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Austin ISD considering going remote or canceling classes after winter break

Currently, students are scheduled to return from winter break the week of Jan. 4.

AUSTIN, Texas — In a letter to parents and staff, the superintendent of Austin ISD said classes after winter break may be remote or canceled altogether.

Currently, students are scheduled to return from winter break the week of Jan. 4.

Dr. Stephanie Elizalde, the superintendent, said in the letter that they are monitoring the state of coronavirus in Austin as they weigh their options. She also clarified that no staffers or teachers will lose pay in either circumstance.

"Please continue to follow safety guidelines throughout the entire break, including wearing masks, frequently washing or sanitizing hands, and maintaining social distancing," she said in the letter.

The City of Austin on Wednesday officially entered Stage 5 in its risk-based COVID-19 guidelines, marking the final and most strict stage of recommendations.

Later that morning, Austin ISD board members held a meeting.

"At this point, APH is not recommending 100% remote," said Dr. Stephanie Elizalde. "They are asking we look at extracurricular practices by providing testing and restricting spectators."

RELATED: Austin is in Stage 5: What that means for restaurants and businesses

If the district moves to remote, it will come at an additional expense for the district. If the district extends winter break for a week, students will have to make up those missed days.

In November, after Thanksgiving break, all classes were remote for one week and the district offered free COVID-19 tests. 

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