School districts, charter schools and private schools in Guadalupe County have made the decision to cancel school and school activities next week amid the coronavirus outbreak.
While there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in Guadalupe County as of Friday afternoon, the districts made the decision to keep students home for week out of precaution.
“The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority,” Matthew Gutierrez, Seguin ISD superintendent, said in a release. “The decision to temporarily close schools is not an easy one, and the closure impacts our entire community.”
The students from Seguin, Navarro, Marion ISD, Lifegate Christian School and Southwest Preparatory will have their Spring Breaks extended for a week, according to district and school officials.
The moves come after Texas Lutheran University and Alamo Colleges District announced their closures earlier this week.
As of Friday afternoon, the plan is to resume classes on Monday, March 23.
“Out of an abundance of caution, Marion ISD and the surrounding districts have decided to extend spring break by one week,” Kelly Lindholm, Marion ISD superintendent, wrote on the district’s social media page. “Students will not return to class until Monday, March 23rd.”
Navarro ISD Superintendent Dee Carter said the decisions made will hopefully slow the spread of the illness.
“This was not an easy decision to make, and we know this poses a hardship and inconvenience for many families,” she said. “However, we are hoping this will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community safe. We will work with TEA regarding whether the canceled days will need to be made up.”
In a release from Southwest Preparatory, officials said they did not make the decision lightly.
“We fully realize it presents significant difficulties to working parents who have young, school-aged children,” the release read. “But we are hopeful that these measures will better ensure the long-term health and safety of children, staff, and the larger community.”
All school events, extracurricular activities, practices and competitions are canceled as well, the release read.
University Interscholastic League (UIL) suspended all “sanctioned contests” until March 29, but, is allowing practices and rehearsals to continue at the “district’s discretion.”
“We are urging our member schools and their communities to stay vigilant and take every possible precaution to remain safe and healthy,” UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said. “We understand there is a lot of uncertainty during this unprecedented time. Please know UIL leadership is working diligently to adjust to this rapidly evolving situation and will share updates as soon as possible.”
All of the districts’ facilities will remain closed during this time and employees — unless otherwise requested by a supervisor— will not report to work, Seguin ISD’s release stated.
However, the district will serve breakfast and lunch to students who participate in the National School Lunch Program between 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 to 1 p.m. at Seguin High School, Koennecke, McQueeney and Rodriguez elementaries, the statement read.
Seguin ISD plans to resume classes on Monday, March 23. Should this date change, we will communicate further with our families.
Each of the districts and schools used Spring Break as an opportunity to deep clean and disinfect the facilities.
“Our maintenance staff and custodial staff worked very diligently this past week to ensure all campuses were cleaned and disinfected,” Carter said. “The team will continue to conduct preparations and cleaning services for classrooms prior to re-opening.”