Clear Creek ISD to close through April 10 to mitigate spread of COVID-19, will offer free drive-through lunches during closure

CCISD Child Nutrition Team members began serving district families through the meal program on March 17. (Cathy Turner/Community Impact Newspaper)
CCISD Child Nutrition Team members began serving district families through the meal program on March 17. (Cathy Turner/Community Impact Newspaper)

CCISD Child Nutrition Team members began serving district families through the meal program on March 17. (Cathy Turner/Community Impact Newspaper)

Clear Creek ISD will close all facilities through Friday, April 10, with a plan to re-evaluate the decision on April 4, as a measure to prevent the wider spread of coronavirus, according to a media release from the district.

Superintendent Greg Smith announced the closure to the community via CCISD’s Facebook page as a live video at 6 p.m. March 16. The video can be viewed here.

"Our campuses are the hubs of the community, a place where children and adults come together to learn and grow," Smith said in the video. "While I long for the resumption of those wonderful activities, I also realize that we have a moral responsibility to prevent the wider spread of the coronavirus...I recognize this is a hardship for our working families, but the health of our community is too important to resume our normal schedule."

This decision was made collaboratively with area school districts, per the media release. District leaders, curriculum writers and technology experts are working around the clock to support distance learning for teachers and students, Smith said in the video.

CCISD will announce more substantive learning plans later this week and will reach out to families to see what technical support is required at home to allow for distance learning.

“While our schools are physically closed, our spirit of innovation will continue through distance learning,” Smith said in the video. “Our community has invested in the necessary resources to support this endeavor. I know there will be challenges along the way, but we will work through them, together."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced March 16 that the state is waiving the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, testing requirements. Elaina Polsen, the district's chief communications officer, said in an email that CCISD families know the STAAR exam "was one indicator of a student's academic progress."

"Our learning continues in Clear Creek ISD," she said via email. "Learning expectations and guidelines are being adjusted to meet this challenging situation, but our kids are doing great in responding to the learning expectations we just are now rolling out."

The district hopes to resume in-school instruction on Monday, April 13, but administrators are equally preparing to extend distance learning if necessary, Polsen said.

Beginning March 17, Clear Creek ISD will be offering drive-through meals Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for families in need, according to a post on the district website.

Greene, League City, McWhirter, Stewart and Whitcomb Elementary schools are participating in the program. Parents can drive up to the front entrance of the campuses to receive a meal for each child that is present in the vehicle. This service is free to any child 18 years and younger. On-site dining will not be available.

For health and safety reasons, the meal program is being handled exclusively by the CCISD Child Nutrition team, Polsen said in an email.

CCISD is operating at a Level 3 alert status, meaning local cases of COVID-19 have been reported. More information about district efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus can be found here.

By Colleen Ferguson

Reporter, Bay Area

A native central New Yorker, Colleen worked as an editorial intern with the Cy-Fair and Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood editions of Community Impact Newspaper before joining the Bay Area team in 2020. She covers public education, higher education, business and development news in southeast Houston. Colleen graduated in 2019 from Syracuse University and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, where she worked for the university's independent student newspaper The Daily Orange. Her degrees are in journalism and Spanish language and culture. When not chasing a story, Colleen can be found petting cats and dogs, listening to podcasts, swimming or watching true crime documentaries.