The Texas Education Agency has issued a waiver allowing schools to miss three days of classes due to the lack of consistent electricity related to weather, allowing Angelina County schools to safely close with no remote learning or make-up days necessary.
Lufkin ISD released a statement on Tuesday saying it will remain closed for the remainder of the week. Classes will resume Monday.
“Due to lack of consistent electricity in the area, there will be no virtual learning at this time,” the statement reads. “The snow and ice accumulation also make for dangerous road conditions. Please stay safe and off the roads. Students, this is the perfect time to read a book!”
Hudson announced the same, citing about 25-30% of its staff having no access to remote teaching because of power outages and about 50% of students having very limited to absolutely no access to technology because of electrical issues.
“While I would have loved to have had this information prior to our initial decisions about school this week, I am appreciative that we have this option at the present time,” Superintendent Donny Webb wrote in an emailed statement to students and staff. “Therefore, Hudson ISD will pursue the allowable waiver from TEA and close for the remainder of the week, effective immediately. Again, I want to thank everyone for their efforts to stay on task and for their dedication and commitment.”
Huntington ISD also changed its plans to use the waiver, citing the continued blackouts from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to maintain the state power grid, homes without power and water, record low temperatures and another winter storm, no access to internet and roads severely impacted with no safe travel.
“While I cannot ease the anxiety and stress associated with the factors listed above (and I am experiencing it with you), as the superintendent of schools, I can do my part to prevent adding to it by making school decisions to help,” Superintendent David Flowers said in a statement on Facebook.
The district will apply for the TEA waiver for Tuesday through Thursday and use a banked day for Friday, asking students and staff to return to school on Monday.
Central ISD, however, announced in a Facebook statement its students will remain closed for in-school learning for the remainder of the week, but students will be required to access their classes through remote learning platform today and Thursday. Friday will remain a virtual Flex Day for any student required to attend.
“CISD understands the many difficulties our families face during these uncertain times and will be as accommodating as possible moving forward,” the statement reads. “As our teachers begin to communicate their class expectations, please make them aware of any needs or concerns you may have for them to ensure your child’s educational needs are being met. Please stay safe and have a good evening.”
The Lufkin Daily News has reached out to ask why the district did not take part in the TEA waiver and if there is a plan in place for families without power.
Diboll ISD will continue with its plans for remote learning.
‘‘Right now we are continuing with remote and will be working to make individual accommodations for students who have lost power,’’ Diboll Superintendet Vicki Thomas said.
The Lufkin Daily News also has reached out to Zavalla ISD to see if they will be taking part in the TEA waiver and transition to no remote learning and school closure for the remainder of the week.