This page was updated on April 13, 2021.

ENGLISH LEARNERS

  1. What methods of delivery are permissible for meeting the requirement of 120 hours of instruction for EL summer school? (updated 4/13/21)
  2. Is there flexibility for completing the 2021 bilingual education and ESL summer school requirements for English learners entering kindergarten and grade 1? (updated 4/13/21)
  3. How will attendance be tracked for EL summer school participation? (4/13/21)
  4. What are the available allowances for reclassification of English learners for the 2020-21 school year?  (updated 3/17/21)
  5. What is the timeframe for making reclassification decisions and completing reclassification assessments?  (updated 3/17/21)
  6. Can students within the same district have different 2020-21 EL reclassification criteria based on their situation? (updated 3/17/21)
  7. With potential for on-campus and remote learning during the 2020-21 school year, are districts required to complete the English learner identification process within the required four calendar weeks of a student’s initial enrollment in Texas public schools? (updated 11/23/20)
  8. Can a student be placed in a bilingual education or ESL program while English learner identification is pending? (updated 11/23/20)
  9. How do districts identify remote learner students for EL placement if they are unable to test them in person or remotely for initial identification due to inaccessibility? (10/12/20)
  10. What if students who were enrolled as of PEIMS snapshot on Oct. 30 were still in the process of being identified as English learners or being reclassified as English proficient? Will there be an extension for reporting English learners in the PEIMS Fall Submission? (11/23/20)
  11. Is the 2020-21 annual bilingual education/ESL program evaluation for districts still required? (updated 3/17/21)
  12. What are the priority LPAC duties for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year? (8/20/20)
  13. What continued adjustments to the LPAC responsibilities are available during the 2020-21 school year? (updated 3/3/21)
  14. If a student’s prekindergarten placement is dependent upon English learner eligibility, can the student be placed in prekindergarten while English learner identification is pending? (8/20/20)
  15. Can a district administer the Home Language Survey (HLS) remotely? (8/20/20)
  16. Is there any guidance regarding instructional design for English language learners in the 2020-21 school year in light of the pandemic’s likely effect during the school year? (8/20/20)
  17. If a district or charter closes for an extended period of time, must the district provide ESL or bilingual services for English language learners? (8/20/20)
  18. Must a school district that is operating remotely provide language accommodations for ELs in content classes? (8/20/20)
  19. May federal funds be used for supplemental hardware or software that is designed specifically for English learners? (8/20/20)
  20. May Title III funds be used to train teachers to use new online platforms and software designed for ELs? Does that training need to be limited to training EL teachers or may the school district include all teachers who have ELs in their classes? (8/20/20)
  21. What are the allowable uses of state bilingual education allotment and federal Title III funds? (8/20/20)

GIFTED/TALENTED STUDENTS

  1. Are districts required to continue identifying gifted/talented students during the COVID-19 pandemic? (10/20/20)
  2. Are school districts required to continue the selection process for GT placement? (10/20/20)
  3. How do we document what we are providing in terms of G/T services for students? (10/20/20)
  4. Is there guidance on remote instruction for G/T students during the COVID-19 pandemic? (10/20/20)

The answers to questions we've compiled do not constitute legal advice. The situation is changing rapidly, and key factors will differ from school district to school district. This information will be updated as new details emerge, but we encourage TCTA members with specific questions to call our staff attorneys at 888-879-8282. Members with general inquiries can submit them through the Ask-a-Lawyer portal.

For more COVID-19 FAQs about 2020-21, click here.

Special Populations, English Learners

What methods of delivery are permissible for meeting the requirement of 120 hours of instruction for EL summer school?

Per TEA’s 2021 English Learner Summer School Guidance (updated 4/8/21), there are four types of delivery methods: face to face instruction, materials/paper delivery, virtual, and hybrid.

In choosing a delivery method districts will need to consider state and local health regulations, feedback on and analysis of 2020-21 instructional settings, and input from families and teachers of English learners. Regardless of the delivery method, summer school instructional preparation will still include a defined scope and sequence, targeted linguistic and academic development objectives as well as progress monitoring. Districts are encouraged to determine specific goals for the program based on the needs of enrolled students.  

