"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. "While this extension could mean students and staff will be back in our schools and facilities on April 13, we should prepare as a community for the strong possibility of school closures extending further, potentially through the end of the school year."
Spring break began for students and staff on March 16. District officials announced that week that all facilities would remain closed until at least April 3.
Throughout the extended school closure, Flores said district leadership has been preparing for the possibility of longer school closures, even through the end of the year, to "ensure that all students will continue to receive a robust and engaging educational experience."
District work includes a focus on finalizing an at-home learning platform and training teachers and staff, according to the release. Steps are also being taken to ensure all students have access to devices and the internet.
"We know that each of our students has different needs, and our work remains dedicated to ensuring these individual needs are met," Flores said in the release. "In addition to the instructional platform, we are also preparing to fulfill the Individual Education Plans of our thousands of students with special needs as required by federal law. Our special education team is working day and night to determine ways we can transition to providing at-home support for these students."
In addition to navigating the academic future of the more than 50,000 students enrolled in RRISD, district staff say they will continue to provide curbside meals for students in need.
"Beyond instructional and academics, we know our students and families rely on us for so much more," Flores said. To help provide the nutritional support our students need as campus and office closures continue, our food services department will continue to provide meals for students. We are also in the process of expanding to weekend student meal service."
Additional information on weekend meal pickup options and on at-home learning specifics are forthcoming, according to the release.