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COVID Closes Six Mansfield Elementary Schools

Education

Roberta Tipps Elementary school. | Image from businessyab

Starting January 13, six elementary schools within Mansfield Independent School District (ISD) will temporarily close due to an increasing number of COVID-related absences and a shortage of substitute teachers.

The six schools will be closed through Monday–the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Observance.

The affected campuses include Roberta Tipps, Tarver Rendon, Martha Reid, Judy Miller, Louise Cabaniss, and Janet Brockett.

“Day-to-day operations at those campuses are strained; and, it is difficult to sustain a productive learning environment while continuing to ensure the health and well-being of our students and staff,” said Mansfield ISD within a news release.

Custodians will sanitize all campus facilities while students and other staff members are away. Mansfield ISD stated that students would not be required to attend extra days to compensate for missed learning opportunities.

Mansfield ISD is currently following a trend that many North Texas school districts are setting. According to the website for Fort Worth ISD, in January alone, Fort Worth schools have incurred their highest staff shortage due to COVID since August.

The real-time Fort Worth ISD COVID-19 Dashboard demonstrated, as of Wednesday, 1,489 out of its 11,029 employees were quarantined since the start of the new year.

According to its ISD data, 1,076 Fort Worth ISD students (1.4% of the total student body) have tested positive for COVID since January 1.

As of January 10, 1,132 students were being quarantined for coming in contact with someone with COVID. “It’s really getting to a point where, operationally, schools are hurting,” said Steven Poole, the executive director of North Texas-based United Educators Association.

“There’s not enough teachers and staff and, coupled with all of these quarantines and isolations that their colleagues are going through, it’s becoming, basically, untenable to continue to go to school in a meaningful way. Their day is constantly disrupted.”

Students will be able to return to classes on January 18.

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