LIST: Number of schools closing due to COVID-19 in East Texas continues to grow

Local News

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Several schools in the East Texas area have closed and or will be learning online due to the increasing numbers of COVID-19.

See the full list below:

This is a story that is being constantly updated. Please check back for updates.

School Closures

Center ISD: Closed until Jan. 20

Center ISD announced that the district will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 18 and Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Dr. Brian Morris said in a statement that the district is having a difficult time covering all of the classes. Extracurricular activities will continue as long as coaches, sponsors and students are well.

Chapel Hill ISD campuses in Mount Pleasant: Closed Jan. 12- Jan. 14 due to staff illness

Chapel Hill ISD in Tyler: Closed until Jan. 18.

On Jan. 13, about 500 staff and students were absent. The district decided to cancel classes to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Extracurricular activities will continue Thursday and throughout the weekend as regularly scheduled. The district is also implementing a temporary mask mandate for all staff and students beginning on Jan. 18.

Elysian Fields ISD: Closed until 18 (Elysian Fields Elementary closed until Jan. 19)

Elysian Fields ISD announced in a Facebook post that their middle school and high school would be closed through next Tuesday for the purpose of cleaning and disinfecting the campuses.

Elysian Fields Elementary School will remain closed until Jan. 19.

“We want to stress that the closures tomorrow are not related to any new COVID-19 cases in our schools but we have seen an increase in general illness and sickness resulting in student and staff absences this week. With the holiday coming up on Monday, we want to be as cautious as possible and take this extra day on Friday to provide further deep cleaning and disinfecting our schools,” the district said in a statement.

Etoile ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Etoile ISD will be closed until Tuesday, Jan. 18 due to a rising COVID-19 count.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We appreciate your understanding and support,” the district wrote in a Facebook post.

Eustace ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Eustace ISD announced on Facebook that the district will be closed until Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“We will be utilizing these two days, along with the weekend and our scheduled holiday on Monday, to provide a full five-day break for students and staff. I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. These two days will not need to be made up,” said Superintendent Coy Holcombe in a Facebook post.

Gary ISD: Closed until Jan. 17

Gary ISD in Panola County has closed their campuses due to COVID-19 cases affecting staff and students.

Gary ISD Superintendent Todd Greer said the district is doing this to prevent the virus from spreading.

“This closure will provide for the safety of our students and staff; as well as to make certain that we have appropriate staff available for the campus,” said Greer.

Administrators will make sure that all buildings are cleaned before students return to school on Jan. 17. Students will still continue their classes remotely through online and paper activities that are being sent home on Monday. All activities must be completed and turned in on Jan. 17.

“If at any point, you need assistance helping your child complete the work, you may call the campus or email your teachers who will be available to help you through the regular school hours,” wrote Gary ISD.

The district’s situation could change, so parents should be on the look out for updated information. Gary ISD also requested for parents to quarantine their children and check for COVID-19 symptoms. If your child should test positive for COVID-19, please contact the campus or email your principal for attendance purposes.

Grand Saline ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Grand Saline ISD will be closed starting Jan. 14 until Jan. 18 due to increased illness in the area.

“We are to a point that we cannot cover all our classrooms, cafeterias and bus routes adequately. Our student attendance is also very low,” the district said in a letter.

Grapeland ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

Grapeland ISD in Houston County is closing until Wednesday, Jan. 19. They made the announcement Thursday that they would be closed on Friday and Tuesday, Jan. 18 after the MLK holiday.

According to the Palestine Herald, 40% of students have been out sick.

Harleton ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Harleton ISD has closed until Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“At this time, we all understand that we are experiencing a sharp increase in COVID cases in our school district, county, state, and country. We also have a number of staff members that are not able to report to work,” Superintendent Jay Ratcliff said in a Facebook post.

There will be no remote learning on Thursday and Friday. No staff is required to report to the district on Thursday and Friday. The district and all school buses will be disinfected.

“High school athletics may still hold practice. The varsity basketball games scheduled for Friday night will be made up next week. We pray that this will offer some relief to our staff and community, as well as give us all some time to catch our breath as we continue to try and educate our kids through this pandemic,” said Ratcliff.

Hughes Springs ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Hughes Springs ISD will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

There will be no extra-curricular activities or practices until Jan.18.

Jacksonville ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

Jacksonville ISD will be closed through Jan. 18 due to staff shortages and excessive student absences.

“By taking advantage of the already scheduled holiday weekend, we expect these additional days will allow us to return to a normal schedule on Wednesday, January 19,” the district said in a statement. “We understand this is not an ideal situation for parents, but we must keep the safety and health of our students and staff our top priority.”

UIL events will continue as scheduled.

Kemp ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Kemp ISD is will resume classes on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Students will not be required to make up the two class days missed and district extra-curricular activities will continue as scheduled.

“While we understand that this may cause an inconvenience for families, we are taking this time to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, by minimizing person-to-person contact and through disinfecting all district facilities and transportation,” said Dr. James R. Young, superintendent.

All Kemp ISD staff will continue to work from district facilities while continuing to follow safety protocols.

Kennard ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Kennard ISD is closing until Jan. 18, citing the large COVID positivity rate among staff and students.

“We do not take this decision lightly but our priority is the health and safety of our community, students, and staff,” said Malinda Lindsey, Kennard ISD Superintendent.

Kilgore ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Due to increasing absences on KISD campuses, all Kilgore ISD schools will be closed on Friday, Jan. 15. Campuses will reopen Jan. 18 after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

KISD said this will give staff more time to disinfect campuses in an effort to help address the spike in absences. Coaches and sponsors of student extracurricular groups will contact their students with additional details regarding their activities.

“KISD acknowledges that this will create hardships for some families and we thank you for your patience as we continue to deal with these COVID related issues. Take care, stay well & safe,” the district said in a Facebook post.

