As schools across Texas have been ordered closed, parents are searching for educational resources. Teachers are looking to provide engaging content.
Coastal Bend school districts are reacting to Gov. Greg Abbott's announcement that Texas schools will remain closed for the remainder of this school year.
Abbott previously ordered schools closed to students until May 4, but did not rule out extending his order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
He said at a news conference Friday that the team of doctors advising his office determined "it would be unsafe for students to gather in schools for the foreseeable future."
His order applies to public, charter and private K-12 schools as well as higher education institutions.
First grade teacher Kristianna Andrada wearing gloves and a mask hands out school packets to parents at Oak Park Elementary School on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Corpus Christi Independent School District has been temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States. (Photo: Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times)
South Texas school districts have already made plans to provide some form of remote instruction through the remainder of the year, as per the governor's order.
Leanne Libby, a spokesperson for Corpus Christi ISD, said the school district plans to continue its distance learning program and will more than likely proceed with this program for summer school students.
Libby said the district will determine if students will pass to the next grading level after finalizing grading guidelines for its sixth six weeks. She said an update on these guidelines will be available next week.
"We are committed to continuing our support for students, families and staff during this trying time," Libby said.
On April 14, CCISD took to its Twitter page to announce high school graduations would be pushed until July 21-22 at the American Bank Center Arena. It is not clear whether these dates will change under the Texas Education Agency's guidance.
Faculty members at Oak Park Elementary School wearing gloves and a mask hands out school packets to parents on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Corpus Christi Independent School District has been temporary closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States. (Photo: Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times)
As per the governor's order, the agency will be responsible for how Texas schools will explore ceremony options.
Gregory-Portland ISD announced Friday afternoon in a news release that all campuses and facilities will remain closed to the public in response to the order.
This includes all UIL events, practices, rehearsals, and all other programs and activities involving students that require gathering in person, the release states.
G-PISD teachers will continue educating students via e-learning.
Patricia Hosey hands out free breakfasts and lunch at Oak Park Elementary School on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Oak Park Elementary is one of the seventeen schools taking part in the curbside meal program during Corpus Christi Independent School District's temporary closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the United States. (Photo: Courtney Sacco/Caller-Times)
The release states the school district will develop a process and communicate with families so that any school district materials or equipment being borrowed by students may be returned to G-PISD in a safe manner.
Resources will remain available for students and families who may be experiencing difficulties at home. Families are encouraged to reach out to district and campus administrators, including counselors and social workers, through anonymous alerts or at g-pisd.org/ContactUs. A full list of resources for counseling, meals, financial assistance and more is available at g-pisd.org/SupportServices.
The release states Gregory-Portland ISD will provide more updates on how the district is adapting to the new order through standard notification systems, social media and its website.
A teacher holds up a sign during a school spirit parade organized by Gullett Elementary teachers and staff on Monday, March 23, 2020, in Austin, Texas. (Photo: NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
The district stated it will reach out to parents of graduating seniors regarding graduation and other plans to support the Class of 2020 soon.
"As always, our students are our greatest concern. We are saddened for all of them, because we realize how many are missing the environment, structure, social interactions, and friendships they have enjoyed this year," said superintendent Paul Clore. "We are grateful for all of our teachers and staff whose classrooms remain empty, and whose hearts remain full. Together, we will get through this experience and move forward as one community."
The Caller-Times has reached out to other area districts for statements about Abbott's order.
El Paso reporter Molly Smith contributed to this report. Meagan Falcon covers entertainment, things to do and trending news. Support more coverage like this by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe
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