TISD said in a letter to families April 24 that all end-of-year celebrations—including prom, Cougar/Wildcat Walks and ceremonies of any kind—had been canceled due to the continuing coronavirus outbreak and social distancing measures. However, graduation ceremonies for the class of 2020 are still tentatively scheduled for July 24 at the Berry Center in Cypress, as Community Impact Newspaper previously reported. Eighth-grade ceremonies, fifth-grade ceremonies and other school events in the month of May are included in the cancellation, Suarez clarified.
"While we gear up for the final month of remote learning and the 2019-2020 school year, our focus must remain on the safety and well-being of our students and staff," Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora wrote in a letter to families April 24. "We hoped to be able to reconnect as a school community before the end of the school year, but unfortunately, we are asked to continue social distancing."
TISD is closed for the remainder of the spring semester following an order by Gov. Greg Abbott issued April 17, Community Impact Newspaper previously reported.
"We know by making this difficult decision, many of our students will miss out on traditions that have occurred for many years, but we hope that you understand this decision was made, as all decisions are, in the best interest of our school community," Salazar-Zamora wrote.
TISD administration is also working on a plan to allow students and staff to return belongings and clean out lockers, but specific details are not yet available, according to the letter.
"We are saddened that we will not all be able to say our proper goodbye before summer, but by supporting local and state government decisions at this time, we are hopeful for a normal start to the 2020-2021 school year," Salazar-Zamora wrote.
Classes are slated to begin Aug. 18 for the 2020-21 school year, with new staff returning for development Aug. 4, according to the TISD-approved calendar.