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More Than A Dozen North Texas School Districts Halt Classes Until Next Tuesday Due To COVID-19-Related Absences

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Multiple school districts announced temporary school closings due to issues surrounding COVID-19 staffing shortages and/or student illnesses.

Due to the rising number of COVID-related absences and a shortage of substitute teachers, Mansfield ISD has decided to temporarily close six elementary schools: Janet Brockett, Louise Cabaniss, Judy Miller, Martha Reid, Tarver Rendon, and Roberta Tipps.

These campuses will be closed from Thursday, Jan. 13 through Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17.

"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," the district said in a news release on Wednesday, Jan. 12.

MISD's custodial staff will implement the district's COVID-19 deep cleaning protocol prior to students and staff returning.

Pilot Point ISD said it is closing all schools until Tuesday, Jan. 18 due to a rise in student cases and lack of staffing available.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, 16% of the district's staff was out due to COVID-19 and that percentage was expected to climb, the district said.

Kerens ISD also announced it will be closed until Tuesday, Jan. 18 as more than 20% of its students are out with COVID-19 or because a family member has tested positive.

All after school practices and games are cancelled Thursday and Friday as well.

Bellevue, Boyd, Eustace, Kemp, Krum, Malakoff, Maypearl, Palmer, Red Oak, Rio Vista and Venus ISDs also cancelled classes through next Tuesday due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and lack of staffing.

A+ Charter Schools in Dallas is also closed until Tuesday, "due to the uptick in COVID-19 and flu."

Northwest ISD is considering closing targeted campuses or the entire district as more than 400 teachers are currently affected by COVID-19.

In Dallas ISD, things aren't looking near as bad.

"For us in Dallas ISD we've actually seen a downward trend," said Robert Abel, Dallas ISD Chief of Human Capital Management. "The first week we got back from break we had an average of 230 teachers who were out of the classroom due to COVID. This week we've been averaging about 130."

That's out of 10,000 teachers total.

The district crediting its mask mandate for helping curb cases.

However like many school districts - substitute teachers are still needed in Dallas ISD.

Last Friday the district started offering a daily incentive of $50 per day for subs.

Almost 100 subs have taken advantage of this.

Fort Worth ISD is also trying to hire subs as well as fill other positions.

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