Keller ISD superintendent provides update on COVID-19-related closure of Fossil Ridge High School

A child working while wearing a mask in class
Students and staff at Fossil Ridge High School will be transitioning to remote learning for two weeks in response to several employees quarantining from being in close contact with a COVID-19 case. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Students and staff at Fossil Ridge High School will be transitioning to remote learning for two weeks in response to several employees quarantining from being in close contact with a COVID-19 case. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Updated: Sept. 17 at 9:41 a.m.

Keller ISD Superintendent Rick Westfall updated the community about the recent temporary closure of Fossil Ridge High School after several employees were asked to quarantine as a result of COVID-19 contact tracing.

In a video statement addressing the closure, Westfall said the switch to remote learning for 14 days resulted from a lack of available staff for the campus to remain open.

“If you look at our dashboard, you’ll see that there are 11 student cases that are active right now and two teacher cases ... at Fossil Ridge High School. Those combined cases in relationship to the number of people that are actually in the building certainly are not enough to warrant an entire closure of a building,” Westfall said. “However, the adherence to what we need to do with contact tracing ... the fact that we needed to contact trace from 11 kids and from two teachers, it actually ended up impacting 25 of our teachers on our campus at Fossil Ridge.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes to isolate and monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms to limit the spread of the virus.

There are currently 29 active cases in the district, of which 19 are students and 10 are employees as of Sept. 17, according to the district's dashboard.

“Every single building, we’re gonna have to make a decision on a case-by-case basis,” Westfall said. “We’re going to continue to make sure every time we get a positive case that it’s verified and that we then go through our contact tracing and we send home quarantine information appropriately.”

Original post

Students and staff at Fossil Ridge High School will be transitioning to remote learning for 14 days effective Sept. 16 as a result of a high number of employees identified as in close contact with a COVID-19 case.

According to a statement from the district, remote learning and grading will formally begin Sept. 21 to ensure students are properly equipped with devices to participate.

Students and employees will be allowed back on campus Sept. 30.

“While we have a small number of confirmed positive student and staff cases, it is our adherence to our safety protocols and quarantine guidelines that have left us short-staffed,” the statement said. “We want to continue to provide our students with the most consistent educational experience without additional interruptions and be sure we are not overwhelming our employees remaining on campus.”

The temporary transition to remote learning will also include Remote@KISD students. Teachers will prepare to teach courses from home.

This is a developing story. Community Impact Newspaper will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the Grapevine-Colleyville-Southlake and Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth editions of Community Impact. She is a recent graduate of Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot cup of tea.


Among ZIP codes in the Keller-Roanoke-Northeast Fort Worth area, 76244 has the greatest number of new confirmed cases reported between Sept. 8-17, with 60. (Community Impact staff)
Tracking COVID-19: Number of new confirmed cases continues to decline in Tarrant, Denton counties

Tarrant County Public Health has confirmed 285 new coronavirus cases in the county in the past 24 hours.

The cookie delivery company is opening a new location this fall. (Courtesy Tiff's Treats)
Tiff's Treats coming soon to north Fort Worth

Tiff’s Treats will open a storefront in north Fort Worth off of I-35W in October.

Dr. Sam Rolon is a physician for Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group Creekside Family Medicine in The Woodlands. (Courtesy St. Luke's Health)
Q&A: St. Luke's physician shares advice on flu season, vaccine and prevention

The influenza vaccine is recommended for nearly all patients of all ages ahead of this year's flu season, Dr. Sam Rolon said.

student in mask
TEA launches statewide COVID-19 dashboard for public schools

The Texas Education Agency, in collaboration with the Texas Department of State Health Services, has launched its latest COVID-19 dashboard for positive cases in Texas public schools.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Sept. 17 that data from Texas' 22 hospital regions will dictate when certain businesses can reopen at 75% capacity. (Screenshot of Sept. 17 press conference)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott: Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, gyms can reopen at 75% capacity as early as Sept. 21

Nursing home and long-term care facilities will also be allowed to reopen for visitation as early as Sept. 24.

A group of people with shovels
Medical City Alliance breaks ground on $10M ambulatory surgery center

The new ambulatory surgery center for Medical City Alliance, expected to be completed in early 2021, is in addition to a $51 million expansion at the hospital.

The upcoming Starbucks location will open along US 380 in Frisco. (Courtesy Starbucks)
New coffee shops in Frisco, Plano plus more popular DFW news

Read popular news from this week from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Hot Crab is now serving seafood dishes in Richardson. (Courtesy Hot Crab)
Seafood eatery Hot Crab opens in Richardson and more DFW news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth business and community news.

Almost Home Animal Rescue's Heather Weeks, left, and Amy Desler pick up North Texas Giving Day yard signs. (Courtesy Kim Leeson/Communities Foundation of Texas)
North Texas Giving Day to aid more than 3,300 nonprofits

The 18-hour online event organized by Communities Foundation of Texas allows people to support local nonprofits and causes.

One in five children and adults have a learning disability, according to statistics from the National Center for Learning Disabilities. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Q&A: National Center for Learning Disabilities expert discusses challenges of special education, remote learning during pandemic

The NCLD's director of policy and advocacy spoke about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on special education students and their development in and out of the classroom.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Sept. 16 that Ariat International will establish a new regional headquarters and distribution hub in North Fort Worth. (Courtesy Hillwood/AllianceTexas)
Ariat International regional headquarters, distribution hub coming soon to north Fort Worth

As part of an incentive package to bring Ariat International to the area, the Texas Enterprise Fund provided a grant of $750,000.

Dutch Bros. Coffee plans to open a Plano location next summer. (Courtesy Dutch Bros. Coffee)
Dutch Bros. Coffee coming to Plano and more DFW news

Read the latest Dallas-Fort Worth-area business and community news.