San Felipe Del Rio Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees will be observing Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s declaration to suspend schools until April, while preparing for further restrictions as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis continues.
During Monday’s regular board meeting, board members addressed the school district’s current situation regarding the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
The school district previously suspended classes from March 16-27. “Since then there has been a lot of rapid action,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carlos Rios said.
Rios referred to Governor Abbott’s declaration suspending classes until April 3 and Val Verde Commissioners Court suspending group gatherings of 50 people or more until April 11.
Board President Raymond P. Meza added the school district is monitoring the situation and adjusting accordingly.
Board members agreed to abide by the governor’s declaration, yet board member Joshua Overfelt asked Rios if the school district would be contradicting the county’s decision by not suspending classes until April 11.
Rios explained if Gov. Abbott does not extend the declaration, then the school district would only need approval from the City of Del Rio and the county before opening its doors to the public.
Board member Amy Haynes raised concerns regarding the ability of allowing teachers to work from home immediately, especially if they are already prepared to do so or if they are in the at-risk age group.
Rios explained various teachers have given reasons as to why they did not want to return to their campuses, some out of fear for themselves and others out of fear of infecting their relatives.
The school district is working on implementing a staggered schedule, allowing staff and teachers to come in at certain times of the day as packages and copies still need to be made for students, according to Rios.
Following that, the school district plans to get to a point where only upper level staff goes in, according to Rios.
Rios said he already indicated to the principals that they can make a decision with their departments, and added he does not want anyone to rush to that point as the school district is not at that level yet.
Board member Fred Contreras asked if salary-based employees were affected by the situation and what the current plan is for special education students.
Salary-based employees are not affected by the current dilemma and they will continue to receive their pay, Rios said.
The school district is providing as many services as possible to special education students, while looking into providing complimentary services in the future, according to Rios.
Rios added he was proud of the work the school district has done regarding food services and homework for the students.