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Texoma schools weigh in after Gov. Abbott waives grade promotion requirements for STAAR testing

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 11:41 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) -

Gov. Greg Abbott has waived the STAAR test grade promotion requirement for students in grades 5 and 8.

Abbot said with a “uniquely challenging” school year ahead waiving the requirement is aimed at “providing students every opportunity to overcome the disruptions caused by COVID-19.”

Students that don’t pass the test on the first try usually have to take it again later in the school year, usually in the spring, and again in the summer if they don’t meet the score requirement.

Even though students in grades 5 and 8 won’t be required to pass the test to advance to the next grade, schools will be requires to provide additional instruction and resources to students that do fail the test.

In all other grades, school districts will still be the final determinant as to whether or not they pass the test.

Denison ISD Public Information Coordinator Brian Eaves said the performance of students learning online from home will suffer when it comes to the STAAR test, as opposed to students learning in-person in the classroom.

“When you have part of your student body that’s doing on campus learning, and part of your student body doing at home learning, they may or may not learn at exactly the same pace,” Eaves said. “So the testing may not be valid in regards to what it would look like for an at home learner versus an in person learner.”

This decision comes with schools still working out plans for the fall, and dealing with potentially having to close down for brief periods during the pandemic.

But Eaves said with the “caliber of teachers” in Denison ISD they’ll do whatever they need to to make sure students are prepared.

“Their sole purpose is to educate those children.  To make sure that they are learning what they’re supposed to be learning at their grade level, at their pace,” Eaves said.  “Whatever they have to do if it’s remediation, if it’s extra tutoring, whatever they have to do if it’s a little extra help our teachers are going to be right there with those kids.”

Sherman ISD Director of Communication Kimberly Simpson said in a statement to News 12 that their school is “aware of the changes and will govern themselves accordingly.”

Copyright 2020 KXII. All rights reserved.

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