West Texas School District to Close For 2 Weeks Due to COVID-19

The first day of school in Iraan-Sheffield ISD was Aug. 10

After just five days of classes, a West Texas school district will close for two weeks due to COVID-19.

Iraan-Sheffield ISD, about 100 miles southwest of San Angelo, will close Tuesday through Aug. 30 after district leadership determined teachers and students would need to quarantine for two weeks, according to a letter from Superintendent Tracy Canter.

The letter said while teachers would be available via email, the district would not offer virtual or remote learning during the closure.

Canter urged students to truly quarantine until school resumes.

"This means that students and staff will quarantine only with immediate family. They should not be out and about in the community or hanging out with friends. The only way that this will work is if everyone does their part," Canter wrote.

The district encouraged the use of face masks and included a link to COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a resolution adopted by the district's board of trustees in April, wearing masks was a "personal choice," but the superintendent was "authorized to temporarily rescind" the resolution if conditions changed, including "an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the school population."

This school year, the Texas Education Agency does not require school districts to conduct contact tracing or notify parents if their student is in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Canter's said the district was working with the Texas Education Agency on alternative plans and one or more of the campuses could open sooner than Aug. 30 if it's cleared.

Two school districts in East Texas also announced COVID-19-related closures Monday.

Bloomburg ISD will close schools until Monday and Waskom ISD will close its elementary school until Monday.

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