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All Lewisville ISD Schools Closing Temporarily Due To Staffing Shortages

LEWISVILLE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - Lewisville ISD is temporarily closing the doors to all of its schools effective Wednesday, Jan. 26 due to staffing shortages surrounding the surge in COVID-19 cases.

More than a fifth of all staff members were absent late last week.

"We can't just leave a 7-year-old and 10-year-old like Lord of the Flies at the house," said parent Jason Cohn.

He and his wife are scrambling - again.

It's a routine they've grown accustomed to over nearly two years.

"Whether it's sports, school, we just kind of feel like anytime could be shut down," he said.

Two of his children attend Bridlewood Elementary, which has been closed since last Thursday.

Monday afternoon, Jan. 24, he learned it will be closed again Tuesday.

A nightmare for parents, but welcome news for his kids.

"They'll high-five a little bit later when they come home," he said.

All schools are closed until at least Monday, Jan. 31.

Remote learning is not an option.

Interim Superintendent Gary Patterson notified Lewisville ISD families that around 1,000 campus staff were absent out of just under 5,000 employees.

He said the following in a letter to parents Monday:

"The positive cases reported by middle school and high school students over the last 10 days have increased by almost 500%. Absences for on-campus staff are running between 7-800 daily, while district-wide staff absences have been over 900 and peaked at 1,048 last Friday. That is more than double the number we would expect during non-COVID years. It is important to understand, not all these absences are positive COVID cases in staff. Many may be COVID-related, but we are seeing extraordinarily high numbers with other illnesses, personal reasons, sick family members, family medical leave, and the list goes on. Regardless of the cause, these staff absences impact our ability to maintain our daily campus operations."

A district spokesperson said, in a typical day pre-COVID, they would see 300 to 400 staff absences a day.

The district said the closures are due to rising COVID-19 cases and limited availability of substitute teachers.

And parents at the other Lewisville ISD schools are wondering if they're next.

"It will be a lot having both of them home and not working. How am I going to afford rent? So hopefully they stay open. I pray," said parent Jessica Obodo.

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