This is an ongoing issue and response by Leander ISD. As we continue to get new information and make new decisions, the content of this article may be outdated. Please visit our COVID-19 webpage for the most up-to-date news and announcements.
We are facing an unprecedented, international event with the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as it spreads across the world and throughout Texas. While today is the start of our Spring Break, we know these issues are on the hearts and minds of our entire Leander ISD family and community.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be suspending normal school operations for the two weeks following Spring Break, through April 5, 2020.
Until April 6, we will:
- close buildings to everyone except all essential staff;
- cease all building rentals
- cancel all student competitions, games, events, practices, and rehearsals; and
- cease all building rentals.
From March 24 through April 3, we will:
- provide free, drive-thru breakfast and lunch services for any student at four locations (Bagdad Elementary School, Reed Elementary School, River Place Elementary School, and Running Brushy Middle School); and
- offer access to learning tools and instructional resources.
We will continue to provide daily updates during the week of Spring Break on our COVID-19 webpage, social media channels, and through our email messaging system. Please update your communication preferences on SchoolMessenger.
As a reminder from our March 13 update prior to Spring Break, we will:
- ensure all employees continue to receive a paycheck;
- clean all facilities with medical-grade disinfectants in alignment with the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- provide daily updates every weekday during Spring Break; and
- work with our local public health agencies and community partners to make decisions best for our students and staff.
Food Service Plans
Starting March 24, our food service program will be available Monday through Friday for all students, 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. for breakfast and 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. for lunch. While we appreciate the help of our caring community, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and foodservice best practice requires us to limit the preparation and delivery of food to our child nutrition staff.
Updates on Testing
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that he has waived the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Governor Abbott is requesting that the Department of Education (DOE) waive federal testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. We are continuing to follow updates from the College Board considering ACT, SAT, and AP testing.
As we continue to follow and track updates, we plan to make decisions on the rest of the school year on a week-by-week basis on Thursdays, starting with April 2 to confirm our re-opening for normal operations for the week of April 6.
How You Can Help
We are blessed to live in a caring community with many people who want to help support our schools in this time of need. While we may have volunteer or service opportunities for churches, businesses, and other community groups to help, at this time, we are asking you to help by:
- If you’re sick, stay home.
- If you came in close, unprotected contact (within 6 feet) of an individual with COVID-19, stay home and monitor your temperature and symptoms for 14 days.
- Avoid close gatherings when you cannot maintain 6 feet of separation from others, including mass transit and air travel.
- Continue washing your hands, keep hand sanitizer readily available, and disinfect surfaces.
For Our Employees on March 23
For our employees, please expect to have virtual staff development and planning opportunities on March 23. We have notified all supervisors to identify the essential staff in their schools and departments. Principals and supervisors will be contacting their teams for remote working plans during this period.
From the Board of Trustees, President Trish Bode
The Leander ISD Board of Trustees is beyond grateful for our entire district team who have spent countless hours over several weeks in conversations and meetings determining the best course of action for our community, our staff, and our Leander ISD Students during this unprecedented national crisis. My hope for our community is that we emerge stronger by not letting the coronavirus define us, but that we unite as #1LISD and continue at home, and in virtual learning environments, to build toward the hopes and dreams of our students together.
From Superintendent Bruce Gearing
We arrived at this decision after consultation with our public health community and much concern for our working families who depend on our school system. We know this is a time of great stress, and our hope is to provide you as much time as possible to make plans for this ongoing disruption.
Together, we’re better. While our operations will look different during this crisis, we are in this together for our community. Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and sacrifice.
President, Board of Trustees
Bruce Gearing, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools