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Education

News about education issues in and around San Antonio. Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Education News Fund, including H-E-B, Art and Sandy Nicholson, The Flohr Family Foundation, Holly and Alston Beinhorn, Valero Energy Foundation, 2Tarts Bakery in New Braunfels, Andeavor, and IDEA Public Schools. Other contributors include Shari Albright, Holt Cat and Dee Howard Foundation.

Students walk across the Trinity University campus on Feb. 6, 2018.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Trinity University in San Antonio is launching a test-optional admissions policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students will have the option to apply to the college without submitting an ACT or SAT score for the next three years, beginning with the Fall 2021 semester.

The St. Mary's University campus on San Antonio's West Side in September 2018.
File Photo | Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

Three San Antonio universities have joined the list of colleges across the country giving students the option to change the way they’re graded this semester.

St. Mary’s University, Texas A&M University-San Antonio and Trinity University are letting their students opt out of receiving a letter grade because of the disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

The campus of Texas A&M University-San Antonio on February 6, 2020.
File Photo | Camille Phillips |Texas Public Radio

Update 3/30 — The Alamo Colleges District has postponed its spring commencement ceremonies until December due to the spread of the coronavirus.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio is postponing its spring commencement ceremonies due to the coronavirus pandemic. University officials said the ceremony will most likely be delayed until fall, but degrees will still be conferred in May.

Our Lady of the Lake University has canceled its May commencement. OLLU plans to hold one commencement ceremony in December instead, for both its spring and fall graduates.

The University of Texas at San Antonio notified students of its decision to postpone spring commencement on Tuesday.

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With only a week to plan — and new information on the coronavirus coming in daily from health experts and state and national officials — San Antonio’s school districts launched remote learning this week with a lot of unanswered questions.

The sign outside San Antonio ISD's Lamar Elementary directs parents to Facebook for the latest coronavirus updates.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

During emergency school closures, hourly employees often suffer a loss of income because they’re unable to work. When Hurricane Irma struck Florida in 2018, thousands of hourly school employees went without pay.

But over the past two weeks, San Antonio’s school boards have approved emergency resolutions to pay all staff, preventing loss of income from happening here.

A general view inside an empty classroom at a primary school in Hertford, after the majority of schools in the UK closed while the spread of the COVID-19 continues.
ANDREW COULDRIDGE | Reuters

Updated Wednesday, March 25 with additional schools Hours before a stay-at-home order went into effect for Bexar County and the City of San Antonio Tuesday, the county's 16 school districts announced a third extension to campus closures to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Students and teachers were previously told to stay home until Monday, April 6. They’re now slated to return Monday, April 27, seven weeks after the start of spring break.

Clockwise from left: Rowan Bingaman takes a break from his kid-sized desk to sit in a cat tower; Alex, Gaby and Liam Garcia; Scout Stern helps her daughter Cora with an anatomy activity.
Provided

As the number of Texas COVID-19 cases grew during the second week of March, nearby schools began extending spring breaks and announcing campus closures.

Hours after city officials announced San Antonio’s first travel-related case on March 13, Bexar County schools followed suit. Public health declarations and mandates to avoid public gatherings with more than 10 people soon followed, leaving parents in San Antonio and across Texas scrambling to either find a way to watch their kids while they work, or figure out some sort of alternative for child care.


Photo by Sameer Vasta / The Texas Tribune

In an unprecedented move, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he would waive testing requirements for this year’s STAAR exam, as many schools expect to be closed at least through the April testing window due to the new coronavirus.

Margaret Soto hands a lunch sack to a child.
Camille Phillips | Texas Public Radio

The coronavirus outbreak has upended daily life and put livelihoods at risk.

Amid that uncertainty, families who rely on free and reduced-price meals were able to pick up free breakfast and lunch at schools across Bexar County on Monday, the first day schools were closed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Dominic Anthony / Texas Public Radio

Trinity University dorms will be closed as of Monday afternoon. Fewer than 40 students have been granted exemptions to remain on campus.

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