Elections, closures, instruction: See what Austin-area schools are doing in wake of coronavirus

NBISD workers deliver meals to students at the Veramendi Elementary School meal pickup location March 17. (Courtesy New Braunfels ISD)
NBISD workers deliver meals to students at the Veramendi Elementary School meal pickup location March 17. (Courtesy New Braunfels ISD)

NBISD workers deliver meals to students at the Veramendi Elementary School meal pickup location March 17. (Courtesy New Braunfels ISD)

During the coronavirus situation, schools have had to make changes in how they deliver instruction, meals, elections and more. Below is a roundup of what local schools are doing to serve students and families.

Eanes ISD to discuss whether to postpone its May 2 election in light of COVID-19

The Eanes ISD board of trustees will meet digitally for its regular board meeting March 31 due to district closures caused by coronavirus.

During that meeting trustees will take action on its May 2 general election, in which Place 1, Place 2 and Place 3 were set to appear on the ballot.

San Marcos CISD board members vote to postpone May elections



In response to the coronavirus outbreak, San Marcos CISD board of trustees voted March 27 to postpone board elections until November.

Georgetown ISD extends school closure through April 13

Georgetown ISD will extend its closure through April 13 to align with the latest order from the county, the district announced March 26.

On March 24, Williamson County issued a Stay Safe, Stay Home order that asks residents to stay home to the greatest extent possible.

Pflugerville ISD to launch new districtwide online instruction programs March 30

On March 26, Pflugerville ISD released its remote instruction plans, which include scheduled windows for teachers to engage with students, digital assignments to complete from home and more.

The plans come as PfISD faces extended closures to campuses and facilities as the school district works to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Round Rock ISD donates 6,500 surgical masks, 7,000 gloves to WilCo first responders in fight against coronavirus

Local health care providers and emergency workers are facing a shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE—such as surgical masks and gloves as well as other supplies—as the coronavirus pandemic hits close to home.

In response to what has been deemed a critical need for these supplies, Round Rock ISD donated approximately 6,500 surgical masks and 7,000 pairs of gloves to the Williamson County Emergency Operations Center on March 26.

Dripping Springs ISD extends school closures in response to Hays County stay-home order

Dripping Springs ISD announced an extension of school closures due to the coronavirus in response to Hays County's shelter-in-place order, effective March 26 at 11 p.m.. Schools will be closed until at least April 13, according to the district.

Trustees vote to continue to pay Pflugerville ISD staff throughout emergency closures

The Pflugerville ISD board of trustees voted unanimously March 24 to grant Superintendent Douglas Killian authority to pay district staff during times of emergency, PfISD Communications Officer Tamra Spence said in a March 26 email to Community Impact Newspaper. Trustees additionally voted to allow Killian to continue procurement during emergency closures.

Lake Travis-Westlake school district staff continue to receive pay amid closures; districts confirm layoffs not on the horizon

Eanes ISD Superintendent Tom Leonard said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper that the district has not laid off any personnel due to the coronavirus situation.

“Although in most cases remotely, our staff continues to meet the needs of the children and community,” Leonard said. “We have assured all staff that they will continue to receive their compensation and benefits for the foreseeable future.”

NEW: Round Rock ISD schools now closed through April 13; district weighs possibility of closing through end of academic year

Round Rock ISD Superintendent Steve Flores announced the district will extend school and office closures until April 13 in response to coronavirus-related concerns.

"This date aligns with both Travis and Williamson counties' stay home, stay safe orders, and allows our entire community to do our part in keeping each other as healthy as possible," Flores said in a March 25 news release.

Lake Travis ISD delegates authority to superintendent amid district closure

The Lake Travis ISD board of trustees met virtually March 25 in light of a districtwide closure until April 13 to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The board unanimously adopted a resolution delegating authority to Superintendent Brad Lancaster in response to coronavirus concerns. The resolution, similar to one passed by neighboring district Eanes ISD will allow Lancaster to make prompt decisions during an emergency closure.

CISD and NBISD extend school closures through April 24

On March 24, Comal ISD and New Braunfels ISD extended school closures through April 24.

The districts joined other San Antonio-area school districts in extending the closures in an effort to protect the health and safety of the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hutto ISD begins free curbside meal pickups during extended school closures

Hutto ISD has launched a curbside meals pickup program to provide breakfast and lunch options to students during extended school closures, as announced in a March 23 district Facebook post. The free program began March 24 and will run each day from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Cottonwood Creek Elementary School, 3160 Limmer Loop, Hutto.

The curbside options provide students with a grab-and-go lunch and the next day's breakfast.

Eanes ISD, Lake Travis ISD gear up for the start of remote learning practices March 26

In an attempt to safeguard the community and slow the spread of COVID-19, Eanes ISD and Lake Travis ISD announced March 14 that both districts will close all campus operations until April 5.

Now, following the end of the district’s scheduled spring break March 23, students are gearing up for new remote learning practices.

Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees elections postponed until November

The Dripping Springs ISD board of trustees voted to postpone the election to fill two board seats, originally scheduled for May 2, to Nov. 3. The vote was taken at a March 23 online meeting of the board of trustees, held remotely in order to comply with state and local social distancing measures instituted to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Georgetown ISD on track to complete bond projects despite coronavirus concerns, officials say

Georgetown ISD's bond projects—including the building of two new elementary schools—remain on schedule amid coronavirus concerns, David Biesheuvel, the district's executive director of construction and development, told Community Impact Newspaper in a March 23 email.

Pflugerville ISD launches curbside meal pickup for students during extended school closures

Following an announcement that its campuses will stay closed through at least April 3 in order to stop the spread of coronavirus, Pflugerville ISD released plans to provide free meals to local children beginning March 23.

Pflugerville ISD will provide breakfast and lunch, available for curbside pickup, to all students at 10 locations across the district.

Round Rock ISD launches e-learning, postpones Round Rock High School, Westwood proms

The Westwood High School prom, previously scheduled for April 4, has been postponed, according to a March 20 email. Prom has been rescheduled for The Oasis restaurant on May 16.

As Georgetown ISD moves to distance learning, here is what you need to know

As GISD begins distance learning March 23 for the 12,000-plus students in the district, here is what you need to know about your student's education for home learning.

NBISD announces additional meal pickup location

Beginning March 23, New Braunfels ISD will offer an additional meal pickup location at Lone Star Early Childhood Center.

The school district will continue offering meal service during coronavirus-related school closures in partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture. Each meal will come at no charge, regardless of the student’s meal eligibility status.

Leander ISD extends school closure through April 13

Due to coronavirus concerns, Leander ISD's schools will remain closed for a third week through April 13 to coincide with shelter-in-place orders from Travis and Williamson counties.

University of Texas will hold commencement ceremonies virtually

University of Texas President Gregory Fenves announced March 25 in a video interview with commencement speaker Brené Brown that the college’s commencement ceremonies will not be held in person on May 23 as the school continues to put measures in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Instead, UT will hold the ceremony for graduating seniors virtually and will postpone the in-person commencement ceremony to sometime later this year.

PHOTOS: Despite long line, spirits high at free lunch program at Bagdad ES in Leander

On the second day of free breakfast and lunch offerings to students by Leander ISD, 100 vehicles were in line at Bagdad Elementary School when the service began at 11:30 a.m. March 25.

Still, spirits were high.

Children in waiting vehicles hung out of windows waving to passersby and shouting to leashed dogs on the sidewalk. A smiling LISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing—hard to identify in a ballcap and sunglasses instead of his trademark suit—directed the traffic slowly entering the campus from Deercreek Lane.

Amy Rae Dadamo, Evelin Garcia, Ali Linan, Iain Oldman, Taylor Jackson Buchanan, Olivia Aldridge, Lauren Canterberry and Brian Perdue contributed to this story.

Community Impact staff



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Candidates in the Senate District 14 special election responded to Community Impact Newspaper's questions about their campaigns to fill the vacant seat in the Texas Senate. (Design by Shelby Savage/Community Impact Newspaper)
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HCCM
Hill Country Community Ministries' Thrift Store reaches first anniversary in Leander

The thrift store supports Hill Country Community Ministries, a local food pantry and resource center that serves parts of Williamson and Travis counties.

Take a look at how coronavirus impacted Williamson County this week. (Chance Flowers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Take a look at how coronavirus impacted Williamson County this week

The county reported 596 total cases on May 29.

The Williamson County small-business grant program has issued more than $18.5 million as of May 29. (Ali Linan/Community Impact)
Williamson County small-business grant program issues more than $18.5 million

The program has aided more than 1,600 local businesses.

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported eight new cases of coronavirus May 29, bringing the county total to 596. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
1 death and 8 new confirmed cases of coronavirus reported May 29 in Williamson County

Williamson County and Cities Health District reported the total number of cases at 596.

At the conclusion of nearly two months of remote learning, LISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing issued a statement May 29 to LISD families and employees. (Brian Perdue/Community Impact Newspaper)
On last day of school, Leander ISD's 'heroism and resilience' lauded by superintendent

At the conclusion of nearly two months of remote learning, LISD Superintendent Bruce Gearing issued a statement May 29 to LISD families and employees.

(Courtesy Fotolia)
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City Council approves Toyota of Cedar Park expansion

Toyota of Cedar Park will expand its dealership by 9.22 acres along Toll 183A and add 160 jobs over five years.

A photo of the Travis County headquarters sign
Austin Public Health officials say they plan to increase support to Latino community, where coronavirus hospitalizations are up

As of May 26, 76 Hispanic individuals in Travis County were hospitalized with COVID-19, representing around 78% of all hospitalizations.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Travis County. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
92nd coronavirus death reported in Travis County

Active hospitalizations in the metropolitan area dropped from 97 to 88 over the past 24 hours.