Panhandle area schools preparing for STAAR test to take place in-person

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:32 PM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After being cancelled last year, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test will be administered to students this year and will take place in-person.

Everyone who takes the STAAR test this year will do so in-person.

Because of this and the global pandemic happening, school districts will have an extended period of time to get students to complete the test.

“Our biggest concern is our students who are in quarantine because those are the students who are learning remotely,” said Andy Nies, assistant superintendent, River Road ISD.

River Road ISD already has students back in the classroom which means when it comes to the STAAR test, their biggest concern is students who are sick with COVID-19.

“We have like a five-week window to give those students that test, so we’re going to have plenty of time in case they are in quarantine and need to come back and test,” said Nies.

The first week of testing, tests will be given on paper.

The following four weeks, tests will be given online but still in-person.

Something Nies says will soon be the standard for all of Texas.

“In 2023, we’re going to be taking all tests online anyway, so we’re already in the process of getting the students prepared of taking that test online,” said Nies.

Borger ISD still has around 200 students learning remotely that will need to take the STAAR test at school in-person.

“We’ll bring those remote learners in individually and test them on a one on one basis and just set up a scheduled date and time for them,” said Barbie Schroeder, instructional services coordinator, Borger ISD.

The Texas Education Agency says school districts can also utilize performing arts centers, hotels and recreation centers outside of the school if more space is needed to take the test.

Both Borger ISD and River Road ISD say they do not believe outside facilities will need to be used.

“We want the kids to come in and be successful. Be single, by themselves, so they’re not with anyone else. The safety of our kids is what’s most important,” said Schroeder.

Amarillo ISD is another school district that still allows remote learning.

AISD says only a small percentage of students are virtual and many of them still report to a campus at some point each day for athletics or extracurricular activities.

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