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Letter to Parents - Coronavirus Update on Friday, March 13

For more information, visit www.hebisd.edu/coronavirus

A number of public school districts in north Texas are announcing a two-week closure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. After collaborating with state and county health officials and other education leaders this morning, Superintendent Steve Chapman announced that HEB ISD will be closed March 16-27, along with the cancellation of all UIL events, extracurricular activities, and school events during the same period. We will reevaluate the situation at the end of this school closure before making any other long-term announcements.
 
The health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority.  The goals of this announced closure are to help prevent the spread of disease and to give our staff additional time to plan for continuity of services should it become necessary for public schools to close for a longer period of time. We ask each of you to do your part to help prevent the spread of disease by limiting your attendance at social gatherings and large public events. Wash your hands regularly and isolate yourself if you begin experiencing symptoms like fever, coughing or shortness of breath. Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Tarrant County Health Department is available on our website. The cancellation of mass gathering events can dramatically help flatten the curve for the spread of the coronavirus disease.  
 
We acknowledge that an unexpected school closure creates a hardship on our parents and staff because of work, childcare and other considerations. But we hope you know our efforts coming to this decision have been done with the best interests of everyone involved. We also know and understand that many of our students rely on our schools for meals and other needed support. To that end, we are all making plans to make sure we provide that support. Our staff will be planning and preparing to assist students who might need support during an extended closure.
 
HEB ISD employees need to be available to work when requested during this extended closure period. We will communicate directly with staff members regarding their specific roles and responsibilities in our prevention planning.
 
Information still to come from the Texas Education Agency includes guidance for course credit, compulsory attendance, accountability standards and school funding. The Superintendents and district leaders in North Texas eagerly await guidance on the waiver process and other steps to support the continued education of our students for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.