COVID Related Issues Shut Down Several Deep East Texas Schools
Several area school districts including three in Nacogdoches County have decided to shut their doors for a few days due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
According to their website, Nacogdoches ISD will close all campuses and facilities beginning Thursday, January 13, because of the number of campus staff who are out due to COVID-19 infections within the district. All campus and district facilities will reopen Wednesday, January 19. There will be no virtual instruction during the closure.
Absences in the district’s Transportation Department are also affecting the ability to bus students to school in the mornings and back home in the afternoons. The hope is that this shutdown of district operations will slow the spread of the coronavirus within the schools.
Campuses and district facilities will undergo additional deep-cleaning by NISD custodial staff.
Monday, January 17, was already a scheduled day-off for NISD students and staff because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Incorporating the long weekend into the closure period reduces the impact on the district’s calendar. For now, NISD will absorb the closure with excess minutes built into the academic calendar.
Districtwide there are 64 active cases within staff. That’s more than 6.1 percent of the district’s total employment, but three campuses have topped an 11 percent positivity rate and three others are sitting at more than 8 percent.
Some district operations will continue during the closure:
• Curbside meal pickup for NISD students will be available 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Tuesday at Mike Moses Middle School, 2801 Park St.
• All UIL activities planned during the closure will take place.
• A vaccine clinic scheduled for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 13, at Mike Moses Middle School will still be held.
• The district’s offsite COVID-19 testing location at Margie Chumbley Academy for Success, 6003 North St., will reopen for normal operations at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19, when classes restart in the district.
Etoile ISD, Martinsville ISD, Pineywoods Community Academy as well as Hemphill ISD have also made the decision to cancel classes through the MLK Jr. holiday. Both schools will be closed Thursday and Friday of this week and out Monday for the holiday. Students will return on Tuesday, January 18th.