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Austin ISD Classes Will Go Remote The Week After Thanksgiving

Students wear masks in class at Boone Elementary School last month.
Students wear masks in class at Boone Elementary School last month.

All students in the Austin Independent School District will be learning remotely the week after Thanksgiving, as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Austin.

In a letter to parents Wednesday night Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said the move was to try and reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in Austin.

"This decision is being made proactively to increase the likelihood of on-campus instruction for the final two weeks of the semester," Elizalde wrote. "By moving to 100% remote learning the week following the Thanksgiving break, the incubation period will have the opportunity to run its course and positive cases can be identified while safely at home."

She said remote-only learning will not be necessary after winter break because there is enough time to quarantine.

Schools will be closed from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4, with in person learning resuming Dec. 7. AISD will offer free COVID-19 testing for students, staff and family member from Dec. 2 through Dec. 4

Elizalde said AISD has been working closely with Austin Public Health and interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott on whether to limit in-person learning.

Under new guidance from the Texas Education Agency, a school district is allowed to do remote-only learning if a COVID outbreak affects the staff so much that in-person learning would be impossible.

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