The Terrell ISD announced late Monday morning that it is keeping its campuses closed after the conclusion of Spring Break.

“The safety, health, and well being of our students, staff, and community is the district’s highest priority. After considering many factors, Terrell ISD has made the decision to close all campuses following Spring Break beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27. This includes all extra-circular activities and student programs. This decision was not made lightly and one that was made after taking into account expert health recommendations and guidance from the Texas Education Agency,” the TISD posted on its website and on its Facebook page. The Jamie Foxx Performing Arts Center and the ExCEL center are closed until further notice.

District officials will meet Wednesday to discuss details and plan its next steps, including mobilizing a plan to ensure that students will have access to meals during the closure. More information will be announced following the meeting on Wednesday. The Terrell school board will also consider action on compensation for district employees during the closure. It also will consider delegating authority to Superintendent Georgeanne Warnock to deal with regular school district business during the closure.

“Together we are navigating unprecedented territory. We want to assure you that we are diligently working with local and state officials to make the best and safest decisions for our families. We are facing a difficult situation, but we are asking our Terrell Tiger community to continue to be supportive, kind, and caring to one another. Please also continue to adhere to the preventative measures as recommended by public health officials, such as limiting interaction and practicing social distancing,” Terrell ISD stated. Terrell ISD has created a dedicated COVID-19 web page at to provide the most current and accurate district information: 

http://www.terrellisd.org/covid-19

The TISD’s announcement followed a statement made Monday morning by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who said the state is waiving STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) testing for the 2019-2020 school year. The governor also is asking the U.S. Department of Education to waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.

Abbott is working with the Texas Education Agency to ensure that schools continue to deliver instruction while students are absent from schools over concern of the coronavirus outbreak, the Governor’s Office said.

“Your health and safety are top priorities, and the State of Texas will give school districts flexibility to protect and ensure the health of students, faculties and their families,” Abbott said in a prepared statement. “We will empower schools to make the best decisions to protect communities from COVID-19.”

Forney ISD, which had been scheduled to resume classes today after spring break, announced Monday that it was initiating remote learning while classrooms remained closed. Many districts across the region, including those in Rockwall and Royce City, had empty classrooms this week.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath told school superintendents Sunday to expect long-term school district closures, potentially through the end of the school year, if coronavirus cases continue to spread.

As of Monday morning, no cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Kaufman County. Fourteen cases had been reported in Dallas County, eight in Collin County, four in Tarrant County and one in Denton County. A total of 77 cases had been reported statewide and the nationwide count was approaching 4,000.

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