Students will be spending more time away from campus.

Citing the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, Taylor ISD and other districts extended the suspension of normal district operations March 26. Taylor’s closure will be through Monday, April 13, in an effort to support slowing the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that has become a pandemic.

"Our health officials report that cases are continuing to spread in the state, and an increase in confirmed cases in our county seems likely. 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," said Superintendent Keith Brown. "We are coordinating with other school districts in the county and will use the week of April 6 to make any decisions on whether there is a need to extend the suspension further."

Brown added that if there is a need to continue the suspension at that time, it would likely be for at least three more weeks.

Another update is scheduled from the school on April 10 on the school website and through SchoolMessenger. Taylor ISD will continue to feed anyone 18 years old or younger at designated feeding sites.

"We will continue to maintain our 'closed, instructing' operation status," said Brown. "Thank you for your support and cooperation as we ensure that all members of the community in Taylor ISD stay safe and healthy."

Thrall ISD

Thrall ISD also announced school would be closed through April 10 with an anticipated opening on April 13. The decision will be re-evaluated late next week.

“During this difficult time when our country, state and county are dealing with the COVID-19 virus, our district remains optimistic everyone will stay safe and well as the next few weeks provide each of us a challenge. We will be here for you,” said Superintendent Tommy Hooker earlier in the week. “

The district call-out School Messenger system will be utilized when making group calls and updates. For more updates, visit http://www.thrallisd..

“School staff will be on call for checking messages and responding to questions you might encounter with curriculum expectations and other related topics,” said Hooker, “although we will be limiting encounters to prevent coming in contact with one another as we use social distancing.”

The Thrall ISD board election scheduled for May has also been moved to November.

“This was through coordination of Williamson County and the State of Texas as the pandemic continues,” said Hooker. “The board accepts making this adjustment during this time of limited interaction between people in our community.”

Counseling is available for students and parents who might need assistance. Links for each campus support where you can send counselors a message is provided at http://www.thrallisd.com.

“This week we begin our second week of ‘Instruction from Home’ and I'm pleased to report the cooperation by students have been positive and encouraging,” said Hooker. “Our staff have worked diligently to prepare lessons, interact with students on a daily basis, and provide assistance through electronic communication. The expectation for learning at a distance will continue until the pandemic passes and hopes are in store for returning to finish the year.”

Granger ISD

The halls at Granger ISD will be closed at least through April 13.

“Our short-term instructional plan began … March 25,” said Superintendent Randy Willis. “Grade level teachers will be working with their students and their instructional development. The Instructional Leadership Team and teachers are in the process of developing long-term instructional plans should they be needed.”

Parents are asked to stay in contact with their child’s teacher and continue to check the “Instructional Operation Plan” tab found on the “COVID-19 Support Page” link at https://www.grangerisd.net for updates.

“I will continue to provide regular updates as we adapt to these changing conditions,” Willis added. “I encourage you to focus on the safety and health of your families. Continue to be positive, healthy, practice social distancing, practice personal hygiene and continue to wash your hands, as stated by health officials. We realize the decision to close schools has placed hardships on many families throughout the Granger ISD community.  This is a very fluid situation, so we will continue to evolve as we receive new information.”

Hutto ISD

At its school board meeting Thursday night, Hutto ISD Supertintendent Celina Estrada Thomas announced that its community would be notified the next day about school extending its break.

“We will put it in our Friday communication to our staff and to our parents that we’re following our county judge’s recommendation that we keep the school close until April the 13th,” said Thomas.”

Coupland ISD

On the Coupland ISD website, the district noted orders from both the governor and Williamson County regarding school closures. With the county’s order being the longest, school closure is through April 13.

How to stay safe and healthy

Taylor ISD Superintendent Keith Brown also reminded everyone that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the need for all communities to implement a social distancing protocol.

"We want to reiterate a request to our broader community to take the following reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the illness," he said.

Precautions include:

• Don’t shake hands

• Wash your hands regularly

• Limit movement within the community, especially avoiding crowded places and maintaining 3-6 feet of distance between people (at least an arm’s length)

• If you are moving around in the community, don’t congregate in large groups

• For those who have traveled to areas with known COVID-19 cases –both inside and outside of the country –we ask that you self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Students who have traveled should plan to stay home for two weeks after arriving home. Please contact your campus Principal to let them know via e-mail

• If you suspect you have COVID-19, call your health care provider for medical advice

• Keep your child at home if he/she feels ill, even if you think it is just a cold.

• Do not leave the house if you are ill, except to access medical care.

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