KATY, Texas — Katy ISD has closed its first campus due to COVID-19.
Seven Lakes High School will remain closed through Nov. 3 due to a corrective action issued by Fort Bend County Health and Human Services.
All extra-curricular activities are temporarily suspended as well.
Katy ISD students have strict protocols while on campus like those laid out in a series of instructional videos the district released. The videos direct students to clean their hands with a liquid sanitizer and to take a wipe to clean their workspace or desk prior to the start of class.
But not all teenagers may be following guidelines away from school.
In a letter to parents and others, the principal wrote, “Through contact tracing … it has been determined that many of the positives can be linked back to medium to large scale gatherings involving our students. These gatherings include off-campus weekend parties where social distancing and mask wearing has not occurred.”
Parent Deidra Sanders, whose kids are learning from home, said she’s gotten regular notifications concerning COVID-19 cases, which, like other districts, Katy ISD tracks via an online dashboard.
"As soon as they allowed kids back on campus at Seven Lakes, I mean, two days into it I got an email,” she said.
In addition to Seven Lakes, similarly worded letters were sent this week to Katy ISD’s eight other comprehensive high schools, all saying that failure to do things like socially distance, practice good hygiene and wear masks would likely result in more students and staff testing positive -- which could impact in-person learning and postpone even more activities and events, including athletics.
"I have no intention of sending my kids back to campus until at least January –- and that’s still a big 'if,'" Sanders said.
Katy ISD certainly isn’t the only district dealing with this.
For instance, the principal of Spring Branch ISD’s Memorial High School recently urged parents to play their part by not hosting parties or large groups of children and to make sure teens wear masks whenever they’re together.
Partial Katy ISD statement:
In accordance with a Corrective Action Advisement received today from the Fort Bend County Health and Human Services Department, the District will, effective immediately, temporarily close Seven Lakes High School beginning Friday, October 30 to ensure compliance with the recommended corrective actions. During the temporary campus closure, in-person students will be provided Intermittent School to Home virtual learning through Tuesday, November 3. Students and staff will report back for in-person learning on Wednesday, November 4.