NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KETK) – The omicron variant has forced one of the largest East Texas school districts to shut down for a week.

Nacogdoches ISD will be closed starting Thursday, Jan. 13, and reopen Jan. 19. This closure is mainly due to staff members testing positive.

Les Linebarger works in Nacogdoches ISD communications.

“We completely understand this is going to be an inconvenience for parents of our students, especially those working parents that have young children. But, we just didn’t see any other way around this,” said Les Linebarger.

They also have several transportation workers out, causing an issue with getting students to and from school. This also made instruction difficult.

“We have a strong and reliable bank of substitute teachers, and we are using near all of them at the moment,” said Linebarger.

They made this decision now partly due to the holiday on Monday, and they understand that while it may cause issues for some families, they want to be able to keep everyone in the district healthy.

“We just didn’t see any other way around this to make sure we can continue in-person instruction when we return next week,” said Linebarger.

The district does not have a mask mandate in place currently but does strongly encourage their staff and students to wear them.