Local News

San Saba ISD Opened for One Day During Coronavirus Pandemic

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According to a report released by KXAN, the San Saba Independent School District had its teachers and students return to campus on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, despite orders by Texas state public health to limit gatherings of large groups of people during the coronavirus pandemic. The ISD later made the announcement that its students would be doing e-learning from home beginning on Thursday, March 19, 2020, but that this one day was required for the purpose of distributing materials to teachers and students alike.

News of the incident broke when a concerned teacher from the San Saba ISD (who requested to remain anonymous) contacted the investigative team at KXAN. The source identified that spring break was last week, and that amid COVID-19 and coronavirus concerns, the ISD extended it to this Tuesday. Following that, the staff were requested to attend work on Monday and Tuesday of this week in order to begin loading curriculum to an e-learning format in the instance of a long-term closure. Area families were advised that students could return to their campus on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, for regular classes.

San Saba ISD Opened for One Day During Coronavirus Pandemic

Photo: envato elements

San Saba ISD Superintendent Wayne Kelly told KXAN that the decision to open was made on the basis that San Saba County had no confirmed cases of coronavirus, saying, “The buildings aren’t infected. It’s the people and droplets from people. If we disinfect our buildings and keep them safe our buildings are fine for small groups of people like our teachers and staff to come in and work.” San Saba ISD is a small, Texas Hill Country district that entails Kindergarten through grade 12, with a total of 775 students. According to Kelly, roughly half of these students showed up on Wednesday.

KXAN reported that the ISD website noted that those who were not in attendance wouldn’t be marked as absent, provided their parents contacted the school. Kelly noted that the ISD permitted only 10 people in each classroom. Now the school is providing an alternative method of education. One parent identified that she chose to send her two kids to school and appreciated the efforts of the ISD, however, she doesn’t have internet access at home, which could pose a problem in this and similar future directives.