[ COVID Deaths Close Schools ] Texas school closes due to increase of COVID-19 cases, two teachers die

Posted: Aug 31, 2021 / 07:13 AM CDT / Updated: Sep 1, 2021 / 08:30 AM CDT

WACO, Texas — The Connally Independent School District (ISD) announced Monday evening it would be closing all campuses until September 7 after the news of a second teacher passing away from Connally Junior High due to COVID-19 complications.

“Although they were in the same content area, they were at two different grade levels in two different portions, as far as of the building,” says Assistant Superintendent Jill Bottelberghe.

Natalia Chansler and David “Andy” McCormick both taught social studies at Connally Junior High.

“Any of our staff who’s been identified as close contacts, we ask them to be tested every other day,” says Bottelberghe.

The decision was not made lightly. All campuses at Connally ISD will be closed for the week. During this time, they will thoroughly clean and sanitize each building.

“The students will participate in remote conferencing in accordance with the TEA guidelines,” says Bottelberghe.

The district will also offer testing for the families of the students who might have been in contact with Mr. McCormick and Ms. Chansler.

“We identified any close contacts to the positive cases, and we notified those who are in close contact with positive cases,” says Bottelberghe.

The district will be working closely with the McLennan County Public Health District to monitor the COVID-19 cases.

“We have canceled all of their after-school practices and activities that are scheduled to take place after today, and they’ll remain closed until we return to face to face on September 7th,” says Bottelberghe.

Free meals will continue to be offered to all Connally ISD students. Breakfast and lunch meals will be distributed from 7:30 to 8:30 in the morning in front of each campus.

Connally ISD released in a statement to all parents and guardians saying, “We know the hardship this may present to families, but we want to do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our students and team. Please continue to monitor for symptoms and if your child tests positive for Covid-19, contact your students’ campus nurse.”

Connally Early Childhood Center- Chris Ruhter,

Connally Primary School- Cheryl Sanchez,

Connally Elementary School- Pam White,

Connally Junior high- Lisa Watts,

Connally High School- Elizabeth Sharp,

Connally ISD will be hosting a vaccination clinic on September 13th from 5:00 to 7:30 in the high school gymnasium.


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