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Big Sandy ISD closes campus until Oct. 5 due to COVID-19; students will transition to online learning

Students will not be expected to log in and learn remotely on Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23.

BIG SANDY, Texas — Big Sandy ISD has announced due to 10 active COVID-19 cases and other students forced to quarantine, the district is closing the campus to all staff and students through Monday, Oct. 5.

"The last day of in-person learning will be today, Monday, September 21," siad Superintendent Mike Burns. "Tomorrow (September 22), the school will be closed for all staff and students, except for our maintenance department, which will be cleaning and disinfecting all areas of each campus."

On Wednesday, Sept. 23, BISD staff will return to school to prepare to move all in-person students to remote learning until October 5. Students will not be expected to log in and learn remotely on Tuesday, September 22, and Wednesday, September 23. The district will use some of its banked minutes to cover for these two days.

"On Wednesday, September 23, the district will be providing Chromebooks to all students who need one," Burns said. "Devices can be picked up from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. in front of the high school gym. We ask that you stay in your vehicle and let us come to you in the parking lot."

Remote instruction will begin on Thursday, Sept. 24. Students will be expected to log in daily to their Google Classroom or SeeSaw account and show progress to be counted for attendance. 

"Please do everything possible to ensure that your students log in each day and communicate with their teachers," Burns said. "For many of you who have been learning in-person, this will be an adjustment, but the district will work with you to fix any concerns. Communication is the key."

Grab-and-go meals will still be available for students who want them and all extra-curricular activities will be canceled until the week of Oct. 5. Homecoming and Senior Night will be rescheduled for the game against Linden-Kildare on Oct. 23. BISD says they will attempt to make up all missed volleyball games when students return to campus.

Burns released the following statement regarding the decision:

"This decision did not come easy for me. Our administrators and I agonized over closing our school to in-person learning. Still, under the current circumstances, I believe it is the right choice for our community at this time. The first month of instruction went almost perfect for all of us in Big Sandy, and it is my hope that by taking a break from in-person instruction and allowing the virus to run its course with our students and staff, that we will be able to return to how things were through most of August and early September. Finally, I ask that all of you do your best to stay healthy while our district is closed. Try to avoid going out to places with large numbers of people, and if you feel sick, please stay at home. If you or someone in your family does test positive for COVID-19, please let the school know, even if you are learning from home. It will help us figure out the best way to open things back up on October 5. We promise to work closely with your family during this time. This is a new and unique experience for all of us, and we are learning how best to support one another. Your patience and compassion are appreciated."