Logistical and progress monitoring considerations for these methods include:

  • Gather stakeholder input on the execution of the 2020 summer school program Build on what worked last summer and current district protocols in designing the 2021 program.
  • A teacher should be responsible for no more than 18 students in any delivery method.
  • Prioritize interactive sessions requiring a fluent language model for synchronous learning opportunities and provide links for students to access fluent language models during asynchronous learning opportunities.
  • Students can be informally monitored for linguistic progress through regularly scheduled phone calls or video chats on a smart phone. In both cases, the teacher would initiate a conversation intended to elicit the desired linguistic characteristics previously identified.
  • Students can be evaluated face to face when school resumes for the 2020-21 school year to see if linguistic and academic goals set at the beginning of summer school were achieved. This information will inform the new classroom about the most recent goals set for the student and can also be shared with parents/guardians.

Is there flexibility for completing the 2021 bilingual education and ESL summer school requirements for English learners entering kindergarten and grade 1 (TEC Sec. 29.060; TAC §89.1250)?

Yes, per TEA’s 2021 English Learner Summer School Guidance (updated 4/8/21), districts are still required to offer 120 hours of instruction that are supplemental to the regular school day/year, but if they are unable to complete these hours in the summer of 2021, they may extend the timeline for completion of this requirement through the end of the 2021-22 school year. Program shall be staffed by teachers appropriately certified for the bilingual/ESL program (TAC §89.1250 (3)(E)).

Districts may:

  • complete the EL summer school requirement prior to the beginning of the 2021-22 school year,
  • begin EL summer school in summer of 2021 and complete the 120 hours of instruction (supplemental to the regular school day) throughout the 2021-22 school year, or
  • complete the 120 hours of instruction (supplemental to the regular school day) starting at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year through the end of the 2021-22 school year. Note: “Supplemental to the regular school day” may include before or after school hours, weekends, or during any district incremental breaks within a year-round schedule.

How will attendance be tracked for EL summer school participation?

According to TEA’s 2021 English Learner Summer School Guidance (updated 4/8/21), attendance will be tracked:

  • With in-person instruction, districts will track attendance as they do regularly for EL summer school.
  • With materials/paper delivery, a number of hours of instruction can be estimated for completion of the activities in each delivery to mark that student’s attendance in those hours of instruction.
  • Through remote instruction (synchronous and asynchronous), attendance may be collected per synchronous session participation and evidence of asynchronous assignment completion. Note: Participation data will be reported through PEIMS.

What are the available allowances for reclassification of English learners for the 2020-21 school year?

TEA’s updated criteria and guidance for 2020-21 English learner reclassification provides additional allowances for fulfillment of the English Language Proficiency Assessment component of the reclassification criteria for individual students in grades 2-12. The criteria and available allowances apply to students who are currently attending school both in-person and remotely. For students in grade 1, no additional allowances to the ELP component are needed due to the nature of the TELPAS holistic ratings for Grade 1 that can be scored remotely. Notice that, in accordance with federal guidance, the ELP assessment cannot be waived for the 2020-21 school year. Additionally, the State Standardized Reading Assessment component of the reclassification criteria is not subject to a commissioner’s waiver, so it cannot be removed from the criteria for the 2020-21 school year. Therefore, students in grades 3-10 who are unable to complete the necessary STAAR Reading/English EOC will not be eligible to reclassify in the 2020-21 school year.

What is the timeframe for making reclassification decisions and completing reclassification assessments?

Per TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 3/11/21) typically, the LPAC makes decisions for reclassification at the end of the school year in accordance with TAC §89.1220 (g). For the 2020-21 school year, this decision-making process has been extended through the district’s first 60 calendar days of their 2021-2022 school year, as needed. For the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment component, districts may extend their TELPAS testing window through May 28th, 2021. If using LAS Links for individual students in grades 2-12 who were unable to complete all four domains of TELPAS, LAS Links for reclassification may be administered starting on May 29th, 2021 and continuing through the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year. For the State Standardized Reading Assessment component in grades 1, 2, 11, and 12, the Iowa Form F may be administered to students who have demonstrated potential for reclassification from the end of this school year through the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year as the LPAC finalizes reclassification decisions. For administering the Iowa Form F, districts do not need to wait for the TELPAS window to close because these assessments are utilized for different criteria components. See the 2020-21 End-of-Year LPAC Guidance Checklist for additional information on LPAC procedures.

Can students within the same district have different 2020-21 EL reclassification criteria based on their situation?

