Belton ISD schools to remain closed through April 3

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Belton ISD schools will remain closed through April 3, officials announced Wednesday.

"There is a potential of schools remaining closed for an extended time as our state and nation respond to this pandemic. Know that during this closure my leadership team and I will continue planning for potential scenarios, both short-term and long-term," Superintendent Dr. Mark Smith said in a message to parents.

During this time, all Belton ISD facilities will be closed for instruction and other purposes, including UIL events, athletics, rentals, field trips, after-school programs and other campus activities. All district events and extracurricular activities are postponed until the District reopens

On Tuesday the Belton School Board voted to give Smith the authority to make decisions independently regarding the district's operations.

“These are unprecedented times in education in the state of Texas, in our county and our school district," Smith said.

The motion also makes sure employees will continue to get paid.

“Hourly teachers and salary teachers in Belton ISD will continue to get their paycheck," Smith added.

As of now, the district says a decision surrounding a potential return to the classroom has not been decided. That is expected within the next 24 hours. Until a decision is announced, school is set to resume on March 23.

In making the decision, Smith says the safety of students and staff members is the top priority.

“We want to value the idea of educating students," he said. "But we also know bringing them in an unsafe situation where they may be contracting the Coronavirus is something we don’t want to do.”

The district is also looking at multiple ways for students to learn.

“Some of that may be online instruction, some of that may be packets of information provided to parents, some may be we’re seeking partners to provide internet access to families," he said.