Frisco ISD officials say they support Gov. Greg Abbott’s March 16 decision to waive STAAR testing requirements for the 2019-20 school year in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
The district sent a thank-you letter to Abbott about the decision and the continued effort to seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for federal testing requirements. Two days earlier, FISD and 61 other school districts sent a letter to the governor and Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath urging them to cancel STAAR administration for this school year.
“This decision will allow school districts to focus on providing the best possible instruction to our students during this unprecedented time,” FISD said in the March 16 letter. “We appreciate your willingness to listen to the concerns of school districts and to act accordingly."
Canceling STAAR testing does not cancel Advanced Placement testing, Superintendent Mike Waldrip said at a city of Frisco virtual town hall meeting March 16.
“AP testing is a different issue,” Waldrip said. “Those are tests that occur in May that are administered by the College Board. We do not know yet what is going to happen with AP testing.”
The STAAR waiver comes after FISD closed schools the week of March 16 and rolled out plans for online student learning beginning March 17 to limit the spread of coronavirus.
At the town hall, Waldrip said there is a “good chance” FISD schools will be closed for in-person instruction beyond this week.
Richardson and Dallas ISDs announced March 16 that their schools will be closed indefinitely.
“We’ve got some school districts that are closing around us for longer periods of time,” Waldrip said. “We will continue to evaluate that working with our board, with our staff.”