UISD and LISD prepare for in-person STAAR testing

UISD and LISD say they expect thousands of students to return for those testing days, but both say no more than 10 students will be in a classroom.
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 12:00 AM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - As of now, TEA is moving forward with the STAAR test and it must be done in person on campus in December.

In response to the mandate, UISD and LISD say they expect thousands of students to return for those testing days.

What measures are being taken to protect students and staff?

The Texas Education Agency canceled STAAR exams last spring, but it plans to resume this fall even for remote learning.

The TEA is requiring high school students to take their STAAR end-of-course assessments face-to face and on-campus.

Starting December 8th through the 11th, high schoolers taking English 1, English 2, biology, U.S. history and/or algebra 1 will be given the exams.

Tony Moreno, the parent of a ninth grader says his son has been learning from home but trusts the school can provide a safe testing environment.

“He went to his benchmark a couple weeks ago with no issues and no problems.”

Both United ISD and Laredo ISD say parents have been notified of the plan set for these 4 test days.

Each campus will have its own layout but both school districts say CDC guidelines will be enforced.

UISD and LISD both say no more than 10 students will be in a classroom.

Temperature checks and hand sanitizer will also be provided.

LISD says it’s even going to sanitize classrooms before and after using them.

In total, UISD and LISD will have a little over 2,000 students testing each day in all of their high school campuses.

In order to accommodate that many students, TEA approved UISD to offer some subject-tests more than one day.

“Some will split English 1,” said Christina Casanova. “All 4 campuses will split English 2 because of all the big number we have. All main campuses will splitting U.S. history because all our U.S. history numbers are really high.”

LISD plans to use other campuses.

“For example, Cigarroa High may need to use some rooms in Cigaorra Middle School, which is adjacent,” said Doctor Gerardo Cruz. “Nixon will utilize some classrooms at VMT. Martin High will use some rooms at Christen Middle School.”

United ISD and Laredo ISD say students can opt to take the STAAR exam in the spring, but risk not being able to retake it if they fail or do not receive their scores in time for graduation or other academic deadlines.

Like any parent, Moreno says there will always be a some level of worry, but knows these exams are a requirement for his son to graduate high school.

“I don’t think it will be a problem as long as they have the proper protocol and distance.”

Middle and elementary school students take the STAAR test in the spring.

However, the state already said elementary and middle school students who fail the exams this spring will be allowed to move up to the next grade with district permission.

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