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When And How Will Schools Reopen In Texas?

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According to guidelines issued last week by the Texas Education Agency, students will be able to return to campus for in-person instruction or continue learning remotely in the fall.

The state education department released recommendations for reopening schools, per President Trump's demands, as skyrocketing COVID-19 cases threaten to overwhelm hospitals across Texas.

Schools were first shuttered in March at the start of Texas’ coronavirus outbreak. Anxieties about if and how younger people are affected by the novel coronavirus informed the initial decision to close school systems.

For many, those fears have not entirely subsided, especially since there are more than 85 times the number of cases in Texas now than in March.

Teachers and staff have expressed concern about their own health and well-being. The TEA and school system leaders are weighing the chance of virus spread next to the harmful effects of having institutions closed for an even longer period of time.

To reduce the chance of virus spread, the TEA says teachers and all students over the age of 10 will be required to wear a mask in counties with more than 20 confirmed coronavirus cases.

What considerations are being made for teachers and staff who feel their health is at risk? Will public schools become super-spreader centers of COVID-19? 

Can San Antonio schools implement a staggered schedule to limit the number of people on campus? Will some teachers still be required to share classrooms?

How will social distancing be maintained? Will class sizes be reduced?


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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, July 14.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.