Highland Park ISD closes schools indefinitely beginning March 23;
Continuity of instruction to be provided to students
To prevent community spread of COVID-19, HPISD will close schools indefinitely beginning March 23. The district plans to reassess by April 5 when campuses might reopen, based on guidance from the CDC, local health agencies and the Texas Education Agency. These closures include cancellations of all athletic practices and competitions, district events and field trips.
District and campus administrators have developed a plan for instructional continuity and support for students during the duration of the school closures; details will be shared with families early next week. As the delivery of learning opportunities for students will involve technology, the district will work with families who may need access to a device at home.
“We want to assure everyone that the health and safety of our students, staff, parents and community is our top priority. This is truly an extraordinary time, and it has brought challenges for our system of education unlike anything we have ever seen, ” HPISD Superintendent Dr. Tom Trigg said. “While our buildings may be closed to students to maintain social distancing, our goal is to keep students engaged in learning in a number of ways. Our team has been working diligently to develop plans to ensure ongoing learning experiences.”
Staff will receive training and support for sharing learning experiences with students through virtual platforms. Parents will receive guidance from their campuses, both via email and on their school’s website, regarding their role in implementing the instructional continuity plan.
“Our desire is to keep students engaged in learning even when school is closed,” Trigg said. “We appreciate our HPISD families and the support they give to our schools. They serve as a critical partner for us as we provide ongoing learning opportunities for our students during this time.”
The HPISD Board of Trustees was briefed on the situation during an emergency school board meeting held tonight.
“Our school community has never had to take such drastic action but we all need to do our part,” HPISD Board President Jim Hitzelberger said. “I trust that all of us will rise to the occasion and work together to protect our community. We will make it through this and become even stronger as a result.”
Athletic competitions postponed until further notice, Seay Tennis Center suspends operations
Highland Park ISD is aware that several school districts have chosen to extend their Spring Break in an attempt to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. HPISD leadership will continue to monitor developments, consult with health officials and discuss appropriate action for the district. HPISD has been developing contingency plans in the event that an emergency school closure is necessary. It is too early to predict what action the district may take at this time about school activities following Spring Break. Please continue to monitor developments and take necessary health and safety precautions, including washing hands thoroughly and avoiding people who are sick.
Travel Guidelines - Updated March 25, 2020HPISD will adhere to the following guidelines regarding international travel, which take into consideration the CDC’s criteria for countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 transmission.
- The CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel. Families and staff who have been or are planning to travel to these countries, prior to or during Spring Break should report travel plans using this electronic form. The CDC says most foreign nationals who have been to one of these countries during the past 14 days can not enter the United States.
- If families or staff have traveled to an affected, individuals should self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to the U.S. as recommended by the CDC.
- Anyone traveling to other locations that are added to the an affected area will be required to use the same practices listed above.
- These are changing rapidly, so please continue to monitor on the CDC site here.
- CDC recommends travelers, particularly those with underlying health issues, defer all cruise ship travel at this time. If you do travel by cruise ship during the COVID-19 outbreak, please review this site in advance and let your school’s principal know of your plans.
- Centers for Disease Control
- Dallas County Health Department
- Texas Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of State
- World Health Organization
- Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds or more, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when sick.
- Be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications prior to returning to school
- Cover your mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Practice other good health habits like drinking plenty of fluids, eating well and getting adequate sleep.