School desks

Area campuses will remain closed through April, but all districts say learning will not stop.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Seguin ISD, Navarro ISD, Marion ISD and Southwest Preparatory, a San Antonio-based charter school that has a campus in Seguin, revealed plans to keep campus doors closed through Friday, April 3, with a student return date of Monday, April 6.

The decision to keep the students out of classrooms and at home is part of the effort to slow or stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

“Suspending operations for this length of time will allow us to determine in coordination with local health officials, whether the virus is continuing to have community spread or whether it has been contained,” Navarro Superintendent Dee Carter said in her letter to families.

Seguin ISD Superintendent Matthew Gutierrez said the decision to keep the campuses closed was not an easy one.

“I realize that this extended closure places stress and hardship on our students, staff and families,” he said. “However, this extended closure is necessary in our continued vigilance to minimize the spread and exposure of COVID-19.”

All of the districts are working at getting teachers and students prepared for distance learning.

“This week, district leadership and principals are finalizing plans for distance learning,” Christinn Jean, Southwest Preparatory School deputy superintendent, said in a message to their students. “Beginning March 23, we will begin making learning opportunities available. Please realize that there will be deadlines and expectations for student participation. As part of that plan, we will have different options regarding technology and/or paper packets. It’s important that we provide a continuity of education for our students, and we are dedicated to making sure that happens.”

Carter said the district will have specific information regarding remote learning on Friday afternoon.

Seguin ISD will check out Chromebooks to Seguin High School students who do not have a device at home. Staff will check out the Chromebooks on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. or Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the high school bus loop. A student ID number is needed.

The district will share information for elementary and middle school devices on Monday.

“Students will receive credit for work completed during the break,” Gutierrez said. “Our principals and teachers will communicate with students and families in regard to instructions for these online and paper packet learning opportunities.”

Along with the devices, the students will get information about available wifi in the area.

In a letter to the community, Marion Superintendent Kelly Lindholm said Marion staff has proactively worked to ensure learning continues while the schools are closed.

“Please know that your students’ teachers and administrators have already been working on plans for distance learning opportunities which will begin next week,” she said. “Please watch for additional School Messenger notices as well as monitoring our webpage and Facebook for more information.”

Additionally all of the districts plan to continue serving breakfast and lunch to students Monday through Friday at the designated campuses.

Felicia is the managing editor of the Seguin Gazette. She can be reached at felicia.frazar@seguingazette.com .

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