While some students have yet to step foot into a classroom in the 2020-2021 school year, that may change with the upcoming STAAR test.

According to a report from the Texas Tribune, the Texas Education Agency is mandating that students who attend public school in Texas must physically take the required STAAR test at a approved testing site.

Students in grade 3-12 are required to take the STAAR test. If a student does not physically take the test, the district will "indicate “O” for other in the SCORE CODE field and “0” under column D in the AGENCY USE field. Students who are scheduled to take EOC assessments for STAAR or STAAR Alternate 2 will be missing an opportunity to meet assessment graduation requirements."

Basically, if you're in high school you absolutely must take the test in person and pass to be able to graduate. Students in younger grades will not be required to pass to move on to the next grade.

Not all testing will be completed on campus due to the concern of social distancing. Some testing may take place at other facilities such as hotels, performing arts centers, recreational centers, or other learning centers.

"It remains critical that parents, educators, and policymakers have assessment data to understand the impact of the pandemic on student learning," states the TEA.

Since COVID-19 doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, there are actions being taken to move STAAR testing online by the 2022-2023 school year. A fully electronic administration will level the playing field for students who need accommodations, expedite test results, reduce cost, and promote future innovations in assessments.

Remember to be kind to those working in the school system, as well as parents and students. This pandemic has been stressful on everyone, and we're all doing the best we can to push through and build a better and brighter future.

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