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Waco mom worries over sending child to mandatory in-person STAAR exam

TEA has announced that all students will need to take the STAAR exam in person.
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Posted at 5:26 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 11:30:09-05

WACO, TX — Manuel Valadez had a very bad case of pneumonia when he was a year old.

Because of this, his primary care doctor told him it was best he learn remotely for school during a pandemic.

That's what Valadez has been doing since August, sitting at home on his computer watching his 7th grade teachers remotely.

Now, the TEA has announced that even those students who have been remote learning need to take the STAAR exam in person.

That isn't sitting too well with him or his mom Maritere Vento.

"I was definitely shocked considering the fact of how much has been going on this year," Valadez said.

"I'm really concerned about that to be honest," Vento said.

Both are not happy with the decision the TEA made. Valadez, who was already not excited to take the exam, is even less excited now.

"I'm just worried, I personally don't like it because it's risking more lives," Valadez said.

Worried for not only the students, but teachers as well as the pandemic continues, Vento will make sure her son is taking all the necessary precautions when going to take his test.

Vento's sister is a teacher a Parkview Elementary. Giselle Vento has had to not only reassure her sister but other families as well.

"We love your kids just as much as you love them, and we will keep them safe and protected," Giselle Vento said.

Although, she is excited to see those students in person finally.

She also says the ones who have been attending school regularly have been setting a good example when it comes to health precautions.

"To put on the hand sanitizer at the beginning, wash their hands often, to keep distance. They do better than adults I think to keep the mask above their noses, they're really good at taking care of each other," Giselle Vento said.

WISD gave 25 News this statement when asked about how they'll keep with health protocols during the testing period.

"We are working on specific plans to follow TEA's requirement for in-person STAAR testing. Our priority is to maintain the health and safety of our students and staff. Although STAAR testing is not required for accountability purposes this year, we hope to have the majority of our students participate in testing. The results will provide equitable baseline data to help us understand the impact that Covid-19 has had on student learning. The information we can pull will help ensure we are making effective, informed decisions as we plan for instruction that meets our students' individual needs."

The TEA has designated multiple weeks starting in April and through June for the STAAR test to take place.

Vento knows this is a mandatory test and has faith WISD will protect her child.

"We know they have to take this test but hopefully they do the best to keep our kids safe please," Vento said.