With the COVID-19 virus striking the nation, many schools and other facilities are closed until the spread of the virus is brought under control


One March 19, Governor Greg Abbott officially postponed the school year in the state until April 3.


The University Interscholastic League (UIL) has cancelled all events and sports until May.


Here are updates concerning local schools that were effective as of the writing of this article on March 20: (Any updates will be posted to the newspaper Facebook page.)


Olfen ISD


The district superintendent, sent a letter to all parents stating that the school was going to a distance-learn instruction module:


The dangers associated with the spread of COVID-19 have created unprecedented challenges for our country, our state, and our educational system. The drastic measures to slow the spread of this virus are meant to allow our medical system and facilities time to prepare for the influx of patients expected due to this pandemic. As you know, the district extended Spring Break for our students in order for our staff to focus on establishing a high-quality distance-learning program. The Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), the President’s guidelines, and state/local officials are all recommending and/or mandating social distancing and avoiding groups of 10 or more. As a result, distance/home based instruction appears to be imminent and Olfen ISD is up to the challenge. Beginning on March 23, 2020, Olfen ISD will shift from normal operations to 100% distance/home based instruction for each of our students. I truly believe that our staff and the technology we have implemented over the last few years have prepared us to undertake this challenge. We promise to maintain our status as a district that focuses on academics, safety, and a family-like environment. The following is a checklist that you should use to ensure your Mustang is prepared for the transition to distance/home based instruction: My student has in their possession their district assigned laptop If no personal internet, I have informed the district and alternate arrangements have been made Student has received all login information and a district email address (3-12th) Teacher(s)has/have made contact and shared their schedule/times for courses Student has logged on to a demo class on Zoom (info to come from teachers)Student has logged on to their Google Classroom for familiarization I have visited www.OlfenISD.netand have utilized the "Distance Learning Portal" at the top of page I realize that this shift to distance learning will cause a strain on most of your lives, and for this I apologize. I kindly ask that you respect the decision, as it was made based on the health and welfare of our society/population. Also, we have several initiatives planned in order to assist the #OlfenFamilyduring this period of uncertainty. Please be advised that while the distance-learning model has been instituted indefinitely, we will review the status of COVID-19 and guidance from federal/state officials daily. This will be done with the hope of resuming normal operations as soon as safely possible. You may reach me at 325-442-4301 or to my cell phone at 361-660-4064.


Ballinger ISD


BISD superintendent Jeff Butts says that they are planning on resuming classes on April 6th, but that could change due to the fluidity of the Coronavirus situation.


BISD breakfast and lunches to go continues as long as needed.


"There is a drive thru pick up line at the ELEMENTARY campus for all students (18 & under). If parents/students are walking, please be cautious and keep a safe distance from all cars. A staff member will bring you the meal as soon as they can.


*If you are unable to pick up the meal, please call the campus to make arrangements for delivery."


BISD breakfast and lunches to go continues as long as needed.


There is a drive thru pick up line at the ELEMENTARY campus for all students (18 & under). If parents/students are walking, please be cautious and keep a safe distance from all cars. A staff member will bring you the meal as soon as they can.


*If you are unable to pick up the meal, please call the campus to make arrangements for delivery.


*Big thank you to Crystal, the cafeteria and office staff for working together through this process


Winters ISD


The Winters ISD has extended spring break through April 2nd. According to their Facebook page, they have home instruction via Google Classroom.


Communication is a strength we will all need to practice over the next couple of weeks. Our faculty is busy making plans for class work to continue. Please have your student watch their school email for instructions on how to access their class room activities and stay up to date on their assignments.


We also have a remind text that is sent out to all parents and students that you will all need to make sure you have access to or request access to. If you do not receive the messages already please text the following key to the number 81010:


Class of 2020 (12th grade) - @7437fb


Class of 2021 (11th grade) - @bad778


Class of 2022 (10th grade) - @4hak62


Class of 2023 (9th grade) - @bh638


8th grade - @cea3a4


7th grade - @efcekfk


6th grade - @e7ah9h


Dual Credit - @ffkhh2e


"Below is an updated base on the 9:00am Facebook Live.


STAAR/EOC: all STAAR/EOC testing is cancelled. State testing will not be apart of grade placement or graduation decision. However, seniors will be required to meet all other graduation requirements, including credits for the classes they are currently enrolled. All K-8 students will have to demonstrate mastery of the skills needed to progress to the next grade.


Home-based Instruction: At this time, the school is closed until Friday March 20th (As mentioned above, this date has now been moved to April 2nd).But we are planning and preparing to provide home-based instruction so that if we do not allow people on campus or you choose to self-quarantine, we will be able to meet your needs.


Teachers are still in the process of contacting students to see who has internet, personal devices and is able to get into the necessary programs."


Miles ISD


The Miles ISD has suspended instruction through Friday, April 3rd.


"Given the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, Miles ISD will extend the suspension of normal district operations through Friday, April 3rd in an effort support our nation’s need to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. Our health officials report that cases are continuing to spread in the state, and an increase in confirmed cases in our county seems likely. Suspending operations for this length of time will allow us to determine, in coordination with local health officials, whether the virus is continuing to have community spread or whether it has been contained. We are coordinating with other school districts in the county and will use the week of April 3rd to make any decisions on whether there is a need to extend the suspension further. To provide a sense of possible impact in order to help you prepare: If there is a need to continue the suspension at that time, it would likely be for at least 2 more weeks beyond April 6th."