Austin ISD considers delaying first day of school, extending virtual classes

The Austin Independent School Board is considering pushing back the first day of school to Sept. 8 and applying for eight weeks of virtual-only classes, citing "local health conditions" and the fact that COVID-19 disproportionately affects Hispanics, who represent a third of teachers and more than half of the district's students.

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Gov. Greg Abbott stresses local school officials "know best" whether schools should reopen

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott stressed Tuesday that only local school boards, not local governments, have the power to decide how to open schools this fall during the coronavirus pandemic.

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(Pexels)

The union representing Austin Independent School District employees wants the schools to delay the first day of school, arguing that teachers need more time to learn how to teach their online classes effectively.

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(Image Credit: Angela O'Malley Photography, Austin, Texas)

When their daughter's public school closed due to the pandemic last year, Austin education entrepreneurs Alyssa and Mica Villalon did what everyone else did: They tried to finish her kindergarten year online.

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(Pu Ying Huang/The Texas Tribune)

STAAR decorations adorn the hallways of Wharton Elementary School in 2018.

By Aliyya Swaby, The Texas Tribune

Texas students will still have to take the STAAR test next year, but fifth and eighth grade students will be able to move on to the next grade even if they fail, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday.

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(Dr. Stephen Sherwood)

When the pandemic shut down Austin student Grant Sherwood's school along with the rest of the district in March, continuing his education online was simply not possible.

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