On campus STAAR testing begins Tuesday for Central Texas students

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — High School students across Central Texas will return to campus starting Tuesday to take their end-of-course assessment: the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is requiring students to return to campus for the test. For many students, this will be the first time on campus since virtual learning took over earlier this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At each campus, one of the area’s largest district, Austin Independent School District will have COVID-19 guidelines in place. It’s a similar story in Georgetown ISD.

GISD representatives said they plan to spread out students at each campus to ensure safety. They have nearly 900 tests to administer. GISD officials said one student may have to test in various courses — for example English and Algebra — that would account for two tests.

One GISD parent said he was initially concerned about the on-campus requirement for his 10th-grader who has to take the STAAR test Tuesday because his wife is battling lung cancer. However, he remains hopeful everything will be safe.

“I’m confident the school is taking every precaution. My daughter will go with her mask on, a face shield and hand sanitizer,” the parent explained. “I’m not worried.”

Districts across the state have through Dec. 18 to complete all of the STAAR testing.

In an email, TEA officials explained the procedure for students who have to quarantine stating, “For any eligible student (receiving remote or in-person instruction) who is required to quarantine during the testing window before he or she has an opportunity to participate in the December 2020 STAAR administration, the school system has an opportunity to submit a medical exclusion for each student at the end of the testing window.”

If a student has to make up an assessment at a later date, TEA officials said students have three testing opportunities each year including the current December assessment period, during the spring at the end of the second semester and in the summer.

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