Schools remain shuttered into April as at-home learning the new norm

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All Wood County public school districts are closed until at least April 6 to comply with the governor’s order to try to stem the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that originated in China in late 2019.

Districts shifted to online learning models the week of Monday, March 23.

One of the challenges has been for students without access to electronic devices and/or Internet access.

The Mineola Civic Center and Peoples Telephone partnered to set up wi-fi hot spots in the areas in and around the center.

Some of the county’s school districts had been on spring break March 9-13 and initially extended that by a week. Two districts continued classes through March 13 and then went on spring break, eventually postponing their return until at least April 6.

The districts also began meal service for students within their district, as well as anyone 18 or younger residing within the districts’ boundaries.

Districts worked through various models of pickup and delivery schedules, including the use of bus routes and community volunteers to get the meals out.

In Mineola, First Baptist Church volunteers stepped in to provide breakfast and snack grab bags on Saturday morning.

The schools are also dealing with restrictions on competitions, with the University Interscholastic League announcing no sanctioned events, including practices and rehearsals, would be allowed.

The earliest competition could resume is May 4 with an appropriate time to acclimate.

Students were also given a break from the state-mandated STAAR tests, which have been waived for this school year.

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