SEALY – Sealy ISD is one of the first districts in the state to close its doors in 2022.
Schools in the district will remain closed Friday and Tuesday as COVID-19 cases rise among students and staff.
Superintendent Bryan Hallmark says cases have been on the rise this week and school leaders wanted to do what’s best for students and staff members to help stop the spread.
The district recorded over 130 active cases since school returned on Jan. 3.
That represents about 4% of the district’s 2,800 students and 400 staff members.
“And today, we have 93 active cases. About 19 are staff and the rest are students. But [on] top of that, we have close contact quarantine,” Hallmark said
Over the past two weeks, teachers have been stretched thin.
“We have teachers covering classes on their conference periods, we have support staff that are filling in for classrooms. We’ve had to combine classrooms and, at some point, you have to take into consideration, is it better for us to hit pause for a little bit because the student experience is being diminished during [the] school day,” Hallmark said.
Alicia Burns has four children in the district and she’s considering switching back to virtual learning if things don’t get better.
“I don’t want them to get sick,” Burns said.
Nearby at Katy ISD, the district is reporting over 2,200 active cases, involving about 2% of all students and 3% of staff.
Additionally, Cy-Fair ISD had to temporarily close three testing sites because they ran out of supplies.
Parent Tawana Sutton says COVID is getting out of control.
“Oh, it’s getting pretty crazy all over again. It’s kind of scary [that] it’s going around so rapidly,” she said.
This is not the first time Sealy ISD has shut down because of COVID.
They closed for five days last fall during Labor Day.
Hallmark says they have a rapid testing center that will remain open during the break for students and staff.
Over the next few days, officials say the schools will be deeply cleaned and sanitized.