Fort Bend ISD shuts down 2 more elementary schools due to COVID

RICHMOND, Texas (KTRK) -- Just one day after Fort Bend ISD announced one of its elementary schools was shutting down its in-person classes due to COVID-19, two more are joining the list.

According to an announcement issued on Tuesday evening, Oakland Elementary classes will be completely virtual starting Thursday, Aug. 26.

Students will tentatively return to face-to-face instruction on Thursday, Sept. 2.

This comes one day after the district said Pecan Grove Elementary was closing due to a "significant" risk of COVID on campus.

In addition, Drabek Elementary will also be shifting to virtual classes, but only for its pre-K students. That will also start on Thursday, Aug. 26 with a projected return to face-to-face instruction on Thursday, Sept. 2.

The district said Drabek pre-K students can still come to the school on Wednesday, Aug. 25. Officials will be issuing a formal update confirming the return date on Wednesday, Sept. 1.

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FBISD said older siblings of those pre-K students who are in kindergarten through the 5th grade will still be allowed to report to school for in-person instruction during pre-K's transition to online learning.

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The letter issued to parents says the district's COVID response team looked into "a wide range of internal and external indicators" to determine the level of risk or disruptions to in-person classes.

"All data suggested a significant impact to our ability to adequately staff the campus and has caused an operational disruption that would prevent us from continuing face-to-face instruction at this time," read the letter.

According to the FBISD COVID dashboard, as of Tuesday evening, Oakland Elementary has five cases of COVID among its instructional staff and a total of 24 students with a positive case of the virus.

According to the dashboard, there are a total of 892 students at the school and 96 members of its staff.

Note: The district's website says these are cases reported from Aug. 16 to Aug. 23. It also says the dashboard is refreshed daily at 10 p.m.

In addition, the dashboard says there are two cases of COVID among the instructional staff at Drabek Elementary and a total of four students with a positive case of the virus.

According to the dashboard, there are a total of 712 students at the school and 93 members of its staff. The dashboard did not specify cases for its Pre-K class.

"The duration of this transition is contingent upon campus staffing and several other internal and external environmental factors that are being monitored daily," read the letter.

Fort Bend ISD is encouraging families to use their own personal devices during the shift to online learning.

For those who may not have access to internet, the Fort Bend ISD Lending Library will make technology devices available for any student in need.

However, a limited number of mobile hot spots are available for families without internet.

The district encourages you to email Anne Arnold to request a technology device or mobile hot spot. Visit the Fort Bend ISD technology resources website for information and support.

The Extended Learning/Extended Day program will also be closed during the closure and will reopen once the school goes back to in-person learning.

The district said it will still provide grab-and-go meal service during the closure.

Meals will be served curbside at the bus ramp and parents must provide a student ID number to pick up meals for their students. Lunch will be provided on Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. These meals are provided to FBISD students at no cost.

The district is encouraging staff and students to wear masks whether they are vaccinated or not.

This is a developing story. This article will be updated as more information becomes available.
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