San Antonio students will begin learning from home as school districts on Tuesday announced extended closures for two weeks.

East Central ISD Superintendent Roland Toscano said Tuesday that superintendents plan to evaluate school openings and closures in two-week chunks.

Last Friday, school districts announced they would extend spring break for students through March 20 and use the additional time to plan for remote learning opportunities. In many areas of San Antonio, remote learning will be a challenge with varying availability of internet or devices and parents or guardians who have to work and don’t have the ability to spend their days at home with their students.

The following school districts have announced campus closures through April 3:

Charter networks have also announced closures:

  • BASIS Texas: Basis leaders wrote to families Tuesday morning, saying campus would be closed through March 27. Students began distance learning on March 17.
  • IDEA Public Schools: School leaders announced spring break would be extended through March 27 with schools planning to reopen on March 30.
  • KIPP Texas: Superintendent Allen Smith announced campus closures through March 27. Students are expected to return to campus on March 30. The charter network plans to provide distance learning and food service on weekdays until March 30.

School districts continue to offer meals to students with campuses closed.

On Monday and Tuesday, some school district employees crafted remote lessons and compiled paper packets for families to pick up, in preparation for distance learning. Districts are at varying stages of making distance learning plans available.

On Monday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared another public health emergency for San Antonio and prohibited public gatherings of 50 or more people. Nirenberg’s announcement played a central role in superintendents’ decision to extend school closures for two additional weeks, Toscano said.

Gov. Greg Abbott also announced the cancellation of statewide administration for State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, exams. School districts may still be able to request to administer the exams, but TEA officials were unclear on how this process would work.

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath told superintendents and lawmakers on two separate phone calls Sunday that the state should prepare for school closures lasting several weeks.

Both local and state education leaders have emphasized that they are experiencing an unprecedented moment in modern history and school districts are adapting as quickly as they can.

On Tuesday, a Texas A&M University-San Antonio spokeswoman announced the university would cancel in-person classes for the rest of the semester and all instruction would be delivered online.

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Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.