submitting a waiver

The TEA issued guidelines stating if a school district believes it’s in the best for the health and safety of students and staff to continue remote learning, they could ask for additional time beyond the first 8 weeks.

As of now, 16 school districts applied for the waiver, and nine have been approved. The TEA sent CBS 4/ Local 23 the full list of schools that have applied for the waiver.

  • BROWNSVILLE ISD – Approved
  • EDINBURG CISD- Pending
  • HIDALGO ISD- Pending
  • IDEA PUBLIC SCHOOLS (RGV campuses only) – Approved
  • McALLEN ISD – Approved
  • MERCEDES ISD- Approved
  • PSJA ISD- Pending
  • POINT ISABEL ISD – Approved
  • PROMESA PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Brownsville Campus)- Pending
  • RIO HONDO ISD- Pending
  • SHARYLAND ISD – Approved
  • VALLEY VIEW ISD – Approved
  • WESLACO ISD- Pending

Districts must submit a plan to return along with the waiver. The plan must include increasing the level of students allowed on campus.

“We want to go back but we want to make sure that all safety measures are in place. So that when we do go back and the students go back, we won’t have as much of an outbreak, or people getting sick,” said Sylvia Tanguma, President, McAllen American Federation of Teachers

Once a waiver is approved, school boards must give final approval. Locally, officials say the state wants schools to provide parents with choices.

McAllen ISD already has a few dozen students in school, and they will open schools to students in Pre-K, Kinder, 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 9th grades on November 9. All other students will have the option to return on November 16.

Parents will have three choices, keep remote learning, face-to-face instruction, or a combination of the two.

Officials with the TEA say the schools still pending waiver approval, likely have not had their applications reviewed yet. The agency is reviewing waivers for schools closest to their 9th week first.

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