This page outlines information on the various expedited waivers available through TEA. This waiver request may be approved for up to three years.
This waiver allows the districts and charter schools to conduct school for less than seven hours for a total of six days of student instruction a year. These days may provide additional training in education methodologies or provide time to meet the needs of student and local communities. Districts and charter schools may shorten the student instructional day to release school for such reasons as conducting teacher collaboration or planning, conducting teacher parent conferences, or releasing school before a holiday, game playoff or local school related activities. Students must be in attendance for up to four hours of instruction.
Modified Schedule/State Assessment Testing Days
This waiver allows the district or charter school to modify the schedule of classes for students who are not being tested to report to and attend school after the state assessment testing period has ended, therefore reducing the interruptions during testing period.
Foreign Exchange Student
This waiver allows the district or charter schools to limit the number of foreign exchanges students to a number that is 5 or more per high school under Texas Education Code §25.001(e). A request to limit the number to less than five per high school must be submitted as a general waiver application.
The approval of this waiver is not retroactive and takes effect on the date that the agency approves the application.
The districts and charter schools must enroll foreign exchange student who arrive in the district or who have requested enrollment in the district prior to the waiver approval date.
Visit Foreign Exchange Guidelines and Q&A for more information relating to foreign exchange students.
Teacher Data Portal of the Texas Assessment Management System
The assessment data portal of the Texas Assessment Management System became fully operational in October 2011 and complies with the requirements of Texas Education Code (TEC), §32.258, as enacted by House Bill 3, 81st Legislature. Districts that are interested in fulfilling the requirement of TEC, §32.258 to provide teacher access to student assessment data through a local student data system must apply for an expedited waiver from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). The local data portal must meet the following requirements:
The local data portal must be accessible to all teachers in the core subject areas (reading/English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) and must allow teachers to view their own students’ assessment data. It is a local decision whether to extend access to teachers outside of the four core subjects; however, districts must consider whether there exists a sound educational reason, allowable under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), for non-core teachers to have access to student-level data.
Student data must be available from the 2007–2008 school year forward and include data indicating progress in student achievement.
Student data must be available on or before the first instructional day of the year following the year in which the data were collected.
The local data portal must permit comparisons of student performance at the classroom, campus, district, and state levels. Though it will not be necessary for local data portals to contain statewide data for comparisons of student performance, local portals must include a link to the TEA’s website where statewide reports are posted.
As a condition to granting a waiver for teacher access to the state data portal, local systems must have all of the above data available to teachers.
Note that districts and charter schools that receive a waiver from the requirement to provide teachers with access to the state data portal must still provide the teacher-student linking information in their summer PEIMS submissions. There is no waiver from the PEIMS submission requirement.
The deadline for submitting an expedited waiver request to fulfill the requirements of TEC, §32.258 through a local student data portal is August.
Timeline for Accelerated Instruction
As part of the Student Success Initiative (SSI), districts and charter schools must provide accelerated instruction to students in grades 5 and 8 who do not demonstrate proficiency on the STAAR reading and/or mathematics tests. This accelerated instruction must occur after each administration of the test, including the third administration. Students may advance to or be placed in the next grade level only if (1) they complete all accelerated instruction required by the grade placement committee (GPC), and (2) the GPC determines, by unanimous decision, that the students are likely to perform at grade level at the end of the next school year given additional accelerated instruction during the course of the year.
To assist districts in meeting the accelerated instruction provision after the third administration of the test, the agency is allowing districts to apply for a waiver to adjust the timeline for providing accelerated instruction to students who fail the third administration. The waiver will be granted if districts meet certain conditions, including identifying and documenting the intensive instruction a student needs, targeting this instruction to the reporting categories on which the student was weak, and ensuring that this instruction is completed during the first six weeks of school. In addition to this intensive accelerated instruction, districts must develop an accelerated instruction plan that will provide the student with ongoing instructional support during the entire school year.
Staff Development - General
This waiver allows the district and charter schools to train staff on various educational strategies designed to improve student performance in lieu of a maximum of three days of student instruction. The commissioner of education reserves the right to modify or revoke approvals for the second or third year of the waiver, if such a change is required, districts will be notified in writing.
Staff Development - Subject Areas
This expedited waiver allows the district and charter schools to request up to two days to conduct additional staff training for reading/language arts, mathematics, science, or social studies training one day per subject in lieu of student instruction for two days. The extra day or days must be related to staff development on the state assessment for reading/language arts, mathematics, science or social studies, respectively on the early reading diagnostic instruments for kindergarten through grade two.
Staff Development - Conferences
This waiver allows the district and charter schools to attend or participate in one day conference to improve student performance relating to their assignment (Texas Education Code §25.081). The district and charter schools may allow individual campuses to use a single conference waiver day at different times during the year to respond to local staff development priorities. Staff members may be approved locally to attend conference in lieu of student instruction and may use one or more of the seven teacher-contracted staff development days for this purpose, subject to local policies.