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With school districts across Texas preparing to offer a variety of learning options amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the University Interscholastic League has taken a step that could pave a pathway to sports being played this fall.

The organization announced Friday that student-athletes meeting UIL requirements will be eligible to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities, even if they are learning remotely.

A UIL release states that students must be enrolled in remote learning options through the school they will represent, while noting that “schools may develop local policies with additional requirements for participation.”

“Schools should develop grading policies for remote learning options that outline the criteria for determining if a student is passing all courses at the end of grading and evaluation periods,” the release added. “Days when school is not in session should be treated as school holidays for purposes of determining academic eligibility for both remote and in-person learning. All students are academically eligible when school is not in session for a full calendar week or more. 

Huntsville ISD officials unveiled a fall reopening plan late last month that offers parents three different options for the 2020-21 school year. In addition to traditional face-to-face instruction, there will also be a daily online school and flexible online model.

“Governor (Greg) Abbott has stated that Texas students will return to school this fall and we know this raises many questions and concerns for parents as you begin to think about what school may look like for your child in August,” Huntsville ISD superintendent Scott Sheppard said at the time. “While we await answers and guidance from the Texas Education Agency, our district team has been very busy prioritizing student safety by creating options for HISD students.”