3/19/2020 UPDATE REGARDING COVID-19 (NEW CORONAVIRUS)

Dear Parents and Students, 

 First, I hope you all are healthy during these truly unprecedented times. The battle against COVID-19, while necessary, is bringing some huge burdens for our families, our staff and most of all, our students. I want you to know that I am committed to keeping our community healthy while keeping our students the top priority.  Of course, I am not the only one. I applaud our teachers who have taken it upon themselves to find brilliantly creative solutions to keep students engaged during the long hours at home. I am so thankful for our staff and all they are doing to provide meals for students and keep the necessary parts of the district up and running in spite of the difficulties. We do not always know what the future holds, but thanks to amazing people like these, Henderson I.S.D. is going to continue to do its part in making your students successful.

Secondly, I want to reach out to you and give you some information about the plans for Henderson I.S.D. going forward.  Given the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, the district will extend the suspension of normal district operations through Friday, April 3th with teachers and staff returning to campuses on Monday, April 6h. Our students will return to classes on Tuesday, April 7th.

Finally, the UIL has determined that games and contests will resume no earlier than Monday, May 4th. Prior to that date, to allow students and schools to reenter competition, the UIL will provide a reasonable acclimatization period for rehearsals and practices to occur, consistent with the advice of local, state and federal officials.

These actions are an effort to support our nation’s need to slow the spread of COVID-19. Currently, our local health officials report cases are continuing to spread in the state, and an increase in confirmed cases in our county is likely.  Suspending operations for this length of time will allow us to determine, in coordination with local health officials, whether the virus is continuing to have community spread or whether it has been slowed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the need for all communities to implement a social distancing protocol.  We want to reiterate a request to our broader community to take the following reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of the illness:

  • Don’t shake hands
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Limit movement within the community, especially avoiding crowded places and maintaining 3 to 6 ft of distance between people (at least an arm’s length)
  • If you are moving around in the community, don’t congregate in large groups
  • For those who have traveled to areas with known COVID-19 cases – both inside and outside of the country – we ask that you self-quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Students who have traveled should plan to stay home for two weeks after arriving home. Please contact your campus to let them know, and this will be considered an excused absence.
  • If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider for medical advice.
  • Keep your child at home if he/she feels ill, even if you think it is just a cold.
  • Do not leave the house if you are ill, except to access medical care

This is a quickly changing situation. We will continue to monitor information, assess conditions going forward and provide updates through our website (HendersonISD.org), social media pages (Twitter: @HendersonISD; Facebook: @hendersonisd) and school messenger.

Thank you for your support and cooperation as we ensure that everyone in Rusk County remains safe and healthy.

Dr. Thurston Lamb

Superintendent, Henderson I.S.D.