Per TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 3/11/21) when using the available allowances for the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment component in grades 2-12, reclassification criteria for students may differ based on individual situations. For example, if a student in grades 2-12 has completed all four domains of TELPAS, he or she should NOT take LAS Links because other students did not complete TELPAS. Over-assessment of students is not a recommended practice. Providing the option to use LAS Links after the TELPAS testing window is only available to ensure that students who are being considered for reclassification have access to demonstrate English proficiency when TELPAS could not be completed in all four domains. Note that TELPAS and LAS Links scores cannot be combined. Individual reclassification decisions by the LPAC based on the available allowances should be documented in the LPAC minutes and in the students’ cumulative folder.

With potential for on-campus and remote learning during the 2020-21 school year, are districts required to complete the English learner identification process within the required four calendar weeks of a student’s initial enrollment in Texas public schools?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (8/6/20), the LPAC must attempt to complete the English learner identification process within the four calendar weeks requirement, as feasible, and documents in the student’s permanent record the reasons for which the timeline was extended. Important notes:

  • The English learner identification assessment (preLAS/LAS Links) can be administered in person (using DRC LAS Test Administration Guidelines) or virtually (beginning on Aug. 17). See the July 28 DRC Texas Tuesday for more information, and additional guidance and resources for virtual assessments will be forthcoming on the LAS Links Texas webpage. The use of the virtual preLAS/LAS Links test administration is optional.
  • If a student is assessed for English proficiency prior to a period of school closure, the LPAC may meet through alternative meeting methods (phone or video conference) in order to complete the identification.
    • The participation of the LPAC parent is optional.
    • If the student is identified by the LPAC, the student’s parent is notified of identification, and parental approval may be obtained in writing or through an email or documented phone conversation.
  • The summer or intermittent breaks (holidays, planned or unplanned periods of closure, etc.) can be used to complete the identification process, per local health regulations. Calendar days during intermittent breaks within the school year are included in the required timeframe of four calendar weeks for identification.
  • No special form is needed for documenting reasons for delayed identification.
  • For students transferring from other Texas public schools, previous LPAC identification documentation should be obtained and utilized to continue program services. While the receiving district awaits documentation, the student may be provisionally placed in program services, until there is sufficient documentation indicating the student has been identified as an English learner and parental consent of program participation is obtained. To gather information prior to receiving formal documentation, the receiving district may call the sending district to inquire if the student was previously identified as an English learner and receiving program services. The phone call should be documented. The receiving district may also look at the student’s previous PEIMS codes, TELPAS results, etc., to see if the student was previously identified as an English learner.

Can a student be placed in a bilingual education or ESL program while English learner identification is pending?

According to TEATAC 89.1220 (j) allows for identified English learners who are awaiting parental approval to be temporarily placed in a bilingual education or ESL program. During periods of school closures or intermittent breaks due to the coronavirus pandemic, districts may similarly provide temporary instructional support for potential English learners to ensure prompt access to program services when the identification process is delayed. 

Potential English learners include those for whom the Home Language Survey indicates a language other than English is used either in the home or by the student most of the time, but the identification assessment has not yet been administered. This also includes students for whom identification assessment is needed but the student is participating in school remotely and the parent has not agreed to remote assessment.

Additional anecdotal data may be collected on the potential English learner to determine instructional supports, such as informal analysis of English proficiency using the ELPS Proficiency Level Descriptors, educational history from student and/or family interview/survey, analysis of previous school records from another state or country, etc.

A student cannot be formally placed in program services (by indicating in TSDS – PEIMS) and cannot generate Bilingual Education Allotment (BEA) funds as an English learner until he/she has been identified as an English learner by the LPAC and parental approval for program services has been received. Funding for program participation as an English learner begins on the date of parental approval for program services.

How do districts identify remote learner students for EL placement if they are unable to test them in person or remotely for initial identification due to inaccessibility?

Per TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 10/8/20) if the Home Language Survey has a response of “other than English” and the student cannot be assessed for identification, the district can “provisionally” identify the student for receipt of program services, subject to parental consent prior to receipt of program services. The student should not be coded in PEIMS as an English learner until the student is assessed and the identification process has been completed.

What if students who were enrolled as of PEIMS snapshot on Oct. 30 were still in the process of being identified as English learners or being reclassified as English proficient? Will there be an extension for reporting English learners in the PEIMS Fall Submission?

Per TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 11/19/20) for the 2020-21 school year, the agency is allowing districts to update the students’ English learner associated coding until the PEIMS Fall Resubmission closes on Jan. 14, 2021. Therefore, districts are able to continue the English learner identification and placement process for students past the PEIMS Fall snapshot date. Districts are unable to receive funding, if applicable, until all necessary documentation is on file (as outlined in 19 TAC §89.1226). Additionally, although the agency is providing this extension, districts cannot count students as English learners for purposes of the PEIMS Fall Submission if those students were not enrolled as of the snapshot date. For presumptive English learners whose full identification is completed and reported during the extended PEIMS Fall submission, federal funds will be generated for these students, but state Bilingual Education Allotment (BEA) funds will begin when parental permission for program participation is obtained.

