LAKE TRAVIS, Texas - Lake Travis Independent School District Superintendent of Schools Brad Lancaster, Ed.D. has announced the suspension of all normal school operations for the district through April 5.
During the closure following spring break, Lancaster says that all Lake Travis schools and facilities will be closed for instruction and all other functions until further notice. This includes UIL academic, fine arts and athletic events; facility rentals; field trips; student and staff travel; our Child Development Center, Extended Care after school program, and other activities districtwide.
Students and staff should not return to their campuses or work locations until notified to do so.
While buildings will be closed and normal operations suspended, Lancaster says that the district will provide modified instruction and services to students.
Officials say updates about the situation can be found on the district's website.
The letter sent out from Lancaster is as follows:
Dear Lake Travis ISD Staff, Parents and Guardians,
Upon extensive communication and consultation with Texas Education Agency representatives, area school district leaders, Lake Travis ISD senior staff and Board President Kim Flasch, and in a concerted attempt to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in our community, I am suspending all normal school operations for Lake Travis ISD through Sunday, April, 5, 2020.
There are approximately 1,250 school districts and charter schools in Texas. As of Saturday, March 14, approximately 300 Texas school districts had announced closures following spring break. On Sunday, March 15, that number nearly doubled to 569 school districts. As of this morning, approximately 730 Texas school districts are now closed. I fully expect this trend to continue over the next few days as the number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus rises.
During our closure following spring break, all Lake Travis schools and facilities will be closed for instruction and all other functions until further notice. This includes UIL academic, fine arts and athletic events; facility rentals; field trips; student and staff travel; our Child Development Center, Extended Care after school program, and other activities districtwide. Students and staff should not return to their campuses or work locations until notified to do so.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the avoidance of large gatherings can dramatically flatten the curve for the spread of the Coronavirus. I urge everyone in the Lake Travis ISD community to do their part and closely follow CDC guidelines. If you believe you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
To our teachers and staff, I know the closure will add stress and anxiety. I want to reassure you we will get through this challenge together. Rest assured, we will continue payroll and benefits for all employees without interruption.
Furthermore, I am aware that an unexpected school closure creates a hardship on our parents due to work, childcare, and other commitments. Please know, this difficult decision is being made in the best interest of everyone involved. Our district will continue to maintain close contact with the CDC, state and local health officials, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Superintendents and other district leaders in Central Texas eagerly await guidance from TEA on course credit, attendance, accountability standards, school funding and other measures to support the continued education of our students for the rest of the 2019-20 school year.
I learned just this morning that Governor Abbott has cancelled all STAAR testing this spring. We are all grateful for the suspension of state testing requirements during this uncertain time.
As of noon today, our buildings will be closed for two weeks following spring break. I want our staff, students, and parents to be prepared for the possibility that this closure could last much longer. Without a doubt, these are unprecedented times and there is much to do. While our buildings will be closed and normal operations suspended, we will provide modified instruction and services to students. We will have more information for parents next week.
I ask for your patience and understanding as we work in the best interest of our students and staff. We will continue to monitor this situation daily and will communicate updates as quickly as possible via email, our district website, and our social media channels. In the meantime, I want our staff, students and parents to enjoy spring break. I wish you and your family continued good health and tranquility during this time.
Brad Lancaster, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools