Waxahachie, TX - Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain has announced that Waxahachie Independent School District has set Friday, April 17 as the date that WISD students will return to classrooms.
The reopening date is tied to the shelter-in-place order issued by the city of Waxahachie.
“Thank you for your patience as we move from traditional classroom instruction to a distance learning model,” Cain wrote in a letter to the district on the Waxahachie ISD website. “You have likely heard that Ellis County and the City of Waxahachie recently entered shelter-in-place orders effective through April 3 and April 16, respectively. Because all Waxahachie ISD facilities are located within the City of Waxahachie, the district will follow the City’s shelter-in-place order and extend distance learning through April 16, with plans for students and staff to return to school on Friday, April 17.
“Even though it is atypical for school to begin on a Friday, it will likely be a time of teacher and student excitement, catching up, and getting settled. Getting that taken care of on Friday will then allow for a more serious educational atmosphere the following Monday.”
President Donald Trump has stated that he would like parts of the country to end quarantines by Easter Sunday, which is April 12, and return to business as usual in spite of no definite end to the pandemic.
No other school district in Ellis County has publicly declared an official date for a return to the classroom. Palmer ISD has committed to staying closed through April 17, superintendent Kevin Noack wrote in a letter to his district, but did not set a definitive reopening of campuses.
“At some point after this pandemic passes, we will hold a graduation ceremony,” Noack wrote.“We hope to have the ceremony in June or July. But who knows at this point? Just know this, wewill hold a graduation ceremony for the Seniors of 2020!”
Red Oak ISD extended its campus closure to Monday, April 13 based on a municipal extension of a “stay home” order. And Ennis ISD will be closed through April 17 in accordance with that city’s own order. Neither have committed to reopening following those dates.
Ferris ISD has committed to closure until Monday, April 6 but has not declared an official reopening, according to its website. Likewise, Midlothian ISD, the largest district in the county, will remain closed through Friday, April 3. Both of these deadlines are likely to be extended as the health emergency shows no signs of letting up.
In the meantime, distance learning continues in Waxahachie ISD, and the district will continue to provide meals for all children as part of the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program.
WISD has expanded meal service operations to 18 sites located throughout the community. A school bus will be present at each site on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. until noon to distribute meals for all children between the ages of one and 18. Each child will receive breakfast and lunch for two days on Monday and Wednesday. On Friday, each child will receive breakfast and lunch for three days.
Children must be present to receive meals. Meals will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until all supplies are exhausted. Meal contents may change based on product availability.
Source: Waxahachie Daily Light