Is the 2020-21 annual bilingual education/ESL program evaluation for districts still required?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 3/11/21), the answer is yes. Per TAC 89.1265, all school districts required to conduct a bilingual education or ESL program shall conduct an annual evaluation and shall report to the board of trustees before Nov. 1 of each year. In addition to the requirements listed in 19 TAC §89.1265 (b) and (c), LEAs may also include other district-based academic progress assessments/benchmarks. Based on the updated English learner reclassification criteria chart, districts will report the number of English learners reclassified. Also, documentation of the district’s professional development efforts, including all information on teachers under a bilingual education exception or ESL waiver, will be reported. Furthermore, districts may also consider other anecdotal programmatic data to include that can demonstrate growth, such as reflections from the TEA English Learner Program Implementation rubrics.

What are the priority LPAC duties for the beginning of the 2020-21 school year?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (11/18/20), priority LPAC duties at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year include the following:

  • Identification of potential English learners within the first four calendar weeks of the students’ enrollment.
  • Completion of the extended timeline for determining 2019-20 English learner reclassification using the final LAS Links testing window of Nov. 16. See the Oct. 27 Texas Tuesday Communication or LAS Links Texas website for further details.
  • Communication to parents/guardians on English learner progress and continued program participation decisions within the first 30 calendar days of the 2020-21 school year.

The LPAC Beginning-of-Year (BOY) Guidance Checklist provides details on LPAC duties for closing out the 2019-20 school year and starting the 2020-21 school year.

What continued adjustments to the LPAC responsibilities are available during the 2020-21 school year?

According to TEA’s Updated 2020-21 English Learner Reclassification Criteria and Guidance (updated 2/25/21), in order for the LPAC to fulfill their responsibilities during the 2020-21 school year, including reclassification decisions, the LPAC may:

  • Use alternative meeting methods, such as
    • Phone or video conferencing
    • Use of electronic signatures that adhere with school district policy
  • Use optional LPAC parent representation (although highly encouraged)
  • Extend the timeline for English learner reclassification decisions through the first 60 calendar days of the 2021-2022 school year if unable to complete before the close of the 2020-2021 school year.

If a student’s prekindergarten placement is dependent upon English learner eligibility, can the student be placed in prekindergarten while English learner identification is pending?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 8/6/20), if the student does not meet any other prekindergarten eligibility criteria, the student may temporarily participate in prekindergarten until English learner identification is completed. Parents/families must be informed that continued prekindergarten participation is pending based on English learner eligibility. Please see the Early Childhood Education Guidance FAQ on the TEA COVID-19 Support: Academics webpage for more information and updates.

Can a district administer the Home Language Survey (HLS) remotely?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Guidance (updated 8/6/20), in addition to written documentation, the answers to the HLS can be obtained from the parent/guardian through an email or phone conversation that is documented in writing and retained. The use of these alternative approval methods that are typically allowable for parental approval of program placement and exit are now extended to the HLS.

Is there any guidance regarding instructional design for English Language Learners in the 2020-21 school year in light of the pandemic’s likely effect during the school year?

TEA published its SY 20-21 English Learner Implementation Guidance (8/12/20), which includes a number of suggestions regarding methods and resources for instructional design. Included are:

Recommendations regarding coaching instructors in utilizing a variety of methods for English learners to demonstrate language use and receive feedback; and leveraging familiar technology tools that can be used to capture speaking and writing samples to track linguistic progress, such as Seesaw, Flipgrid, Microsoft Office 365 Education, or Google for Education.

