Update Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

We are excited to reopen Mason and Steiner Ranch elementary schools and Running Brushy Middle School for in-person learning on March 1 as maintenance crews continue to dry and repair damage from this month’s winter storms. 

Our maintenance crews need an additional week for Block House Creek and Giddens elementary schools, keeping all students at those two schools in virtual learning through March 5. 

For the three schools reopening, students and staff will need to navigate minimal damage during the first week back to school. At Mason and Steiner Ranch, the damage is mostly confined to the front of the school, while Running Brushy may need to move some seventh-grade classrooms as they continue to be cleaned. 

We expect to reopen Giddens ES on March 8 for in-person learning, barring any unforeseen challenge. At Block House Creek ES, we will have an in-person option available to students on March 8, but we need additional time to determine if that will be at BHC ES or another location.  

Our school principals sent specific messages to their students, families, teachers, and staff detailing their school’s plan. 

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m. to reflect the late decision to keep Block House Creek ES closed through the end of the week due to a broken air quality system.

Update Monday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m.

We made tremendous progress in the maintenance of our facilities, received positive reports from our water providers, and provided our families and staff with additional time to recover from last week’s winter storms. We will be able to reopen most school buildings and resume in-person and virtual learning for all students on Wednesday, Feb. 24. 

Thank you for your patience and support during this challenging time.

Due to water damage to a large number of classrooms and limited available space on campuses, we will need to keep Block House Creek, Giddens, Mason and Steiner Ranch elementary schools and Running Brushy Middle School closed for the remainder of the week. Students at those four schools will resume learning from home on Wednesday. We will update those families on Wednesday with plans for next week. 

The cities of Austin and Leander restored water to the portions of our district impacted by water outages. 

We will not have an early release on Wednesday, Feb. 24, as previously scheduled. 

We value relationships in Leander ISD. In reopening schools this week, the focus of our teachers and counselors will be reconnecting. We’ll be checking in with kids to see if there’s any support we can offer. 

We will continue to offer free meals for all virtual learners at Leander ISD middle schools from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. You can pre-order on the district’s Nutrislice website

What will learning look like this week? 

Because Leander ISD educators and families are managing a variety of personal and professional struggles, we want this next week to be about checking in on people and creating safe learning spaces. 

We asked our teachers to prioritize connecting with each and every student. We empowered teachers to go deeper to reinforce concepts and skills from previous lessons rather than presenting new content. 

When possible, we encouraged teachers to minimize homework and assessment expectations during the week so students and their families can focus on their most basic needs. 

What will the schedule be like on Wednesday? 

We will not have an early release on Wednesday, Feb. 24 as previously scheduled. We feel it is best for students and schools to have a full day as we reopen for the first time since Feb. 11. For secondary campuses, Wednesday will be an A Day as previously scheduled. 

What additional support will be available for students? 

Our Counseling Services teams around the district will be focused on supporting basic needs while watching for any major changes in a student’s behavior. If your child is having a hard time readjusting, please reach out to a member of our counseling team or your student’s teacher.

Services offered on our campuses will likewise be available to our virtual students and families. 

Please continue to follow the COVID-19 protocols

We need to continue the health and safety protocols in place this school year. Unfortunately, the icy weather did not stop COVID-19. Please remember to: 

  • wear an appropriate face covering;
  • monitor your health and student’s health for COVID-19 symptoms;  
  • stay home if you have any symptoms; 
  • maintain physical distance when possible, especially indoors; 
  • wash your hands frequently; and 
  • remain socially connected. 

Your campus will share details on virtual to in-person transition periods and selection times. 

How can you support schools and classrooms during this time? 

We are grateful for the outpouring of support and requests to serve during this time. Currently, we just need time and space as we repair our buildings and reopen. While we believe the damage by water minimally damaged instructional spaces, teaching materials, and personal items of our staff, there was some damage to specific parts of the district. Our district foundation, LEEF, launched an emergency fund for teachers with damaged materials. Teachers can submit their needs with this form and you can donate on the LEEF Amplify webpage

We know many of our families continue to hurt after the power outages and winter storms. Please look to local charitable organizations to support families in need. 

We do need volunteers for our facility advisory committee as we plan for infrastructure updates and additions over the next five years. Please volunteer by visiting our Citizens’ Facility Advisory Committee (CFAC) sign-up sheet

How will the district open with the boil water notice?

