Vernon ISD announces closure due to COVID-19 quarantine
VERNON, Texas (KSWO) - Vernon ISD will be closed for the remainder of the week.
From Tuesday, Jan. 11 through Friday, Jan. 14, Vernon will be closed due to a shortage of staff due to COVID-19 quarantine requirements. Students will not have online assignments during this closure. Classes are set to resume Wednesday, Jan. 19.
According to officials, there is a large number of COVID-19 cases being reported, but the closure is due to an “extreme” staff shortage. The school district is unable to monitor students safely and does not have the ability to socially distance.
“I can promise you the administration at Vernon ISD, every decision that we make, we make that decision based on what’s best for our students and our staff members. When we know that we don’t have enough staff to appropriately monitor and supervise kids, that is a major concern for us,” Jeff Byrd, Vernon ISD Superintendent, said.
The district said the UIL and TEA had notified them that it is a district-level decision to still participate in UIL and extracurricular activities because the closure is due to staff shortage. Students will be able to attend the UIL state cheer competition and Wilbarger County Stock Show.
“If at all possible we want them to have the opportunity to represent Vernon ISD and show the world how hard they’ve worked for the last six months for that,” Byrd said.
Vernon ISD will also be required to notify districts it’s participating in extracurricular activities with about the closure, and those districts will then have to approve competing against the district. However, the district is trying to forge forward, and says schedules of all scheduled extracurricular activities will be posted by coaches as soon as possible. Practices will be strictly voluntary for the remainder of the week.
Vernon ISD will be out Monday for Martin Luther King Day and Tuesday for the Wilbarger County Stock Show as well.
Byrd said that the closure shouldn’t affect graduation dates, as the district has built extra days into their calendar. Byrd also adds the district still has two make-up days that could be used if more cancellations are needed.
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