DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas - Dripping Springs Independent School District says that it is suspending normal operations by closing its schools from March 23 through April 3. Students and staff should not return to campuses until they are notified.
All district facilities will be closed for instruction and all other functions until further notice including UIL events, athletics, rentals, field trips, after-school programs and other campus activities during this two-week period.
The closure, officials say, will help the district get more time to assess the situation and evaluate and respond to developments.
Families will be provided with additional information regarding plans to provide instructional support and resources to students remotely and provide meals for eligible students.
The full message from Superintendent of Schools Todd Washburn that's posted on the DSISD website is as follows:
Dear DSISD Parents,
As we continue to monitor the rapidly evolving Coronavirus pandemic, we recognize that school operations will be affected. At this time, hundreds of schools across the state have closed as a precaution. The Texas Education Agency and countless companies around the area are instructing their staff to work remotely.
To do our part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and with the health and safety of our students and staff as our top priority, we have decided to suspend normal school operations by closing our DSISD schools from Monday, March 23, to Friday, April 3. Students and staff should not return to campuses until they are notified. During this two-week period, all Dripping Springs ISD facilities will be closed for instruction and all other functions until further notice, including UIL events, athletics, rentals, field trips, after-school programs and other campus activities. This closure will provide us with time to assess the situation, respond to ongoing developments and evaluate the approach for the coming weeks.
Tonight, the Board of Trustees will hold an emergency meeting to take important actions to help the district continue operations during the closure. The Board will be presented with a resolution; when approved, will delegate me the authority to make decisions for the benefit of staff and students. This would include the ability to make sure permanent employees continue to be paid during closure, sign any state waivers including student attendance, and provide food service for eligible students. This resolution would also provide me with the ability to allocate resources to get our schools ready to re-open, including deep cleaning.
My hope is that these actions will help to alleviate some of the anxiety that our families may be feeling concerning the health of their children attending school and to build confidence in the efforts we are taking to support the academic and health needs of our students. We will continue to coordinate with our city, county and state officials, as well as other school districts, and we will reassess and communicate any further information by April 2, 2020.
Over the next several days, we will send additional information on our plans to provide instructional support and resources to our students remotely and provide meals for our eligible students. We also encourage you to continue to monitor our DSISD website for updates. As we enter into these uncharted times together, I encourage you to be safe, be kind, and be healthy.
Superintendent of Schools