We delivered extra bottle water for schools to have on hand as a result of water boil notices in various parts of the district. Our Child Nutrition Services team is also prepared to safely serve meals under a boil water notice.

How will the district make up the missed instructional days? 

The district plans on submitting a waiver to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) so we do not have to make up the days missed to the winter storms.


Update Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.

We know this is a stressful time for our community, especially our families and staff who experienced extended outages of power and water. We understand basic needs must be met before any learning can take place. 

In addition to the real trauma many of our students, families, teachers, and staff face during this weather crisis, we have at least 17 schools with damage, 5 schools with significant damage, and 13 schools without running water due to a city outage.

We will keep all schools closed on Monday, Feb. 22, and Tuesday, Feb. 23. We will not have in-person or virtual learning during those two days. We will provide food service to students in need starting on Monday

While we do have some buildings available:

  • our staff and families need time to recover; 
  • we need to be equitable; and 
  • our families interconnect between schools (ex. a school district employee may not be available for work because their child attends a closed school). 

Schools without water

City of Austin

  • Grandview Hills ES
  • River Place ES
  • Rutledge ES
  • Four Points MS
  • Vandegrift HS

City of Leander

  • Bagdad ES
  • Camacho ES
  • Plain ES
  • Winkley ES
  • Whitestone ES
  • Danielson MS
  • Glenn HS
  • New Hope HS

Schools with damage

Significant Damage

  • Cox ES
  • Mason ES
  • Giddens ES
  • Steiner Ranch ES
  • Running Brushy MS

Some Damage

  • Block House Creek ES
  • Knowles ES
  • Naumann ES
  • Parkside ES
  • Westside ES
  • Canyon Ridge MS
  • Leander MS
  • Wiley MS
  • Cedar Park HS
  • Leander HS
  • Rouse HS
  • Vista Ridge HS

District to provide free meals on Monday

We will provide meal service at all middle schools beginning Monday, Feb. 22. Those sites will be open for contactless pickup from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Families will be able to pick up their free, seven-day meal kits. If you cannot make it on Monday, food distribution will be available all week. More information about meal kits

Next steps to reopening schools

Our crews will continue to repair buildings over the coming days. We are in regular communication with our water providers. We are purchasing bottled water to be ready for the continued water boil notice. 

We will make another announcement the evening of Monday, Feb. 22, regarding the status of schools for Wednesday, Feb. 24.


Update Saturday, Feb. 20 at 10:30 a.m.

We continue to listen to our parents, teachers, staff, students, and families over the past few days. We continue to assess our buildings. We need to describe what school will look like next week for all students and staff. We don’t have the answers yet, but our team will be out all day today and we will make an announcement tonight. We appreciate your patience. Our hearts and minds are with our entire #1LISD family.

Also, LISD Technology will perform maintenance on a core networking component in the district Datacenter between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. During this time, staff with VPN access and students with mLISD Devices will experience intermittent service outages including internet access. We apologize for this service disruption. This maintenance work has been in the works for weeks in order to improve performance across multiple systems. This is unrelated to the weather.

Update Friday, Feb. 19 at 6:20 p.m.

Food distribution for Leander ISD families at Danielson

Hill Country Community Ministries will have 250-300 family meal boxes available at Danielson Middle School, 1061 Collaborative Way in Leander, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Leander ISD families can get one box delivered in a drive-through and contactless distribution site, located in the school’s front parking lot. The boxes will be first come, first serve.

UPDATE Friday, Feb. 19 at 4:45 p.m.

We are continuing to plan for in-person learning Monday, Feb. 22, in buildings where it is possible to do so. As we assess buildings for damage, we are notifying staff and families about their next steps. 

If you have not heard from us, we

  • have not identified significant damage at your school,
  • continue to assess your school facilities, or 
  • have not been able to enter the school due to hazardous road conditions. 

We are communicating regularly with our water providers to our schools. We have protocols and experience opening school with a water boil notice. If schools do not have water, we will need to keep buildings closed until we can restore water. 

Our food service team expects deliveries this weekend and early next week. We have enough non-perishable food on campuses to start school next week. 

