PFLUGERVILLE, Texas - It's an unusual sight this time of year ever since Gov. Greg Abbott signed his executive order shutting down schools to slow the spread of COVID-19. Schools are now quiet and empty when they should be full of students back from spring break, ready to learn.
“Somebody said, it's only been a week, but it has been a long and emotional week and just the world of uncertainty,” said Reese Weirich, principal of Murchison Elementary.
For that reason, teachers and staff from Pflugerville Elementary, Wieland Elementary, Murchison Elementary and Highland Park Elementary of Pflugerville ISD decided they needed a way to see their students again.
“Those kids are our passion and when we don't get to be around them, they don't know that’s what feeds us and what gives us life to our jobs,” said Weirich.
Both elementary schools surprised their kids in a way very appropriate for a time like this.
“I was feeding my son, my one-year-old, and all of a sudden we heard all of this honking,” said Pflugerville resident Chantal Ramirez.
Teachers, principals, counselors, and other school staff took part in their very own parade by driving down neighborhoods and waving at their students.
“It's overwhelming. It's heartwarming to know that they are that invested and they really miss our kids,” said Sarah Muñoz.
It wasn’t just emotional for those watching, but also for the faculty in the parade as well.
“Everybody talked about the tears that flowed, the tears of joy, the tears of uncertainty and anxiety, but just the absolute amazing feeling was to see our kids’ faces and know that they were okay and telling them that we love you and that we're here for you,” said Weirich.
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During a time of such uncertainty, school officials in Pflugerville want students and parents to know that they still care.
“We'll be here no matter what happens, you know, through this time, however long it takes, and that we'll be in touch with them,” said Weirich.
On March 19, Abbott issued a public health disaster, the first in Texas since 1901. The executive orders, which took effect at midnight Friday, March 20 and goes through midnight on Friday, April 3, brings the state in line with CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The public health disaster orders schools to be closed statewide until at least April 3. The disaster also orders a ban on dine-in eating and gathering in groups of more than 10 as the state ramps up efforts to battle the coronavirus. Abbott's order also will shut down gyms and bars. It also bans visits to nursing and retirement homes unless there is a critical need.
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