The Houston School District will transition to a hybrid model of education beginning Sept. 28.

The Houston School District will close three days this week as it moves to a hybrid model of instruction on Sept. 28.

Dr. Allen Moss, superintendent, said to limit exposure to COVID-19 and to continue to improve social distancing, the district will close Wednesday, Thursday and Friday next week and is moving to a hybrid model of instruction beginning Monday, Sept. 28, for sixth through twelfth grades.

School staff, during the time off, will work on professional development for virtual/distance learning and allow them to get some rest. The school also will undergo deep cleaning during the time off.

When returning Sept. 28, the elementary school will continue on its five-day schedule. In the other grades a two day in-seat and three-day virtual instruction model will be adopted. Students will attend on a Monday/Tuesday or Wednesday/Thursday schedule with Friday as an all virtual day. Additionally information about students’ schedules will be released early next week.

Moss said he hopes the advanced notice gives families time to plan for the three days off. Activities will continue as allowed by quarantines and positive tests. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Texas County ranks fourth among counties in the state with the greatest percentage of cases in the last seven days.

The new schedule will run for about three weeks through Oct. 16. It will be evaluated for progress.

“Once again, we remind you that if your child is sick and exhibiting any symptoms please keep them home. It is also imperative that you observe any quarantine or direction from the health department,” said Moss.

In addition to insuring student’s safety as cases increase in the county, it has been a difficult week for students and staff as tragedy struck beginning last Friday. A serious accident injured two high school-age students last Friday. Both face long recoveries after serious injuries. On Tuesday night, another accident left Dr. Justin Copley’s family injured south of Roby. The high school principal’s wife is a kindergarten teacher. Their five children were injured; two of them critically. The boys are in a Springfield hospital.

Festivities around Friday's homecoming were cancelled earlier in the week. There was no football game Sept. 18 due to quarantines and positive cases.

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