This Week in Texas: Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Posted May 20, 2020 in The Mignon Memo

Only in Austin…

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, who recently honored Austin healthcare and frontline workers with a flyover, provide a unique glimpse of the Texas Capitol.

Governor Greg Abbott Announces Next Phase of Texas Reopenings

On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the immediate reopening of daycare centers as part of the latest round of Texas business reopenings. Next, bars, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, rodeos and aquariums may partially reopen at 25% capacity on Friday, while restaurants will be able to increase their capacity to 50% that same day. By May 31, youth sports and overnight camps can reopen, along with professional sports, minus spectators. And by June 1, summer school at public and private schools, including universities, can resume.

Amarillo and El Paso, current hotspot regions, were exempted from the reopening schedule – they will delay a week, while the state’s surge response teams work to contain outbreaks in each area.

Texas Education Agency Releases ‘Intersessional Calendar’ Option for 2020-2021 School Year

Texas Education Agency officials have outlined a possible year-round calendar adjustment for school districts to consider implementing for the upcoming academic year. The ‘intersessional calendar’ would plan for short-term disruptions due to the pandemic and include adjustments for struggling students facing significant learning loss. Key changes include:

  • An earlier start date, later end date
  • Extended breaks throughout the year, including during winter when coronavirus cases may spike
  • Six weeks of intersessional breaks that may be used for remediation or enrichment for struggling students
  • Built-in remote learning time and staggered in-person attendance
  • Spread out school days into the summer to minimize loss of learning – classes would be held in 11 out of 12 months

Class of 2020:  How Texas is Honoring High School Graduates During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The class of 2020, born in the aftermath of 9/11 and now graduating in the midst of a pandemic, knows better than most that life events can pivot to the unexpected quickly. High school seniors have missed out on a great deal of tradition and fun in the last few months, and for that reason Texas education officials have prepared guidelines to allow socially distant graduations to resume. Options for school districts include completely virtual ceremonies, editing photos of individual seniors into a graduation video, celebrating seniors while they drive in a procession or hosting a socially distanced outdoor ceremony. Congratulations to all of the seniors celebrating this month – onward!


Best wishes for a happy, healthy and relaxing Memorial Day weekend!