LaPoynor ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

LaPoynor ISD announced in a Facebook post that the district will be cancel classes on Jan. 13 and Jan. 14, classes will resume Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Leverett’s Chapel ISD: Closed until Jan. 24

Leverett’s Chapel ISD will be closed for the rest of the week. Classes will resume Monday, January 24th.

Malakoff ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Malakoff ISD students and staff will return to campus on Tuesday, Jan. 18. All athletic events will be rescheduled.

Malakoff ISD buses and facilities will be sanitized and cleaned.

Mount Vernon ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

Mount Vernon ISD announced that it will close on Jan. 14 and Tuesday, Jan. 18. School operations will continue at normal time on Jan. 19.

This decision was based on the number of staff and student absences Thursday and the number predicted Friday.

Murchison ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

“Due to the increase in COVID cases among students and staff, Murchison ISD will cancel classes through Jan. 17 for the well being of our Eagle family. Classes will resume Tuesday, January 18th,” said in a Facebook post from Murchison ISD.

Nacogdoches ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

Nacogdoches ISD will be closing all campuses for the next week due to the rise in COVID-19 cases among students, staff and faculty.

At this time, there are too many campuses where we don’t have the staffing necessary to conduct academic instruction in classrooms. Also, absences in the district’s Transportation Department are affecting the ability to bus students to school in the mornings and back home in the afternoons.

Nacogdoches ISD

The district also said that there will be no virtual instruction during this closure. They will re-open on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

New Summerfield ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

New Summerfield ISD will be closing their campus on Tuesday, Jan. 18, according to an email from the district. Classes will resume their normal schedule on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Overton ISD: closed until Jan. 18

The district has made the decision to close because there are many staff absences due to COVID-19.

This is creating problems with transportation, substitute teachers and other issues. Staff who are not quarantining will work Thursday and Friday.

There is not a high number of student COVID-19 cases, so high school extracurricular activities will go on as planned. Coaches and sponsors will communicate with students.

“OISD acknowledges that this may create hardships for some families but there simply are not enough staff available in critical areas at this time,” said the district.

On Tuesday, the district reported a total of 22 positive COVID-19 cases, 13 were students and nine were staff.

Palestine ISD: Closed until Jan. 21

“[On Wednesday], we had almost 20 staff members absent from the high school due to Covid quarantine. As of 9 a.m. yesterday, we had 23, and the number was growing. We have been using our substitute teachers mostly at the other campuses to keep our youngest students in school, so we are just not able to keep up with demand at the high school. We are making sure that high school students have academic material at home for the next two days and look to return our high school students to in-person learning on Monday.  We will also continue providing breakfast and lunch to any high school student who wants it tomorrow and Friday.”

Pewitt CISD: Closed Jan. 10- Jan. 18 due to staff illness

Pewitt Elementary will be closed throughout the whole week due to staff illnesses. Classes will return on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

Pineywoods Community Academy: Closed until Jan. 18

Pineywoods Community Academy High School in Lufkin will close until Jan. 18 due to “widely spread illnesses and lack of staff.”

During the closure, staff will be required to report to work as usual, the district said in a Facebook post. UIL activities will continue as scheduled.

“It is our hope that this closure will allow students and staff to get well and be ready to return to school next week healthy and ready to learn,” the district said in a Facebook post.

Makeup for the lost instruction days will be on Friday, March 18 and Friday, March 25.

Promise Academy in Tyler: Closed until Jan. 18

Sarah Cumming, Head of School, said more than 30% of students were absent on Monday. One student tested positive for COVID-19 and others are quarantining because family members tested positive.

The school is also closing to deep clean their facility.

“Thankfully, this isn’t a school outbreak, and we will close today at the end of the day in an effort to prevent school-based spread from beginning,” said Cumming.

Quitman ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

“Quitman ISD is experiencing high numbers of COVID cases along with other illnesses; especially among our faculty and staff,” said the district.

Rains ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

“It is our hope that this time away will also allow those that are sick time to heal and minimize the spread,” said Rains ISD.

Rusk ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

The district has temporarily shut their doors due to the high number of students and staff who have been absent because of illness.

Texarkana ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

The Texarkana Independent School District says they are closing all district operations, including all classes, starting Wednesday through Tuesday of next week due to staffing challenges caused by COVID-19.

“Texarkana ISD monitors COVID-related data and activities each day in an effort to mitigate the spread of illness and maintain the continuity of regular school and business operations within the District,” TISD wrote in a statement released Tuesday morning.

Trinidad ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Trinidad ISD announced on Facebook that students will return to classes Tuesday, Jan. 18 due to the uptick in various illnesses.

Whitehouse ISD: Closed until Jan. 24

Whitehouse ISD announced that school will be canceled until Jan. 24 due to a lack of appropriate staffing. All extracurricular activities will continue as scheduled throughout the temporary closure.

Wills Point ISD: Closed until Jan. 18

Wills Point ISD will close for the rest of the week due to COVID-19 and other illnesses. The closure includes all WPJH extracurricular activities and WPHS students will receive additional instructions from their coach or sponsor.

In a Facebook post, the school said it would use the time off to thoroughly clean all facilities and encourages people to distance themselves as much as possible.

“After a review of attendance, the rising number of illnesses, and consulting our medical professionals we believe this decision is in the best interest of our students, teachers, and staff,” the district said.

Zavalla ISD: Closed until Jan. 19

All Zavalls ISD campuses and offices will be closed Thursday and Friday due to COVID-19. They will have early dismissal for all students Wednesday afternoon.

“We do not take this decision lightly but our priority is the health and safety of our community, students, and staff. January 17th is a school holiday. We will return on January 18th to regular classes.”

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