Buse safety

Bus drivers wash their own buses frequently as a part of their post trip duties. 

Three east Williamson County school districts will be closed Monday, Feb. 22, while a fourth will welcome students back if they so choose.

Taylor ISD, Granger ISD and Hutto ISD have canceled in-person and remote courses for Monday. Thrall ISD will be open with the main focus of addressing any physical and emotional needs for students and staff.

Winter storms and hard freezing temperatures blitzed through the area over several days last week. Campuses and communities continue to recover in the aftermath amid power and water outages.

In a statement Saturday, Feb. 20, Taylor ISD said they could not guarantee safe, working water systems. Bathrooms and food service would be both be inoperable.

"As a school district, we will support our families and open buildings as soon as it is safe," said Taylor ISD. "Please reach out to your school's counselor or principal if you have specific needs for your child. Our administrators and support staff will be available to respond."

Taylor ISD child nutrition staff will be serving meals at Naomi Pasemann Elementary School for all Taylor ISD students Monday from noon to 2 p.m.  If reaching the location is difficult for some parents, email lgage@taylorisd.org for assistance.

Granger ISD, which plans to resume normal operations Tuesday, will offer free meals in a drive-thru at the circle drive in front of the school. The drive-thru will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

GISD's weight room will be open for all athletes in grades 7-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Baseball practice will be 10 a.m. at the high school field house.

At Thrall ISD, Superintendent Tommy Hooker said the district worked tirelessly over the weekend to fix water lines and restore services.

"My sincere thanks and appreciation are shared with the TISD Team and the skilled volunteers who have come to aid in this nearly impossible situation as we just completed the task," Hooker said Sunday evening. "We feel we have succeeded and will open school as planned for tomorrow"

Hooker said there is no expectation for students to return Monday. Some staff may offer virtual options but could be limited due to difficulties.

"We will be here for your return this week and will allow your family to return to a normal schedule if necessary," he added.

Thrall ISD's fourth six-weeks is extended for one week and will end Friday, Feb. 26. The district plans to utilize a waiver through TEA for missed instruction days.

Hutto ISD reported some damage from the winter storms at most schools, including flooding from broken water lines. Food service also suffered setbacks.

"Due to the prolonged and sporadic power outages, we disposed of all food that was in our cafeterias. Unfortunately, the food distribution company that serves Hutto ISD will not be able to make deliveries before next Tuesday allowing us to be ready for Wednesday," said Superintendent Celina Estrada Thomas. "Even though a neighboring district offered to help with food, we do not feel completely confident that we would be able to meet the nutrition needs of our students for two days."

As of Sunday, only Monday classes were canceled.

"Currently, our plan is to return to normal operations on Tuesday, February 23. Our buses should run regular routes for on-campus learners, and our campuses should be operational. We understand that some of our virtual learners may still experience power or connectivity issues, and we will certainly offer grace in those situations," said Thomas. "If we identify an issue that will impact our ability to open a specific campus for in-person learning on Tuesday, we will notify the families and staff of that campus directly as soon as possible."

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