Frequently Asked Questions
Are SMCISD schools closed?
All SMCISD classes have been moved to a remote learning platform for distance learning. Campus and department offices are open with limited staff. We encourage you, should you need to contact your child’s school for assistance.
How long will classes in SMCISD be canceled?
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that all schools in the state would remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. San Marcos CISD will follow the executive order and will not return to face-to-face classroom instruction this year. It has become clear that it will be in the best interest of our students and staff that San Marcos CISD continue at-home learning through the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
Are students being marked absent during this closure?
No, students are not being marked absent during this time.
How will instruction be provided to students during this cancellation?
SMCISD is committed to providing high-quality distance learning opportunities and lessons for our students. District specialists, and teachers, have instructional materials available online, by core content and grade level, for use by students and parents.
Additionally, online instruction and lessons will be provided with the help of classroom teachers.
What if my child does not have access to the internet or to an electronic device?
The District has developed a protocol to address students who do not have internet access or electronic devices. Parents can contact their child’s school for assistance, or they may inform a teacher during a weekly check-in.
Paper packets are also distributed at the grab and go meal sites on Mondays and Wednesdays, campus sites on Wednesdays (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.), and at the high school every day, located in the newspaper dispensers.
What about our students with special needs?
Students will continue to receive their accommodations for assignments in accordance with their IEP, 504, or LPAC linguistic accommodations for grading purposes.
What is the status of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test?
On March 16, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year in response to the events surrounding COVID-19. He has also requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) for all testing requirements for this year.
What does this waiver mean for SMCISD students?
STAAR 3-8, STAAR EOC and STAAR Alt 2 assessments will not be administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for this school year.
Will Spring 2020 STAAR or STAAR Alt 2 need to be “made up” in the future?
Though Governor Abbott has waived the STAAR testing requirement for Texas students, the USDOE must also approve waiving federal testing requirements for this school year.
How will the STAAR waiver impact graduation requirements?
TEA is working on guidance for grade-level promotion and other issues related to this assessment decision (e.g. graduating seniors this year and in future years). In light of the cancellation of STAAR testing for Spring 2020, required performance on end-of-course (EOC) exams for graduation under Texas Education Code (TEC), §28.025(c) and §39.025(a), are being waived for current seniors who are still working to meet assessment requirements for graduation. Seniors in the 2019– 2020 school year who have not yet met assessment requirements for graduation may be eligible to graduate as a result of an individual graduation committee (IGC) review. The district and campus administrators will need to determine if a student has met all other graduation requirements under TEC, §28.025(c), including successfully completing curriculum requirements or successfully completing an individualized education program.
For students graduating in future years but taking one of the five courses with a corresponding STAAR EOC assessment this year, those students will not be responsible for meeting that EOC assessment graduation requirement if they earn course credit this year.
How will the STAAR waiver impact promotion requirements for Grades 5 and 8?
Districts will have local discretion on whether students in grades 5 and 8 should advance to the next grade, just like students in all other grades.
Will the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) still be administered in Spring 2020?
The testing windows for the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) and TELPAS Alternate have both been extended through May 29, 2020 to allow a Local Education Agency (LEA) to complete optional testing if it chooses. We will update you as more information becomes available.
How should school districts show that they are complying with providing instruction to students when closed as a result of COVID-19?
For campuses that are “Closed, Instructing”, teachers will be continuing to review student work while they support the instruction being delivered off-site – whether done via an on-line learning system or from periodic phone check-ins with the students or parents. Schools should attempt to retain some documentation that instruction is happening. Please see the Remote Grading Guidelines.