UPDATED: School districts close after COVID surge
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Multiple school districts in the areas surrounding Wichita Falls have announced closures as they battle an influx of COVID-19 cases, particularly among faculty and staff members.
Ashley Thomas of WFISD told KAUZ that while the district has seen an increase in the number of staff members who are out, they do not currently have plans to close.
Most school districts already have a school holiday on Monday, Jan. 17 due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
News Channel 6 has curated a list of the closures, which can be seen below:
- Burkburnett ISD announced it would close until Jan. 18.
- Electra ISD is closed until Jan. 18. All extracurricular activities, including FFA, athletics and cheer competitions, will continue as scheduled.
- Graham ISD announced it would be closed for the rest of the week because of “escalating staff absenteeism from COVID and other illnesses.” Superintendent Sonny Cruse said teachers would use the time as planning days, and that all UIL and Young County Junior Livestock Show activities will go forward as planned.
- Newcastle ISD will be closed on Thursday, Jan. 13 due to staff illness. They were already scheduled to close on Friday, Jan. 14 due to a stock show. However, extracurriculars will continue as usual.
- Vernon ISD will be closed until Jan. 18 due to an extreme staff shortage.
- Harrold ISD will be closed through Jan. 18 due to the rise in sickness. Monday and Tuesday are school holidays for the district, so classes will resume on Jan. 19.
- Bellevue ISD will be closed through Jan. 18. The district cited a rising number of confirmed COVID cases as a reason for the closure.
- Quanah ISD Superintendent Tim Johnson announced Thursday that the district would cancel classes for Thursday and Friday due to large numbers of student and teacher absences. Basketball, however, would go on as scheduled on those days.
- Throckmorton Collegiate ISD said Thursday that it would be closed on Friday and Monday due to no substitute teacher availability, but stated all extracurriculars would continue as scheduled.
For a list of Oklahoma public schools that have also seen closures due to COVID cases, click here.
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