Texas Education Agency releases guidelines on remote learning, announces it will distribute masks, thermometers

Staff, students not required to use PPE

SAN ANTONIO – The Texas Education Agency released new guidelines on remote learning, funding and school attendance on Tuesday.

The TEA also announced that it will be providing Personal Protective Equipment, which includes 53,000,000 disposable masks, 18,000,000 reusable masks, 12,000,000 sets of gloves, 42,500 thermometers, 600,000 gallons of hand sanitizer and 1,000,000 face shields. According to a TEA document, the PPE is expected to arrive at schools between mid-July and early August. School districts are not required to use it.

The TEA’s guidelines on remote learning described two instruction methods: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous is described as live, interactive classes with students and teachers participating real-time, teacher supported work time on video conference calls and scheduled and timed online tests. Asynchronous is described as self-paced online courses with intermittent teach instruction, preassigned work with and prerecorded instruction videos with guided support.

With synchronous remote learning, a student who is not logged in when the teacher is taking attendance will be marked absent, according to the documents. As for asynchronous learning, the TEA documents state that school staff will have to “check daily for student ‘engagement.' If students are engaged for the day, they would be marked as present-remote asynchronous.”

State funding is based on attendance; therefore, the TEA said the state will not penalize school districts for low attendance in the first 12 weeks “to allow time for us to collectively adjust.”

RELATED: Texas teachers union president wants students to wear masks in classroom

School districts across Bexar County generally supported the guidelines that the TEA released on Tuesday.

Here are some of their responses:

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