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TEA Issues Comprehensive Guidelines for a Safe Return to On-Campus Instruction for the 2020-21 School Year

in Coronavirus Updates/Schools
TEA Issues Comprehensive Guidelines for a Safe Return to On-Campus Instruction for the 2020-21 School Year

The Texas Education Agency today announced comprehensive guidelines for students to return to school, prioritizing their health and safety while ensuring that students receive quality instruction, whether they choose to learn in a safe on-campus environment or remotely.

“Both as Commissioner and as a public school parent, my number one priority is the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff,” said Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath. “That is why the guidance laid out today will provide flexibility to both parents and districts to make decisions based on the ever-changing conditions of this public health crisis. The state is and remains committed to providing a high-quality education to all Texas students while ensuring the health and safety of students, teachers, staff, and families.”

Morath added that, despite what will be a challenging budget year, Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dennis Bonnen, and other legislative leaders are committed to fully funding in-class and remote instruction for every child in the upcoming school year. As a result, parents will have more choices than normal this year as they decide which school setting is best for their children, including:

  • Daily on-campus learning will be available to all parents who would like their students to learn in school each day.
    • In addition, all parents will have the option to choose remote learning for their children, initially, or at any point as the year progresses. Parents who choose remote instruction for their students may be asked to commit to remote instruction for a full grading period (e.g. 6 or 9 weeks), but will not have to make that commitment more than two weeks in advance, so they can make a decision based on the latest public health information.
  • Health and safety procedures will be in place to support student and teacher safety.
    • Some health procedures are mandated for every school in the state. For example, all students, teachers, staff, and visitors coming to campus must be screened before being allowed on campus. Consistent with the Governor’s most recent executive order, and assuming that order is still in place, masks will be required while in school buildings, with certain exceptions made, as noted in the order. Schools will also be required to follow any forthcoming executive orders issued by the Governor.
    • Additional health procedures are recommended for every school that can reasonably implement those procedures.
    • Districts have the option to establish a phased-in return to on-campus instruction for up to the first three weeks of the school year, to ensure all appropriate health and safety procedures are fully in place.
  • TEA is providing school systems with resources to ensure a strong start. This includes:
    • Reimbursement for extra COVID-19-related expenses incurred during the 2019-20 school year;
    • Tens of millions of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies provided to school systems at no cost to Texas schools;
    • Free online, TEKS-aligned learning tools to deliver remote instruction;
    • Teacher training provided at no cost to the school system; and Statewide efforts to help bridge the digital divide for students at home, along with other ongoing support.

For more information, please visit TEA’s Coronavirus website:

A link to the Texas Education Agency’s comprehensive public health guidance can be found here.

This framework was developed based on the most current science with input from Governor Greg Abbott’s Coronavirus Medical Advisory Team; the Governor’s Strike Force to Reopen Texas; Texas school system leaders; ongoing global analysis of school operational practices; ongoing global analysis of research on the viral spread in schools; and the latest peer-reviewed viral research studies.

Due to the nature of this pandemic, parents and educators should expect to see some campuses close for brief periods during the upcoming school year. If there are significant changes to the public health situation, there may need to be additional changes to the framework as well.

WOS High School Receives Grant From Dow Industries

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WOS High School Receives Grant From Dow Industries

Exciting things are coming to West Orange-Stark High School engineering program. With the partnership of DOW industries, a $5,000 grant has been awarded to their engineering program.

Teachers are being trained in Project Lead the Way curriculum, which promotes STEM education using a hands-on approach to real-world problem-solving experiences. DOW’s partnership is also outlining a mentoring program for future Mustang engineers.

WOCCISD Announces Two Initiatives in Support of Black Lives Matter Movement

in Schools
WOCCISD Teachers Receive a Raise

The West Orange Cove Consolidated Independent School District issued the following statement today to support the Black Lives Matter movement:

In light of the current social unrest in our country, and recognizing that we serve a diverse community, the West Orange Cove CISD Board of Trustees and superintendent, with much thought and deliberation, would like to state our position. As champions for all children, we stand firm that ‘Black Lives Matter.”

Our mission is to transform lives through an exceptional educational experience. Our mission calls us to support, educate, and ensure a positive representation for all WOCCISD students. As a district, we will respond to this crisis of social injustice as we responded to the crisis of Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, and COVID-19. Our response, then and now, will be to provide support to any of our staff or students that need emotional, mental, and physical health that this crisis may bring.

Additionally, our response calls for us to educate our students and ensure that our students are aware of their complete history. Our Board of Trustees approved the offering of an African American studies as a course at West Orange-Stark High School beginning this fall 2020. Without a proper understanding of the past, it is difficult to understand the present and the future.

To that end, we are compelled to ensure that our students are always represented positively. Many refer to our football’s team defensive unit as the “Chain Gang.”  Due to the negative historical root of the phrase, we will no longer refer to our defensive unit as the “Chain Gang.” From this moment forward,  we will be the “Blue Link” defense. We desire to exhibit appropriate leadership and to guide our students on the path of political and social awareness by demonstrating sensitivity while maintaining a safe and productive educational environment. 

WOCCISD Provides Summer Meals

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WOCCISD Provides Summer Meals
The West Orange-Cove School District Children’s Nutrition Services will continue to provide meals to children Monday through Thursday during the summer. Foodservice will be held at West Orange-Stark High School from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, and bus delivery at regular stops from 11 am to 1 pm. Each child will get three meals for the day consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Note that you CAN NOT receive a meal for a child who is not present. Kids MUST be present to receive meals.

Free Summer Courses at Lamar State College Orange

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Lamar State College Orange Tuition Capped by TSUS Board of Regents

Lamar State College Orange wants to assist every student during this time of uncertainty and economic unrest. Therefore, during the summer 2020 semester, we will continue providing our students with the hope of a productive and secure future by offering all students – new and returning – the opportunity to pursue their educational goals and enroll in TWO SUMMER COURSES FOR FREE!

The tuition and fees for two 3-credit hour courses in the Summer 2020 semester will be paid for every Texas and Louisiana student who completes and submits a 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and uses LSCO’s school code 016748.

Note: Students who qualify for a Pell Grant and/or other grants will have the tuition and fees for the two free Summer 2020 semester courses paid by their financial aid award. Any student who does not qualify for a Pell Grant and/or other grants will have the tuition and fees for the two free Summer 2020 semester courses paid by LSCO institutional or grant funds. Some courses offer free textbooks (open source).

Steps to apply and register for Summer 2020 semester courses:

  • New students. Complete and submit the Admissions Application ( for the summer of 2020.
  • All students. Complete and submit the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 Financial Aid Application ( Use LSCO’s school code 016748.
  • All students. Register for summer classes at LSCO
  • New students must meet with an advisor virtually or by phone to register.
  • Continuing students can register directly through their self-service account.

More details can be found here.

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