Local school districts in Kleberg and Nueces Counties are extending their campus closures past this week, with the Kingsville Independent School District announcing on Wednesday that they were keeping school closed through at least April 16.
The announcement was made in a letter posted by Interim Superintendent Kamara Adams on the KISD website. The move comes on the heels of limits imposed Tuesday by the City of Kingsville and Kleberg County on public gatherings to no more than 50 people, including schools and universities.
There have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Kleberg or the surrounding counties, but county and city officials have said the move made on Tuesday was precautionary and meant to allow faster access to federal and state resources and funding.
"I realize there are many spring events that students look forward to. There are field trips, proms, etc. I am sorry to say that events scheduled within the time of our closure are canceled," Adams wrote in the letter. "As far as graduation ceremonies, a decision cannot be made yet. It’s too early to determine how important events may be modified in the event of a prolonged closure."
Adams said that professional staff will be working remotely, and the district is in the process of developing online lessons and instructional packets in paper and digital form, the latter for those families who may not have Internet access.
Digital copies of packets will be available at www.kingsvilleisd.com.
Paper copies for KISD students will be available during breakfast and lunch curbside service at the following locations:
• Gillett Intermediate School
• H.M. King High School
• Harvey Elementary School
• Kleberg Elementary School
• Memorial Middle School
KISD will also continue to provide free curbside breakfast and lunch to children ages 3 to 19, Adams said, from Tuesday, March 17 through Friday, April 17.
Breakfast will be available from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunch will be available from noon to 1 p.m. while supplies last on a daily basis. One meal per child will be available to children in the car. KISD officials are also asking individuals to stay in their vehicle while picking up to-go meals.
KISD buildings will remain closed during the curbside service.
For more information regarding breakfast and lunch for KISD students, please call (361) 595-8678 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Bishop Consolidated Independent School District had already announced on Tuesday that it would close its campuses through the weeks of March 30, putting a potential return to school date at April 6. But while campuses will be closed, instruction will continue in a virtual format, BCISD Superintendent Christina Gutierrez and Assistant Superintendent Eden Hernandez said in a video statement on the district's website.
"We want to make sure we do not have any of our students who are falling behind, and so we will continue with a quality instruction as much as possible these next two weeks," Hernandez said in the video.
Gutierrez also asked parents who may have trouble with Internet access to communicate with their child's campus principals so the district can help them find a solution.
Santa Gertrudis Independent School District Superintendent Veronica Alfaro announced in a letter on Wednesday that the district was extending the suspension of normal district operations through Wednesday, April 15.
"Our health officials report that cases are continuing to spread in the state, and a possible increase of confirmed cases in our county is possible," Alfaro wrote. "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."
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services website, 1,907 people have been tested in the state, with 83 confirmed cases statewide. There have been two deaths in Texas, both of which were announced on Tuesday.
Alfaro said depending on the situation near the end of the latest extension, it is possible that the suspension could extend at least three more weeks beyond that.
Jubilee Academy in Kingsville has moved classes online by providing lessons created by its Curriculum and Instruction Team. The campus is expected to have students return to class on April 6, according to a post on Jubilee Academy's Facebook page.
On Wednesday afternoon, Riviera ISD announced on the district's Facebook page it would extend its closure through Friday, April 17. Students will return to school on Monday, April 20.
Ricardo ISD also announced Wednesday afternoon that it would extend the suspension of normal district operations through Friday, April 17.
Ricardo ISD Superintendent Vita Canales announced the extension in a post on the district's Facebook page, where she stated that Ricardo ISD is coordinating with other school districts in the county and will use the week of April 13 "to make any decisions on whether there is a need to extend the suspension further."
This is a developing story. Check back to www.KingsvilleRecord.com for updates.