We continue to work with our cities and local partners for food and water distribution sites on our school campuses. At this time, those details have not been finalized. We will share that information as soon as we can.

The following schools have been impacted by damage, causing a disruption to in-person school next week:

Resources

The City of Leander has public water filling sites available Friday, Feb. 19, through 6 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 20-21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Water must be boiled before consumption. Locations below:

  • Akin Elementary, 3261 Barley Rd. Enter Sandbur Ln off Journey Pkwy. Up to four 5-gallon jugs each vehicle.
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary, 1800 Horizon Park. Enter from Crystal Falls Pkwy. Up to four 5-gallon jugs each vehicle.
  • Rouse High School, 1222 Raider Way. Enter northwest parking lot from Raider Way. Up to four 5-gallon jugs each vehicle.

 Please follow the City of Leander website for up-to-date information.

UPDATE Thursday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.

Our maintenance crews continue to enter school buildings, assess conditions and repair damage from broken water lines caused by the extended power outages and freezing temperatures.

If we identify damage that will impact our ability to open a specific school for in-person learning, we will notify the specific school’s families, teachers, and staff as soon as possible to discuss next steps. If you have not heard from us, we:

  • have not identified significant damage at your school,
  • continue to assess your school facilities, or 
  • have not been able to enter the school due to hazardous road conditions. 

We still plan to open schools on Monday, Feb. 22.

We understand many of our families and staff will be experiencing similar issues in your homes over the coming days. Please know we are here to partner with you respectfully and kindly as we reopen schools next week. We are working with cities and charitable organizations to make our facilities available, if possible, for water and food distribution centers to families in need. We will share those details when they become available

We are monitoring and working with our local utility companies to assess conditions for water and with our vendors for food services.

We understand the ongoing struggle dealing with the weather crisis. We know to keep schools open and to keep our staff, families, and students healthy, we need our COVID-19 health protocols to continue. Please continue to wear masks when with persons outside of your households, maintain social distancing, keep socially connected, and isolate yourself if feeling any COVID-19 symptoms. 

Inclement Weather Response

  • Campus offices and buildings will remain closed until Monday, Feb. 22.
  • No school – virtual or in-person – on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
  • Maintenance crews are assessing buildings as it is safe to do so.
  • We will continue to pay all staff. Hourly employees will not see a description in their normal pay checks. 
  • All activities (practices, rehearsals, games) through Friday, Feb. 19, are canceled.
  • LISD meal services will not be available until Monday, Feb. 22. We believe we have enough non-perishable food to make menus until we get food shipments on Monday, Feb. 22. We will not have milk available to start the week. 
  • Due to limited access to our school buildings, medicine stored on campus will continue to be inaccessible during this time.
  • To our secondary teaching staff: we have extended the grace period for submitting grades into next week.
  • Giddens Elementary School students will be 100% virtual learning week of Feb. 22 – Feb. 26.

UPDATE Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 12 p.m.

We are canceling school – both virtual and in-person learning – for Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19. We made this decision after meeting with emergency response agencies and in consideration of our families and staff who are living through this weather crisis. There are widespread utility outages across our district and the state, and households with resources need to conserve as much as possible. 

Learning will resume with normal operations – both in-person and virtually – on Monday, Feb. 22.

Inclement Weather Response

  • Campus offices and buildings will remain closed until Monday, Feb. 22.
  • No school – virtual or in-person – on Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
  • All activities (practices, rehearsals, games) through Friday, Feb. 19, are canceled.
  • LISD meal services will not be available until Monday.
  • Due to limited access to our school buildings, medicine stored on campus will continue to be inaccessible during this time.
  • To our secondary teaching staff: we have extended the grace period for submitting grades into next week.

Emergency details from across Leander ISD

The city of Leander closed the warming center at Leander High School due to the water outage. The city of Cedar Park is operating a warming center at Hill Country Bible Church on Little Elm Road. Please call 512-806-0800 for details on warming centers across the Austin area. For information in Williamson County, contact 512-943-1700.

The cities of Leander and Georgetown are under a water boil order. 

We are sharing this message using our Remind system in order to share regional emergency information as many are without cell or internet service. 

We are doing our best to make facilities available when our local emergency agencies ask and the capabilities are there. 

Resources


UPDATE Monday, Feb. 15 at 6:00 p.m.