Recommendations for Family and Community Engagement Communication, including:

  • Providing communication supports, as necessary, for staff to communicate frequently with families individually. For example, Talking Points is a free communication tool with over 100 languages in which messages are translated automatically between the preferred language of the teacher and the preferred language of each family. Only a family’s cell number is needed to receive and send translated messages with the teacher (from a masked phone number).
  • Providing consistent communication on student progress (academic, linguistic, and affective), including ways for parents and families to ask questions and communicate needs.
  • Sharing information on helpful websites to support families with English learners at home. These websites are aimed at strengthening English language proficiency skills in listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

Resources for:

  • Providing access to student reference materials in students’ primary languages, including online dictionaries and content glossaries in multiple languages. For example:
    • Newsela provides free texts in English and Spanish at multiple Lexile reading levels for each text.
    • Microsoft Office 365 Education provides easily accessible tools for accommodating texts (such as Immersive Reader) in all applications.
    • Rewordify simplifies text in English and builds vocabulary.
  • Providing access to student reference materials in students’ primary languages, including online dictionaries and content glossaries in multiple languages. For example:
    • Microsoft Office 365 Education provides short demonstration videos and links to interactive trainings on inclusive communication, the Immersive Reader feature, and tools to support math and writing, including supports for English learners.
    • Omniglot provides online dictionaries and tools in over 100 languages.
    • An NYU-supported site provides content glossaries for language arts, math, science, and social studies in over 40 languages, including cognate glossaries.
  • Considering ways to engage students and families that don’t require internet access. For example:
    • Use voice recorder/voice memo cell phone app to create oral communication/responses and share via text.
    • Provide QR codes on hard copy resources that can be accessed via a cellular app.
    • Create/use YouTube videos that can be accessed via the cellular app.
    • Visit ESL Blog for “Tech-free” home activities for K-12 students in over 25 languages; and
  • Considering the following when adapting materials and instruction to remote learning:
    • Do students have access to and know how to use speech to text features?
    • Do students know where to find the online reference tools?
    • Are there multiple modes for students to demonstrate their learning commensurate with their proficiency levels?

If a district or charter closes for an extended period of time, must the district provide ESL or bilingual services for English language learners?

Yes, according to TEA’s English Learner Guidance (TELPAS and LPAC) (5/26/20), federal and state law do not provide flexibility on this issue. If schools are closed, but districts are providing educational opportunities to the general student population, then they must ensure English language learners have access to the same opportunities. In addition, the school district must ensure that each English language learner is provided services commensurate with the student’s English language proficiency level. 

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Fact Sheet: Providing Services to English Learners During the COVID-19 Outbreak, the department recommends that during remote learning, EL teachers continue to provide instruction to students who were previously in self-contained EL classrooms or in pull-out models. For classes in which ELs participated in mainstream classrooms with both a content teacher and an EL teacher, the EL teacher should continue to collaborate with the content teacher to ensure that the appropriate supports and accommodations are provided to the ELs in that class through remote learning. Additionally, during remote learning, teachers should continue to provide appropriate supports and accommodations to EL students who were previously in mainstream classrooms with only a content teacher to the greatest extent possible.

The department also encourages parents, educators and administrators to collaborate creatively to continue to meet the needs of ELs. Consider practices such as remote instruction, phone calls, meetings held on digital platforms, online options for data tracking, and documentation of services, supports, and accommodations provided.

TEA has launched Tips for Families with English Learners social media campaign to support Texas families with English learners at home. Families can visit the Parents and Families page on txel.org for resources and support for their child during school closures caused by COVID-19 in eight different languages.

Must a school district that is operating remotely provide language accommodations for ELs in content classes?

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Fact Sheet: Providing Services to English Learners During the COVID-19 Outbreak, school districts are required to provide language accommodations for ELs for content classes that are held remotely. Many accommodations may be effectively provided online. These may include, for example, extensions of time for assignments, videos with captioning or embedded interpreting, accessible or translated reading materials, other language services provided through video conferencing, an online translation dictionary, or other technological solutions.

Funds received under the ESSERF or the GEERF of the CARES Act can generally be used for these purposes and are not subject to supplement- not- supplant requirements.

Funds under Title III of ESEA can be used for these purposes as well, provided they do not supplant state, local or other federal funds. For example, if a school district purchases software for high school reading/language arts courses that includes embedded supports for ELs, such as popup translations or images to support instruction, then for those ELs in those courses, this could provide their “core” language instruction educational program (LIEP) due to the embedded supports, and Title III funds could not be used for that software. The school district may, however, choose to supplement, using Title III funds, that coursework with additional online resources and software for ELs or it may wish to add an EL support teacher, using Title III funds, to provide online support or support via telephone calls to students for additional assistance.

May federal funds be used for supplemental hardware or software that is designed specifically for English learners?

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Fact Sheet: Providing Services to English Learners During the COVID-19 Outbreak, a school district may use Title III funds for supplemental hardware or software that is designed specifically for ELs (e.g., software to provide language accessibility features or tools) and that supplement the LIEP.

