Guidelines for the new school year have been released by The Texas Education Agency.

Returning to school this coming fall in the continued COVID-19 era that we currently live in will have some flexibility for students and their parents.

Brandon Hamilton and Drake Lawson with our partners at News 10 provided details on the guidelines Tuesday afternoon.

With the recent increase in coronavirus cases, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said the recommendations provide the flexibility parents and districts will need to make education decisions based on the ever-changing conditions of the pandemic.

The guidelines will offer the opportunity for children to attend classes on campus if their parents feel they'll be safe doing so. Students, staff, teachers, and visitors will be screened before being allowed on campus, and will be required to wear face coverings. Students younger than 10 will be exempt from the mask requirement.

The TEA guidelines state that schools should allow six feet of separation of desks where space permits, and there should be an emphasis on more frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Schools are also encouraged to try to increase airflow from outside of buildings.

Parents who aren't comfortable sending students to campus can opt for remote learning, but must commit to it for full grading periods. Districts will have the option of phasing in a return to campus over a three week period.

You can read the entire TEA document here. It provides further details, including steps districts will be required to take if it's determined that someone working or learning on campus contracts COVID-19.

This will be something that for sure will need to be monitored very closely. It's going to be interesting to see how many students do return to campus and how many choose the online option.

What are your family's plans for returning to school this fall?

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