McALLEN — The University Interscholastic League announced another set of changes Friday for the 2020-21 school year specifically relating to student-athlete eligibility requirements for schools throughout Texas as it attempts to cope with the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

The most significant portion of the UIL’s latest announcements concerns eligibility requirements facing students who participate in in-person, on-campus instruction, elect to utilize virtual or remote learning options, or a combination of these two approaches throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

“Students participating in remote learning offered by their school district, whether synchronous or asynchronous (as defined by TEA), may participate in UIL activities if they meet all other UIL eligibility requirements,” the organization explained in a written statement.

Students must be enrolled in online, virtual or remote learning options through the school that they are representing in athletic or other extracurricular school-sponsored activity, and schools and school districts are also free to impose their own additional eligibility standards or requirements for athletic participation.

Additionally, the UIL stated that eligibility requirements for the first six weeks of the 2020-21 year, “have been modified to allow a student to be eligible for the first six weeks if they accumulated at least two and a half credits since the start of the 2019-2020 school year,” with individual schools again maintaining the ability to impose further requirements of its own.

The organization also asked schools and school districts as part of this latest policy update for the upcoming academic year to create specific grading policies for remote learning options that outline how to determine if a student-athlete is academically eligible or not at the end of each grading period.

In a separate announcement Tuesday laying out several new COVID-19 related health and safety guidelines for the 2020-21 school year, the Texas Educational Agency said that students will be allowed to transition between in-person and remote learning options throughout the academic year if they choose, with a caveat of maintaining the same selection for the entirety of one grading period.

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