May Title III funds be used to train teachers to use new online platforms and software designed for ELs? Does that training need to be limited to training EL teachers or may the school district include all teachers who have ELs in their classes?

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s Fact Sheet: Providing Services to English Learners During the COVID-19 Outbreak, a school district may use Title III funds for teacher training if it is specific to EL needs. The training could include all teachers if it is geared toward meeting the needs of ELs or if it relates to software or embedded supports for ELs. However, if the training is for the same online platform that all teachers will use for all classes, and does not address EL needs, then the use of Title III funds for such training would be not be permitted, as it would be supplanting, rather than supplementing, other available funding sources.

What are the allowable uses of state bilingual education allotment and federal Title III funds?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 English Learner Implementation Guidance (8/12/20) districts should refer to TEA’s Side-by-Side Allowable Use of Funds Guidance.

Special Populations, Gifted/Talented Students

Are districts required to continue identifying gifted/talented students during the COVID-19 pandemic?

According to TEA’s April 14 Gifted/Talented Guidance, the requirement to administer new assessments for G/T identification was waived for spring 2020. To minimize disrupted access to G/T services for those students who have not completed the identification process TEA recommended that districts complete the following steps:

  • Document where you were in the identification process upon the closure of your district.
  • Identify which assessments have been administered to students and maintain the results to facilitate future identification.
  • Determine which students can move to the selection process and which need further assessments.
  • Develop a plan for students that will need further assessment for the fall of 2020.

Per TEA’s SY 20-21 GT Guidance (updated 10/19/20), it is expected that all districts resume and/or conduct safe assessments for G/T identification in fall 2020.

TEA recommends that districts complete the following steps for the continuation of 2019-20 assessment:

  • Review all documentation from the spring administration to determine what is needed for each student.
  • Based on the measure, determine if it is best to complete the spring 2020 exam administered or changed based on age or grade. Note: If students finished the test, then no further testing may be required. Completed subtests can be scored according to the date the test was taken; however, this may prevent successfully obtaining composite scores.
  • Be consistent in procedures of determining which exam to administer.
  • Ensure that your procedures are clear and concise with the G/T team and selection committees.
  • Release concise information to students’ families about the district's continuation plan, 2020-21 referral process, and safety procedures during the identification window.

Are school districts required to continue the selection process for GT placement?

According to TEA’s April 14 Gifted/Talented Guidance, school districts should determine when and how to finalize the selection process for students whose assessments have been administered and resume assessment in the fall of 2020. School districts should develop a plan to conduct virtual G/T selection meetings if moving forward with the post-assessment selection process. Documentation must maintain student confidentially and ensure security of the data from tampering or accidental deletion. Here are a few examples of properly securing data:

  • Excel documents: Lock the cells, columns or spreadsheets containing confidential or important information.
  • Word documents: Convert documents to fillable PDFs with electronic signatures.

How do we document what we are providing in terms of G/T services for students?

According to TEA’s SY 20-21 GT Guidance (8/24/20), G/T staff should document the services provided to the student, such as student packets, lesson plans, online learning platforms, and G/T teacher and student contact time via phone or online. Calculate the estimated time to complete the activities and use that estimation for determination of service time or implement a student log sheet for time worked. G/T teachers should maintain a log of services provided to students (State Plan 2.29, 4.1, 4.2 and 4.9 Texas G/T State Plan 2019).

Is there guidance on remote instruction for G/T students during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Per TEA’s SY 20-21 GT Guidance (updated 10/15/20) districts will continue to code G/T service options based on the services provided to students identified as gifted through five program models: full-time inclusion, push-in, pull-out, full-time gifted only, and special day schools or programs. Districts will need to adapt, modify, or develop services options to meet the needs of students in all learning platforms.

Synchronous Instruction is defined as two-way, real-time/live, virtual G/T instruction between G/T coordinators or teachers and students when students are not on campus. In this method, the amount of instructional time is scheduled for the week. Funding is generated when attendance is recorded daily at a locally selected snapshot time. Synchronous instruction is provided through a computer/other electronic device or over the phone. The instructional method must emphasize the core curriculum that is appropriately challenging, leading to the development of advanced products and performances, per TAC §89.3(3).

Asynchronous Instruction is instruction that does not require having the instructor and student engaged at the same time. In this method, students learn from instruction that is not necessarily being delivered in-person or in real time. This type of instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, such as prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper. The instructional method must address and emphasize the core curriculum that is appropriately challenging, leading to the development of advanced products and performances, per TAC §89.3(3).