We are canceling virtual learning for Tuesday, Feb. 16, and Wednesday, Feb. 17. We made this decision after consulting with emergency response agencies. There are widespread power outages across the state, and those with power are asked to conserve as much energy as possible. 

Learning will resume 100% virtually Thursday, Feb. 18, and continue virtually Friday, Feb. 19. 

Looking at the weather forecast, temperatures do not get above freezing until Friday, at which time district personnel will be dispatched to assess building conditions, checking for potential weather damage and water pipe issues.

We will continue to monitor the situation throughout the week and communicate any additional updates in a timely fashion.

Our goal continues to be to provide the most instruction possible while maintaining the safety of our students, teachers and staff. We are working closely with our school staff and teachers to ensure we give grace as families deal with the weather and utility outages.

All Leander ISD buildings and schools will be closed through Friday, Feb. 19. Supervisors will contact their staff with instructions and more details. We will have the remote phone call system in place for the main school and district phone lines. 

Inclement Weather Response

  • No school – virtual or in-person – on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and Wednesday, Feb. 17
  • All classes will be 100% virtual Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.  
  • All activities (practices, rehearsals, games) through Friday, Feb. 19, are canceled.
  • LISD meal services will not be available.
  • Campus offices and buildings will remain closed throughout the week.

UPDATE Sunday, Feb. 14 6:00 p.m.

We are canceling in-person learning and events through Thursday, Feb. 18. We made this decision because our emergency response agencies anticipate dangerous road conditions through the end of the week and our families ask the district to provide as much advance notice as possible when altering the school day. 

We will have virtual professional learning for staff on Monday, Feb. 15. We will have virtual learning for all students Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

Our goal is to provide the most instruction possible while maintaining the safety of our students, teachers, and staff. We are mindful of potential power outages and issues our staff and students will face over the coming days. We are working closely with our school staff and teachers to ensure we continue to give grace as families deal with the weather and utility outages.

All Leander ISD buildings and schools will be closed through Thursday, Feb. 18. Supervisors will contact their staff with instructions and more details. We will have the remote phone call system in place for the main school and district phone lines. 

Inclement Weather Response

  • All classes will be 100% virtual Tuesday, Feb. 16 – Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.  
  • All activities (practices, rehearsals, games) thru Thursday, Feb. 18 are canceled.
  • LISD meal services will not be available.
  • The staff professional learning day on Monday will be 100% virtual. Campus offices and buildings will be closed.

Please be on the lookout for Remind messages and follow the district’s social media channels for future weather-related messaging.

UPDATE Friday, Feb. 12 5:15 p.m.

LISD Athletics is canceling middle school basketball games scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 13.

UPDATE Friday, Feb. 12 1:00 p.m.

We’ve made an update to upcoming games and practices. While some games have changed locations, we’re allowing games to be played Friday & Saturday. Practices will resume tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 13, however they are optional.

  • 6A soccer coaches agreed to move Friday’s and Tuesday’s games to spring break.
  • 5A soccer games are canceled for Friday with an effort to reschedule for tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 13.
  • Basketball games will be played as early as possible.

YMCA is not offering all-day child care on Monday, Feb. 15.

ORIGINAL MESSAGE Thursday, Feb. 11 12:30 p.m.

LISD will release students at their usual times today, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, but all after-school activities (athletics, fine arts, YMCA after-school program) are canceled. Parents may pick up early if they choose. 

The Leander ISD board meeting scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 11 has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 22.

In addition, all LISD classes will be 100% virtual tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 12, 2021. Campuses are working to send devices home with students that need them.   

If you are a parent or guardian with a student traveling to an area where roads might be closed or unsafe, your school will be calling or have called you. We will keep these students on campus until parents are able to come pick them up.

In the days ahead:

  • Please work with your student’s coach, teacher or program sponsor for changes to weekend schedules.
  • LISD meal services will not be available Friday, Feb. 12 or Monday, Feb. 15.
  • Staff In-service and professional development on Monday, Feb. 15 will be 100% virtual. Campus offices and buildings will be closed.
  • LISD classes may need to be 100% virtual Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. We will continue to evaluate the situation and communicate to our community as we get closer . 

Please be on the lookout for Remind messages and follow the district’s social media channels for future weather-related messaging.